"Task One": Airbase Survivability/Recoverability Assessment
AUTHOR Major David L. John, USMC
SUBJECT AREA - Aviation
TITLE: "TASK ONE": AIRBASE SURVIVABILITY/RECOVERABILITY ASSESSMENT
I. Purpose: To address the many factors that airbase commanders and planners will face in
assessing defensive and recovery aspects of an airbase in a pre-attack and post-attack combat
II. Problem: Despite the importance we have placed on high technology aircraft and advanced air
munitions in recent times, we have failed to give equal attention to airbase vulnerabilities and
preparation requirements for war. Our planners and air base commanders need an assssment
methodoly to determine appropriate active and passive defensive measures in a pre-attack
environment and a guide for post-attack recovery operations.
III. Data: An essential ingredient of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) is its tactical
aircraft. These aircraft are required from the first hour that an operation is undertaken until it
is completed. For the most part, they have operated in a "non-threat" environment for many
years. Fortunately, this has resulted in fewer casualties, but it has also resulted in a reduced
sensitivity to airbase vulnerabilities end reduced awareness to the many active end passive
defensive factors as well as airbase recovery operation requirements. Historically, airbases
are lucrative targets and will be attacked. For example, in the Six Day War,the Egyptians
suffered significant aircraft losses at their airbases, and in the Falklands Crisis, the British
attacked Stanley Airport, rendering it useless until ten deys after the war ended. A methodology
for determining airbase survivability as well as determining which factors must be considered
in conducting recovery operations will help air base commanders and planners better prepare to
both defend against a diverse array of attacks and to recover quickly.
IV. Conclusion: Hostile actions, although they can come from many sources, have the same
basic objectives. They are intended to kill personnel, destroy equipment and facilities, and
generally reduce the airbase's ability to support air combat sorties. If the airbase is to continue
its function then it must be capable of precluding demage as much as possible, and recovering
quickly if it sustains damage. An asssment methodology of the many factors that must be
considered prior to an attack and during recovery operations will increase the awareness of
airbase commanders and planners to airbase survivability and recovery requirements.
"TASK ONE": AIRBASE SURVIVABILITY/RECOVERY ASSESSMENT
Thesis: Despite the importance we have placed on high technology aircraft and advanced air
munitions in recent times we have failed to give equel attention to airbase vulnerabilities and
preparation requirements for war. Our planners and air base commanders need an assessment
methodology to determine appropriate active and passive defensive measures in a pre-attack
environment and a guide for post-attack recovery operations.
B. Historical Precedence
D. Chemical Munitions
II. Airbase Vulnerabilities
B. Support Facilities
C. Alternate Launch and Recovery Sites
D. Command, Control, and Communications
E. Airbase Defense
III. Pre-attack Assessment
A. Airbase Defense
B. Construction Hardening and Dispersal
C. Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception
D. Alternate Sites
E. Training and Readiness
F. Command, Control, and Communications
IV. Post-attack Recovery
A. Damage Assessment
B. Hazardous Environment
"TASK ONE": AIRBASE SURVIVABILITY/~REC0VERABILITY ASSESSMENT
"The rising sun had hardly begun to scorch the sands of Egypt's desert as the mornings
peace was shattered by the roar of low-flying aircraft heading westwards. Catching the
defenders by surprise, Israeli fighter-bombers bombed and strafed the serried ranks of aircraft
parked on Egyptian expeditionary airfields, finding the exercise far easier than even a training
sortie. The Israelis pressed home their attacks and by the end of the day palls of thick, black
smoke hanging over 17 air bases marked the destruction of almost 300 aircraft--half the
entire combat strength of the Egyptian air force."1
Having decisively removed its opponent's air power, Israel was free to pursue its objectives
under a secure air umbrella provided by what hours before had been a numerically inferior air
force. This conflict--the Six Day War-- serves in part as a reminder to airbase commanders
and planners of the vulnerability of airbases if defensive measures are poorly planned
In Edgar O'ballance's book, The Third Arab-Israeli War O'ballance describes many of the
aspects of the Air War that occurred during the conflict, in which poor defensive measures
against the air-to-ground attack by the Israelis led to the demise of the Egyptian air force and
"The waves of Israeli aircraft were each allowed 10 minutes over their targets which,
provided they found it at once (which not all did), enabled them to make three or four runs.
During the first two runs heavy cannon fire was poured into any aircraft on the runways or
aprons, while usually on the third bombs were dropped on the runways themselves."2
"Invariably at each Egyptian airfield the aircraft were neatly lined up on the runways and
aprons as though for inspection, and despite the state of emergency no attempt had been made at
dispersion or camouflage."3
"Many Egyptian soldiers and Air Force personnel were hastily mustered to put out fires."4
"The Israelis dropped bombs to disrupt runways, but at first the Egyptians quickly made
them passable again. The continual and spasmodic explosions of the delayed action fuses,
however, soon rendered this repair work impossible."5
"Israeli air raids continued at intervals, aftar dusk and throughout the hours of darkness,
harassing men trying to repair runways and salvage aircraft. Delayed action bombs exploding at
unexpected moments shook ground staffs' morale."6
"A few, but not many, Arab dummy aircraft had been hit by Israeli cannon fire."7
"Generally, Egyptian failure has been attributed by the West, and also by the Soviet Union
to a degree, to Egyptian inefficiency, inherent lack of application and an unrealistic attitude
towards basic priorities. For example, there was no `second strike' capability as most of the
combat aircraft were clustered together on a few airfields. There was no carefully planned
dispersal of aircraft so that some should always be available at remote airfields ready to hit
"Antiaircraft locations were primitive, leaving their crews exposed to attack from the
air, and few were `hardened' in concrete gun emplacements with underground bunkers so as to be
able to withstand heavy assaults and still functions."9
Tidel W. McCoy, in his article "Task One: Air Base Operability", Armed Forces Journal
International, said, "It is simple as one, two, three. An air force consists of three elements:
the airbase from which aircraft are launched and recovered, the aircraft themselves, and the
air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions that make the sorties productive." McCoy continues to
note that, "Air Force Secretary Pete Aldridge believes (September 1987) we've done a pretty
good job of meeting what he calls Task Two--obtaining the most capable aircraft that modern
technology permits--and Task Three--obtaining sufficient stocks of preferred munitions such
as low-level laser-guided bombs, Maverick antitank missiles, Durandel runway busters, and
the advanced medium range air-to-air missle. The time has come to place emphasis on Task
One--the air base itself."10
In wartime, airbases are the fighting bastions from which the Marine Corps air combat
element will conduct combat sorties in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF)
during sustained operations ashore. The airbase support infrastructure must be capable of
supporting sustained air operations. Depite the importance we have placed on high technology
aircraft and advanced air munitions in recent times we have failed to give equal attention to
airbase vulnerabilities and preparation requirements for war. Our planners and air base
commanders need an assssment methodology to determine appropriate active and passive
defensive measures in a pre-attack environment and a guide for post-attack recovery
opeartions. Many factors must be considered in determining the overall status of an airbase's
capability to sustain air operations. Determining the potential threat, assessing current airbase
capability to support air operations, identifying vulnerabilities, and developing an overall
estimate of pre-attack and post-attack functional area readiness status will assist air base
commanders and planners in enhancing airbase defense. This will preclude incidents like the
one the Egyptians experienced almost twenty years ago. The time has come for the Marine Corps
to get in step with the Air Force by placing emphasis on "Task One".
Our airfields have not been attacked by a determined enemy for a long time. There were a few
incidents during the Korean War, and several unguided rockets were directed at our airfields
during the Vietnam War; however, today's military forces are capable of attacking enemy air
support bases in a variety of ways:
conducting multiple air strikes using conventional, nuclear, and chemical weapons; launching
precision guided munitions from air and sea based platforms; and delivering long range
surface-to-surface missiles. In addition to general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, and
precision guided munitions, military forces are using special airfield destruction ordnance for
destroying pavements and subsurface runway areas. Delivered by fixed-wing attack aircraft,
the ordnance is designed to penetrate runway pavements and explode underground causing
maxium damage for a more permanent effect. Using these special munitions will require fewer
aircraft sorties to destroy air base runway operating surfaces. Runway surfaces can also be
damaged and made useless by the spalling affect caused by cluster bombs and unremoved
unexploded ordance that suddenly explodes during recovery and repair of runways. Military
forces should expect follow-on air attacks by the enemy against runways with the above types of
munitions to keep the runway in an non-operational status.
Soviet military planners have long been interested in how military forces use air raid and
interdiction tactics against air bases. Joseph DiLullo points this out in his article entitled,
"Keeping the Air War on the Ground," published in Proceedings. He cites an article written
by a Soviet Colonel named Ye Tomilin who wrote, "In the 1950s through the 1970s, no local
conflict involving modern combat aircraft and air defense weapons was carried out without air
strikes against enemy airfields. The experience of local wars affirmed that the trends of the past
are constantly repeated on a new basis, with sharply increased capabilities of the weapons. The
focus of these operations was given to knocking out the operating area of the airfield and the
concrete landing strip (for a certain time), Concrete-piercing bombs were used for sealing off
the airfield, and craters from them prevented the taking off and landing of aircraft."11
Military forces, in fact, have used airbase attack and runway interdiction tactics in
the racent past to include:
-The Yom Kippur War (October l973): After the Six-Day War, the Arabs adbpted
hardened hangarettes to protect and disperse their aircraft more effectively, and as a result, lost
only 22 aircraft. These initiatives forced the Israeli Air Force to hit Arab runways and
taxiways repeatedly with general-purpose bombs in order to suppress Arab aircraft operations
on a day-to-day basis. The bombings pinned down Arab aircraft and prevented their incoming
aircraft from landing.12
-The Turkish Invasion of Cyprus (July l974): Turkish aircraft attacked the Nicosia
International Airport from 20 July through 22 July, disabling the airport's main and secondary
runways. A Cypriot-British engineering force worked for five weeks-- under peacetime
conditions- -to restore the airport's runways to operation.13
-The Falklands Crisis (June 1982) British Vulcan bombers and Harrier vertical-short
takeoff and landing aircraft attacked the Falkland Islands' Stanley Airport three times, focusing
their afforts on the airfield. The airfield wasn't repaired and ready for operations until ten days
after the war ended.14
-Operation Epervier (February 1986): On 16 February, France sent 16 Jaguar strike
fighters to bomb Quadi Doum airfield in the Chadian captial of Ndjamena to blunt a
Libyan-backed drive against French-supported Chad. The Jaguars dropped BAP- 100
anti-runway bombs that left the airfield badly cratered and unable to support aircraft
operations. The airfield was reopened to wide-bodied aircraft two days later.15
In another article entitled, "Forward Airbases: Vulnerable but Survivable," published in
Proceedings, Joseph G. Dilullo wrote, "Soviet doctrine stresses that naval forces should help
keep the air war on the ground by participating in combined-arms operations aimed at key
land-based targets, such as forward airbases." He further writes about the character of Soviet
air tactics, reinforcing an article written by Colonel Alexsander Musial in the The Polish Air
Forces and Defence Review, who said that air operations must be intense so that enemy
aircraft and pilots on airfields do not have an opportunity to recover their combat fitness and be
relocated to the rear.16
Along with intense air strikes, the Soviet military would use special purpose forces to attack
enemy airbases as well. DiLullo supports this statement by further quoting Colonel Musial,in
the same article, "Air operations cannot be conducted indpendently by the resources of the air
forces alone. To achieve its set objectives, it must employ, for example...airborne assaults and
One such diversionary organization the Soviets will employ early on during hostilities is that
of Spetsnaz forces. In an article entitled, "Soviet Vanguard Forces--Spetsnaz." published in
Nationil Defense , James Hansen notes, "In wartime, these units probably would move into the
target area by aircraft, submarine, or surface ships most likely just before hostilities. Once
deployed, they would go into action against targets, such as ship and submarine bases,
airfields, command centers...."17
Chemical munitions also present a threat to air operations by the Soviets. A Wall $treet
Journal article of 12 June, 1986, entitled, "Chemical Threat: Moscow Is Said To Plan Key
Role For Poison Gas in the Event of a War in Europe," Thomas F. O'Boyle notes, "In combat, use
of chemical agents is said to be the responsibility of Soviet officers at the division-commander
level, in contrast to the presidential authority that would be required for U. S. forces to use
them, even defensively. Military analysts say the Soviet strategy for chemical warfare has
changed in recent years from one of heavy-volume attacks along a front line to selective use
against key targets like airfields and ports, leaving conventional forces free to fight
unencumbered elsewhere." 18
Soviet doctrine and other nations' military conflicts support the conclusion that military
forces around the globe consider enemy air base complexes to be high priority targets. Aircraft
located at forward operating bases and in amphibious objective areas will be attacked not only by
enemy aircraft but by other military weapon systems. We should not take lightly the very real
ability of our potential enemies to destroy our air base complexes. Despite the need for air
bases ashore and their supporting infrastructures to support air operations during hostilities,
air power operations will still remain a formidable offensive asset and threat. The side which is
best prepared to both defend against a diverse array of attacks and to recover quickly will win in
Marine Corps Expeditionary Airbase Vulnerabilities. The Marine Corps considers its
tactical aircraft to be an essential ingredient of the Air/Ground Task Force. These aircraft are
required from the first hour that an operation is undertaken until it is completed. For the most
part they have operated in a "non-threat" environment for many years. Fortunately this has
resulted in fewer casualties, but it has also resulted in a reduced sensitivity to airbase
vulnerability and reduced awareness to the many active and passive defensive factors as well as
airbase recovery operation requirements. Current doctrine and training emphasize the need to
gain and maintain air superiority in the objective area, and to get tactical air ashore early so
that it can be totally effective in support of the ground campaign. There is some willingness to
accept air parity as a more realistic anvironment; however, there has been little change in
concern for airbase vulnerability.19 Consequently, the emphasis is on rapid acquisition of a
barebase (a locally available strip of concrete) in the Amphibious Objective Area (AOA), or the
rapid construction of an expeditionary airfield (EAF) complex. Once the strip is available,
aircraft can move in and start combat operations. The required timeframe for this is generally
from 3 to 30 days or more, dending on several variables. Specific airbase vulnerabilities
a. Aircraft Vulnerability. In either the barebase or the EAF, the emphasis is on getting the
aircraft on the ramp as soon as possible. Plans and provisions for: constructing aircraft
revetments; disparsing aircraft to reduce ramp density; creating aircraft hides; and
incorporating camouflage, concealment and deception (CCD) into the operating scheme is needed
to reduce the target signature of the aircraft. The threat may be the highest against aircraft
immediately after going ashore. If measures are not planned and executed concurrently with the
opening of the airbase for operations, significant damage to aircraft is more probable.
b. Support Facilities. Key airbase support facilities are also vulnerable for the same
reasons as aircraft. Generally, support facilities are installed for efficient operation rather
than for reducing vulnerability. More frequently than not, efficiency and survivability
require compromise. Facilities for fuel, ammunition, command, control and communications
(C3), and ground and aircraft maintenance are genarally installed hastily to get operations
underwey, and then improved over time. Eventually, the facilities may get camouflaged and
reveted. Seldom are they dispersed or disguised with a concern for a possible air or ground
attack. Destroy the infrastructure that supports the aircraft, and you essentially destroy air
c. Altarnate Launch and Recovery Sites. Plans or provisions for alternate launch or
recovery in an expeditionary environment must be considered. Much emphasis has been placed
on the flexibility of the AV-8 and helicopters to operate from dispersed and unprepared sites.
However, the highly important mission support aircraft such as the F/A-18, A6E, EA6B, and
C-130 are still tied to an airbose with a hard surface runway and taxiways.
d. Command Control,and Communications (C3). At an expeditionary airbase, the vital C3
network will be stressed to an extraordinary degree during an actual air or ground attack. It
will be particularly challenged during the recovery operation when damage assessment,
unexploded ordnance clearance, and repair operations are being coordinated. Without effective
C3, the confusion caused could add significantly to recovery times, thareby prolonging the
e. Airbase Defense. The Marine Corps has good doctrine and preparation for ground base
defense in accordence with FMFM 8-3 Defense of Advanced Naval Base. Physical security,
parimeter defense, and defense response teams are generally well trained and coordinated. Air
defense consists of the antiair detection system and a limited number of Hawk batteries that are
positioned around the airbase. Yet, if planners do not develop an effective system to provide air
base defense, the air base becomes vulnerable.
The mission of restoring air bases to their required operational capability after an enemy
attack is critical in order to provide vital tactical air and logistical support. Without tactical
air support, air superiority cannot be achieved and ground units lose a valuable combat
multiplier. The destruction of air bases cuts off the rapid and responsive flow of personnel and
equipment. Consequently, no matter how effective our active defenses are, given the number
and capability of Soviet attack systems, we have to assume that a substantial number of Soviet
aircraft or tactical ballistic missiles will penetrate to target. Thus, our air bases must be able
to survive an attack. Pre-attack measures to reduce vulnerabilities will improve survivability
and will enable a faster recovery. A pre-attack essessment model in figure 1-1 shows possible
actions/considerations that may be taken in the pre-attack period.
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a. Airbase Defense. A key element in airbase survivability is the extent and capability of its
active and passive defense systems. The number and location of the antiair defansive missiles
and guns, the capability of the early warning systems to detect and identify potential threats in
time to react, and the communication system that enables effective response are the key
ingredients to active defense systems. Improved physical security measures for specific
facilities or functions must also be considered. Collective protection systems for personnel,
detection, and warning, and decontamination equipment are needed to counter the probability of
b. Construction, Hardening and Dispersal. This functional area of the assessment matrix
refers to those construction efforts required to upgrade the survivability of a barebase or EAF
and reduce material and facility vulnerabilities.
Hardening means placing aircraft, ammunition, and critical facilities (such as the avionics
intermediate shop) in shelters, bunkers, and revetments, so that only a direct hit or very near
miss can do serious damage. Having secure, redundant sources of water and electrical generating
power is also vital.
Another affective means of survivability is that of dispersal. The fewer targets there are in
any one place, and the harder they are to find, the less effective each enemy attack will be. Four
basic kinds of dispersal include rearward dispersal, horizontal dispersal, on-base dispersal,
and mixed force dispersal.20
Rearward dispersal means simply keeping as many critical assets as possible out of range of
the main systems that can do them harm.
Horizontal dispersal involves shifting within the same theater from main operating bases to
one or more collocated operating bases (COBs) or forward operating bases (FOBs). The
advantages of horizontal dispersal are obvious. The enemy has many more bases to attack and
derives substantially less benefit from each successful attack. The disadvantages are increased
operating costs in peacetime and a logistician's nightmare in time of war.
On-base dispersal could provide many of the advantages of COBs with fewer headaches for the
logisticians. Instead of putting all the aircraft in one place, all the munitions in another
place, and all the fuel in a third place, aircraft shelters could be spread throughout the base,
with sufficient munitions for a sortie or two stored with or near the aircraft.
c. Camouflage Concealment, and Deception (CCD). Camouflage, concealment, and deception
offers the prospect of much benefit for little cost. Most Soviet fighter-bombers and all known
Soviet "smart" weapons are effective only in daylight and good weather.21 They have to see the
target in order to hit it. Subdued paint and camouflage netting, properly placed, can do much to
hide real assets, and dummy aircraft and shelters can look, from the brief glimpse the attack
pilot will have, very much like the real things. The value of CCD was demonstrated repeatedly
throughout World War II. During the Soviet offensive at Kiev, the Luftwaffe made 25 attacks on
Soviet airfields; 19 of those attacks were on dummy airfields.
In an article written by Edgar Ulsamer, entitled "The Fog of War', published in Air Force,
Ulsemer makes note of a U.S. Air Force exercise that incorporated camouflage, concealment and
deception. "The latest and possibility most vigorous push that helped put tactical deception and
CCD on the map was a major exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany last May (1985) that
stressed air-base survivability. Code-named Salty Demo, this five-week-long exercise
demonstrated the importance and effectiveness of concealment, camouflage, and deception devices
in the face of a traditional, large-scale enemy attack on a "friendly" air base. Salty Demo
included chemical warfare, runway repair, and simulated runway damage. On the basis of initial
assessments, the exercise proved the signifiant payoff from low-cost CCD investments. The
exercise showed, for instance, that even such relatively mundane techniques as the innovative
use of paint schemes to confuse the attacker and massive smoke generation can greatly increase
Ulsemer continues in his article noting other high pay-off techniques such as three
-dimensional "moulages" that dupe attacking enemy fighters into believing that operational
runways are out of commission. (This was the same type technique the Argentine armed forces
used in the Falklands conflict to deceive the British forces into believing that major runways
were out of commission, when in fact they were not.) Other devices used during the Salty Demo
exercise that proved successful included aircraft decoys, corner reflectors, and phony operating
d. Alternte sites. It is essential to develop an expedient alternate launch and recovery site
capability to provide for the emergency recovery or launch of aircraft during, or immediately
following, an attack. Such a site could be expedient in nature or could be a highway system such
as used by the South Koreans, West Germans and Swedish military forces in their respective
e. Training and Readiness. Training conducted today will enhance readiness tommorrow.
Establishing recovery organizstions, developing standing operating procedures, and exercising
recovery plans will enhance airbase recovery operations. Without stating the obvious, training
f. Command Control, and Communications. An operating airbase will have a C3 system that
is optimizied for the direction of safe air operations. Under combat conditions, an air defense
net will be required that is tied into the local air control net. Ground defense will require C3.
There will also be a requirement for a base recovery net during any attack damage assessment
and repair operations. These C3 requirements must be integrated into an overall network,
hardened, and protected to the greatest extent possible, and provided with reliable alternate
systems in the event of damage. This vital network will be stressed during actual airbase attack
and critical recovery activities, while simultaneously directing repair activities, generating
sorties, and conducting combat offense and defense operations.
But pre-attack preparations are not enough. We must also be able to recover from an attack
to the same degree that we prepare to prevent one.
In the event that attacks are successfully executed against an airbase, a rapid repair and
recovery capability is needed. The capability to launch and recover aircraft rapidly, subsequent
to any attack, is a critical requirement. If damage prevents or significantly degrades this
response in either time or quantity, it is a severe handicap to friendly forces. The ability to
rapidly determine damage and conduct repairs is essential. Thare are a number of highly
important factors that must be considered in post-attack rapid damage repair. The probable
existence of unexploded ordnance and air delivered mines which may be specifically designed for
hampering recovery, will certainly impact recovery operations. In the event of paramilitary
or terrorist attack, weapons may be emplaced for later remote or direct explosion. There is also
a probability of chemical agents being employed. Until these immediate threats are reduced, any
direct movement around the airbase to assess or repair damage will be hazardous or impossible.
Also, considerations must be given to alternatives if repair equipment is damaged. Rapid damage
assesement is required to determine the extent and nature of the damage. Communications during
this post-attack recovery action will be very critical. Special nets and procedures will be
required for close coordination of all activities. Finally, damage repair must be expeditiously
executed to restore full operational capability as soon as possible.
Figure 1-2 provides a post-attack matrix of requirements for consideration by planners and
those who must execute a damage recovery operation. It puts into perspective some of the
aspects already discussed as well as provides a methodology for proceeding with damage
repair/recovery. Two areas requiring further elaboration are:
a. Damage Assessment. Damage assessment activities may be separated into two distinct
areas: Rapid Runway Repair (RRR) damage assessment and facility damage assessment. RRR
damage assessment involves assessing damage to runway surfaces, taxiway surfaces, and other
facilities which directly support aircraft operations. Facility damage assessment includes
assessing damage to all other air base facilities and utilities. Resources permitting, both
assessment operations should be conducted simultaneously and, depending on the situation, may
be of equal importance.
RRR damage assessment is the vital first step toward restoring an operational runway after
an enemy attack. During damage assessment, the location, types, and quanity of airfield
pavement damage are determined and reported to a damage control center. The information
provided is used to determine a minimum airfield operating surface which must be cleared and
repaired to restore the operational capability of the airfield. The minimum airfield operating
surface consists of a minimum operating strip (MOS) and its supporting taxiways or access
routes. Since major recovery tasks cannot be started until damage essessment and MOS selection
are completed, speed and accuracy during damage assessment operations are essential.
