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AFM 51-4/TAC SUP 1
1. General:

a. '!bese procedures apply only to combat control teams of the Special Air Warfare
!nter of Tactical Air Command.
b. In recent years it has become increasingly evident that departure from standard
ilitary tactics and maneuvers is necessary to effectively cope with forces seeking to de'ive mankind of his freedom. '!bese forces use every me8IUI possible, from violence and
rce, to subversion and psychological tactics to accomplish their goal. '!be USAF Special
r Warfare Center and the 1st Air Commando Wing were established to study, develop, and
'vise defensive measures in this type of warfare. A prime requirement in successful air
lrfare of this type is a Ujohnny-on-the-spot" in sensitive or lDaecure areas to provide
curate guidance for air strikes, aerial delivery of personnel and equipment, and to set uP
·liable communications. '!be Commando Combat Control Team was estabUshed to accomIsh this mission. '!be tasks required of the CCT have proVE!D that strict adherence to the
ual procedures as outlined in normal guidance directives would not allow effective accomlshment of the SAWC misslon, since each task was by nature totalJ,y different from normal
;JOp carrier operatIons. Operations with mixed nationalities having varied degrees of
·ucation. varied resources, and in most cases, limited training. required development of
stems that afforded Simplicity of operation and minimum chance of compromise. Unusual
'uations encountered caused an evolution of procedure and techniques for accomplishment
the worldwide Commando mission. '!bis supplement reflects the major portions of these
stems that have proven successful. It is emphasized that expediency often will require
viation from the guides contained herein and that safe accomplishment of the miSSion
ould have prime consideration. Commando Combat Controllers will be teaching and working
th many foreign nationais who lack the tactical military back:ground and training of their
. S. counterparts. For this reason, SimpliCity. clarity. and full understanding should be as:red in Joint operations, especially in hostile or combat situations.


2. General:

a. Air drop operations are conducted in support of ground forces to deliver personnel
d equipment into a target area where landing operations are not feasible. Air Commando
r drop operations are usually characterized by s Ingle aircraft peaetratiODS intO denied
'eu under conditions of limited visibility and at varying night levels from 50 feet above
'stacles to HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening). Missions must be carefully planned and
ecuted so as to arrive over the drop zone at the specified time and altitude. and execute
e drop directly over a preselected release pomt. Drops are made by either parachute
'livery, free fall delivery, or combinations of both.
b. Requesting Drops: '!be procedure for requesting support varies in each operating

Attachment 16

white caps Wind (in knots) Calm wind TWo knots 3-4 knots 5-6 knots 7-9 knots 10-11 knots (9) Care must be taken that surface craft do not drift into the landing area.47 Attachment 16 . Except in cases of extreme emergency (such as in rescue. white caps 3-Large waves.) prescribed lifesaving equipment will be worn by all personnel. Close air support is required to neutralize or destroy hostile ground forces which offer a direct and immediate threat to friendly ground forces.e. Immediate missions for which specific targets and locations cannot be determined in advance. Results Required: a. and the reception personnel on boats should be positioned to effect immediate on/off loading from this position. A-23. (10) The method of floating or securing the marker is the same as for light aircraft LZ (water). The forward air guide may be on the ground with friendlies or in a light aircraft provided by the Air Force or by the supported ground force(s). unexpected appearance of enemy tanks or unexpected resistance from an enemy strong point.FORWARD AIR GUlDE 2-30. b. white caps 2-Breaking waves. It is emphasized that this type operation is extremely hazardous... Preplanned missions are those for which a requirement can be foreseen. The pilot will usually taxi back keeping the control marker pOint on his left. The forward air guide must be reasonably familiar with the firepower the aircraft may deliver since he may have an occasion to advise the ground force commander On the employment of air support activities. air strikes against ground objectives as part of a pre-assault bombardment prior to an attack by friendly ground forces. and is integrated with fire and movement of the ground forces. Safety Precautions. The forward air guide must state the results desired from close air support miSSiOns in order to permit the mission planners or the pilot to properly organize the mission. 2-32. i. General: a. 2-31. SECTION 0 . (Paragraph 2-26) 2-29.AFM 51-4/TAC Sup 1 Ro~bness (in feet) Smooth Surface Small Ripples One-half small ripples I-Smooth waves. b. Commando Controllers acting as forward air guides control and direct air strikes In very close proximity to friendly ground forces. Le. mes of Close Air Support Missions: a. etc. This provides for greater effectiveness and insures the safety of friendly troops and aircrews of attacking aircraft. especially in higher winds.

