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Operation Anaconda: An Air Power Perspective

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Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States and a coalition of like-minded nations embarked on a worldwide campaign against terrorism. In support of this fight, the United States Air Force has played a vital role in Operations NOBLE EAGLE, ENDURING FREEDOM, and most recently, IRAQI FREEDOM. In memory of the victims of terrorism and in consideration of the Airmen who will see this fight through to victory, we must learn and apply the lessons of air and space operations in these joint campaigns. Few causes will ever have greater importance. One of the most crucial joint combat operations in Afghanistan was Operation ANACONDA, designed and executed to remove the last remaining organized Taliban resistance. Operation ANACONDA generated lessons involving many aspects of the art of joint warfare. These are explored in detail in this monograph. This document reminds all Airmen of the complexities inherent in a successful joint operation. It highlights the necessity of clear lines of command, and it reminds us that organizational capabilities and proper coordination of joint activities cannot be taken for granted. It is also vital to realize that lessons learned from this operation were used to improve our joint combat planning and capabilities in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. As a Service, we will continue to refine the employment of our expeditionary air and space forces in joint operations to ensure their effectiveness over any adversary. We will all benefit from embracing and applying the thorough and thoughtful reporting and analysis in these and other lessons learned reports. We cannot afford to do less. Contents are as follows Chapter 1 -- Introduction Chapter 2 -- Planning for Operations in the Khowst-Gardez Region Chapter 3 -- Widening the Plan Chapter 4 -- The First 72 Hours, 2-4 March 2002 Chapter 5 -- Renewing the Attack, 5-15 March 2002 Chapter 6 -- Persistent Close Air Support and Chapter 7 -- Observations.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

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