stands for FA
mily of SCA
ines. It refers to a series of weapon
s used by the U.S. armed forces. In brief, FASCAM are tactical
mines rather than strategic
; designed for battlefield
use and rapid deployment
as well as limited duration. The family contains versions deployable by air, ground vehicle and by Field Artillery
; each has advantages and disadvantages.
The family of scatterable mines adds new dimension to mine warfare, providing the maneuver commander with a rapid, flexible means of delaying, harassing, paralyzing, canalizing, or wearing down the enemy forces in both offensive and defensive operations. Mines can force the enemy into kill zones, change their direction of attack, spend time in clearing operations, or take evasive actions. FASCAM presents an array of air and FA-delivered scatterable mines available to maneuver force commanders. The systems- GATOR (USAF Delivered), VOLCANO (ground or air delivered), ADAM/RAAM (artillery delivered) and MOPMS (Modular Pack Mine System) have special considerations such as planning time, availability, survivability of system and logistical requirements.
Scatterable mine systems enable the tactical commanders to emplace minefields in enemy held terrain, contaminated territory, or in others areas where it is not possible to emplace conventional minefields. They are designed to be delivered or dispensed remotely by aircraft, artillery, or by ground dispenser. Minefields are laid without a clear pattern. All FASCAM mines have a active life cycle and self-destruct (SD) time after their active life has expired. The duration of the active life varies from 4 hours to 15 days depending on the system. FASCAM minefields are planned by the commander's staff engineer in concert with the commander's intent and systems available. The staff engineer determines location, size, time and density of the minefields. He coordinates with appropriate staff officers to ensure systems are available at the time and location for placement.
Note that while these weapons have 'Self-Destructs,' this does not mean in practice that all of them simply go pow at the end of their run. Typically, between 4 and 10% of them remain active, making commanders very very leery of putting them down anywhere they themselves might need to move troops through.