Controlling the airhead line
and clearing or fixing the FLS are key to declaring the airfield operational and safe for aircraft landings.
(6) Additionally, increased tactical mobility enhances the 82nd Airborne Division's critical mission of rapidly expanding lodgments through an expanded security zone and affords the division the option of increased ground mobility to leverage speed to bypass known enemy defenses to seize key terrain or defeat enemy forces beyond the traditional airhead line. The 82nd Airborne Division's unique requirements and the gap in meeting policy directives presents a critical and time-sensitive requirement that should not be delayed while the Army considers a broader program of record.
When joint forces transition to sustained wide area security operations, out-of-sector missions become more common, and mobility corridors begin to close as the enemy becomes more familiar with our routes out of the airhead line or secured area.
The Brigade conducted a parachute assault to seize a lodgment and secure an airhead line
. Air-Land operations began as the unit started to build combat power while interacting with the civilian population, conducting NEO operations, and fighting a Level III insurgency in the immediate area.
Our mission was to seize an airfield, expand the airhead line
, and establish security through blocking positions along main avenues of approach in order to facilitate the movement of friendly forces through our sector and the evacuation of civilian nationals.
(7) This is a significant bill to pay because five C-130s are capable of moving at least one airborne Infantry company, but the Stryker has the ability to project combat power off the airhead line (AHL).
The airhead line is bounded by assault objectives that are operationally located to ensure that enemy fires cannot be brought to bear on the main objective and for friendly forces to conduct defensive operations in depth." Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 8 November 2010, 8.
Under this concept, the unit conducting a forcible entry operation must metaphorically "plug-in" to the network for planning and preparation, unplug to marshal and deploy, plug in en route to the objective, unplug to assault immediate objectives, and Anally plug-in to secure the airhead line and expand the lodgment.
JOAX 13-03 identified two of those critical periods: the approach to the objective area and the tactical actions within the airhead line. To address the first critical period, en route communications should be improved with existing equipment in the military's inventory or by leveraging off-the-shelf commercially available communications terminals.
This capacity enabled the squadron to observe all of the refined NAIs as part of an extensive screen line around the drop zone in order to eliminate enemy observers from calling for and correcting indirect fires against the airhead line.
The BCT rear area was essentially defined by the airhead line and included the brigade support area (BSA); the C2 nodes for the BCT headquarters, fires battalion, reconnaissance battalion, and brigade special troops battalion; and the area around the field landing strip (FLS) that the BCT used as a continual aerial port of debarkation/embarkation (APOD/APOE) for personnel, equipment, and logistics.