Capability Gaps Caused by Army Modularity: A Need for Air Defense at the Tactical Level
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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The inactivation of the Short-Range Air Defense Artillery Battalions has created unintended capability gaps at the tactical level that prevent the modular Brigade Combat Team from being truly expeditionary by denying them the organic ability to manage friendly airspace, and to provide early warning and air defense against both traditional and asymmetric threats. A requirement does exist for Air Defense Artillery capability across the full spectrum of operations. Increasing friendly command and control requirements caused by an increased use of unmanned aerial systems make the Sentinel Radar a necessary component of the modular Brigade Combat Team. Additionally, potential adversaries seek to counter our strength of air superiority and defense against tactical ballistic missiles through acquisition and use of unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, and rockets and mortars. The current Army force structure relies on ad-hoc task organization and provides only a limited capability against these threats. A permanent requirement exists across the full spectrum of operations, at the tactical level, for the capabilities brought by the Sentinel, and at the higher end for dedicated ADA assets. Adversaries trying to exploit seams in Army capability through both asymmetric and conventional means will characterize the future operational environment. The Air Defense Branch must move beyond a sole focus of the TBM threat and also shift its attention to counter emerging threats seen across worldwide conflicts. Additionally, acquisition efforts must address the evolving threat and be integrated with greater Army initiatives.
- Defense Systems