by CPT Samel R. White, Jr., Observer/Controller, National Training Center
Brigades commonly use rotary-wing aircraft for:
- command and control
The brigade's effort to execte A2C2is sometimes minimal to nonexistent. The brigade staff:
not normally have a formal A2C2cell
not at all versed in A2C2procedures
- does not make any effort to coordinate the use of airspace
Brigades must establish procedures for A2C2. Each member of the staff must understand their responsibilities in A2C2planning.
The following is a step-by-step methodology for A2C2.
STEP 1: Identify the need for army airspace. For example, the brigade FSO may identify that Combat Observation Lasing Team 2 (COLT) is to occupy OP 3, and the targeting team determines that COLT 2 will be air-inserted. The need for A2C2has just been identified. The staff now begins planning for A2C2.
STEP 2: S3 Air finalizes coordination with the A2C2 team, and ensures:
- all graphic control measures are included on the brigade graphics.
- necessary coordinating instructions are in the brigade OPORD.
STEP 3: S3 Air finalizes A2C2coordination with higher headquarters and adjacent units.
STEP 4: S3 Air continues to coordinate airspace throughout the preparation phase for the mission. Coordinates with the A2C2team as changes or refinements occur.
STEP 5: A2C2is rehearsed during the combined arms rehearsal. A2C2is also rehearsed at all subordinate rehearsals as required.
STEP 6: Execution--some tips:
- Open and close air corridors only while aircraft are transiting the corridor. Leaving the corridor in effect continuosly will needlessly restrict fire support.
- Plan aerial observation posts and air battle positions off the air corridor.
- Only open sections (between aerial check points) of air corridors as the aircraft transit that section.
- Plan air corridors behind or to the flanks of artillery batteries and mortar platoons/sections.
- Consider task force mortar platoons/sections when planning A2C2.
- Air corridors are manever graphics; include them on the brigade graphics.
- Ensure indirect fire support assets are aware of the coordinating altitude in air corridors.
- Implement NFAs on aerial OPs.
- Aircraft must report aerial check points (ACPs) when transiting air corridors.
Battle Command at the Firing Battery Level
Indirect Fires and the Combined Arms Team
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