Tactical Fighter Employment: The Optimum Role in Contingency Operations
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This study determines if an optimum role for tactical fighters exists in Contingency Operations, formerly known as Peacetime Contingency Operations a form of Low Intensity Conflict LIC. This report traces the historical development of the terminology surrounding LIC, and analyzes four case studies involving the use of tactical airpower in Contingency Operations. The study examines the Mayaquez Incident, the Israeli raid on Tunisia, the U.S. Navys attack on Syrian anti-aircraft positions and Operation El Dorado Canyon. Each case study is examined, analyzed and rated in each of the nine areas. Mission results are attributed to success or failure in specific areas within in a matrix. The nine areas addressed are Intelligence, Force Availability, Threat, Collateral Damage, Objective, Time, Air Superiority, Surprise and Risk. The results provide a deeper understanding of the requirements for tactical fighter employment in Contingency Operations. Tactical airpower strikes fast, over long distances and with massive destructive power. However, it cannot hold territory or rescue hostages. The use of tactical airpower is also a strong signal, involving U.S. prestige and power. When used optimally, tactical airpower is a potent is a potent are of the military element of power.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics