Coordinating Operational Fires for the Twenty-First Century.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
Operational fires have played an increasingly vital role in the campaign plans of Joint Force Commanders as technology has increased the ability to identify, target, and engage enemy forces, facilities, and functions throughout the depth of the battlefield. In the past, operational fires, in the form of air interdiction, have predominantly been the responsibility of the Air Force since they have possessed the systems to range and engage the enemy effectively at operational depths. New and developing capabilities like JSTARS, ATACMS, Extended Range MLRS, Apache Longbow, and brilliant munitions, are increasing the complexity, potential, and joint nature of operational fires. These capabilities have contributed to the increased emphasis on joint operations and has led to considerable debate on the issue of operational fire planning, coordination, and execution. This monograph examines the need for a Joint Force Fires Coordinator JFFC to help maximize the potential of operational fires. To determine whether a JFFC is needed, this paper first examines the nature and concept of operational fires from contextual and doctrinal perspectives. This is done by reviewing the historical background and development of operational fires and the Army, Air Force, and Joint doctrine regarding operational fires and interdiction planning, coordination, and execution. Using the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, and unity of effort, this paper then reviews the experiences of joint and service component planners during the Gulf War and identifies problems or shortcomings in current doctrine and procedures. This paper concludes that shortcomings in joint doctrine, combined with competing interests and perspectives by the component services prevents the optimal use of operational fires.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Fire Control and Bombing Systems