Just got around to reading about Ed Dunlap’s experiences during ODS in Sabot Publications War machines #5 and he mentions having the artillery FO in his tank and the FAC in the XO’s tank. Would they have been cross trained to double as the loader and would this have been or is still SOP for the Army ?
The gunner probably spent some time doing some OJT. I know I have for FAC and FO’s.
I have also seen 5 man crews with the loader sitting inside and the FAC/FO standing in the loaders hatch. Neither solution is ideal if you are having to engage targets.
Interesting, thanks Greg. I never would have thought they would be added as a fifth crewman.
It was my understanding the 60 was so open you could hang a hammock inside. Couldn’t do that in M1, hammock or 5th crewman. FO/FAC would sling ammo and other loader tasks except exterior grunt work.
Army FOs in Armored and Mech unit’s should be operating in FIST-V, a dedicated vehicle for the FOs. Originally it was a M113 family vehicle with a Hammerhead similar to the ITV, but now it’s a Bradley type vehicle. FACs are provided by the USAF. They usually have their own vehicles.
Well it is easier said than done. If the FAC/FO is the loader and is busy calling in fire support it is hard to load. You do one job or the other. Loading is not that difficult. You need a little nerve and some muscle. The issue comes when a missfire happens. Now you are yelling at the guy trying to get him to understand what he needs to do. If there is a stoppage with the coax does he needs to know how to fix it / unjam it/change barrels/reload etc…Personally I perfered to run a 5 man crew for that reason. Besides when the CO and FO walked away to parlay with higher up I still had 3 people to work on the tank. It was the easiest coordination with FAC/FO onboard the tank. The CO could just point and tell the FAC/FO what he wanted and the communication was instantanious. The FAC could come on the intercom and tell the gunner exactly where he wanted a marking round placed and when he wanted it fired. I have only worked with Navy or Marine FAC/FO,s so I can’t attest to what luxeries the Air Force or Army comes with.