US Army Pathfinder Operations


FM 3-21.38 PATHFINDER OPERATIONS. A pathfinder is a soldier who is inserted in order to set up and operate drop zones, pickup zones, and helicopter landing sites for airborne operations, air resupply operations, or other air operations in support of the ground unit commander. These elite warriors from multiple services attend the US Army Pathfinder school to be the first in and pave the way for follow on forces. Now, with this application, learn the skills necessary to prepare the battlefield for follow on operations. Specific Chapters include:CHAPTER 1.INTRODUCTION1-1. Employment1-2. Capabilities1-3. Limitations1-4. Equipment1-5. Communications Security1-6. TrainingCHAPTER 2.OPERATIONSSection I. Planning2-1. Warning Order2-2. Initial Preparation2-3. Coordination2-4. Linkup with Supported Unit2-5. Final PreparationsSection II. Organization for Combat2-6. Insertion2-7. Overland Movement2-8. Stay-Behind OperationSection III. Conduct of Operations2-9. Daylight Assault2-10. Night Assault2-11. Extraction2-12. Staging Areas2-13. Artillery Displacement2-14. Support of Ground Operations2-15. Support of Air Force2-16. Mixed Operations2-17. Radio Communications2-18. Terminal Guidance by Supported UnitsSection IV. High-Threat Environment2-19. Control and Navigation2-20. Tactical Instrument Flights2-21. Air RoutesCHAPTER 3.AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLSection I. Pathfinder Air Traffic3-1. Safety3-2. Voice Control3-3. Formats3-4. Numbers3-5. Phrases and TermsSection II. Landings3-6. Traffic Patterns3-7. Methods of Entry3-8. Traffic Pattern Legs3-9. Advisory Service3-10. Spacing Techniques3-11. Final Landing Instructions3-12. Taxiing Aircraft3-13. Minimum Aircraft Separation RequirementsSection III. Ground-To-Air Communications3-14. Electronic Warfare Environment3-15. Ground-To-Air TransmissionsCHAPTER 4.HELICOPTER LANDING ZONESSection I. Selection of Landing Sites4-1. Requirements4-2. Alternate Sites4-3. Landing PointsSection II. Organization and Duties4-4. Control Center4-5. Landing Site PartySection III. Landing Site Operations4-6. Communications4-7. Flight Formations4-8. Landing Zone and Obstacle Marking4-9. Air Assaults4-10. Intercept HeadingSection IV. Landing Zone Operations4-11. Communications Checkpoint4-12. Air Control PointsSection V. Night Operations4-13. Tactical Landing Lights4-14. External Loads4-15. Multihelicopter Operations4-16. Night Vision GogglesSection VI. Environmental Considerations4-17. Pilot Input4-18. Cold Weather4-19. Jungle4-20. Desert4-21. MountainsSection VII. Approach Path Considerations4-22. Vertical Air Currents4-23. Escape Routes4-24. Terrain Contour and Obstacles4-25. Position of the SunCHAPTER 5.EXTERNAL LOADS5-1. Landing Points5-2. Types of Loads5-3. Unit Responsibilities5-4. Equipment5-5. Service Life of Aerial Delivery Slings5-6. Aircraft Load Limitations5-7. Standard Weights5-8. Air Items Required for Common Standard Loads5-9. Slingload Theory5-10. Hookup and Release Procedures5-11. Slingload Inspection RecordCHAPTER 6.DROP ZONESSection I. Selection Factors6-1. Airdrop Airspeeds6-2. Drop Altitude6-3. Estimation of Drop Zone Time Requirement6-4. Methods of Delivery6-5. Obstacles6-6. Access6-7. Size6-8. Approach and Departure RoutesSection II. Drop Zone Support Team6-9. Organization6-10. Missions6-11. Equipment FamiliarizationCoordinationSupport RequirementsDrop Zone Support Team Leader’s DutiesControl CenterSignalsDetermination of Release Point LocationGround-Marking Release SystemArmy Verbally Initiated Release SystemAir Force Verbally Initiated Release SystemAir Force Computed Air Release PointAssault Zone Availability ReportDrop Zone SurveyTactical AssessmentControl Log for Airdrop, Airland, or Extraction ZoneARMY HELICOPTER SPECIFICATIONS

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