(1) The airborne division conducts airborne assaults in the enemy's rear to secure terrain or to
interdict routes of resupply or enemy withdrawal. It is ideally suited to seize, secure, and repair airfields
to provide a forward operating base for follow-on air-landed forces. It can conduct air assault
operations, as well as other missions normally assigned to infantry divisions.
(2) The staff must give special consideration to attack by enemy armor or motorized
formations. The division does not have sufficient armor protection to defeat heavier armored formations
at close range. Substantial numbers of antitank weapons in the division compensate for, but do not
completely offset an enemy armor advantage.
e. Air assault division. The air assault division combines strategic mobility with an extremely
high degree of tactical mobility within its area of operations. The air assault division conducts combat
operations with infantry, aviation, and the needed combat support (CS) and combat service support
(CSS) to strike over extended distances and terrain obstacles to attack the enemy.
(1) The air assault division provides the operational foundation, experience, and tactics for
air assault division operations. However, the air assault division no longer only conducts airmobile
operations. You need to know the distinction between airmobile and air assault. Airmobility is the use
of Army aircraft whenever and however they improve our ability to fight. Essentially, movement of
troops and equipment from one secure area to another is conducted, then the helicopters depart the area
of operations after insertion. Conversely, air assault operations involve combat, CS, and CSS elements
(aircraft and troops) deliberately task organized for tactical operations. Aviation is the prime mover and
aircraft are integrated with ground forces. In addition, air assault operations generally involve insertions
and extractions under hostile conditions, as opposed to the mere air movement of troops to and from
secure locations about the battlefield.
(2) Once deployed on the ground, air assault infantry battalions fight like those of the
infantry division; however, the normal task organization of organic aviation permits rapid aerial
redeployment. The essence of air assault tactics is a rapid tempo of operations over extended ranges.
Execution of successive air assault operations enables the division commander to seize and maintain the
Divisional Base. Before studying maneuver brigades and battalions, you need to understand the
hierarchical relationship, starting at division. This discussion will be limited to maneuver units; you will
not study the entire divisional base, which includes combat support and combat service support units.
The division/maneuver brigade relationship is illustrated in Figure 1-1, page 1-4.