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

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 important Command Air Forces (CENTAF) for its challenge opposed to the Republican safeguard 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 thoughts in a single week that required its aviators to create new strategies in the middle of strive against operations. Colonel Andrews evaluates these techniques simply because they enabled CENTAF to meet theater pursuits. He recommends that the Air strength establish capacity to degree air operations opposed to land forces in the course of peacetime as the press of struggle doesn't offer time for mirrored image and research.

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

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The 3rd sortie were hunt around and blow up whatever you happen to see. It’s tough to discern what’s worthwhile from 15–20[000 feet]. 2-18-91: It’s tough finding a place to bomb that looks like it hasn’t been hit yet. God help the Kuwaitis, that place is a ravaged wasteland. 179 Postwar comments of an Army officer assigned to CENTAF’s battlefield coordination element indicate a complete lack of awareness of the deception problem: “We faced totally exposed target arrays that didn’t move. ” (Emphasis added) 180 CENTAF headquarters was aware of a target acquisition problem, but saw it on a larger scale: CENTAF was concerned that Iraqi battalions and brigades were moving around the battlefield.

The product of these calculations was a graph that predicted an impressive and rapid attrition of the Iraqi forces in the KTO when subjected to concentrated air attacks. These calculations reportedly led Checkmate to conclude that the attack on the Iraqi Army could negate the 15,000+ anticipated US casualties of a ground war, particularly if the requirement for the ground war could be obviated by air action. 85 Maj Roy Y. Sikes, a Checkmate analyst, considered the probability of Iraqi adaptation to an air attack and devised means to minimize the effects of Iraqi countermeasures.

Specialized fighter aircraft were present in more limited numbers. The F-111 was optimized for night low-altitude interdiction, and the A-10 was designed for day low-level CAS. Both, however, proved versatile enough to operate in unanticipated environments. The major exception was the F-117 stealth fighter: with its highly specialized role of night precision penetration and limited bomb load, it had limited utility in other missions. USAF munitions were another key to flexibility. Radar fuses permitted all-altitude employment of cluster bombs, while guidance kits of US laser-guided bombs permitted a wide range of delivery options.

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