The Future of Marine Corps Close Air Support: The Urban Environment
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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The Marine Corps is generally proficient in its training for and execution of Close Air Support CAS, however, CAS training and execution needs improvement. The first change needed is to provide more frequent training in urban environments for both pilots and Forward Air Controllers FACs. Creating an east coast urban range would allow all east coast pilots to train more frequently. It also is necessary to allow pilots to train with the precision weapons required in urban areas prior to deployments. Critics might say that the Marine Corps cant afford to shoot live weapons, but eliminating unnecessary programs such as Target Locater Designator Handoff System TLDHS could provide the necessary funds. The development of Keyhole CAS and the continuance of traditional nine-line CAS will help ensure effective CAS operations. Tactics that work in one area of operations may not be suitable in others, so Marines must be prepared for both types of missions. The Marine Corps must remember the saying train as you fight and continue to use every means necessary to provide the Marines on the ground the flexible and responsive firepower that aircraft can provide, especially in urban areas.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare
- Target Direction, Range and Position Finding