Infantry Drills

7-63: Planning

Previous: 7-60: Aerial Sustainment

7-63. Planning for aerial resupply requires close coordination, with elements reviewing the entire mission and resolving all limitations and problem areas. If a resupply item poses a problem it cannot resolve, leaders should consider another mode of transport. Planning factors include the following:

  • Priorities of cargo/unit resupply.
  • Integration of the resupply operation into the tactical plan.
  • Selection, identification, and marking of the pickup zone or landing zone.
  • Type/amount of cargo.
  • Helicopter assets available.
  • Requirements for slings, cargo nets, and cargo containers.
  • Ground crew training requirements; such as those for ground guides and hookup personnel.
  • Pickup zone and landing zone security.
  • Flight routes.

7-64. The selection of a usable pickup zone or landing zone is extremely important. The platoon leader or company commander analyzes logistical and tactical considerations taking into account pickup zone or landing zone positioning is at the right place to support the ground unit. The area also must be accessible to the aircraft involved in the resupply operation. The air mission commander, the pilot in command, an aviation liaison officer (ALO), or a Pathfinder-qualified officer or NCO make the final decision on pickup zone or landing zone selection and acceptance.

7-65. The Infantry platoon or squad receiving the supplies is responsible for preparing the pickup zone or landing zone. In addition to the general pickup zone and landing zone responsibilities, Soldiers in the platoon or company perform the following specific tasks for aerial resupply:

  • Recover and assemble equipment and supplies.
  • Train available ground crews in guiding the aircraft during approach, landing, unloading/loading, departure, and derigging the load.
  • Train hookup personnel.
  • Coordinate with the sending unit for control and return of the unit’s transport equipment, such as slings and A-22 bags.
  • Prepare, coordinate, and inspect backloads (such as slings and A-22 bags) and have them ready for hookup or loading when the aircraft arrives.

Next: 7-66: Maintenance

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad