This page contains the US Army Field Manual on Pathfinder Operations. FM In daylight operations, pathfinders are not inserted into an LZ before the initial assault echelon unless the LZ requires extensive improvement or. HEADQUARTERS. FIELD MANUAL. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. No. (FM ). PATHFINDER OPERATIONS. OCTOBER

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Selected personnel normally furnish terminal guidance within the supported unit. The commander decides exactly how to transport the equipment into the objective area. ATC light signals on or fmm LZ.

Pathfinder Operations FM 57 38

Enemy presence keeps the pathfinders from using nondirectional beacons. When triangular reference lights are used, signalman is not required. The term is “cleared to ground level. As the helicopter begins forward movement, sufficient power is applied to maintain a climb that allows the slingload to clear obstacles along the lift-off path. The pathfinder coordinates all activities with every agency or unit involved, then gives the information to all of the pathfinders involved in the operation.

Its terrain conforms to no particular model. The base leg and final approach cannot be extended because they run back into the traffic pattern itself. For special situations, the pathfinder may elect to require the pilot to circle left or right in lieu of placement in the traffic pattern, and then he issues final landing instructions.

This form serves as a log or manifest. Pathfinders determine the category, size, and weight of the load during the planning phase of the operation. A friction adapter located on one end of the strap has a thick-lipped metal floating bar.

(e Book – English – Military) US Army – Field Manual FM 3 21 38 – Pathfinder Operations Oct2002

X X Operational location coordinates. The pilot will experience a loss of lift and turbulent conditions if spacing between lift-offs and landings is inadequate. Conditions of the area, such as a dusty surface or obstacles, often require increasing the minimum spacing between loads, reducing the number of helicopters that can safely operate at the site at the same time, and decreasing the overall speed of the operation.

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Aircraft Load Limitations He must know the air movement phase of an operation to ensure that he can safely and efficiently control all aircraft in and around the DZs or LZs. X X Routes into the objective area. When an LZ has more than one landing site, or during reduced visibility, the CC may be located to perform as a manned release point, or final approach fix, to provide positive navigational assistance to arriving aircraft.

These radio nets are monitored at all times unless otherwise directed until operations at the site are completed. Appropriately equipped and trained pathfinders can fulfill the following responsibilities. Ground personnel should stay a safe distance away from helicopters during landingdhutdown after flight in icing conditionsand passengers should not get out until the rotor blades have stopped. They try to gain intelligence and conduct electronic jamming and deception. Three Legs of Traffic Pattern.

Pathfinders may use arm-and-hand signals to assist in controlling the landing, hovering, and parking of helicopters.

Pathfinders may use arm-and-hand signals to assist in controlling the landing, hovering, and parking of helicopters. Other considerations include vertical air currents, escape routes, terrain contour and obstacles, and the position of the sun.

Full text of “Pathfinder Operations FM 57 38”

He plans control opefations that enable him to execute the mission under radio listening silence. Each leg has a rated capacity of one-quarter of the total capacity of the set.

If they do use the beacon, the party sets it up far enough away to prevent excessive radio interference.

The pathfinder’s knowledge of flight procedures helps him advise the pilot about the existing surface conditions. This will reduce compromise of the actual landing site pathfidner by enemy electronic warfare assets, although the tactical situation might dictate that the pathfinder leader be on the site for control purposes.


The CCP may have to be manned and marked, and GTA communications provided operatoins advise and direct the pilot to the landing site if communications are limited in range.

AIR ROUTES The enemy situation operaations the terrain and weather conditions determine what airways may be subject to rapid relocation if the enemy can intercept aircraft using them. In such cases, operayions pathfinder can help the operationz by directing him either to a known location or to the LZ. The electronic homing heacon is then installed, if requested hy the aviation pathfindder commander, since it affords long-range guidance.

Weather in the mountains is seasonal and fluctuates from extreme cold with ice and snow to extreme heat. However, every effort is made by ground troops to improve landing point surfaces to allow the aircraft to land. It has a rated capacity of 6, pounds pendant ; 3, pounds sling to lifting provision. Training and close liaison with operxtions aircrews enable the pathfinder to develop an understanding of what information pertains to the situation. With these aids, pathfinders can designate specific areas or points on LZs and DZs.

He can use a prominent terrain feature, a checkpoint, or an aerial control point previously established by the ground unit for maneuver control. Later flights follow at the smallest time intervals. If this condition exists, a phenomenon referred to as “whiteout” may occur. These soldiers operate the GTA radio and the pathfinder internal radio net if establishedposition and operate navigation and assembly aids, and clear or mark obstacles.

ALO 7 Pathfinder transportation station time. The A7A is a cotton or nylon cargo strap that is inches long, and each has a rated capacity of pounds. Many of the conditions experienced in cold weather operations are similar to desert operations. Each has pathfinders who perform specific functions.