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  1. ARMY MOUNTAIN WARFARE SCHOOL . The materials in this document are as follows: Unclassified This document contains information exempt from mandatory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

  2. ARMY MOUNTAIN WARFARE SCHOOL 8 Mountain School Road, Jericho, VT 05465 Disclaimer: Opinions and recommendations to any and all information pertaining to this class can be sent to the Army Mountain Warfare School Operations office: 802-899-7202/3/4/5 This product is based on doctrinal publications of the US Army. The intent is to share knowledge, support decisions, and impart information in an expeditious manner to Soldiers deploying and training in mountainous environments in all climactic conditions. The materials in this document are as follows: Unclassified This document contains information exempt from mandatory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

  3. ARMYMOUNTAIN WARFARE SCHOOL Mountain Operations 071E9013

  4. Introduction • Safety Considerations • Risk Assessment • Environmental Considerations • Evaluation

  5. Terminal Learning Objective • Action Identify planning considerations for U.S. Army operations in mountainous regions. • Conditions In a classroom environment given seasonal clothing and assigned equipment. • Standards Students must receive a GO in accordance with the Student Evaluation Plan.

  6. ELO A • Action Identify environmental considerations in mountainous terrain. • Conditions In a classroom environment given seasonal clothing and assigned equipment. • Standards Students must receive a GO in accordance with the Student Evaluation Plan.

  7. Environmental Conditions • Terrain • Weather • Elevation

  8. Terrain Mountainous terrain impacts; • Mobility • Movement Times • Effectiveness of Some Weapons • Complicates Supply Operations • Creates Additional Hazards and Risks • Complicates MEDEVAC Operations • Line of Site Communications • Synchronization • Command and Control

  9. Terrain • Operational Terrain Levels

  10. Level III Level II Level I

  11. Terrain • Operational Terrain • Commanders and planners must clearly understand the effect the operational terrain levels have on maneuver • Each operational terrain level influences the other • ID and control dominant terrain at each operational terrain level to facilitate maneuver • Think, plan, and maneuver vertically also

  12. Dismounted Planning Route Selection Based on Terrain Analysis • Enemy Situation • Time Available • Skill of Troops • Equipment Available • Natural Obstacles • Weather • Compartmentalization Effect of Terrain • Military crest

  13. Military Crest

  14. Compartmented Terrain • Difficulties With Compartmented Terrain • Ability to switch axis of advance • Mutual support between axis • Ability to conduct a coordinated battle • Decreases the Commander’s mobility • Planning based on timetables • Establishing of boundaries between units • Effects line of sight communications • Places a high emphasis on junior leaders

  15. Reconnaissance • Route Reconnaissance • Map Recon • Overhead Imagery • Scope of Ground Reconnaissance • Over flight • Time / Distance Planning • Estimate Based on General Rates of Movement (see chart in following slide)

  16. Dismounted Movement Rates General Rates of Movement Note: Add 1 hour for every 300 meters of ascent and 1 hour for every 600 meters of descent.

  17. Mounted Movement • Effects on Mounted Movement • Severely limits mounted movement • Be aware of the terrain you are passing through • Recovery capabilities must accompany • Harsh road conditions cause frequent breakdowns • More extensive PMCS and planning required

  18. Terrain • Summary • In a mountainous environment terrain has a significant impact on all aspects of operations • It most significantly impacts mounted and dismounted movement • Units that have mountain mobility skills can use the terrain to their advantage to achieve surprise

  19. Weather • Why Discuss Weather • General Characteristics • Temperature • Wind • Storms • Fog

  20. Weather Effects

  21. General Characteristics • Two Climate Zones: High and Low Elevation • Variety of Local Climates • Erratic Weather Patterns • Precipitation More on Windward Side

  22. Temperature • At Higher Elevations • Normal temp drop of 3-5 degrees/1,000’ • 40+ degree difference between sun and shade • Rapid heating and cooling • Chilled air drains downward • Temperature Inversions • In Winter-Usually Warmer During a Storm • Wind Chill

  23. Weather: Wind Chill

  24. Bad Weather • Indicators of bad weather (24-48 hrs) • Gradual lowering of clouds • Increasing halo around sun or moon • Increase in humidity or temperature • Decrease in barometric pressure • Strong winds (blowing snow off peaks) • What to do • May need early resupply • Adjust for lack of CAS / Arial MEDEVAC • Drop to lower elevation as needed

  25. Altitude • Effects of Altitude • Acclimatization

  26. Effects of Altitude • Proportion of oxygen in air decreases as a soldier ascends • Decrease in oxygen can cause: • Altitude Sickness • Reduced Physical Performance • Reduced Mental Performance • Best Remedy: Acclimatization

  27. Effects of Altitude

  28. Acclimatization • Acclimatization allows the body to adapt to the effects of low oxygen saturation • Factors affecting acclimatization: • Altitude • Rate of Ascent • Duration of Stay • Level of Exertion

  29. Hasty Acclimatization What if you can not take the time to acclimate? • Acetazolamide (Diamox) helps accelerate acclimatization • All soldiers, particularly leaders and medics, must know signs of all types of altitude sickness • Allow for decreased physical performance • Be prepared to MEDEVAC soldiers with altitude sickness • Nutrition and hydration helps significantly

  30. Other Considerations • Indirect Fire • CAS • Helicopters in the Mountains • MEDEVAC

  31. Employment of Indirect Fire • Due to decentralized nature of mountain operations, junior leaders must be highly proficient • Higher dud rate • Smothering effect of snow reduces fragmentation (time or proximity fuses make maximum use of air bursts) • Range is decreased by cold weather • Slower propellant burn rate • Cold air is more dense

  32. Employment of Indirect Fire • Range can be increased at altitude, due to thinner air • Odd wind patterns caused by mountains can affect trajectory • Masking effect of terrain on gun target line (Use High Angle) • May need to creep rounds rather than bracket (due to terrain) • Send elevation in the initial Call For Fire. Give Up/Down corrections during adjustment if elevation changes more than 50M

  33. Close Air Support • Terrain restricts air avenues of approach and egress • Terrain and shadows make target detection and identification difficult • Helicopter gun ships may be more effective than fixed wing CAS • At higher elevations (10,000ft) rotary wing A/C may be effected adversely • Target marking considerations

  34. Helicopters in the Mountains • Early coordination with aviation • Higher altitudes can effect: • Number of pax the A/C can carry • The range of the aircraft • Availability of landing/pick-up zones • Weather • Condition of LZ (brown out/white out) • Surrounding terrain

  35. MEDEVAC • Rough terrain evacuation • Patient packaging for cold weather • Light weight/improvised litters • Lowering/raising systems • Equipment availability • Anticipate altitude sickness / MEDEVAC • CCP planning • Redundant COAs

  36. Mountain Warfare Is… • …Always a battle against ignorance of the terrain and inclement weather • …Above all a battle of surrounding or outflanking the enemy • …Always a battle for heights and passes • …A battle led by lower-ranking leaders

  37. Mountain Warfare Should Never …Be executed without: - Conducting a thorough reconnaissance - Marking your trails - Maintaining an even tempo - Excellent communication - Proper rest plan enforced - Consideration for pack animals (today, the Infantryman) - LEADERS WITH MOUNTAIN TRAINING AND/OR EXPERIENCE

  38. Lessons Learned • Don’t be baited • Track your location (use GPS alarm/BFT/FBCB2/manual) • Effects of terrain on satellite comms • QRF Movement • Integrity (Need to mass combat power rapidly) • Slower approach to contact site • Link-up plan for QRF and engaged unit • Secure entry/exit point of canyons (depending on enemy situation)

  39. Lessons Learned • Mounted Movement • Mechanics on all movements • Tow bars / tow straps • Repair parts kit for field repair • Effects of altitude on fuel efficiency • Clean your air filter / use of air compressor • Vehicle gunners need to have a secondary weapon to engage target that they can’t elevate their main gun on to(M240/M249) • When doing security halts make sure you secure the high ground

  40. Lessons Learned • Battle drills, battle drills, battle drills • BPT to take advantage of CAS ASAP • Record HLZ’s / share with other units • Expect long MEDEVAC time • Need to use other techniques for water re-supply besides carrying it (filter, resupply, chemical, boiling)

  41. Lessons Learned • Soldiers need cold weather training • Soldiers need better cold weather clothing • Need mountain movement training • Need skills/equipment to cross mountain obstacles • All obstacles don’t show up on the map • Medics need specific training and meds to recognize and treat altitude sickness

  42. Lessons Learned • Leaders need to understand the effects that altitude will have on soldiers and movement times • Don’t think the bad guys don’t know where the HLZ’s are • Leaders need to think vertically • Leaders need to understand the additional hazards and risks when moving in the mountains • Leaders need to understand Mountain weather and have alternate plans for CAS MEDEVAC and re-supply • Need High altitude/High Angle CSAR teams with the correct gear and training

  43. Summary

  44. Questions?

  45. References • FM 3-97.6 Mountain Operations • FM 3-97.61 Military Mountaineering • FM 5-19 Composite Risk Management • TC 3-34.489 The Soldier and the Environment

  46. End of Conference