SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) provides aviation support to Army special operations forces. The Regiment consists of modified OH-6 light observation helicopters, MH-60 utility helicopters, and MH-47 medium-lift helicopters. The capabilities of the 160th SOAR have been evolving since the early 1980s. Shortly after the failed hostage rescue mission, Desert One, in Iran, the Army formed a special aviation unit. The unit drew on some of the best aviators in the Army and immediately began an intensive training program in low-level, night operations. The unit became a battalion of its own on October 16, 1981. Designated the 160th Aviation Battalion, the unit was popularly known as Task Force 160 because of the constant attachment and detachment of units to prepare for a wide variety of missions. Its focus on night operations resulted in the nickname, "The Night Stalkers." On May 16, 1990 the unit was reorganized, designated the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), and assigned to the US Army Special Operations Command.
The 160 th SOAR(A) is based at Fort Campbell, KY and is composed of four active duty battalions and one forward deployed company. Its battalions include the Fort Campbell based 1/160 which flies the AH-6, MH-6, MH-60K and MH-60L DAP; the Fort Campbell based 2/160 which flies the MH-47E; the Ft. Campbell based 4/160 Special Operations Aviation Support battalion; and the Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, GA, based 3/160 which flies the MH-60L and MH-47D. D/160 consists of five MH-60Ls based at Ft. Kobbe, Panama. Although all Army aviation units have an inherent capability to support special operations, the units of the 160th SOAR(A) have been specifically designated by the Secretary of Defense to be prepared, trained, nd task organized for special operations mission support. The 160 th SOAR(A) organizes, trains, quips, validates, employs, sustains, and maintains air assets for worldwide deployment and assignment to theater CINCs for conducting direct action, special reconnaissance, and other special operations.
Army special operations aviation assets conduct specialized aviation operations in conjunction with other special operations forces. These operations include the use of dedicated aviation assets to:
The most frequent mission is clandestine penetration for the insertion, extraction, and resupply of SOF by air.
The MH-6J is a single engine light utility helicopter that has been modified to externally transport up to six combat troops and their equipment and is capable of conducting overt and covert infiltrations, exfiltrations, and combat assaults over a wide variety of terrain and environmental conditions. It is also used for command and control and reconnaissance missions. Its small size allows for rapid deployability in C-130, C-141, C-17 and C-5 transport aircraft. Aircraft modifications and aircrew training allow for extremely rapid upload and download times.
Mission Equipment >
AH-6J LIGHT ATTACK HELICOPTER
The AH-6J is a highly modified version of the McDonnell Douglas 530 series commercial helicopter. The aircraft is a single turbine engine, dual flight control, light attack helicopter. It is primarily employed in close air support of ground troops, target destruction raids, and armed escort of other aircraft. The AH-6J normally is flown by two pilots . Overwater operations require two pilots.
Mission Equipment >
The AH-6J is capable of mounting a variety of weapons systems. Normal aircraft configuration consists of two 7.62mm miniguns with 1500 to 2000 rounds per gun, and two seven-shot 2.75" rocket pods. The following are additional configurations:
Normal engagement ranges are:
NOTE: Due to weight restrictions, armament/ammunition loads and fuel may have to be adjusted to achieve the necessary range/endurance and weapons loads called for by the mission.
The 160 th SOAR(A) operates 3 models of the Blackhawk:
MH-60 Standard Mission Equipment
The following are systems and equipment always on board the aircraft during tactical missions.
MH-60 Mission Flexible Systems
The following are systems that can be mounted on the MH-60L to support a primary mission or enhance the capabilities of aircraft performing assault or DAP missions:
MH-60 DAP Weapons Systems and Employment
Integrated fire control systems and a pilot's headsup display (HUD) combine to make the DAP a highly accurate and effective weapons delivery platform both day and night. The DAP is capable of mounting two M-134 7.62mm miniguns, two 30mm chain-guns, two 19-shot 2.75 rocket pods, and Hellfire and Stinger missiles in a variety of combinations. The standard configuration of the DAP is one rocket pod, one 30mm cannon, and two miniguns. The configuration is changed based on METT-T. The MH-60L DAP has the capability to perform both the utility and armed mission. Time to reconfigure the aircraft is minimal from either the armed to the utility or vice versa. The 7.62 miniguns remain with the aircraft regardless of the mission.
The MH-60 can be deployed by C-17, C-5A/B and C-141 aircraft. A maximum of six MH-60s can be loaded on a C-5A/B. Approximately one hour is needed to prepare the helicopters for on- load and again for rebuild on arrival at the destination. A maximum of four MH-60s can be loaded on C-17 aircraft. Approximately one hour is needed to prepare the helicopters for onload and again for rebuild at the destination. A maximum of two MH-60s can be loaded on a C-141, requiring considerable time for preparation and rebuild. Ammunition for the weapon systems is palletized and loaded on the same aircraft for distribution at the destination.
The MH47 conducts overt and covert infiltrations, exfiltrations, air assault, resupply, and sling operations over a wide range of environmental conditions. The aircraft can perform a variety of other missions including shipboard operations, platform operations, urban operations, water operations, parachute operations, FARP operations, mass casualty, and combat search and rescue operations. The 160 th SOAR(A) currently operates two models: the MH-47D Adverse Weather Cockpit (AWC), operated by 3/160; and the MH-47E, operated by 2/160.
The MH47 is capable of operating at night during marginal weather conditions. With the use of special mission equipment and night vision devices, the air crew can operate in hostile mission environments over all types of terrain at low altitudes during periods of low visibility and low ambient lighting conditions with pinpoint navigation accuracy ± 30 seconds on target.
MH-47D Adverse Weather Cockpit (AWC)
The MH47D Chinook is a twin engine, tandem rotor, heavy assault helicopter that has been specifically modified for long range flights. It is equipped with weather avoidance/search radar; an aerial refueling (A/R) probe for in flight refueling; a Personnel Locator System (PLS) used in conjunction with the PRC 112 for finding downed aircrews; Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR); and a navigation system consisting of a Mission Computer utilizing GPS/INS/Doppler navigation sources for increased accuracy; secure voice communications, including FM, UHF with Have Quick II, VHF, HF, Saber and SATCOM radios; a Fast Rope Insertion Extraction System (FRIES) for insertion of personnel/equipment and extraction of personnel; a defensive armament system consisting of two M-134 machine-guns ( left forward cabin window, right cabin door ) and one M-60D machine-gun located on the ramp; and an internal rescue hoist with a 600 lb. capacity.
The MH-47E is a heavy assault helicopter based on the CH-47 airframe, specifically designed and built for the special operations aviation mission. It has a totally integrated avionics subsystem which combines a redundant avionics architecture with dual mission processors, remote terminal units, multifunction displays and display generators, to improve combat survivability and mission reliability; an aerial refueling (A/R) probe for in flight refueling; external rescue hoist; and two L714 turbine engines with Full Authority Digital Electronic Control which provides more power during hot/high environmental conditions. Two integral aircraft fuel tanks replace the internal auxiliary fuel tanks commonly carried on the MH-47D AWC, providing 2068 gallons of fuel with no reduction in cargo capacity.
MH-47D/E Standard Mission Equipment
The MH-47 is configured with the following equipment:
NOTE: These are maximum hook rated loads and may not accurately reflect the true capability of the aircraft due to external conditions, i.e., pressure altitude and temperature.
MH-47 D/E Mission Flexible Equipment
ARMY CIVIL AFFAIRS & PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (AIRBORNE)
The US Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) is the headquarters for Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations units. Of USACAPOC(A)'s approximately 9,000 soldiers, about 83 percent are in the Reserve component and are located in 26 states and the District of Columbia. USACAPOC(A) units provide support to all theater commanders in meeting their global commitments. USACAPOC(A) soldiers have contributed significantly to recent humanitarian missions. They assisted victims of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, coordinated refugee operations for Cubans and Haitians in Cuba, and were among the first soldiers sent to Somalia and Haiti. Unique training, experience, and the abilities of USACAPOC(A)'s soldiers make them an ideal asset in dealing with national priorities.
The command has one active duty Psychological Operations unit, the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), with five battalions; and one active duty Civil Affairs unit, the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), with six companies. Both units are located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. USACAPOC(A), also headquartered at Fort Bragg, is one of four major commands comprising the US Army Special Operations Command.
USACAPOC(A) soldiers maintain the highest standards of training and physical readiness in order to be prepared to deploy anywhere in the world on short notice. Although Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations activities often complement each other, each battle system operates individually in support of field commanders.
The theater SOC integrates PSYOP and CA support into joint SOF activities. Task-organized PSYOP and CA detachments, from theater PSYOP and CA forces, may be attached to the theater SOC for a specific period to provide dedicated support. CA and PSYOP support provide the SOF commanders and their indigenous counterparts the ability to motivate and mobilize crucial segments of the population to enhance the probability of mission success.
US Army Psychological Operations Forces
The US Army maintains Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RC) forces to plan and conduct PSYOP. These units are available to support combatant command training exercises and to furnish advice and assistance (JP 3-53).
