Do the Army and Air Force See Eye to Eye on BDA?
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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This monograph studies the use of the term battle damage assessment BDA within the Army, Air Force, and Joint communities. The monograph uses history, official publications, and materials published by military personnel or contractors to assess understandings of BDA representative of larger groups of personnel. It determines perceptions according to service and also according to whether the document is an official, scholarly or popular publication. The monograph finds that the Army expects BDA to be delivered much more quickly than the Air Force requires. The Army is satisfied with BDA only on high-priority missions, while the Air Force wants BDA on every mission. However, the most significant finding is that there is no agreement on who BDA is for. Until the 1970s, the primary purpose for BDA was to provide feedback to weapon system operators and their support systems. Within each service and the joint community some writers again claim this purpose. Since the 1970s, however, most voices have seen and continue to see the operational commander as the primary user of BDA. This creates confusion between BDA and a more inclusive concept, Combat Assessment. The original feedback purpose for BDA is valuable and deserves more consideration.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics