Not all PGMs unresponsive to troops in close contact. (Letters to the Editor).I read with interest the interview and article debriefing Operation Anaconda in your September-October 2002 issue and will publish them to the pilots in my squadron. I have two points to bring up regarding the larger fire support issues in those pieces.
First, neither mentioned the support given to Army forces by Marine AH-1W Super Cobras flown in from the 13th MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit A Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) that is constructed around an infantry battalion reinforced, a helicopter squadron reinforced, and a task-organized combat service support element. It normally fulfills Marine Corps forward sea-based deployment requirements. ] after many of the Apaches were damaged in action. None of the AH-1Ws was put out of action by enemy fire, and by all accounts, they provided effective CAS [close air support].
Given the push in the interview and article for "Universal Observers" who would call in joint GAS, the abbreviated 6-line attack brief would work well for attack helicopters with their fast response times. The brief is not system-intensive, and the observer and helicopter have similar visual perspectives.
Second, both pieces generalized "PGM" [precision-guided munitions] to mean "GPS [global positioning system Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use. ]-guided" munitions. JDAM Noun 1. JDAM - a pinpoint bomb guidance device that can be strapped to a gravity bomb thus converting dumb bombs into smart bombs
Joint Direct Attack Munition [joint direct attack munition Noun 1. Joint Direct Attack Munition - a pinpoint bomb guidance device that can be strapped to a gravity bomb thus converting dumb bombs into smart bombs
JDAM ] is GPS-guided and does have limitations for timely CAS.
However, PGMs also can be radar-, wire-, TV-, and laser-guided. Hellfire, Maverick, laser-guided bombs, air- and ground-mounted TOWs [tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles] and Javelin are all PGMs that do not have the same limitation as JDAM--they do not need highly accurate target coordinates [desired mean point of impact A precise point, associated with a target, and assigned as the center for impact of multiple weapons or area munitions to achieve the intended objective and level of destruction. May be defined descriptively, by grid reference, or by geolocation. Also called DMPI. , or DMPI DMPI Desired Mean Point of Impact
DMPI Designated Mean Point of Impact
DMPI DOCSIS MAC-PHY Interface
DMPI DoloMatrix Philippines Incorporated (Manila, Philippines) ] before being dropped or fired.
In addition, many US fighter-bombers can achieve very responsive, near-precision effects with unguided ordnance by cueing on a laser designation with their onboard laser spot trackers.
Each PGM has its own targeting peculiarities (especially laser-guided systems) that must be dealt with prior to launch, but it does a disservice to your readers who may need to call in CAS with minimal training to imply that all PGMs are unresponsive.
Capt Erik J. Bartelt, AH-1W Pilot
Lt/Atk Helicopter Squadron 267
MCAS McCune-Albright syndrome (MCAS)
A genetic syndrome characterized in girls by the development of ovarian cysts and puberty before the age of 8, together with abnormalities of bone structure and skin pigmentation.
Mentioned in: Ovarian Cysts , Camp Pendleton, CA