Integrating the Land and Air Components in an Anti-Access/Area Denial Environment
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
Pagination or Media Count:
The evolution of close air support is replete with examples of friction between the land and the air component. Tensions have revolved around competing doctrine, opposing priorities, and the personalities of operational leaders. From the beginnings of air power in World War I to close air support in Operation Enduring Freedom, the joint force has struggled with the most effective way to plan and execute close air support at the operational level. Once again, the operational environment is on the cusp of change. The combination of fiscal constraints and an anti-accessarea denial threat environment are resulting in a smaller and more multi-role air component facing a robust anti-air threat. Due to these overarching factors, the joint force must plan close air support more diligently and operational component leaders must be in alignment to achieve success. If close air support operational planning is relegated to mere apportionment-styled planning, or leaders do not have a synergistic relationship, the results in the next contingency could be disastrous. To be successful, joint planning teams must incorporate key tenets founded in the joint principles, elements of operational design, and joint functions. Just as important as operational planning, operational leaders must have a relationship based on trust and aligned prioritization, all the while accepting minor doctrinal mission degradation. If the joint force fails to implement these key factors at the operational level, history may repeat these lessons once again.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics