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 warfare. He examines the level to which USAF doctrine ready the U.S. significant Command Air Forces (CENTAF) for its undertaking opposed to the Republican protect 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 suggestions in a single week that required its aviators to create new strategies in the middle of strive against operations. Colonel Andrews evaluates these concepts simply because they enabled CENTAF to fulfill theater goals. He recommends that the Air strength determine skill to degree air operations opposed to land forces in the course of peacetime as the press of conflict doesn't supply time for mirrored image and research.

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

Sample text

40 ANDREWS Feedback on B-52 activities reinforced the prewar perception that they were not well suited for the destruction of point targets. When photos of the KTO became available, B-52 attacks were clearly distinguished from other attacks, and the results were discouraging. Quarter-mile long strings of bomb craters were observed in the vicinity of ground units, with very few direct hits on the widely dispersed revetments. ” 157 The psychological value of B-52 attack, however, appears to have been recognized in Riyadh.

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. CENTAF commanders were unable to perceive accurately the state of the Republican Guard.

The objective was different from that envisioned by deep air attack, reducing effectiveness and hindering measurement. Deep air attack’s primary effects were delay and disrupt, with destroy as a tertiary objective. Against a rapidly moving opponent, delay and disruption may be accomplished economically with attacks on key transportation, logistics, and command nodes. Effectiveness can be measured by following the enemy unit’s progress across a map and monitoring his mobile communications. In the case of the RGFC attack, delay became irrelevant (with the enemy immobile), disruption became less significant, and destruction became the key criterion of effectiveness.

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