Airpower Against an Army: Challenge and Response in CENTAF's by Lt. Col., USAF, William F. Andrews, Air University Press

By Lt. Col., USAF, William F. Andrews, Air University Press

Colonel Andrews concentrates on tactical innovation in the course of struggle. He examines the level to which USAF doctrine ready the USA significant Command Air Forces (CENTAF) for its undertaking opposed to the Republican shield Forces Command (RGFC). He describes how CENTAF adjusted air operations opposed to Iraq's RGFC within the 1990-91 invasion of Kuwait. CENTAF instituted six major tactical ideas in a single week that required its aviators to create new strategies in the course of wrestle operations. Colonel Andrews evaluates these thoughts simply because they enabled CENTAF to fulfill theater goals. He recommends that the Air strength determine capability to degree air operations opposed to land forces in the course of peacetime as the press of warfare doesn't offer time for mirrored image and research.

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Additional info for Airpower Against an Army: Challenge and Response in CENTAF's Duel with the Republican Guard

Sample text

The detrimental impact of this decision was not apparent because there was very little feedback on the state of operations against the RGFC formations. CENTAF headquart ers knew little more than numbers of strikes flown. 139 Wings, therefore, received no feedback from higher headquarters, and wing impressions were formed by the highly individual (and 36 ANDREWS often inaccurate) impressions of the aircrews returning from strikes. Successful orientation (and therefore adaptation) requires knowledge of the enemy state and actions in addition to knowledge of one’s own condition and actions.

The tactics were left to the wing planners, who devised a good plan to deal with the uncertainty of a new situation. Personal efforts and connections led to the fortunate acquisition of valuable target planning materials. The wing was able to implement the changed tasking in a timely manner, two days from first tasking to execution. Inexperience with mass formations posed problems, but their use was a prudent measure to cope with uncertainty. Increased firepower allowed the formations to cope with Iraqi air defenses better, and presence of other aircraft helped the pilots to cope psychologically with a new, intimidating environment.

The USAF’s quantitative analysis led to the adoption of a subobjective that quickly captured the attention of the CINC, ground commanders, air commanders, and their staffs. The Air Force agreed to destroy at least 50 percent of the Iraqi Army’s tanks and artillery. This prospect was so riveting it nearly became the only goal of concern in the minds of some. Several possible attrition figures had been discussed during the planning. 91 Although the projections changed frequently, Glosson briefed the CENTAF wing commanders on 18 December that the Republican Guard would require 600 sorties per day for four days to reach the 50 percent goal, and that 90 percent could be achieved in nine days.

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