Accession Number:

ADA508371

Title:

The Future of Time Sensitive Targeting (TST), Can We Really Strike While the Iron is Hot?

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-03-08

Pagination or Media Count:

25.0

Abstract:

Time Sensitive Targeting or TST has emerged as a buzz phrase in recent conflicts. Technology in the form of computers, high speed communications systems, precision guided munitions, and improved intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR systems offer great promise in the effort to prosecute important emerging targets in the fastest manner possible. Given the advances in technology, senior leaders have come to expect the time period from detection to engagement of a TST will decrease as a function of the technology. In fact, General John Jumper, the current Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force USAF, believes that the USAF should be able to manage the TST problem from sensor detection, to strike, in single digit minutes. However, technology is only part of the equation and does not address an even more important aspect of striking important time critical targets. An analysis of the current state of TST prosecution will show that technology can only go so far and we are rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns from technological advances. An honest look at the problem shows the key to increasing the speed with which TSTs are engaged is a multi-faceted problem that requires work in three key areas. First, technological innovation can continue to shorten the time it take to acquire, confirm, and engage TSTs. Second, the problem requires a change in acceptance by senior civilian leadership that allows TSTs to be engaged decisively. Finally, the problem requires the development of joint doctrine that defines how the United States military will manage this capability in the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Target Direction, Range and Position Finding
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE