Examining the Importance of the Tactical Air Coordinator (Airborne)
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST
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Both the correct application of the force-multiplying effects of airpower and the failures resulting from its misapplication have been evident in the twenty-first century. One must conduct a careful examination of the misapplications of airpower to prevent future mistakes and ensure mission success. Any discussion of the minor errors that have occurred would be lengthy, but one fatal misapplication of airpower must be dissected because of its implications for troops on the ground. Antoine Henri Jomini captures the criticality of incorporating lessons learned in future military operations It is true that theories cannot teach men with mathematical precision what they should do in every possible case but it is also certain that they will always point out the errors which should be avoided and this is a highly-important consideration, for these rules thus become, in the hands of skillful generals commanding brave troops, means of almost certain success. The execution of robust close air support CAS without a tactical air coordinator airborne TACA is an egregious error that costs lives. Although codified in general terms in Joint Publication JP 3-09.3, Close Air Support, the TACA has either gone unfilled or has been underapplied in numerous actions, most notably in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan and in operations over Najaf and Fallujah in Iraq.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics