Map Preparation (Continued)

FS XXI Tactical Flight Mission
Planning and Map Preparation
C Co. 1-212 Aviation Regiment
Lowe Army Airfield
Ver 4.1
• TC 1-237 Aircrew Training Manual Utility Helicopter H-60 Series
• Ft. Rucker Tactical Flight Mission Planning and Map Preparation
• FM 3-04.203 Fundamentals of Flight
• FM 3-04.113 Utility and Cargo Helicopter Operations
• FM 90-4 Air Assault Operations
• TC 1-400 Aviation Brigade Element
• FM 4-20.197 Multiservice Helicopter Slingload: Basic Operation and
• FM 101-5 Staff Organization and Operations
Topics Covered
• Primary and alternate routing
• Route planning considerations
• General rules for checkpoints
• Landing/Pickup zone (LZ/PZ) considerations
• Map preparation
• Mission packets
• Crew briefing
• Crew Coordination
Task 2012 Perform Tactical Flight
Mission Planning
TASK 2012
CONDITIONS: Before flight in an H-60 helicopter and given a mission briefing, navigational maps, a
navigational computer, approved mission software (if available), and other flight planning
materials as required.
STANDARDS: Appropriate common standards plus the following additions/modifications:
1. Analyze the mission using the mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops, and support
available, time available and civil considerations (METT-TC) factors available.
2. Perform a map/photo reconnaissance using the available map media or photos. Ensure that all
known hazards to terrain flight are plotted or entered into the approved mission planning software
(if applicable).
3. Select the appropriate altitude(s) and terrain flight modes as appropriate.
4. Select appropriate primary and alternate routes and enter all of them on a map, route sketch, or
into the approved mission planning software.
5. Determine the distance ± 1 kilometer, ground speed ± 5 knots, and estimated time en route (ETE)
± 1 minute for each leg of flight.
6. Determine the fuel required and reserve per AR 95-1 ± 100 pounds.
7. Obtain and analyze weather briefing to determine that weather and environmental conditions are
adequate to complete the mission.
8. Conduct a thorough crew mission briefing.
Primary and Alternate Routing
Primary and Alternate Routing
Checkpoints- All waypoints are checkpoints. Certain checkpoints are
utilized for special applications. They are as follows:
• Start Point (SP) and Release Point (RP):
• The first step is to identify tentative SPs and RPs. The distance from
the RP to the LZ should allow the flight leader to reconfigure the
formation and execute a tactical formation landing, if required.
• Air Control Point (ACP):
• An easily identifiable point on the terrain or an electronic NAVAID
used to provide necessary control during air movement. ACPs should
be progressively closer as an aircraft nears the objective, facilitating
timing and navigation. When selecting ACPs, consideration should be
given to points that provide funneling and barriers in order to facilitate
en route navigation.
Primary and Alternate Routing
• Communication Checkpoint (CCP):
• An ACP may be further designated as a CCP. A CCP is a point along
the flight route where serial commanders report to the AMC. Radio
transmissions are made only when necessary using brevity and/or
code words.
• Check Point (CP):
• A CP is a predetermined point on the ground used to control
movement, tactical maneuver, and maintain orientation. (DOD, NATO)
A CP may be used as a means of controlling aircraft in flight,
registration target for fire adjustment, reference for location, or
geographical location above which an aircraft in flight may determine
its position.
• Rally Points (ground or aerial):
• Points that are used and selected by the AMC between the SP and
RP as a point at which the flight can safely reassemble and reorganize
if they become dispersed. Also, Rally Points can be used as a downed
aircrew pick-up point (also known as DAP, Bullseye, or SARDOT).
Primary and Alternate Routing
• Downed Aircrew Pick-up Points:
• Points plotted along the primary and alternate routes that should be
identifiable from the air and ground, and should be established on the
mission route, in or near hostile territory. Recovery times will normally
be given in the unit’s Tactical SOP. Crew members should reference
Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)/Special Instructions (SPINS)
publications (also known as DAP, Bullseye, or SARDOT).
• Preplanned Artillery and Tactical Air Forces (TACAIR):
• Preplanned possible enemy target locations must be annotated on
your map.
Route Planning Considerations
Route Planning Considerations
Route planning considerations- The route for the mission must be
tactically sound, yet not so difficult as to preclude ease of navigation. The
following are considerations for planning and plotting the route:
• Determine what portions of the route will be flown above/below
terrain flight altitudes.
•The easiest, quickest and least hazardous mode of terrain flight is
Low Level. It should be used whenever the threat situation allows.
• Contour and NOE are progressively slower, more difficult, more
hazardous, and should only be used when the threat situation dictates.
• As a rule of thumb, use NOE when flying within the effective range of
the threat weapon systems.
• Use Contour when flying within 10 -15 Kilometers of the maximum
effective range of the threat weapons systems.
• Plan alternate ingress and egress flight routes.
• Locate the SP 3 to 8 kilometers from the PZ, the flight route starts at
the SP.
Route Planning Considerations
Route planning considerations (continued)• Locate the RP 3 to 8 kilometers from the LZ for primary and alternate
routes, the flight route ends at the RP.
• Use prominent, distinct terrain features located along the flight route
that facilitates navigation, control of speed, and control of en route fires
as ACPs.
• Plan that no turn in the route exceeds 60 degrees, especially if
slingloads or multi-ship formations are involved.
• Plan that routes are at least two kilometers wide.
• Ensure the course to the RP is within 30 degrees of the final course
and the final course is within 30 degrees of the LZ landing heading.
General Rules in Route Planning
General rules in route planning : Each mission will differ and involve
numerous variables. The general rules for planning include:
• If the threat allows, planning straight line legs is the preferred method
of navigation.
• Avoid built up areas and population centers.
• Avoid planning the route near navigational aids or airports.
• Plan the route to take advantage of cover and concealment.
• Use valleys and low ground to optimize the tactical considerations.
• Avoid planning route segments into a rising or setting sun.
• During multi-aircraft missions, avoid heading changes of more than 5
degrees once past the release point for landing.
• Select intermediate check points along the route in addition to
waypoints and ACPs. This will aid navigation and timing.
• Cross roads and railroads at large angles (90 degrees) to reduce
General Rules in Route Planning
General rules in route planning (Continued):
• Avoid retracing your steps (e.g., flying the same route into/out of the
• Select routes that do not follow man-made linear features.
• Select routes where recognizable terrain features are located.
• Avoid flight near population centers or major roads.
• Plot time hacks for prominent intersecting features.
• Anticipate wires on roads, towers, & buildings in open fields.
• Avoid open areas or large bodies of water where terrain permits.
• Plan routes over terrain that is inaccessible to wheeled or tracked
• Route timing will start at initial takeoff and count cumulatively
throughout the route.
General Rules for Checkpoints
General Rules for Checkpoints
General rules in checkpoints: Checkpoints are prominent features close
enough to the route to aid in navigation. The following are some selection
criteria for ACP’s, SP’s, RP’s, and checkpoints:
• CPs should be unique natural or manmade features which are
detectable at a distance.
• Avoid selecting CPs near towns. If the town has grown since the map
was published, the CP will be difficult to detect.
• CPs should be confirmed by at least one, but preferably two adjacent
• Select a barrier at turn points and landing sites.
• The RP is the most important CP. It should be an easily identifiable
feature within 3-8 kilometers of the landing site in the landing direction.
• ACPs should be plotted 5 to 20 kilometers apart when using map
scales of 1:100,000 and below.
LZ/PZ Considerations
LZ/PZ Considerations
Landing zone considerations: The LZ is where the ground and aviation
forces separate and is the critical moment in the air assault (AASLT). The
following are considerations for LZs:
• Serials that are combat cross loaded may dictate specific landing
• Separate serials by a minimum of one minute or more, based on
• Aircraft serials should land ± 50 meters from the ground
commander’s intended point of landing.
LZ/PZ Considerations
Landing zone considerations (continued):
• Aircraft should land ± 30 seconds from the air movement table
(AMT) touchdown time.
• Aircraft should land ±15 degrees from the planned landing heading.
• Ground forces may exit from one or both doors of the aircraft
(METT-TC dependent).
• Ground forces should offload aircraft within 30 seconds or less.
• Ground forces should be positioned in the tree line within 1 minute
or less after serial takeoff.
• Vehicles should be cleared from the LZ within 5 minutes of
touchdown or less (this includes the 2 minutes of load landing and
crew offload).
Map Preparation
Map Preparation
Map preparation- Map preparation is an important part of the mission
planning process. The following are techniques and considerations to be
used when you prepare your maps for Flight School XXI:
• Use a marker or pencil that leaves a clear, legible line. Water-soluble
pens work well, as the lines can be easily removed after the mission is
over or to prevent compromise if captured.
• Plot threat/restrictions.
• Plot PZs/LZs.
• Plot primary/alternate routes.
• Plot CPs.
• Place distance tick-marks along the left side of the course line. The
tick-marks will start at the next succeeding waypoint counting up in the
direction to the preceding waypoint. Place and number the tick-marks
by each one-kilometer increment for the first five kilometers, then by
each five-kilometer increment.
Map Preparation
Map preparation (continued)• Place distance tick-marks along the left side of the course line. The
tick-marks will start at the next succeeding waypoint counting up in the
direction to the preceding waypoint. Place and number the tick-marks
by each one-kilometer increment for the first five kilometers, then by
each five-kilometer increment.
• Prepare maps available for a minimum of 10 kilometers on either side
of the route (especially when printing strip maps).
• Do not over prepare the map. Too many lines may lead to confusion.
• Transfer key features and hazards from VFR sectionals, tactical
maps, and CHUM to the maps, as necessary.
• All writing should be oriented in the direction of flight for that
particular leg.
• Standardize map preparation and symbology within the unit so that
any aviator can use a map prepared by another aviator.
Caution: Maps marked with classified information become classified and must be handled and
stored according to security regulations.
Map Preparation
Map Symbology
Air Control Point
Start/Release Point
Number of next waypoint
Heading to next ACP/waypoint
Distance to next ACP/waypoint in KM
Time to next ACP/waypoint in minutes/seconds
Course Line – A solid line placed on the map to mark routes flown at
low level and contour. A dotted line is used to mark route segments
flown at NOE. A dashed line is used to mark alternate route segments.
Map Preparation
Map Symbology
Mission Packets
Mission Packets
Crew/Frequency Card
The crew/frequency card contains information regarding the crews
assigned and communications frequencies required for the mission.
Frequencies for certain phases of the mission (e.g., ACP 3 to ACP 8)
are known as COMSETs and should be printed on the route card to
enhance cockpit organization and preclude confusion. Aircrew duties
should also be assigned (e.g., flight lead, back-up nav) on the
crew/frequency card to distribute mission workloads among the
Route Card
The route card contains information essential to navigation and is
used as a backup to the route already planned. The FS XXI UH-60
Tactical Route Card is the only approved route card for use by
FS XXI students.
Mission Packets
LZ/PZ Card
The LZ/PZ card is used as a graphic illustration of the objective
based on the map reconnaissance and/or imagery. During the
mission brief, all tactical considerations of the objective will be
briefed IAW T-SLOW referencing the Monthly Inspection of Training
Areas (MITA).
Mission Packet Evaluation Requirements
At a minimum, the Crew/Frequency, Route, and LZ/PZ cards will be
produced, in this order, for the mission with an additional copy of the
packet provided to the evaluator. Additional cards (e.g., cover sheet,
waypoint card, IIMC card) may be produced at the discretion of the
student pilot.
Crew Briefing
After all pre-mission planning and final coordination has been
accomplished, complete the aircrew mission brief. All aspects of the
mission will be briefed in detail with special attention focusing on the flight
Crew Briefing
Crew briefing: After the mission briefing has been accomplished, brief
the aircrew. At a minimum, the following items should be briefed for the
• Overall concept of the mission.
• Takeoff point to SP ground speed.
• RP to PZ/LZ ground speed.
• En route portion ground speed and altitudes.
• Any turns greater than 60°.
• Landing time for each route of the mission.
• Landing direction.
• PZ/LZ information (IAW TSLOW).
• Tactical situation.
• Size
• Long axis
• Obstacles
• Winds
Crew Coordination
Crew Coordination
Cockpit communication: The navigator must give the pilot timely, clear,
and accurate information. Examples of common phraseology prior to a CP
• Description of the succeeding CP.
• Direction and magnitude of turn, if any.
• Change in airspeed, if any.
Low-level flight: During low level flight, the navigator may give the pilot a
specific altitude, airspeed, and heading or track (Doppler/GPS).
Crew Coordination
Contour/NOE flight: The navigator must use guidance or rally terms.
Examples of common phraseology during contour/NOE flight include:
• Clock positions for turns.
• Clearly identifiable terrain features.
• Turn left/right and stop turn commands, as required.
“The next checkpoint is a dam. At the dam, you will be turning right to your
two o’clock and slowing down to 60 knots groundspeed.
“Turn left to your ten o’clock.” or “Turn right and fly towards that saddle on
the right side of the hill.”
“Right turn”, “Stop turn.”, “Turn to a heading of 240 degrees”
• Primary and alternate routing
• Route planning considerations
• General rules for waypoints/ACPs
• LZ/PZ considerations
• Map preparation
• Mission packets
• Crew briefing
• Crew Coordination
C Co. 1-212 Aviation Regiment
Lowe Army Airfield

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