Accession Number : ADA329277

Title :   A Matter of Trust: Close Air Support Apportionment and Allocation for Operational Level Effects.

Corporate Author : AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIRPOWER RESEARCH INST

Personal Author(s) : Costello, Peter A., III

PDF Url : ADA329277

Report Date : JUN 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 108

Abstract : Doctrinal differences over the employment of airpower are as old as military aviation itself. One particular area of contention has been close air support (CAS). The two primary issues related to CAS are its command and control and responsiveness. Soldiers have argued that ground commanders should control their own aircraft, because ownership assures that airpower directly ressponds to their needs. Airmen have maintained that airpower should be centralized under a single air commander to allow for its flexible theaterwide employment. During World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm, ground commanders demanded greater influence over airpower employment. Concurrently, the Air Force disagreed with the Navy and Marine Corps over centralized versus decentralized control of air assets. These two issues of command and control and responsiveness are embodied in the process of apportioning and allocating CAS. In all conflicts since World War II, the US has had the luxury of an overabundance of air assets. Despite a facade of centralization, airpower was parceled out to fill nearly everyone's needs. This avoided the need for any difficult choices. This thesis follows the history of CAS since World War II to examine how it has been apportioned and allocated in the past. It then examines the current joint air operations process. It is the contention of this paper that the current system, rooted in its historical past, does not fully employ CAS to its optimum potential. The historical view of CAS has been as a tactical measure, with limited localized effects. However, properly integrated and coequal with the ground scheme of manuever, it can have operational level effects. This paper examines two theories of the use of CAS at the operational level and then recommends changes to the view of CAS and the process for its apportionment and allocation.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY DOCTRINE, *TACTICAL AIR SUPPORT, *AIR POWER, OPTIMIZATION, THESES, COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEMS, JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES, MILITARY COMMANDERS, DECENTRALIZATION.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE