Electronic Warfare Support (ES) Direct Support to Ground Forces
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The advancement of aerial reconnaissance drastically changes the face of war and is a keystone to modern day operations. Without the use of real-time aerial reconnaissance, the lack of near real time, actionable information severely hampers the effectiveness of the U.S. military. Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance C2ISR make up the backbone of battle management and situational awareness that is required in todays wars. The major limiting factor in aerial reconnaissance is the ability to provide real-time, actionable intelligence directly to the ground forces, in an expeditious manner. ES platforms are low-densityhigh-demand LDHD, and due to the unending desire and requirement for ISR support, there are not enough assets. As a result, strategic planners divvy out the ES platforms to support the ISR mission in a prioritized manner. Maximizing the capabilities and decentralized execution of electronic warfare support ES platforms will enable a more effective, real-time dissemination of pertinent actionable intelligence directly to the ground commander, in support of irregular warfare. This paper outlines how the advancement of reconnaissance has changed not only the tactical nature of warfare, but also the way the United States and her allies wage war. This paper discusses numerous authors and their thoughts on how reconnaissance has changed the face of war, and then applies thought on how to better utilize reconnaissance to fight war today. The paper covers recommendations to increase the direct support roles of ES platforms. Finally, the paper summarizes the recent trends in reconnaissance missions and forecast how the ES role will affect current and future conflict.