Evolution of Army Attack Aviation: A Chaotic Coupled Pendulums Analogy
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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U.S. Army corps and division commanders pursued varied approaches to integrate Army attack aviation into their schemes of maneuver over the past 30 years. Two predominant schools of thought emerged close combat attack and deep attack. After focusing on deep attacks during the 1980s and 1990s, the attack aviation community drastically about faced towards supporting ground maneuver units in the close fight in mid-2003. Since that time, Army attack units dedicated training to improving air-ground integration, reconnaissance and security operations, and providing close combat attacks in support of ground maneuver units. This monograph analyzes the development and employment of attack aviation over the past three decades through the analogy of chaotic coupled pendulums to explore the influence of corps, divisions, ground maneuver brigades, and the Army Aviation branch upon aviation brigades. As the Army transitions out of sustained stability and counterinsurgency operations, the Army Aviation community should embrace the opportunity to explore methods for attack aviation to execute deep operations in support of corps and division operations while retaining the proficiency in integrated air-ground close combat. Army attack aviation succeeded in Operation Desert Storm due to the experimentation during the late 1980s. Attack aviation units experienced in both deep attack and close combat operations adapted more rapidly and easier to combat conditions in Iraq than those units that focused solely on deep attack scenarios. As the Army explores means to execute Unified Land Operations in the coming decade, innovative applications of attack aviation, developed in training, will enable success in future conflicts.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics