Mountain Operations by Department of the Army - HTML preview

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FM 3-97.6 (90-6)

MOUNTAIN

OPERATIONS

NOVEMBER 2000

HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

*FM 3-97.6

Field Manual

Headquarters

No. 3-97.6

Department of the Army

Washington, DC, 28 November 2000

Mountain Operations

Contents

Page

PREFACE ....................................................................................................................v INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ vi Chapter 1

INTELLIGENCE....................................................................................................... 1-1

Section I – The Physical Environment ................................................................. 1-1

Terrain...................................................................................................................... 1-2

Weather ................................................................................................................... 1-5

Section II – Effects on Personnel ......................................................................... 1-9

Nutrition.................................................................................................................. 1-10

Altitude ................................................................................................................... 1-11

Cold........................................................................................................................ 1-14

Section III – Effects on Equipment ..................................................................... 1-15

General Effects ...................................................................................................... 1-15

Small Arms............................................................................................................. 1-16

Machine Guns ........................................................................................................ 1-16

Antitank Weapons.................................................................................................. 1-17

Section IV – Reconnaissance and Surveillance................................................ 1-17

Reconnaissance .................................................................................................... 1-17

Surveillance............................................................................................................ 1-20

DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.

*This publication supersedes FM 90-6, 30 June 1980.

i

FM 3-97.6________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 2

COMMAND AND CONTROL .................................................................................. 2-1

Section I – Assessment of the Situation.............................................................. 2-3

Mission ..................................................................................................................... 2-4

Enemy ...................................................................................................................... 2-5

Terrain and Weather ................................................................................................ 2-5

Troops and Support Available.................................................................................. 2-8

Time Available.......................................................................................................... 2-9

Civil Considerations ................................................................................................. 2-9

Section II – Leadership ........................................................................................ 2-10

Section III – Communications............................................................................. 2-11

Combat Net Radio ................................................................................................. 2-11

Mobile Subscriber Equipment ................................................................................ 2-13

Wire and Field Phones........................................................................................... 2-13

Audio, Visual, and Physical Signals ....................................................................... 2-14

Messenger ............................................................................................................. 2-14

Section IV – Training ........................................................................................... 2-15

Initial Training Assessment .................................................................................... 2-16

Physical Conditioning ............................................................................................. 2-16

Mountain Living ...................................................................................................... 2-17

Navigation .............................................................................................................. 2-18

Weapons and Equipment ...................................................................................... 2-18

Camouflage and Concealment .............................................................................. 2-18

Fortifications........................................................................................................... 2-19

Military Mountaineering .......................................................................................... 2-19

Driver Training........................................................................................................ 2-22

Army Aviation ......................................................................................................... 2-23

Reconnaissance and Surveillance ......................................................................... 2-23

Team Development................................................................................................ 2-23

Chapter 3

FIREPOWER AND PROTECTION OF THE FORCE .............................................. 3-1

Section I – Firepower............................................................................................. 3-1

Field Artillery............................................................................................................. 3-1

Mortars ..................................................................................................................... 3-5

Air Support ............................................................................................................... 3-6

Electronic Warfare ................................................................................................... 3-7

Section II – Protection of the Force...................................................................... 3-7

Air Defense Artillery ................................................................................................. 3-7

ii

_____________________________________________________________________Mountain Operations Engineer Operations ................................................................................................ 3-9

NBC Protection ...................................................................................................... 3-10

Chapter 4

MANEUVER............................................................................................................. 4-1

Section I – Movement and Mobility ...................................................................... 4-2

Mounted Movement ................................................................................................. 4-3

Dismounted Movement ............................................................................................ 4-7

Mobility ..................................................................................................................... 4-8

Special Purpose Teams......................................................................................... 4-10

Section II – Offensive Operations....................................................................... 4-16

Planning Considerations ........................................................................................ 4-16

Preparation............................................................................................................. 4-17

Forms of Maneuver................................................................................................ 4-18

Movement to Contact ............................................................................................. 4-19

Attack ..................................................................................................................... 4-20

Exploitation and Pursuit ......................................................................................... 4-22

Motti Tactics ........................................................................................................... 4-23

Section III – Defensive Operations ..................................................................... 4-25

Planning Considerations ........................................................................................ 4-25

Preparation............................................................................................................. 4-26

Organization of the Defense .................................................................................. 4-27

Reverse Slope Defense ......................................................................................... 4-29

Retrograde Operations .......................................................................................... 4-30

Stay-Behind Operations ......................................................................................... 4-31

Chapter 5

LOGISTICS AND COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT ................................................. 5-1

Section I – Planning Considerations.................................................................... 5-3

Section II – Supply ................................................................................................. 5-5

Supply Routes .......................................................................................................... 5-6

Classes of Supply .................................................................................................... 5-7

Section III – Transportation and Maintenance .................................................... 5-9

Section IV – Personnel Support ......................................................................... 5-10

Section V – Combat Health Support .................................................................. 5-11

Planning ................................................................................................................. 5-11

Evacuation ............................................................................................................. 5-12

Mountain Evacuation Teams ................................................................................. 5-12

Treatment............................................................................................................... 5-13

iii

FM 3-97.6________________________________________________________________________________

Appendix A

MOUNTAIN ILLNESSES AND INJURIES .............................................................. A-1

Chronic Fatigue (Energy Depletion).......................................................................... A-1

Dehydration .............................................................................................................. A-2

Giardiasis (Parasitical Illness) .................................................................................. A-2

Hypoxia .................................................................................................................... A-3

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) ............................................................................. A-3

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) ................................................................. A-4

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) .................................................................... A-4

Appendix B

FORECASTING WEATHER IN THE MOUNTAINS ................................................ B-1

Indicators of Changing Weather .............................................................................. B-1

Applying the Indicators ............................................................................................. B-4

GLOSSARY ................................................................................................. Glossary-1

BIBLIOGRAPHY.....................................................................................Bibliography-1

INDEX ............................................................................................................... Index-1

iv

Preface

FM 3-97.6 describes the tactics, techniques, and procedures that the United States (US) Army uses to fight in mountainous regions. It is directly linked to doctrinal principles found in FM 3-0

and FM 3-100.40 and should be used in conjunction with them. It provides key information and considerations for commanders and staffs regarding how mountains affect personnel, equipment, and operations. It also assists them in planning, preparing, and executing operations, battles, and engagements in a mountainous environment.

Army units do not routinely train for operations in a mountainous environment. Therefore, commanders and trainers at all levels should use this manual in conjunction with TC 90-6-1, Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP) mission training plans, and the training principles in FM 7-0 and FM 7-10 when preparing to conduct operations in mountainous terrain.

The proponent of this publication is Headquarters TRADOC. Send comments and recommendations on DA Form 2028 directly to Commander, US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, ATTN: ATZL-SWW, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-6900.

Unless this publication states otherwise, masculine nouns and pronouns do not refer exclusively to men.

v

Introduction

The US Army has a global area of responsibility and deploys to accomplish missions in both violent and nonviolent environments. The contemporary strategic environment and the scope of US commitment dictate that the US Army be prepared for a wide range of contingencies anywhere in the world, from the deserts of southwest Asia and the jungles of South America and southeast Asia to the Korean Peninsula and central and northern Europe. The multiplicity of possible missions makes the likelihood of US involvement in mountain operations extremely high. With approximately 38 percent of the world's landmass classified as mountains, the Army must be prepared to deter conflict, resist coercion, and defeat aggression in mountains as in other areas.

Throughout the course of history, armies have been significantly affected by the requirement to fight in mountains. During the 1982 Falkland Islands (Malvinas) War, the first British soldier to set foot on enemy-held territory on the island of South Georgia did so on a glacier. A 3,000-meter (10,000-foot) peak crowns the island, and great glaciers descend from the mountain spine. In southwest Asia, the borders of Iraq, Iran, and Turkey come together in mountainous terrain with elevations of up to 3,000 meters (10,000 feet).

Mountainous terrain influenced the outcome of many battles during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. In the mountains of Kurdistan, small Kurdish formations took advantage of the terrain in an attempt to survive the Iraqi Army’s attempt to eliminate them. In the wake of the successful United Nations (UN) coalition effort against Iraq, US forces provided humanitarian assistance to Kurdish people suffering from the effects of the harsh mountain climate.

Major mountain ranges, which are found in desert regions, jungles, and cold climate zones, present many challenges to military operations. Mountain operations may require special equipment, special training, and acclimatization. Historically, the focus of mountain operations has been to control the heights or passes. Changes in weaponry, equipment, and technology have not significantly shifted this focus. Commanders should understand a broad range of different requirements imposed by mountain terrain, including two key characteristics addressed in this manual: (1) the significant impact of severe environmental conditions on the capabilities of units and their equipment, and (2) the extreme difficulty of ground mobility in mountainous terrain.

vi

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Chapter 1

Intelligence

Before they can understand how to fight in mountainous environment, commanders must analyze the area of operations (AO), understand its distinct characteristics, and understand how these characteristics affect personnel and equipment. This chapter provides detailed information on terrain and weather necessary to conduct a thorough intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), however, the IPB process remains unaf-fected by mountains (see FM 2-01.3 for detailed information on how to conduct IPB).

SECTION I – THE PHYSICAL

ENVIRONMENT

CONTENTS

1-1.

Section I – The Physical Environment........ 1-1

The requirement to

conduct military opera-

Terrain........................................................ 1-2

tions in mountainous

Weather...................................................... 1-5

regions presents com-

Section II – Effects on Personnel................ 1-9

manders with chal-

Nutrition................................................... 1-10

lenges distinct from

Altitude .................................................... 1-11

those encountered in

Cold.......................................................... 1-14

less rugged environ-

Section III – Effects on Equipment............ 1-15

ments and demands in-

General Effects ....................................... 1-15

creased perseverance,

Small Arms .............................................. 1-16

strength, will, and

Machine Guns ......................................... 1-16

courage. Terrain char-

Antitank Weapons .................................. 1-17

acterized by steep

Section IV – Reconnaissance and

slopes, great variations

Surveillance............................................. 1-17

in local relief, natural

Reconnaissance ..................................... 1-17

obstacles, and lack of

Surveillance............................................. 1-20

1-1

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