Troop units can be considered destroyed when casualties have been such as to eliminate the unit's effectiveness for further combat. (Will ground weapons insure desired resuits ?) (2) Identification of Targets. or by direct casualties. Target Selection: a.. not completely destroyed may again be fired. Artillery. Target Vulnerability: f (1) Vehicles. etc. All vehicles are highly vulnerable to air attack by most conventional • t Attachment 16 A-23. Depending on the nature of the target. 2-33. b. Troops may be neutralized by denial of ability to move and fight. A tank which is merely immobilized may be used again. It may not be possible to destroy a concrete bunker. Close coordination between the forward air guide handling the strike aircraft and the ground weaponry forward observer will permit air and ground fires to be placed on and near the target almost continually. the ground commander will determine whether close air support should be requested. interference must be minimized. mortars.AFM 51-4/TAC Sup 1 (1) Destruction may be required in attacks on artillery. and troops. Coordination of Air Strikes and Ground Fire: a. (If the air strike must be controlled or directed on target. tanks. This control and coordination must be provided by an on-scene forward air guide. The variety of close air support targets is infinite and the effectiveness with which air strikes can neutralize or destroy them is contingent on several variables. and availability of resources. but an attack which kills the inhabitants effectively neutralizes the bunker. the fires may be lifted or shifted only seconds before the first aircraft makes its attaCk. while One which is burned or explodes is no longer a combat weapon. such as fortifications. 2-34. (Can the target be identified by the pilot?) (3) Aircraft Armament Capabilities. emplaced artillery and tanks. Factors affecting selection of ground targets are: (1) Capabilities of Ground Weapons.48 . If an artillery or mortar is fired. with maximum effectiveness and minimum interference. To gain maximum effect from air strikes in close support. the criticalness of the battle. and the target re-engaged by the artillery or mortars immediately after the last aircraft has pulled off its final run in. destroy or neutralize the target?) ~ (Does the aircraft have the capability to (4) Time Available. (2) Neutralization may be required in attacks on prepared positions. is the forward air guide capable of so dOing?) b. When air strikes and ground weapons are employed against the same target. (Will the target remain a target through the reaction time required to place the strike aircraft on target?) (5) Capability to Direct Air Strike. the firepower delivered by aircraft and by ground weapons must be closely coordinated and controlled.

However. When they are under cover. Rockets. destructive radius of conventional weapons carried by tactical fighters is relatively small. however. Colored smoke.49 Attachment 16 . tanks and heavily armored vehicles are not as vulnerable to strafing or frag bomb. c. From the foregoing. Might be visible in some conditions of light to mark targets or establish a reference pOint. 2-35. or napalm. but are not good tactical fighter targets. fired by artillery. rocket. d. (2) Troops. missile launching sites. they are difficult to kill except with napalm. (3) Defended Villages. Likewise. defended road blocks. Panels. Some Methods of Target Location and Identification: a. Thin-skinned vehicles are easy prey for strafing. ~1ay be used to identify friendly positions. vehicles and armor. Fighters. A-23.~ . (4) Fortification. Therefore. c. and other positions are vulnerable to air strike. rockets. Troops in the open are good air targets. mortars. • I I I J .AFM 51-4/TAC Sup 1 weapons. Although area targets can be attacked by fighters. Typical targets for close air support are: Weapons positions. Close air strikes against troops are accompanied by two outstanding secondary contributions: A demoralizing effect On survivors. it can be concluded that effective close air support requires a very high degree of accuracy. If your position is known to the enemy. Field fortifications. but must be struck individually and accurately. Tracer Ammunition. or reCOilless rifle can be used to mark targets or to serve as a reference point from which to locate targets. Best results can be obtained by selecting specific targets within the village for attack. these targets must be easily identifiable from the air or accurately marked to provide an aiming pOint. bombs. troop concentrations. Heavy fortifications of the bunker type are generally not vulnerable to air strikes except with very accurately placed napalm or bombs. artillery emplacements. b. IntersecUonoftracerfires would be more definitive. and general purpose bombs are all effective on armored vehicles and tanks but reqUire accurate delivery. individually aiming each bomb. napalm. These are vulnerable to mass bombing. and disruption of cohesive enemy effort through the incidental destruction of radio communications and other combat gear. Near misses have little effect. Also can be used to point direction of target but exact use must be clear to pilots to avoid confusion and misplaced ordnance deli very. it is a Simple matter to drop smoke (which does not blend with surrounding terrain) in your proximity. strongly defended positions. Best efforts can be obtained by identifying critical elements within the area target and selecting them for attack. Smoke. they are not generally good targets and do not efficiently use the tactical fighter effort. the most suitable close air support targets are correspondingly small. thus protecting your area from being selected as a target and directing the pilot from the smoke. One point to keep in mind: Be certain the enemy does not have his own smoke. command posts. or cannon can deliver the necessary accuracy. including pill boxes.

