Close Air Support Doctrine, Dynamic Future or Dogmatic Past?
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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Close Air Support CAS is our oldest and most controversial air support mission. Although there have been significant changes in technology and force structure in each of the services, the doctrine for the employment of CAS has changed very little. The recent Roles and Missions reports have only increased the debate of how and where CAS is performed. The Army, with its fleet of attack helicopters, now finds itself as a provider of CAS. The Marine Corps has always provided its own CAS and will continue to do so but the evolution of the Joint Force Air Component Commander JFACC is causing some concern over the possible loss of CAS assets. The Fire Support Coordination Line FSCL has become a point of dispute since the Army has fielded organic weapons systems with increased ranges and seeks to place the FSCL at greater ranges. Consequently, the area that has generally become the zone of action for CAS has grown exponentially. Precision guided munitions PGMs have come of age and now give us the capability to strike with lethality with reduced risk of fratricide. Our CAS doctrine needs to be revised and refined to reflect the tremendous advances in technology and changes in force structure and capability that have occurred in the armed forces in recent years.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Fire Control and Bombing Systems
- Guided Munitions