MAKING THE WEASELS WILD AGAIN: ENSURING FUTURE AIR DOMINANCE THROUGH EFFECTIVE SEAD TRAINING
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE United States
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The US militarys dominance in the aerial warfare arena is well established, as no US aircraft has been lost to an air-to-air engagement since 1991. All US combat aircraft losses since Operation Desert Storm ODS have been to enemy integrated air defense systems IADS, and it is predicted that most countries will use surface-based IADS to challenge US air superiority in the future. Over the past decade, the US has been focused on close air support CAS missions in the CENTCOM area of responsibility AOR with a permissive air environment and a minimal surface-to-air threat. This has resulted in a generation of military aviators ill-versed in the suppression of enemy air defenses SEAD mission and unequipped to deal with a significant IADS threat as training efforts have largely ignored SEAD. Current SEAD training is insufficient, as it does not adequately prepare US forces to face the advanced long-range and mobile SAM threat in existence today. The USAF must increase both multi-mission design series MMDS and joint SEAD training as well as improve the capabilities of its electronic warfare EW ranges in order to correct SEAD training deficiencies. This paper will use the scenario-planning framework to postulate future SEAD requirements and analyze current SEAD training deficiencies that may preclude successful SEAD operations.
- Antiaircraft Defense Systems
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics