Accession Number : AD1021968

Title :   Ebb and Flow: Maintaining the Close Air Support Relationship through History

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,01 Jun 2015,01 May 2016

Corporate Author : US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s) : Fette,Russell B

Full Text :

Report Date : 10 May 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 100

Abstract : Military historians have thoroughly documented the longstanding debate between American airmen and ground forces over Close Air Support (CAS). Discord between services, particularly during inter-war periods, has repeatedly resulted in poor CAS preparation and therefore poor performance in the early stages of America's conflicts. Measuring this CAS relationship both before and through conflict in terms of doctrine, training, and personal relationships reveals an additional trend. During World War II, the Korean War, and Operation Enduring Freedom, personal relationships improved and shared objectives emerged as a result of daily interaction between airmen and ground forces. The changes enabled those involved to rebuild the CAS relationship and improve performance in the later years of these conflicts. Regrettably, subsequent declines in the CAS relationship during interwar periods have created a consistent cycle of ineffectiveness and inefficiency. Both services must break this cycle of ebb and flow so that the US military arrives at its next conflict with a properly maintained CAS relationship. CAS performance is inextricably linked to integration, making relationships the essential foundation of combat results. Restoring the CAS relationship can be as simple as airmen and ground forces occupying the same mess tent, in training as well as in combat.

Descriptors :   military history , second world war , CLOSE SUPPORT , FIRST WORLD WAR , KOREAN WAR , PERSIAN GULF WAR , Vietnam war , terrorism , TACTICAL AIR SUPPORT , JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES , military doctrine , military training

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE