Protect Your Kiowa With Covers

All aircraft, including the Kiowa, need protection from the elements.

If you don’t have the covers you need, check out this list of available covers for your aircraft. And make sure you refer to TB 1-1520-248-20-84 for all covers.

Kiowa Warrior operational cover kit,   NSN 1689-01-587-1025

MMS cover NSN 1730-01-587-7111

AGM-114 hellfire missile cover – right, NSN 1730-01-587-7120

AGM-114 hellfire missile cover – left, NSN 1730-01-587-7125

M3P .50 cal machine gun cover, NSN 1730-01-587-7115

Tail rotor cover, NSN 1730-01-587-7139

M260 70mm rocket pod launcher cover – right, NSN 1730-01-587-7124

M260 70mm rocket pod launcher cover – left, NSN 1730-01-587-7141

Nose/windscreen cover, NSN 1730-01-587-7108


Report Bad Small Arms Parts

Small arms repairmen, if you discover the parts you ordered to fix your unit’s weapons are defective, it’s important that you file a product quality deficiency report (PQDR).

If you don’t, your unit won’t get free replacement parts or refunds.  But, even more important, the Army won’t know there are defective parts kicking around the supply system.

Fortunately, the Product Data Reporting and Evaluation Program (PDREP) makes it fairly simple to file a PQDR.

The first step is to put the defective part someplace where it won’t disappear.  Also, keep a copy of the document number used to order the part.  And keep the packaging the part came in.  It has the CAGE code and contract number, which you’ll need for the PQDR. That’s one reason it’s an excellent idea to keep the part in the packaging until you use it.  That way the packaging won’t disappear and you won’t have trouble figuring out where the part came from. But even if you’ve lost the packaging, do a PQDR with the information you have.

To submit the PQDR, go to:

Click on EZ PDR Logon and follow the steps.  Be sure to include all required information, such as the document and contract numbers and CAGE code.

After you file the PQDR, a quality assurance rep will give you instructions for sending in the defective part.  They’ll need it for their investigation.  It’s important you send the part ASAP.  If they don’t receive the part within about two weeks, they will close the investigation.

If you have any questions about small arms PQDRs, contact TACOM’s John Kelty at DSN 786-1271, (586) 282-1271, or email:

Protect Mortar Components Containing Tritium

Mortars use sighting devices that contain radioactive tritium.  If one of these devices gets banged around and broken, the tritium can leak out.  That poses a health risk if it gets on your skin.  Plus, any radiation leakage must be reported to the local radiation safety officer.

So it’s in your best interest to do everything possible to protect all components containing tritium.  That’s not as much of a problem when it comes to the M64A1/M67 sight units and the M58/M59 aiming post lights.  They have hard cases you can keep them in when they’re not being used.

But things get trickier with the 60mm cannon tube.  Its range indicator contains four separate tritium lamps.  If it’s left unprotected and unsecured in the back of the truck, it can roll around and get banged up by other equipment.  It doesn’t take too big a blow to break one of those lamps.

So before you hit the road, make sure the 60mm cannon tube is secured so it can’t roll every which way.  If possible, give the range indicator extra protection by wrapping it in bubble wrap or a blanket.

If one of the range indicator lamps fails to light up, something is wrong.  You need to report it to your radiation safety officer.

Mandatory Replacement Parts for HIMARS Shock Absorbers

The HIMARS’ TM 9-2300-310-14&P doesn’t list any mandatory replacement parts criteria for the front shock absorbers. As a result, there’s a chance the front frame rails could be bent over the rubber bumper on the front leaf spring.

So the following parts must now be replaced every time the front shock absorbers are removed or replaced:

Item Name NSN
1 Self-locking screw 5310-01-369-6706
3 M16 cap screw 5305-01-369-8253
4 Machine bolt 5306-01-369-8192
6 Flat washer 5310-01-369-8923
7 Self-locking nut 5310-01-369-3339


1 Cap screw 5305-01-433-8469
2 Flat washer 5310-01-158-9053
3 Self-locking nut 5310-01-369-6706
5 Cap screw 5305-01-369-2264


In addition, the shock absorbers, NSN 2510-01-372-4839, must now be replaced as part of the biannual services.

This information will be added to TM 9-2300-310-14&P.

Clearing vs Cleaning Rod

On the firing range, units may prefer to use a clearing rod instead of a cleaning rod to deal with stuck rounds.  A clearing rod doesn’t have sections that can unscrew and come apart in the weapon’s barrel.  If a cleaning rod section is left in the barrel, the barrel can explode next time the weapon is fired!

If your commander approves the use of a clearing rod on the range, you can make one from a 36-in long, 3/16-in diameter brass welding rod, NSN 3439-00-244-4541.  Put a 90o bend three inches from one end to make a handle.  File off any burrs or sharp edges.


Take it easy inserting the clearing rod so you don’t damage the muzzle crown.  And don’t slam the rod into the bolt face.  If you do find a stuck round, don’t try to poke it out with the rod.  Use the clearing procedure in the weapon’s TM.

Of course, in the field you will have to use a cleaning rod for a stuck round.  In that case, use a rod’s swab holder section at the end you push into the muzzle.  Then, when you pull out the rod, check for the swab holder.  That way you know part of the cleaning rod isn’t still in the barrel.

Stay Up-to-Date with Shadow

One of the first rules you learn with the Shadow is never rely on your memory to do PMCS or other maintenance.  Always keep the Shadow TM at hand so you know exactly what you need to do to keep your Shadow flying.

If you rely on your memory, soon you forget important checks or you do maintenance wrong.  That can bring your Shadow quickly back to earth.

But it’s also critical you keep both your Shadow’s TMs and unmanned aircraft systems-initiative (UAS-1) logbook current.  Any time changes are made to the Shadow, changes are also made to the TMs and possibly the logbook.  If you don’t have the updated information, you’ll be missing improved troubleshooting, PMCS and other changes to Shadow components.

For TM updates, go to the ETM website:

Enter the Shadow’s TM number.  On the next screen, click on VIEW CURRENT NOTIFICATIONS to set up automatic email notifications when Shadow TMs are updated.

Each unit’s UAS-I administrator receives emailed updates for logbooks.  Keep your administrator’s contact info current.

Make sure the new information gets to everyone in the unit.  The updates won’t do much good if you’re the only one who knows about them.

Bradley Boosters a Boon

Here are a few ways to boost your Bradley’s performance:

o Charge the batteries during PMCS.  The Bradley’s PMCS procedure can shorten battery life because it requires the vehicle to be turned on and off repeatedly.  At $360 apiece, those 12 batteries can run up a serious bill if they have to be replaced often.  That bill can be avoided if units will just run their Bradleys at high idle for 20-30 minutes during weekly PMCS.  That’s enough to keep the batteries charged and healthy.

O Cover the commander’s independent viewer (CIV).  The CIV has been added to the A3s, but there has been no SOP added about keeping it covered when the Bradley sits for long periods.  So usually everything else on the turret has a tarp over it, while the CIV remains exposed to the elements.  If water makes it inside the CIV, corrosion and electrical damage will soon cause expensive damage.

The tarp used to cover the M1 tank’s CROWS works well for the CIV, too.  It comes in olive drab, NSN 8340-00-841-6456, and tan, NSN 2540-01-330-8062.  But any tarp will do.  The important thing is to keep the CIV covered when the Bradley is parked for weeks.

O Use DA Form 2408-4, Weapon Record Data Card, to track firing of the M242 automatic gun. That makes it easy to track the M242’s round count for its required services.   Since the 2408-4 is not maintained online for the Bradley as it is for other weapons, Bradley units themselves need to keep the 2408-4s updated and easily accessible.  It is a good idea for units to make someone responsible for collecting the 2408-4s after every mission so they don’t disappear.