101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Gold Book

APP 3 - Planning Considerations

1. Maneuver:

a. Soldiers with heavy loads (RTOs, mortar crewmen, etc.) take positions (seats in training) in the middle of UH60s to facilitate exit from either door.

b. Designated personnel on each chalk (minimum of two) have smoke grenades "at the ready" for use if the LZ is hot. If LZ is hot, soldiers employ smoke grenades once clear of the helicopter rotor-blades, and move to cover once the smoke has built up.

c. Plan to consolidate and then redistribute mortar rounds on the LZ.

d. All platoon leaders and above "shoot" GPS grid location immediately upon landing.

e. Heavy LZ commander designates QRF (two sections dismounted) from anti-armor assets while in PZ.

2. Fire Support:

a. Mortars prepared for "hip shoot" upon arrival in LZ. De-conflict round trajectory with flight routes during mission planning/AMB.

b. Prepare LZ with indirect fires and AH64 fires if no friendly forces (LRSD, Pathfinders, Scouts, etc.) are in the area.

3. Command and control:

a. Company integrity maintained on LZs.

b. Platoons cross load crew served weapons (machine-guns, mortars, and dragons) to preserve the ability for alternate door exits.

c. Assaulting units maintain communications in-flight using short whip antenna. All leaders with FM radios hold handsets to their ear from the time they board the aircraft until the helicopters egress the LZ.

d. All elements understand communications nets and call signs, and the capability of each to monitor or switch to different nets.

e. Platoons must have day and night (IR and thermal) marking and fire direction capability. Day markings include VS-17 panel, and smoke. Night markings include chem lights, strobe lights (with IR cover), flares, glint tape, reverse polarity tape, MRE heaters. Fire control measures include PAQ-4 and GCP1A/B at night and M203 smoke and illumination rounds for day or night.

f. Fire control plan must integrate ground fires, AH 64 fires, door gunners, and indirect assets. Ground commander in the LZ (designated by the AATF Cdr) controls and clears all fires within the boundary of the airhead.

g. Units mark their own positions as known "TRPs" and adjust fires using polar plots (distance and direction from the known location/TRP).