The Army must prepare its soldiers, leaders, and units to deploy, fight, and win in combat at any intensity level, anywhere, anytime. Therefore, our training is top priority, and the focus of training is on our wartime mission. An important part of the wartime mission for units equipped with armed helicopters is helicopter gunnery. Every training program, including helicopter gunnery, must be carefully planned, aggressively executed, and thoroughly assessed.
1-1. TRAINING STRATEGY
The helicopter gunnery program begins with individual qualification on aircraft weapon systems and progresses through crew qualification to unit collective training. The unit training strategy must build on the skills learned by individual crew members during the aircraft qualification course. It must include and balance individual, gunnery, tactical, and maintenance training for both aviators and support personnel. The unit gunnery program must be progressive and continuous. It must emphasize training that allows integration of new personnel while maintaining qualified crews. This manual provides commanders with the information and guidance needed to develop and incorporate gunnery training into the Aircrew Training Program while meeting the standards in DA Pamphlet 350-38, Chapter 7. This program is focused on building warfighting units that can engage and destroy the enemy.
a. Helicopter gunnery range training is a training event where individuals, crews, teams, and companies show proficiency and validate the operational readiness of the helicopter weapon systems. Crew qualification on Table VIII is the cornerstone of this gunnery program. Table VIII qualification is a live-fire event and an annual requirement. Once crews qualify, units can begin work on the advanced tables that focus on collective training.
b. The unit's mission essential task list and mission training plan enable the commander to focus helicopter gunnery training on the unit's primary mission. This procedure allows the commander to exercise command, control, and communication functions while conducting gunnery. Commanders can use training devices like the MILES/AGES to enhance the collective training program so that the unit can train as it fights. Commanders tailor the advanced tables (Tables IX through XII) to meet their particular unit's mission and training requirements.
1-2. GUNNERY STANDARDS
The goal of Army training is a combat ready force that can deploy on short notice, fight, and win. To achieve this goal, commanders must have a common set of weapons and weapon systems qualification standards. They also must have an objective way to judge those standards. Army Aviation's gunnery program standards are discussed below.
a. The Aerial Weapon Scoring System or comparable DA approved objective scoring system is the standard for objective scoring of cannon and rocket fires with no subjective upgrades.
b. A target hit within the effective range of the system is the standard for cannon and machine gun engagements.
c. A target hit also is the standard for Hellfire, TOW, and Stinger missile engagements.
d. Target neutralization is the standard for rocket engagements. Because rockets are most effective when fired in mass, the rocket training strategy is to train crews for neutralization engagements.
(1) Target neutralization is an engagement that causes 10-percent casualties and/or destruction of materiel in the target effect area. It should be a deliberate engagement in which the crew fires a minimum of two pairs of adjustment rockets, senses the impacts, makes adjustments, and fires at least five pairs of rockets for effect.
(2) During the conduct of basic and intermediate gunnery tables, crews will train and show proficiency in adjusting rockets onto a target without completing a fire for effect.
1-3. GUNNERY TABLES
The gunnery tables in this manual provide the framework for the unit to execute its gunnery program. They are designed to train and evaluate the crew's ability to engage targets with the helicopter's weapon systems at short, medium, and long ranges. These gunnery tables are progressive; they must be fired in order. Except for Tables III and IV, these tables cannot be accomplished in a compatible simulator. Commanders may modify the engagement sequences, conditions, and target arrays within the tables to meet mission training requirements or to fit resource constraints such as range layout. However, modified tables must be no less demanding than those in this manual. Because modifications to tables are temporary, commanders must work with installation or regional range authorities to upgrade and improve helicopter gunnery ranges so the unit can fire the tables as stated in this manual.
a. Basic Tables.
(1) Tables I and II are used for initial weapons qualification. Fire them according to USAAVNC or NGB AH-64, AH-1, and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior programs of instruction.
(2) Tables III and IV are used for prequalification training and the commander's evaluation of newly assigned crew members. Units may use these tables to evaluate unit trainers or to conduct refresher training for qualified aviators. Tables III and IV are individual tables evaluated by a unit instructor pilot.
b. Intermediate Tables.
(1) Table V is the commander's pregunnery range assessment of unit helicopter gunnery readiness. This table allows evaluation of the crew's knowledge and gunnery skills before the crew progresses to live-fire gunnery. Table V is a gate to live-fire training; crews must complete this table before attempting live-fire gunnery.
(2) Table VI is the calibration and verification table. This table includes ammunition for units to calibrate and test-fire weapon systems before qualification range training. An aircraft must meet the Table VI standards before it can be used for qualification on Tables VII and VIII.
