Accession Number:

ADA422702

Title:

Why Won't You Drop, Damn You!? An Examination of the Targeting Process in Operation Enduring Freedom and its Implications

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2004-02-02

Pagination or Media Count:

25.0

Abstract:

As the American way of war is evolving to emphasize maneuver, speed of execution and the extensive use of air power to Support ground schemes of maneuver, the need of effective rapid targeting through decentralized execution is becoming more critical than ever. What are the lessons learned from Operation Enduring Freedom and how effectively have US forces implemented them in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This paper will examine the decision making process for rapid targeting in OEF from the strike fighter pilot through the watch officer in the Combined Air Operations Center at Prince Sultan Air Base to the operational commander. It will draw some conclusions on the effectiveness on the process in OEF and how lessons learned were applied in OIF. The three virtues of an effective operational commander called for in this paper are 1 A clarity in communicating his intent, ROE and acceptable risk 2 Foresight in designing his joint staff to handle crises quickly and correctly and 3 An understanding of the capabilities and limitations in the new weapons systems at his disposal. The best environment to hone these skills is the training environment, long before actual combat. It is also apparent that the unexpectedness of combat in Afghanistan required a hasty command structure that allowed some confusion at all levels, from the operational commander to the trigger-pullers. At first impression, it appears that US Central Command learned the lessons from OEF and applied them with extreme effectiveness in OIF. One question that will have to be addressed as more data is available is whether CENTCOM over-reacted to challenges in OEF and allowed too much autonomy at the tactical level.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE