Accession Number : AD1039045

Title :   Army Fixed-Wing Ground Attack Aircraft: A Historical Precedent and Contemporary Rationale

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,11 Aug 2014,12 Jun 2015

Corporate Author : US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s) : Bolton, John Q

Full Text :

Report Date : 12 Jun 2015

Pagination or Media Count : 166

Abstract : Close Air Support (CAS) depends on close cooperation between ground and air units, predicated on mutual understanding and close proximity. CAS also depends on aviator training and aircraft characteristics. Despite predictions of air power's dominance, air-ground teams are the most effective employment of military power. This thesis demonstrates that the modern Army Combat Aviation Brigade mimics the WWII Tactical Air Command's effective, close working relationship between air and ground units. However, Army Aviation lacks fixed-wing attack aircraft, forcing the Army to rely on the Air Force for fixed-wing CAS. Utilizing non-organic means for critical functions violates unity of command and results in CAS performed by aircraft primarily designed for other missions. This situation is likely to worsen in the coming years. This thesis summarizes Army-Air Force CAS issues since WWII and argues that the Army requires an organic fixed wing attack aircraft to bridge the capability gap between its helicopters and USAF platforms at the tactical level. Fielding such aircraft would free the Air Force to focus on its broader missions while enhancing the capabilities of Army Aviation.

Descriptors :   Air power , Army aviation , Korean War , Helicopters , ARMY , aircrafts , fighter aircraft

Subject Categories : Military Aircraft Operations
      Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE