Air Assault Soldiers Reach Remote Areas Swiftly
Moving ground troops over unfamiliar and uneven ground can be a grueling and slow process. Rather than having soldiers encounter IED and other explosives the infantry is increasingly moving soldiers using helicopters. This is especially true of rural regions south of Baghdad.
“We can move ground units more effectively, and more swiftly,” said Captain Joshua Karkalik. Captain Karkalik is commander of Company B, 3rd Aviation Regiment.
“Sometimes the target is not reachable by ground, or else we need the element of surprise,” said Karkalik. Black Hawk Helicopters from the 4-3 Aviation Regiment provide transportation but sometimes it is difficult to coordinate getting troops from one place to another.
Aviators meet with ground commanders to try and match mission and equipment. Ground commanders look at the targets and then work with aviation representatives to figure out the best configuration, how many people need to move, when they need to go, and how. After forming a basic plan the flying crew take it to a meeting with various ground commanders, in a mission Air Brief.
With a plan in place, the aviators present it to the ground commander during an air mission brief. Then an aircrew briefing is held where all the actions and events are set out in detail for the aircrews. There are a lot of variables involved, and things can change up to the last few minutes before the mission commences.
It becomes very detailed because Air Assaults are very difficult. A preflight and conditions check is held the day or night of the mission and variables such as weather reports are factored in at that time. Finally the infantry unit is picked up, and an overall briefing is conducted regarding the mission, attended by both infantry and aviation crews.