Attack Helicopter Operations: Art or Science
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Attack helicopter units provide unmatchable responsiveness to the ground commander. As a result, there is a great tendency to throw them into battle with little or no planning. This reduces attack helicopter effectiveness and increases their vulnerability. Synchronization is key to the success of attack helicopter engagements. The attack battalion commander must synchronize the effort of his helicopters with artillery, close-air support and electronic warfare measures. Synchronization rarely occurs during execution without detailed prior planning. This study outlines a process for planning an attack helicopter engagement. Mission analysis, intelligence preparation of the battlefield, threat templates, weapons capabilityvulnerability analysis and battlefield calculus are all tools that the commander can use to integrate attack helicopters and combat multipliers on the battlefield. Used together, they provide a methodology for wargaming an attack helicopter engagement to determine the best use of all the combat and combat support systems that can be brought to bear on a target. The result is a synchronization of effort in time, space and task to produce maximum combat power.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics