The Decline of Air Assault Operations
Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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In 1965 during the Vietnam War, air mobility negated impenetrable terrain to find, fix, and destroy the enemy. In the 1989 invasion of Panama, Joint Task Force-South simultaneously seized or engaged twenty-seven objectives in large part because of the flexibility inherent in air assault operations. In 1991 during Desert Storm, air assault operations resulted in one of military historys deepest and quickest operational envelopments. In 2001 during Operation Enduring Freedom, the Army once again relied upon air assault operations. However, for Operation Anaconda, one significant factor differed than before a misalignment of ways and means. The Armys application of modularity to combat aviation brigades equally divided air assault capacity to each of the Armys active component divisions regardless of the types of assigned brigade combat teams. This disregarded history, overlooked current doctrine, and is already affecting the future acquisition of vertical lift.