Operation & Maintenance of Ordnance in Cold Weather FM 9 FM OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF ORDNANCE MATERIEL IN COLD WEATHER. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FROM USAPA. Recently. Technical Manual TM (FM ) Operations and Maintenance of Ordnance Materiel in Cold Weather July [United States Government US Army].

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The cold has been identified as an enemy of military forces and equipment since the beginning of recorded history. When employed in a cold region, a force actually faces two enemies–the tactical enemy and the environment that also aggressively attacks and can destroy equipment and men.

The impact of cold weather on combat forces can readily be seen during decisive campaigns in history. With United States US reliance on global force projection, Army forces must prepare to operate in a variety of climates, including extreme cold. Under such conditions, personnel are subject to decreased efficiency and cold casualties, equipment is prone to breakdowns, supply problems are increased, and operations are restricted and complicated by the environment.

It is the responsibility of unit leaders to ensure that personnel and equipment can withstand the challenges of cold weather. US Army equipment is among the best in the world for use in cold climates. However, soldiers and their leaders must understand the effects of cold weather and adapt operations and maintenance to overcome environmental conditions. Since most US units are stationed in temperate or tropical climates, soldiers generally lack adequate training or experience in cold weather operations and maintenance.

If troops stationed in temperate climates are to be expected to move to cold climates and perform their missions, they must be prepared for it. A large part of a soldier’s time and energy in cold weather is spent in self-preservation. This naturally reduces the efficiency of personnel when operating and maintaining materiel. Besides operating equipment, soldiers must learn to protect themselves against climatic factors by dressing properly and improvising protective measures and shelters.

At the warmer end of this range, lack of winterization results in only a slight loss of operating efficiency. Proper training prevents many failures of materiel and injuries to operators. Since metals contract at lower temperatures and expand at higher temperatures, improper clearances may result in either binding or excessive looseness.

Before operating vehicles, crews should review appropriate operator manuals for cold weather operations. These manuals all include a section subtitled Operations Under Unusual Conditions. Also, operators must know other basic skills, such as working with tire chains and slave-starting. Soldiers must maintain equipment in the best mechanical condition to withstand the added difficulties and prevent failures during sub-zero operations. Commanders must place special emphasis on maintenance inspections.

Operational difficulty vs temperature range. Placing equipment in proper mechanical condition before the onset of cold weather requires time for necessary and careful disassembly, repair, cleaning, and reassembly. Low temperatures must be anticipated far enough in advance to permit completion of winterization.

Refer to pertinent operator and unit maintenance technical manuals TMs for operation, lubrication, preventive maintenance checks and services PMCSand maintenance under unusual conditions. Operators must be very cautious when using equipment that has been inactive for a long time. For example, if lubricants congeal in various components, parts can fail. Metals become brittle in severe cold temperatures; thus, parts cannot withstand the shock loads that they sustain at higher temperatures.


Illustrations of such stress are at Figure For a given change in temperature, various metals will expand or contract by different amounts. These characteristics especially affect bearings in. In cold weather, special care should be taken in adjusting parts of this type, especially when adjusting bearing clearances.

Besides natural rubber, there are hundreds of rubber substitutes. Synthetic rubbers look and usually react the same as natural rubber, although most do not attain a greater flexibility at high temperatures.

It then quickly loses its elasticity and becomes brittle. For example, hoses for fueling may crack, increasing the potential for spills. Extreme care must be taken in handling cables at low temperatures.

If the rubber jackets become hard, the cables must be protected from shock loads and bending to prevent short circuits caused by breaks in the covering. If cables are to be bent, they must first be warmed.

Neoprene jackets on cables become brittle and break readily at low temperatures. Tires become rigid in cold, causing flat spots on parts that come in contact with the ground during shutdown. At severe cold temperatures, sidewalls become brittle and crack. Tires must be inflated to the appropriate pressure at cold temperatures. Failure to properly inflate tires can result in tires slipping off rims. Generally, tires should be inflated 10 PSI over the normal pressure for winter operations.

Plastics expand and contract much more than metal or glass, causing them to be brittle in cold weather.

Vehicular canvas covers with plastic windows may break due to a combination of cold and vibration. Glass, porcelain, and other ceramics perform normally at low temperatures if handled carefully. However, cracking may result if heat is applied directly to fj windshields or other vehicle glass. However, tarpaulins may shrink, and wrinkles are extremely difficult to smooth out at sub-zero temperatures.

Whenever possible, tarpaulins should be unfolded in heated enclosures or kept installed on equipment.

Operation & Maintenance of Ordnance in Cold Weather FM 9 207

Severe cold adversely affects the capability of a unit to accomplish its mission. Understanding the specific impacts can assist a unit in planning measures to counter these effects. Units are less maneuverable in icy conditions or deep snow. Motorized units are restricted almost exclusively to roads. Also, personnel have a tendency to operate close to vehicles, which is tactically unwise.

Trailers and towed artillery pieces further reduce mobility. Emplacement of artillery pieces for fire missions is very difficult. When planning for battle, leaders must realistically evaluate the impact that physical factors have on operations. There is an increased need for ammunition in cold weather. This is because cold temperatures adversely affect firing, responsiveness, effectiveness, and accuracy. Also, it is often necessary tm fire several light-to medium-zone rounds prior to maximum propellant charges to avoid stressing the hydraulic recoil mechanisms vm howitzers.

Support units must be prepared to handle and transport the added volume of ammunition. Because of the harsh conditions, it is also more difficult to prepare ammunition storage areas.

Units operating in a cold environment can expect a dramatic increase in petroleum, oils, and lubricants POL and fuel requirements due to movement difficulty, extended idling, and heating requirements. Special fuel and lubricants must also be used to prevent freezing and jelling. Always consult the appropriate TM or lubrication order LO. Remember to use antifreeze in coolant systems.

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Different grades of hydraulic fluids are also 9-07. If vehicles come into theater with temperate grade automatic transmission fluids and become cold-soaked when vehicle temperatures drop as low as the existing ambient temperaturesseals are likely to blow when transmissions are engaged.

Operators and maintenance personnel must be proficient in the use of all winterization and arctic kit items, which include heating devices, insulated grill covers, and sometimes engine exhaust restrictors.

When authorized, stationary engagement of hydromechanical transmissions can be used to facilitate engine warming. Vast distances, major climatic or terrain obstacles to air or ground movement, or a combination of these factors often separate combat service support CSS elements from supported forces.

As a result, logistical planning must be continuous and aggressive, making use of all modes of transportation. Unit standard operating procedures SOPs and training plans should address the following:.

92-07 fuzes should be selected whenever available to provide for seasonal changes.

Economic order quantities EOQ and ammunition required supply rates RSR should be computed on a seasonal basis rather than on the standard day demand criterion. When preparing for sustained operations in remote, cold regions, logistical planners must understand the following environmental characteristics:.


Planning is critical to the success and survival of units operating in cold weather. Planners should consider the following:. A potential increase in medical problems i. Prolonged exposure to cold and extended hours of darkness will lead to increased psychological stress.

All units, especially mechanized and motorized, will require more time to accomplish tasks; cold will increase fuel consumption and the demand for lead acid and dry cell batteries.

Although equipment is designed to function in the cold, it will be less reliable, thereby increasing maintenance, time, and supply problems. Maintenance, supply, and engineer units may require augmentation. Cold conditions tend to increase security problems because soldiers want to keep warm and sleep indoors.

Cold will also make command and control more difficult. Flank units must work harder to keep up with the main body and require frequent rotation. Logistics support can be decisive to mission accomplishment during cold weather operations. Host nation HN personnel are critical to identifying sources of food, shelter, warmth, supplies, and services. Leaders must incorporate all available HN support into their planning to reduce the impact of cold weather on logistics operations.

HN personnel should identify specific environmental restrictions pertinent to cold weather operations i. The importance of maintenance, especially PMCS, must be impressed on all cold region soldiers. Maintenance of mechanical equipment is exceptionally difficult in the field during cold weather.

Added time is needed to complete tasks. Even shop maintenance cannot be completed at normal speed. Mechanics must allow equipment to thaw out and warm up before making repairs. This time lag cannot be overemphasized and must be included in all planning. Personnel efficiency also is reduced by the bulky and clumsy clothing worn in extremely cold areas.