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).
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).
ARMYMOUNTAIN WARFARE SCHOOL Mountain Operations 071E9013
Introduction • Safety Considerations • Risk Assessment • Environmental Considerations • Evaluation
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.
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.
Environmental Conditions • Terrain • Weather • Elevation
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
Terrain • Operational Terrain Levels
Level III Level II Level I
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
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
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
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)
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.
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
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
Weather • Why Discuss Weather • General Characteristics • Temperature • Wind • Storms • Fog
General Characteristics • Two Climate Zones: High and Low Elevation • Variety of Local Climates • Erratic Weather Patterns • Precipitation More on Windward Side
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
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
Altitude • Effects of Altitude • Acclimatization
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
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
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
Other Considerations • Indirect Fire • CAS • Helicopters in the Mountains • MEDEVAC
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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)
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
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
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