US Army PSYOP forces plan and execute the Joint Force Commanders PSYOP activities at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels; support all special operations missions; and conduct PSYOP in support of consolidation missions. Specially trained units support enemy prisoner of war (EPW) missions. US Army PSYOP group and battalion headquarters are structured to provide command and control of subordinate units that conduct PSYOP missions.
All AC and RC US Army PSYOP forces are assigned to the US Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC), a major subordinate command of the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The AC forces are organized under the 4th Psychological Operations Group with four regionally oriented battalions, a tactical support battalion, and a PSYOP dissemination battalion.
PSYOP Group (POG)
The Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Group plans and conducts PSYOP activities authorized and implemented worldwide in support of all non-mobilization contingencies during crisis and open hostilities short of declared war. It also develops, coordinates, and executes peacetime PSYOP activities. In addition, should war be declared, the PSYOP Group assists in the planning and execution of strategic and operational PSYOP for the unified command CINCs.
PSYOP Dissemination Battalion (PDB)
The PSYOP Dissemination Battalion provides audiovisual and printed material production, signal support, and media broadcast capabilities to support the PSYOP group, Regional Support Battalions (RSB), and the Tactical Support Battalions (TSB). This battalion is capable of deploying these capabilities or can produce products at Fort Bragg. If host nation support agreements are in place, PSYOP personnel can print on foreign presses and broadcast from surrogate stations in theater. The PSYOP Dissemination Battalion also provides many non-PSYOP specific support service to the PSYOP Group like communications and electronic maintenance services.
PSYOP Regional Support Battalion (RSB)
The PSYOP Regional Support Battalion (RSB) consists of a headquarters element, a support company, and one or more regional support companies. Each regional battalion divides geographic responsibility between their subordinate companies and further to the individual Product Development Centers (PDC) at the Operational Detachment (OPDET) level. A PDC consist of a team of 10-15 soldiers who develop audio, visual, and audiovisual product prototypes in support of the PSYOP campaigns. Each RSB is supported by a Strategic Studies Detachment (SSD) that is staffed by civilian analysts and produces PSYOP studies for the regional CINCs.
PSYOP Tactical Support Battalion (TSB)
A Tactical Support Battalion (TSB) provides tactical PSYOP support for one rapid deployment corps contingency requirements and, as required, the SOF community. The battalion consists of a headquarters and support company and one or more tactical support companies. The Tactical Support Battalion serves as the Corps PSYOP Support Element (CPSE) and assigns its subordinate Tactical Support Companies (TSC) to serve as the Division PSYOP Support Elements (DPSE). DPSEs are further supported by their platoons in the form of Brigade PSYOP Support Elements (BPSE). The smallest unit of tactical PSYOP support is the three-soldier Tactical PSYOP Team (TPT).
Reserve Component Psychological Operation Forces
The majority of the Army's PSYOP forces rest in the Army Reserve. During peacetime, RC PSYOP personnel will actively participate with AC PSYOP personnel in an integrated planning and training program to prepare for regional conflicts or contingencies. RC personnel and forces will also be involved with the AC in the planning and execution of peacetime PSYOP programs. In wartime, RC PSYOP personnel or units may be mobilized by the service, as required by combatant commanders, to augment AC PSYOP forces. RC PSYOP forces can also continue peacetime PSYOP programs in the absence of AC PSYOP forces when mobilized or directed. RC PSYOP Groups and Battalions possess the capability to deploy a PSYOP task force if required.
Psychological Operation Equipment
US Army PSYOP equipment is instrumental in the development and dissemination of PSYOP products. Unique equipment assets include 10 kilowatt and 50 kilowatt TV and radio broadcast transmitters, print systems, loudspeakers, and mobile audiovisual vans.
US Army Civil Affairs (CA) Organization
CA units are designed to provide support to both GP and SO forces at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. The vast majority of army CA forces are in the reserve component (RC). The army's active component (AC) CA unit (96 th CA BN, Ft. Bragg, NC) is capable of rapidly deploying one of its five regionally aligned CA companies to meet the initial CA support requirement, with transition to RC units beginning as soon as mobilization permits. The RC civil affairs units have functional specialties, with the unit's soldiers being assigned to functional teams. The functional specialties are:
Civil Affairs Command
The five reserve component CA commands provide predeployment command and control to their geographically oriented CA brigades and battalions. CA commands provide support to their respective warfighting CINC. They are usually the senior CA unit in theater and aligned to the Theater Army (TA).