thus minimizing danger during multiple passes. call sign must be established immediately upon radiO contact. "'nether using a "Close Air Support Mission Card" or simply passing necessary information to the pilot. Airborne Forward Air Guide. will have disastrous results. A/C or FAG Call Sign. e. (b) Position himself quickly and easily in difficult terrain.AFM 51-4/TAC SUp 1 d. Give directions and distance to target reference point. friendly positions. f. Use aircraft heading at 12 o'clock position. If unknown. etc. The following paragraphs define that information necessary for satisfactory miSSion accomplishment. g. Can be used as reference points from which to locate targets. d. Forward air guides can utilize light aircraft to gain a better vantage pOint from which to observe target and direct strikes. l~f I~f ~l c.50 . utilizing any combination of other methods possible to aid direction of close air support strikes. The aircraft call sign is relayed to the forward air guide on the CASRF (close air support request form). Air Strike Control: a. if target information changes significantly from pre-strike briefing. b. Identical maps and coordinates must be utilized by the forward air guide and pilot. Then indicate distance from aircraft to target and the hour position for direction to target. Difficult to use for an aircraft close to the target because of rapid change of target bearing from the aircraft. (Reference paragraph 2-34b) Different targets require different type ordnance. 2-36. When used by the pilot. Assuredly. authentication will be required. Attachment 16 A-23. the inability of a forward air guide to relay intelligently to the pilot vital information concerning target location. (C) Establish radiO contact with attacking aircraft more easily. A tactical fighter pilot will want to use napalm first. I I ~~ . Obviously. May be given to pilot to assist him in locating target. Dry Run.. Challenge Reply. the FAG call sign will appear. Invariably strike pilots will ask the forward air guide to authenticate before operating with him. Clock Method. Landmarks and Terrain Features. To be used only as a last resort. Planning for an air strike and preparing a briefing for the pilot of a strike aircraft is a critical element of successful close air support. May be made On suspected target to confirm location and furnish basis for adjustment by forward air guide onto exact target location. complete and accurate instructions are vital. (1) Advantages of Airborne Forward Air Guide: (a) Observe terrain which is hidden to a ground observer. Ordnance Load. Map Coordinates. h. (d) Observe and transmit results of strikes direct to appropriate agencies.

cables. Friendly troops are A-23. The orbit point must be in a position from which the air attack can be started and must be easily identifiable from the air. Marking. Surface Winds. An orbit point is most important when aircraft operate at extreme ranges. Target location is then a simple matterof coordinate references. Normally the strike pilots and the forward air guide will use like maps. g. Strike pi lot s may need to know target elevation in order to apply various delivery techniques. on heading. Of equal importance. I . In featureless country. Strike pilots can apply wind correction to aiming pOints if the forward air guide can furnish reasonably accurate wind information. Orbit.. m. k.S1 Attachment 16 . It is normally one of several preplanned points. Daily ops orders will also supply primary and secondary FAG frequency. The strike pilOts should know about any known or suspected flak or automatic weapons within the target area. The target is the point of reference. towers. Target Information. The FAG may transmit a heading and distance from the orbit point to the target. 1 J . (Paragraph 2-35) A forward air guide may use his own position as a reference point on occasion. The primary frequency is supplied by the CASRF. In the event the FAG must determine the heading accurately. a forward air guide should have on hand appropriate aeronautical charts and be able to reference the target on them should the strike pilots have improper maps. Examples are mountains. However. the strike aircraft must depart only from directly over the orbit point. This should not become common practice since a forward air guide is a prime target. etc. This is a well-defined geographical reference point at which initial radio communications are established between the FAG and strike pilot. h. Terrain. depending On the time required for the forward air guide briefing to the strike aircraft. or any terrain feature that could affect the success of the air strike. Coordinates. "-. the orbit point will have to be marked artifiCially. This includes any natural Or man-made obstacles that would be a hazard to the pilot making the attack. n. j. The strike flight mayor may not have to orbit this point. This describes the target to the pilot. other air missiOns in adjacent areas. Elevation. Its location may be affected by factors such as anti-aircraft defenses. Radio Frequencies. The orbit point is selected to allow aircraft to remain unobserved by the enemy and yet have good air-ground radio contact. Only under emergency circumstances should a forward air guide use a radio transmiSSion to pinpoint his location.AFM 51-4/TAC Sup 1 e. Strike pilOts will not depart from this point until cleared to the target by the forward air guide. f. 1. Flak will influence direction of attack and withdrawal routes. (Standard grid system is the Universal Transverse Mercator) i. Friendly Positions. Flak. in friendly territory. What is the target comprised of? What is its disposition? The forward air guide should pass any and all appropriate information to the strike pilots. canyons.

