the airmobile division

Upload: bob-andrepont

Post on 09-Apr-2018




0 download


  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division


    THEAIRMOBILE DIVISION&iUl+n@,i-i?ljribrX~Ro o m l A5 2 2 . e n t a g o n

  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division





    Light Observation (LOH)Utility (UH)


    Cargo (CH)CH-47Fixed Wing


    DistributionBrigade (3)

    LOH 8 eachUH-1B 2 each (24)(6)

    Air Cavalry SquadronLOH 30UH-1B 38UH-1D 20

    Division ArtillelryLOHUH-1B 1243

    Aviation GroupLOHUH-1BUH-IDCH47ov-1



    6Medical Battalion

    UH-1D 12



    Airwaft Maintenance BattalionLOH 8UH-1D 8

  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division



    DA Pam 360-216HEADQUARTERS


    The 1st Cava lry Division (Airm obile) wasactivated in Ju ly 1965 at Fort Benning, Ga. Thisgives the Army five type s of combat divisions:infantry, armored, mechanized, airborne, andairmobile.

    Est ablishmen t of the new airmobile divisionrequ ired th e following adm inistra tive actions :

    l Th e 2d Infantr y Division at Fort Benningwas redesigna ted th e 1st Cavalry Division(Airmobile).l The 1st Cavalry Division in Korea was

    redesignated the 2d Infantry Division.l The 11th Air Assault Division (Test) was

    inactivated.l Per sonnel an d equipmen t from the old

    2d Infan tr y Division an d the inactivated 11thAir Assault Division were tr an sferred to th enew 1st Cava lry Division (Airm obile).In his stat ement ann ouncing establishment of

    th e new division, Secreta ry of Defense Robert S.McNamara said :

    The intr oduction of th is new kind of divi-sion into the Army will great ly increase ourgrowing capability to meet all kinds ofthr eats. It places our Army on the thr esholdof an entir ely n ew approach to th e condu ctof th e land ba ttle. Use of the helicopter todeliver men an d weapons on th e batt lefieldwill resu lt in great er freedom of movementan d exploitat ion of the principles of sur priseto an unprecedente(d degree.

    The new airm obile division ha s a TOE str engthof abou t 15,800. This figure is for a division ba seat 100 percent TOE strength, plus eight m aneuverbatta lions (five infantry and thr ee airborneinfantry) .

    The airm obile division is au th orized 434 air-craft, all but 6 of th em helicopter s of thr ee types.For comparison, our infant ry, arm ored, and mech-an ized divisions ha ve 101 aircra ft, an d our air-borne divisions 103.

    The great increase in aircraft in the airmobiledivision per mits a corr esponding redu ction in thenu mbers of organic groun d vehicles. For ex-ample, the tru cks and armored personnel carr iersof an infantr y division total almost 3,200, asagains t only about 1,600 in th e airm obile division.


  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division



    The designation Airmobile expresses the char-acteristic-ability to move by air-th at ma keIs thisnew division differen t from th e other divisiontypes. But th e differen ce is relat ive, not abso-lute-aZZ our divisions ha ve some degree of airmobility. The airm obile division ha s a muchgreat er degree of air mobility tha n any of theothers.

    This superiority in air mobility extends both tostrat egic and tactical movement.

    Str at egically, th e airm obile division can bedeployed almost twice as rapidly as a stan dardinfantry division. This is because t he weight(personnel an d equipment ) of th e airm obile divi-sion is only about one-thir d the weight of aninfantr y division. The entir e airm obile divisioncan be str at egically deployed in Air Force C-130aircra ft, except tha t the largest helicopters (Chi-nook) when fully assem bled require the largerC-133 aircraft.

    In ta ctical situa tions, th e distinctive capabilitiesof th e airm obile division ar e due prima rily to itsgreater strength in organic aircraft. The otherdivisions, in varying degrees, can be moved by air.The airmobile division, more tha n an y of th eothers, can also move itseZf by air. This is whatena bles the airm obile division, for example, t o-

    @ Move r ap idly an d direct ly to key objectivearea s over a ny kind of terra in and deliver itssoldiers fresh and rea dy for immediate comba t.l Maintain operations at a very rapid tempo

    an d high intensity, an d respond swiftly t ochanges in the tactical situation.l Withdra w from a n engagement at one

    point an d move rapidly in any direction to fightat another point a considerable distance away.l Operate in enemy area s using only the

    enemys vertical flan k t o get in and out .


    l Exploit ra pidly any opport un ities pre-sented by the enemy and any advantagesachieved by other friendly forces.

    l Traverse terra in obstacles a nd area s ofdestruction and contam ination tha t would stopor delay forces limited to sur face mobility.

    l Support itself logistically within th e divi-sion ar ea by mea ns of its organic aircra ft.

    These capa bilities would be highly va lued inany kind of land warfare. They are particularlydesira ble for operat ions agains t guerr illa forces,including convent iona l military un its th at employguerr illa met hods. This is why the 1st CavalryDivision (Airm obile) was deployed to Sout hVietnam soon after it was activated.

    It ma y seem at first thought tha t a relativelyslow-flying helicopter at low altitu de would pre-sent an excellent ta rget for enemy ground fire.But t his is not th e case. Durin g several years ofoperations in Vietna m Army helicopter s ha veproven very d ifficult t o kn ock out of action. Th era tes of hit dam age an d loss from gr ound fire ha vebeen exceptionally low. There ar e several rea -sons for this, perha ps the most importa nt beingshort exposure time, suppressive fire, and surprise.For examp le, in a typical airm obile operation inVietnam the helicopters appear suddenly in anobjective ar ea at tr eetop level. Even then theenemy ha s little chan ce to deliver fire because a ttha t moment he is more concerned with ta kingcover a gainst t he suppr essive fire from t he ar medhelicopters. And, before he is able to bring hisweapons to bear, the helicopters have landed theirtr oops in th e objective ar ea an d ar e alrea dy outof range.

    Because helicopters can land almost anywherewhen d isabled, a high percenta ge of th e helicop-ter s downed in Vietna m ha ve been recovered, re-paired, and return ed to service.


  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division


    The Engineer BattalionThe mgin,eey battal ion consists of-

    @ Headquarters and headquarters companyl Three combat engineer companies

    The Air Cavalry SquadronThe air cavalry squadron consists of-

    @ Headquarters and headquarters troopl A cavalry troopl Three air cavalry troops

    The Signal BattalionThe signal battalion consists of-

    @ Headquarters and service companyl A command operations company

    OH-23 R AVEN. One of tw o types of light observation(Airmobi le), the RA VEiV ca+a be used for reconnaissance,

    resupply in the combat zone.

    The Maneuver Battalionsk the present time the 1st Cavalry Division

    (Airmobile) has five infantry battalions and threeairborne infantry battalions. One of the three bri-gade headquarters also has an airborne capability.

    Both the infantry and airborne infantry battal-ions consist of-

    @ Headquarters and headquarters companyl Three rifle companiesl A combat support company

    (While companies in infantry and airborne in-fantry battalions are alike in structure, personnelof the latter are trained and equipped for airborneassault by parachute.)

    helicopters iniStially assigntd to the 1st Cavalry Divisionmedical evacuation, command liaison, wire laying, and

  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division






  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division



    Because greater strength in organic aircraft isa central feature of the airmobile division, it isworthwhile to take a closer look at how thisstrength has been incorporated into the divisionstructure. It is especially instructive to comparethe airmobile divisions aviation elements with theaviation elements of the other division types.

    l In the infantry, armored, mechanized?and airborne divisions the aviation battalionhas an aviation general support company andan airmobile company. The aviation groupin the airmobile division has (as alreadynoted) two light helicopter battalions (eachbattalion having three helicopter companies

    UH-1 IROQ UOIX. The airmobile division has tw o models of this utility Aclicopter: The UH-1B (show n here


    and an aerial weapons company), a generalsupport aviation company, and a mediumhelicopter battalion with three helicoptercompanies.

    l In the other divisions the armored cav-alry squadron has an air cavalry troop. In theairmobile division the air cavalry squadronhas three air- cavalry troops.

    l In the other divisions, the division artil-lery has an aviation section assigned to theheadquarters battery. In the airmobile divi-sion, the division artillery has both an aviationbattery and an aerial rocket artiZlery battalionwith three aerial rocket batteries.

    armed w ith mackineguns and the 2.75~inch rocket system) and the UH-1D.The UH-1D IRO QUOIi3 can transport 12 men plus the pilot, and can be armed with mackincguns, the XX-11

    mis sile, or the 2.75mm Barrage Rock et Kit. Ot her uti lit y functio ns include medical evacuation , resupply, andobservation. This aircraft has been tested as a mobile command post and as a mobile medical aid station.


  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division


    CH-47 CHINO OK is a cargo helicopter tllat can carry payloads of up to 6 tons on a radius-of-action miss ion of100 nauti cal mil es. Its payload compartm ent holds each major component of the helicopter-transportable version ofthe PERSHING missile system. CHINOOK car& transport 33 combat-equipped troops or 24 lit ter patient s.

  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division



    . In all five division types organic aircraft haveth e comm on function of increa sing th e Armysland combat capabilities. Army aircraft a re em-ployed on both tactical an d logistical ta sks.

    l Providing suppr essive fires as an integralpar t of the land force ma neuver an d fireplan

    Some of the tactical uses are-Comma nd, contr ol, an d commu nicationBatt lefield su rveillance and tar get acquisi-tion

    duplicate, the missions of close air supportand tactical air reconnaissance that a re per-(The a bove uses ar e separ at e from, an d do not

    formed by tactical air elements of the otherServices.)

    Reconnaissan ce, security, and screening op-erationsTransport of infantr y assault elements andtheir support elementsArmed helicopter escort of tr an sport heli-copters

    The main logistical uses for Army aircraft ar e-l Movement of troops, equipment, an d sup-

    plies within the batt le areal Evacuat ion of casualties

    OV-I MOHA WK is the only fixed-wing aircraft in the airmobile division. The tubelik e object mounted beneathone of the a&craft 8hOWn here is the aide loolcing radar surveillance syst em w hich provide8 aerial radar maps of theground on either 8ide of the flight path.

  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division



    During 1963 and 1964, the Army conducted ex-tensive tests of the air mobility concept. A Tac-tical Mobility Board first studied the many prob-lems involved. Then two test units were formed-the 11th Air Assault Division (Test), and the 10thAir Transport Brigade (Test). Their mission wasto find out what airmobile units can and cannot doin combat situations ranging from general war toantiguerrilla operations. The test units, aug-mented by other forces, engaged in several fieldexercises, the last of which was completed in No-vember 1964.

    As already indicated, many of the capabilitiesclearly demonstrated during the airmobile testexercises are especially useful in operations againstguerrilla forces. The following description of ahypothetical antiguerrilla operation will showwhy.

    The locale is a remote jungle area, secret head-quarters and hideout for a large force of Com-munist guerrillas. Some miles from the guerrillaheadquarters is their sizable and carefully camou-flaged supply center.

    The helicopters have landed and troops quick& mov e to their objectiv es in a surprise att ack

  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division


    Unkn own to th e guerr illas, a U.S. Army sur veil-lance aircraft has located both the headquar tersand the sucply center. Elemen ts of an airm obiledivision ar e now about t o mak e full use of thisintelligence information.

    The stillness of the jungle is sudden ly sha tt eredby the sounds of appr oaching helicopter s, flyingjust above the tr eetops. Caught by sur prise intheir hidden rest area, the guerrillas begin t o seekeven more concealment . They hear ma chinegunsan d air-to-ground rockets firing and realize th at,the ar med helicopters ar e laying down supp ressivefire. This fact tells them tha t fresh, rea dy-to-fight, t roops soon will be coming to ear th a ll ar oundtheir position. They r ealize that the thing allguerr illas fear---encirclement-is about to occur.

    The su ppressive fires increase as th e tr oop-car ry-ing helicopters descend and quickly discharge theirbattle-ready infantrymen. As the troops move outtoward their preplann ed objectives, the arm edhelicopters follow them with more suppr essive fire.The tran sport helicopters move back to their basefor additional tr oops a nd supplies. In a few hoursthe surr ounded guerrilla headquar ters is taken.

    But the opera tion is not yet complete. Now theairm obile force t ur ns its at tent ion to the next ob-jective-the supply center. By tortu ous jungletra il it would be man y hours away; by helicopteronly minutes. According to plan, the tr an sporthelicopters retu rn to pick u p most of the infan try-men, leaving a contin gent to guar d th e captiveguerrillas.

    Although their headquarters has flashed them awarning to expect an attack, the guerrillas man-ning th e supply center kn ow tha t they cannot de-fend th e insta llation against su ch odds. Theyha ve only one choice-disappea r deeper into th ejungle carrying what few supplies th ey can.When the airmobile elements a rrive over the posi-tion, sup pressive fires prove t o be un needed. Th etr oops land unopposed an d soon th e large supplydump is in flames.

    As the final pha se of this imaginar y, but entirelyrea listic, airm obile operation, troop-carrying heli-copter s ret ur n to the form er guerrilla hideout, pickup the guard contingent and their captives, a ndreturn to base.

    THE ULTIMATE VALUEAir mobility (like groun d mobility) ha s no in- do tha t. It is clear then tha t the establishment of

    dependen t militar y value. Movement of tr oopsan d equipmen t to or on the battlefield does not by

    an air mobile division im proves th e Armys comba titself produce the military decision.

    ability by increa sing th e effectiven ess of its mostOnly the ac- potent weapo,n-the ground combat soldier.tions of skilled and determin ed fighting men can


  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division



    I Introduction1.








    (See text for Sec. McNama ra s sta tem entabout the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) .)

    Army now ha s five type s of divisions: in-f ant ry, ar mored, mechanized, airborne, andairm obile.

    The n ew airm obile division base, plus eightmaneuver battalions (5 inf and 3 abn inf) ,gives a personn el str ength of 15,787.

    The new division ha s 434 aircraft, comparedto 101 in infant ry, arm ored, and mechanizeddivisions, an d 103 in airborn e divisiuns.

    The new division ha s about 1,600 tr ucks an dAPCs, as against almost 3,200 in an infant rydivision.

    What Is Air Mobility?All our divisions ha ve SOW air mobility; th eairm obile division ha s mu ch more air mobilitytha n t he other types.

    Str ategically, th e airm obile division can bedeployed twice as fast as an infant ry division.Air Force C-130 aircra ft can carry every-thing except the divisions largest helicopter s(Chin ook), which ar e moved str at egically byth e larger C-133 aircra ft.

    Tactically, th e other division types can bemoved by air. The airmobile division, morethan the others. can move itself bv air.

    4. An airm obile division can -a. Move ra pidly to objective ar eas regar dless

    of terra in and in almost an y kind ofweather.

    b. Maint ain a high tem po of operat ions an dresp ond swiftly to changes in the tacticalsituation.

    c. Break off action at one point an d movera pidly in an y direction to fight a t an otherpoint.

    d. Operat e in the enemys rear a reas.

    e. Exploit ta ctical opport un ities.f. Move a cross terr ain obstacles an d conta m-

    ination that would stop or delay otherforces.



    Structure of the Airmobile DivisionLike the oth er four division types, the air-mobile d ivision cons ists of a division bas e an dmaneuver battalions.


    2. See text for out line of air mobile divisionstructure.

    Organic Aircraft in the Division Structure. In the other four division types, the aviation

    batt alion consists of an aviation genera l sup-port company an d an airm obile compa ny.


  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division


    Contr ast this with t he aviation group of theairm obile division, which ha s two light an done medium h elicopter batt alions, ea ch ha v-ing th ree helicopter compa nies.

    2. In the other divisions the armored cavalrysquadron has an air cavalry troop. In theairm obile division t he air cavalry squa dronhas three air cavalry troops.

    V How the Organic Aircraft Are Used(See text for outline list of ma in ta ctical an dlogistical uses for Army aircra ft.)

    VI A Typical Airmobile Operation1. During 1963 and 1964 two Army test units

    (11th Air Assa ult Division an d 10th AirTra nsport Brigade) condu cted several exten-

    By Order of the Secret ar y of the Army:

    Official :J. C. LAMBERT,Major Generai?, United Xtates Am y,The Adjutant GeneraZ.



    sive exercises. Mission : To find out what air-mobile units can and cannot do in a varietyof combat situations.(See text for account of a hypothetical air-mobile opera tion agains t guerr illa forces.)

    The Ultimate Value

    Air mobility (like groun d mobility) does notby itself win batt les-only skilled an d deter minedfighting men can do tha t. Air mobility improvesth e Armys combat str ength by increasing th e effec-tiveness of its most potent weapon-the groundcombat soldier.

    HAROLD K. J OHNSON,Gerzeral, United Xtates Army,Chief of Xtaff.

    Distribution :To be distribu ted in accorda nce with DA Form 124 requ iremen ts for Troop Topics.

    12U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1905 O-794-905

  • 8/7/2019 The Airmobile Division