The command's mission is to plan, manage and conduct CA operations that support the TA commander. The CA command may also provide staff support to the TA component services and joint theater staff as required. The CA Commands are responsible for the training, equipping, and preparation of their subordinate units for mobilization and deployment both in war and in support of peace operations. When deployed CA units are attached to the supported command. Civil Affairs commands have all the CA functional specialties organized in functional teams.
Civil Affairs Brigades
The Civil Affairs brigades support the corps and the JTF, TA, theater support command, and TA area commands. The CA brigades provide predeployment command and control to their battalions. The CA brigade accomplishes its mission through attachment of its subordinate battalions. The CA brigades are responsible for the training, equipage, and preparation of their subordinate units for mobilization and deployment both in war and support of peace operations. When a CA brigade is designated the senior CA unit in theater, it is aligned to a Theater Army, and assumes the duties of a CA command. It is the lowest level unit that has representation of all of the CA functional specialties
Civil Affairs Battalions
There are three types of Civil Affairs battalions; the General Support (GS), General Purpose(GP) and Foreign Internal Defense/Unconventional Warfare (FID/UW)
Civil Affairs FID/UW BN Typical
The GS battalion is the army's only active duty CA battalion and it is responsible for planning and conducting CA activities in support of military operations. Composed of CA generalists, it provides immediate operational access to CA assets for the regional CINCs, through the GS battalion's regionally aligned companies.
The CA battalion (GP) mission is to plan and conduct CA activities in support of a division, a corps support command, or an area support group. It supports planning and coordination of CA and foreign nation support operations. The unit provides Civil Affairs functional area specialists in the following areas:
The primary mission of the reserve components' CA battalion FID/UW is to support the theater SOC, the JSOTF, the SF group headquarters. Its secondary mission is providing CA support to conventional forces. The following are examples of possible CA organizations.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS SUPPORT COMMAND (SOSCOM)
SOSCOM mission is to plan and coordinate with Theater Army (TA). SOSCOM, and ARSOF to assure combat service support (CSS), health service support (HSS), and signal support to ARSOF supporting the warfighting CINCs during deliberate and crisis actions. SOSCOM is a Major Subordinate Command (MSC) of the United States Army Special Operations Command. As an MSC, the SOSCOM Commander is responsible for the administration, training, maintenance, support and readiness of assigned forces. SOSCOM is comprised of a headquarters staff, six forward deployed Special Operations Theater Support Elements (SOTSEs), the 528th Support Battalion, the 112th Signal Battalion, and the USASOC Material Management Center (MMC).
Special Operations Theater Support Elements
The SOTSE is the staff coordinator for ARSOF support requirements at the Army Service Component Command (ASCC). Embedded in the ASCC, the SOTSE staff has knowledge of the resources available to all other Army forces apportioned to the theater. Working with theater logisticians, the SOTSE can thereby identify requirements and plan for and coordinate ARSOF sustainment.
528th Support Battalion
The 528th Support Battalion's mission is to provide rapid deployable CSS and HSS to ARSOF as directed. The 528th Support Battalion's strengths lie in its capability to support ARSOF unique and low density weapons and vehicles. The 528th complements ARSOF CSS, HSS, and signal units. The support battalion consists of a headquarters and main support company (HMSC), three forward support companies (2 active and 1 reserve component) and may receive augmentation from Theater Army.
HMSC capabilities include:
Forward Support Companies capabilities include:
Theater augmentation provides:
112th Signal Battalion
The 112th Signal Battalion supports deployed joint and Army task force special operations. Capable of providing signal services to two theaters simultaneously, it ensures flexible communications among unified commanders, joint forces special operations component commands, each of the subordinate service SOF component commands, and other commands as directed.
The signal battalion is made up of a headquarters and headquarters company (HHC), and two special operations signal companies. The HHC consists of the battalion headquarters, and four special operations communications elements that are forward deployed in Panama, Germany, Korea, and Hawaii.
Each special operations signal company engineers, installs, operates, and maintains, two full signal centers, normally located at the JSOTF or ARSOTF headquarters. Each company consists of a company headquarters, joint special operations task force platoon and a support platoon.
The JSOTF platoon is subdivided into the following:
The support platoons consist of a headquarters and the following teams:
Signal elements draw their logistic support from the headquarters they are supporting. The special operations signal battalion provides motor and signal maintenance for their own systems. It can only provide organizational maintenance on vehicles and generators and up to direct support maintenance on signal equipment. The TA provides Army common repair parts on a nonreimbursable basis to SOF.
Material Management Center (MMC)
The MMC provides the ARSOF with centralized and integrated material management of property, equipment, maintenance, logistic automation, and repair parts and supplies (less Class V and VII).