(3) Table VII is a training table. Table VIII is a crew qualification table and is a gate to the advanced tables.
c. Advanced Tables. Tables IX through XII are the advanced tables. These tables orient on tactical scenarios and multi-helicopter employment. They allow the commander to focus the unit on collective live-fire training. The unit MTP and METL will dictate tactical scenarios, task organization, and weapons mix.
1-4. READINESS REPORTING
a. Unit Status Report. DA Form 2715-R (Unit Status Report) is an assessment of a unit's combat readiness. The commander assesses training for the USR by developing a training level or T-level. The primary purpose of the T-level is to show the unit's current ability to perform its assigned wartime missions. The standard for measuring the unit's training status is its METL.
(1) The commander decides the unit's training level by evaluating how well the unit accomplishes mission essential tasks. He considers all available factual data in making the determination. The training level determines how much time is needed to train the unit to do its mission essential tasks.
(2) Many factors affect the unit's T-level. AR 220-1 states that proficiency is measured in terms of the unit's demonstrated ability to do its mission essential tasks. The unit also must perform enabling tasks not specified in the METL but necessary for performance of mission essential tasks. An example of an enabling task is crew gunnery. Proficiency is judged on performance of tasks to standard. Therefore, gunnery proficiency is judged on the performance of gunnery tasks to standards in this manual, which has a direct impact on the unit USR. AR 220-1 also states that the availability of aviation training resources (flying hours, training ammunition, simulation devices, fuel) must be considered in the T-level.
b. Helicopter Gunnery Impact.
(1) TC 1-210 mandates the consideration of gunnery performance when determining the readiness levels of aviators. This objective assessment is derived from Table 7-1, TC 1-210 and is recorded on the USR in Block 18, TRAINDAT SET.
(2) However, proper reporting of helicopter gunnery problems and successes on the unit status report is also important. The Army's leadership must receive an accurate assessment of unit gunnery. Such assessment will aid in preserving and improving helicopter live-fire gunnery. Refer to AR 220-1, paragraph 1-6d, for additional information.
(3) Maintenance of aircraft weapon systems is a critically important component of a successful helicopter gunnery training program. A shortage of maintainers will affect any training program involving aircraft.
c. Unit Actions.
(1) The unit commander will consider the unit's helicopter gunnery qualification rate when determining the overall T-level. DA Pamphlet 350-38 specifies crew gunnery qualification requirements for helicopter crews.
(2) Section B, TRAINDAT SET is the place to record concerns about training resources. Problems that can be noted may include the following:
(a) Improper ammunition received for qualification range; that is, issued MK40 rocket motors instead of the required MK66.
(b) Not enough range time received for proper qualification on Tables VI through VIII and the advanced tables.
(c) The AWSS was unavailable for the qualification range.
(d) The home station range was unsuitable for proper helicopter gunnery qualification.
(e) A shortage of soldiers in critical MOSs (armament mechanics, POL handlers, aircraft electricians) exists.
(3) The resource constraints experienced by the unit should be explained in Section D, TRRAT GENTEXT and can include helicopter gunnery issues.
1-5. MASTER GUNNER PROGRAM
a. The battalion or squadron S3 and master gunner manage, develop, and implement the unit helicopter gunnery program. The master gunner is the commander's primary representative for helicopter gunnery. His primary duty is to help maintain the continuity and focus of the commander's helicopter gunnery training program.
b. The commander will designate a master gunner. He should be warrant officer rated and experienced in the unit's primary attack aircraft.
c. The master gunner's responsibilities include the following:
(1) Assist the commander and S3 in developing and implementing the unit helicopter gunnery training program.
(2) Assist the S3 in forecasting and allocating helicopter ammunition.
(3) Monitor simulator and TSTT (if applicable) gunnery training, scheduling, and use.
(4) Develop realistic target arrays in coordination with local range control officials.
(5) Serve as the primary scorer/evaluator on unit live-fire ranges.
(6) Work with the armament officer to ensure the readiness of the unit's helicopter armament.
(7) Serve as a member of the unit standardization committee.
1-6. WEAPONS TRAINING STANDARDS
a. DA Pamphlet 350-38 (also known as the STRAC manual) shows the quantities and types of ammunition required for weapons proficiency training and qualification. Ammunition authorizations prescribed by STRAC are the maximum amounts authorized for each airframe. These authorizations are based on the training readiness condition assigned to each unit by the STRAC executive director.
b. Unit commanders will make every effort to conduct live-fire gunnery training with the authorized ammunition. Turned-back or turned-in ammunition does not strengthen the helicopter gunnery training program.
c. Ammunition authorizations by STRAC are made on an annual basis. Tables VI through VIII, Table X, and Table XII are designed to be fired annually using live ammunition.