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NEWS | Jan. 11, 2023

81mm Mortars: Frozen Ground Emplacement

BLUF: When emplacing the 81mm mortar in freezing weather, protect the baseplate by placing dry bags of sand or snow beneath it to prevent cracking.

81mm Mortar System
Photo by Erich Backes

Mortar crew members, pay attention when emplacing the baseplate on frozen ground because cold weather makes the metal brittle. When you add the tremendous shock of a round being fired, the baseplate may crack.

Follow the instructions found in WP 0014-1 of TM 9-1015-257-10 (Aug 14) to help prevent the baseplate from cracking. Here’s a recap of what you need to know:

First, if possible, loosen the ground to seat the baseplate spades and bipod feet. If the ground is frozen, then use sandbags to emplace the mortar or matting comprised of tree limbs, branches or brush. More specifically:
1. Place bags of dry sand or snow beneath the baseplate, as shown in the diagram below. The sandbags will provide the weapon with a solid, yet resilient shock-absorbing base.
Recommended configuration for firing from hard surfaces
Recommended configuration for firing from hard surfaces
2. Place a brush matting under the baseplate (less preferred option). The matting should be a minimum of 6 ½ inches thick when compressed. Snowshoes can be placed under the bipods to help prevent the bipods from sinking in the snow. 

Note: For a similar article on 60mm emplacement, click HERE.
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