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M128 Ground Emplaced Mine Scattering System (GEMSS)

DESCRIPTION: The GEMSS system consists of a dispenser unit, M74 anti-personnel (AP) and M75 anti-tank (AT) mines, the M79 inert practice mines and associated shipping containers and special tools. The dispenser unit is mounted on a 4 ton, tandem axle M794 trailer with modifications to the yoke to accept both truck and APC towing pintles and includes brakes and suspension for safety. The dispenser unit has two magazines with a capacity of 400 mines each, a conveyor reloading system for each magazine, a launcher oscillator, a military standard 4-cylinder liquid-cooled diesel engine and remote control console with cable allowing for operation of the dispenser from the towing vehicle. The M74, M75 and M79 mines are 2.5 inches high by 4.75 inches in diameter and weigh 4 pounds each. The M74 and M75 mines have a built-in self-destruct capability. The M75 mine has a magnetic influence fuse. The M74 AP mine is a ground blast fragmentation mine activated by disturbing one of four tripwires.

STATUS: A total of 69 GEMSS have been fielded in Europe and in Continental United States units. The Multiple Delivery Mine System (VOLCANO) will replace GEMSS dispensers in USAREUR in FY 94-95.

EMPLOYMENT CONCEPT: The GEMSS will be employed by Engineers in the main battle and rear areas and will provide the maneuver commander with a capability for rapidly emplacing large tactical minefields prior to or during enemy attacks. The system can be used to rapidly emplace flank minefields or to reinforce existing obstacles. For most AT minefields, three 60 meter wide belts separated by 50 to 100 meters of unmined area will be emplaced. A well trained crew can emplace a 1000 meter minefield in one hour.

BASIS OF ISSUE: One GEMSS dispenser per combat engineer company. Four hundred and eighty M79 Practice Inert Mines are issued with each GEMSS dispenser.

TRAINING/PERSONNEL: The U.S. Army Engineer Center at Fort Leonard Wood introduces active and reserve Combat Engineers to the GEMSS system. GEMSS operators are trained at the unit level. The Engineer School familiarizes officers and noncommissioned officers during their basic and advanced courses on the employment of GEMSS.


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