Accession Number : ADA324322

Title :   To BAI or not to BAI? That is the Question.

Descriptive Note : Monograph,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : McKay, Steven E.

PDF Url : ADA324322

Report Date : 20 DEC 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 70

Abstract : This paper addresses the question, 'what happened to Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI)?' and what that question has to do with the development and evolution of Air Force doctrine. The answer goes much deeper than just the simple disappearance of a mission term from warfighting lexicons. The disappearance of the BAI mission represents an evolution of Air Force doctrine--not just a conflict with the Army. It's an unfortunate side-effect that this action also affected Army doctrine. In today's joint environment, service doctrinal changes are prone to affect interservice operations--that should be expected. But BAl's disappearance none-the-less demonstrates a maturing of air power doctrine. This maturing went away from long-held strategic air power only, or tactical air power only doctrinal focuses, to synthesize these approaches--something that was long overdue. As a result, the Air Force combined tactical interdiction doctrine and strategic attack doctrine in the Operation Desert Storm air campaign plan that successfully produced operational shock on the enemy across the entire theater. Using Air Force, Army, and Joint doctrines as a backdrop, and taking a look back at history, this paper addresses the issue of BAI, both as a mission, and as a concept. After defining the terms close air support (CAS), BAl, and air interdiction (AI) as missions of the Air Force role of force application, an examination of BAI is conducted in the historical contexts of previous air wars. This historical look at battlefield interdiction through each of the different wars, and its development through the Army/Air Force 31 Inititatives will demonstrate the transition from a doctrinal mindset of strategic air power, to one favoring tactical air in support of ground maneuver warfare.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY DOCTRINE, *INTERDICTION, *AIR POWER, *AIR FORCE OPERATIONS, MILITARY OPERATIONS, MILITARY HISTORY, IRAQ, LAND WARFARE, MILITARY STRATEGY, CLOSE SUPPORT, BATTLEFIELDS, SYNTHESIS, AIRBORNE, ATTACK, TACTICAL AIR SUPPORT, MANEUVERS, STRATEGIC WARFARE, ARMY PLANNING, MILITARY TACTICS, TACTICAL WARFARE.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE