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Joint Shipboard Helicoptor Operations: 30 September 2008

Paperback - 07 March 2013
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Joint shipboard helicopter operations (JSHO) rank among the most challenging types of joint operations. JSHO require US Army, US Air Force, and special operations personnel operate alongside US Navy (USN), US Marine Corps (USMC), and US Coast Guard (USCG) personnel in unfamiliar work and living spaces, with equipment not specifically designed for shipboard capability, and in an operating environment which is characterized by tightly constrained space and an unforgiving nature. It is incumbent every soldier or airman embarked understand their responsibilities during the many evolutions that transpire during each ship's daily routine and the challenges those evolutions present to their unit's daily operations. Unlike some joint operations where the Services are assigned operational areas and interact with each other on the margins (via communications channels, across boundary lines, etc.), JSHO require continuous interaction, coordination, and teamwork to accomplish the simplest of tasks. When planning JSHO, joint force commanders (JFCs) must consider a number of factors, the foremost of which are the impact such operations may have on the overall joint operation. Among these considerations are the mission tradeoffs associated with the displacement of naval aircraft; the removal of the ship from its place in the expeditionary ship and/or embarked unit mission capabilities resulting from emission control or hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance requirements, wind limitations, and/or location requirements. While the mission tradeoff impact of embarking other Service helicopters on small air-capable ships is rather straightforward, JSHO aboard an aircraft carrier or amphibious aviation assault ship is more difficult to assess because these ships are complex, multi-mission platforms. Further, the choreography required for high deck density operations necessitates meticulous planning. This publication provides doctrine for planning, coordinating, and conducting joint shipboard helicopter operations from US ships with flight decks.

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