It is difficult for the forward air guide to complete the briefing between the time at which he gains radiO contact and the time the aircraft reach the target. If the initial ordnance is on target. Monitor in-flight reports. he can call off the attack should the aircraft select the wrong target. 2-37. Considering the preceding portions of this chapter. 2-38.52 . Advise ground unit commander on capabilities and limitations of tactical air support. Ordnance Sequence. It is desirable to strike the target on the first pass. the exact heading and distance from the target to the friendly troops must be given. the best direction of attack is from over the heads of the friendlies into the target. colloquial expressions are of value. o. barring actual strikes. p. Also. The pilot has been trained to vary his strike headings if pOSSible. The briefing given to the strike aircraft by the forward air guide is perhaps the most important part of the miSSion. The Forward Air Guide must establish the position from which he intends to control the strike. the aircraft have cleared the target area before another strike is called in. q. Attachment 16 A-23. Whenever possible. Pilots will also assess results and inform the forward air guide. using clock code referenced from the last attack heading. the opposing ground forces are in contact and nothing is compromised anyway. 2-39. then the other strike aircraft can drop on the same smoke or bracket around the smoke.AFM 51-4/TAC Sup 1 located by vector and distance from target. the forward air guide has five primary responsibilities while performing his miSSion: a. " b. The direction of pullout normally is based on known or suspected flak positions. he should be located so that he can see the target. This will allow him to correct the aim of the attacking aircraft. The forward air guide calls the aircraft into the target area and gives clearance for attack. then the forward air guide can pinpoint the target from the smoke. However. Safeguard friendly troops. but the strike pilot has final say on what he will drop in what order. Attack Heading. Generally. The forward air guide will assess results of the strike and inform the flight leader. Mission Results. then by stating there are no friendly troops within 500 meters you have restricted the fire of the strike aircraft to within a 1000 meter circle and have not compromised any friendly troop positions. If the target is more than a thousand meters from the friendUes. c. Most likely. The forward air guide should work with only one flight leader at a time to avoid COnfusion. The forward air guide can only recommend the direction of attack and break-out heading. A concise and accurate briefing will do much to insure the success of the strike and to assure friendly troop safety. to minimize ground fire dangers. Normally the briefing is given at the orbit point for the following reasons: a. If the ordnance was off target. provide safe separation between target and friendly troops as a part of proper air briefing. Adjusting fire is part of the ground air guide's job. The forward air guide should insure that after the attack. b. The forward air guide may recommend the sequence for multiple passes. If it is suspected that the enemy has monitoring capability. if the target is very close.

This arrow is rotated to point in the direction of highest vulnerability or hostile contact. Methods and speed are limited only by the ingenuity and adaptability of the individual controller. Even though many of the native defenders lack the ability to count. (It should be noted that experience has taught the hostile forces the value of this marker. 2-43. I A-23. a. The enemy's approximate distance from the boundary (if somewhat stationary) is marked for the strike crews by use of small lights (or fires) near the arrow. water movement. e. Unconventional warfare techniques require that the Commando use any method available to move to the objective area. land. as high as a water buffalo. If under attack from all sides. performing the miSSion. Each fire will represent 100 yards (measured from the boundary)..) c. The village boundaries are well defined with markers readily seen from the air. b. various training committees require the Commando Controller to teach and advise the irregular forces of allied nations in tactics involving air support. The purpose of this section is to establish guides for effective movement to and from objectives.INFILTRATION/EXFILTRATION 2-41. they can provide much helpful information to the air strike crews. c t s of Forward Air Guide techniques. The capability of moving to an objective. Purpose. and on foot. including techniques peculiar to the Commando mission. Report results of the strike. The following system has found success and is still being used in the self-defended villages system. distance can be taught using the distance one can throw a stone. Covered in this manual are movement by parachute. I J . These include non-standard parachuting activities. (This method of conveying ideas must be emphasized. 2-40.53 Attachment 16 . motor patrols. Gencral. assault landings.. and successfully returning to the base of operations is a most important part of a Commando Controller's job. Methods and Techniques. and other areas of conflict. CroSB country by foot. even without radios. especially in the construction of a "fire arrow" sufficient in size to be seen from the air.) SECTION E . The defenders are taught by the controllers to construct a large pivot-mounted arrow frame that can be illuminated and defended during attack. and it usually falls under concentrated fire. Direct the air strike. Under the present Commando concept. Training and Co-operation with Irregular Forces. Many of these trainees lack the education usually desired. These boundaries are illuminated at night by bonfires when under attack. Infiltration and exfiltration can be most simply described as the art of going and coming from the place of business. This is especially true in certain parts of southeast Asia. etc. water. air. Even though many of these troops lack the ability to accomplish all the f 8. the "fire arrow" is slowly rotated. providing air cover for an extended patrol or troop movement). SOme of the techniques will also aid in the actual accomplishment of the mission (such as movement on foot to serve as a forward air guide. 2-42. and the most commonly use. Included herein are only those specific guidelines not covered in other directions.AFM 51-4/TAC Sup 1 d.