Gunship Academy

by Richard Sheffield

Active Countermeasures

Suppression. One of the best ways to stop enemy troops from shooting at you is to shoot at them. In the worst case, suppressive fire causes them to dig in and take cover, limiting their ability to return fire, and in the best case, it destroys the enemy position.

The proper use of standoff is important when laying down suppressive fire. Whenever possible, use the maximum range of your weapons to force the opponents to keep their heads down while you move in for the kill. Also, when using this method, you need to suppress the closest and highestthreat target first, so take a quick look around to make sure you know what you're up against. Getting off a heavy volume suppressive first shot will give you an advantage over the battlefield.

Preflight planning. Before you take off, you should have a good idea of where you're headed and how you're going to get there. If your target is a long way off, you should expect to meet trouble on the way, so plan your speed and altitude accordingly. Also, plan your attack on the mission target. If you're going to a rear area, such as a depot or HQ, plan on encountering heavy protective AA coverage. Don't rush in too fast.

Figure 9-1. Two Apaches Safely Heading for Home

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