101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Gold Book

Chapter 3

Air Movement Operations

1. Air movement involves flight operations from PZ to LZ and back. Designation and use of flight paths is a command matter for the AATFC, the AMC, and the GTC. It must be first in coordination with the ADAO, assisted by the Division airspace planners.

2. In executing the air movement, the AMC takes operational control of all Army aviation forces (assault, heavy assault, attack, air cavalry, MEDEVAC, electronic warfare, and C2). The AMC controls all deconflictions and timings. The AMC controls all enroute fires, to include initiation of LZ preparatory fires discussed in Chapter 2.

3. One-way flight paths. Flight paths include flight routes, air corridors (with specified height and width), and flight axes (specified width but not height). Both routes and corridors are commonly used. Flight axes are not commonly used in this division.

4. With very rare exceptions, the Division uses one-way flight paths. Designation of a two-way flight path would be reserved to the AATFC for those unusual circumstances where this risky measure might be necessary. Two-way flight routes will be deconflicted by time and/or altitude separation between using units.

5. To ensure simplicity and focus of available fires, an air assault uses one ingress flight path and a different egress flight path. Key elements of a one-way flight path include:

a. Start point (SP): 3 to 8 kilometers from the PZs. The flight path starts here.

b. Release point (RP): 3 to 8 kilometers from the LZs, primary and alternate. The flight path ends here.

c. Air control point (ACP): a prominent, designated terrain feature located along the flight path that allows for navigation, control of speed, and control of enroute fires.

d. No turns in excess of 60 degrees with slingloads.

    1. At least two kilometers width on routes.

f. RP within 30 degrees of LZ heading.

6. Air movement patterns: In executing air movement, the AMC integrates flight paths with PZ and LZ locations. He avoids known enemy air defenses, and plans suppressive fires and nonlethal suppression on those that cannot be avoided and templated or likely locations. The AATFC must ensure that flight paths support both the primary and alternate LZs. Always plan alternate ingress and egress flight corridors.

7. Flight routes. LZs should lay within a 30 degree arc of the flight path from the RP. A low RP bank angle decreases the difficulty of precision flying. The best way to think of it is to imagine the LZs as fingers coming off a hand. See the ingress and egress schematics below for an example.



 

 

 

 

 



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RP SP

8. Suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD). SEAD is a must for all air assault operations. Use all lethal and nonlethal means, and plan SEAD according to the AMT. Reflect key SEAD events and countdown calls on the air assault execution checklist. SEAD assets include:

a. Tube and rocket artillery.

b. Fixed wing air attacks.

c. Naval gunfire.

d. Attack helicopters.

e. Air cavalry helicopters.

f. Radar suppression and jamming (lethal and non-lethal).

g. Communications suppression and jamming (lethal and non-lethal).