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Validating the Joint Doctrine Air Campaign Course Planning Process.

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Final rept.,

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The German reserves had arrived far too late to smash the enemy landing by counterattacks. By the time they arrived the enemy had disembarked considerably stronger forces and himself gone over to the attack. Field Marshal Erwin Kommel The inability of the Germans to bring their reserve forces forward was due to the Allies air operations prior to D-Day. The USAFs Joint Doctrine Air Campaign Course advocates a five stage planning process for air asset employment at the Operational level. The five stages are Stage 1, an intelligence preparation of the theater of operations Stage 2, objective determination Stage 3, strategy identification Stage 4, identifying centers of gravity Stage 5, the air campaign plan. This process was used by the USAF to build the air operations during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and the success of those operations served as a foundation for the USAFs contention that this five stage planning process is appropriate. One war does not validate a planning process. To validate this process, I have applied the framework to the Allied air operations prior to the Normandy invasion. A valid framework for planning must be applicable to other operations. The success or failure of those operations should be re-enforced or identified by this planning framework. Overall, the Allies used a similar process prior to Normandy. The JDACC five stage planning process provides a solid foundation for air asset Operational planning. Each of the stages must be accomplished to effectively employ airpower. There are not any gaps in the framework. These stages are independent of technology, equipment, training and valid regardless of service doctrine. The JDACC planning guide is an excellent tool for Operational planning for both deliberate and crisis action planning.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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