Other repairs, such as those to restore critical base facilities and utilities, must proceed at a
rate commensurate with available resources and priorities established by the damage control
center. In some cases it may not be feasible to delay main base repairs until all runway and
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taxiway repair activities are complete. If ruptured POL lines pose significant hazards to
command and control facilities or the base population, immediate response may be required to
defuse the threat. A damaged and burning facility may require immediate assistance in order to
extract entrapped personnel.
b. Hazardous Environment. Post-attack airbase recovery operations will most likely be
conducted in an extremely hazardous environment. Bomb craters, cluster bomb units, strafing
and rocket damage, unexploded ordnance, air-delivered land mines, toxic chemical and adverse
weather conditions and antipersonnel bomblets may be present. All of these "hazards" will
require special handling in the post-attack environment. Recovery plans must be flexible to
deal with unforseen circumstances, such as repairing a crater in a runway that may contain
undiscovered munitions, and which may cause secondary explosions. Capabilities to deal with
unforseen circumstances such as this will require plans to be flexible.
Hostile actions, although thay can come from many sources, have the same basic objectives.
Thay are intended to kill personnel, destroy equipment and facilities, and generally reduce the
airbase's ability to support air combat sorties. If the airbase is to continue its function then it
must be capable of precluding damage as much as possible, and recovering quickly if it sustains
damage. The assessment planning models presented in this paper provide a pre-attack and post-
attack planning methodology for airbase commanders and planners to use in planning airbase
survivability and recovery requirements.
1. Echel Tamir, "Airfield Attack ," Defense Update International, No. 83, Sept/0ct, 1987
2. 0'ballance Edgar, The Third Arab-Israeli War,Archon Books, The Shoe String Press, Inc.
10. McCoy Tidal W., "Task One: Airbase 0perability," Armed Forces Journal
International, Sept 1987,pp.53-56.
11. DiLullo Joseph, "Keeping the Air War on the Ground," Proceedings, January 1989,
12. Ibid pp.113.
13. Ibid pp.113.
14. Ibid pp. 113.
15. Ibid pp.113.
16. DiLullo Joseph, "Forward Airbases: Vulnerable but Survivable," Proceedings January
17. Hansen James, "Soviet Vanguard Forces-Spetsnaz," National Defense, March 1986,
18. 0'Boyle Thomas F., "Chemical Threat: Moscow is Said to Plan Key Role For Poison Gas in the
Event of a War in Europe," The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 1986, pp.20.
19. NCEL, Department of the Navy Airbase Survivability (ABS) Master Plan, Port Hueneme, CA
3 July, 1986.
20. McCoy Tidal, "Task One: Airbase Operability," Armed Forces Journal International,
Sept. 1987. pp. 53-56.
21. Ibid pp.56.
22. Ulsamer Edger, "The Fog of War," Air Force Magazine, October 1985, pp.78.
23. Eschel T.,"Highway or Runway," Defense Update International, No. 54, pp.25-34.
Bingham, Price T LtCol (USAF), "Air Base Survivabiliiy An Essential Element of Theater Air
Power," Amphibious Warfare Review, Spring 1986, pp. 8-13.
Bingham, Price T. LtCol (USAF), "Air Base Survivability and V/STOL Aircraft: A Gap In Air
Force Doctrine," Air University Review, Jan-Feb 1986, pp. 52-57.
DiLullo, Joesph G., "Forward Airbases: Vulnerable but Survivable," Navy Institute
Proceedings,Jan 1989,pp. 112-114.
Eshel Tamir, "Airfield Attack,"Defense Update International, No. 83, Sept/Oct. 1987, pp.
Eshel, T. "Highway or Runway," Defense Update International, No. 54, pp. 25-34.
Garby, James D. LtCol (USAF), "Using Every Air Base to Support the Counteroffensive: A
Support Perspective," Air Force Journal of Logistics, Summer 1988, pp. 18-21.
Hansen James, "Soviet Vanguard Forces-Spetsnaz," National Defense, March 1986,
Jackson Paul, "Living a `Sheltered' Life," Armed Forces, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp.28-32.
McCoy, Tidal, "Task One: Air Base 0perability," Armed Forces Journal International,
Sept- 1987, p.53-56.
MCDEC, USMC, On the Development of an Operational Concept for the Marine Corps
Expeditionary Airfield (EAF) System 1985- 1995, Quantico, VA ,March 1984.
NCEL, Department of the Navy Airbase Survivability (ABS) Master Plan? Port Hueneme, CA, 3
0'Ballance, Edgar, The Third Arab- Israeli War, Archon Books, The Shoe String Press, Inc.
O'Boyle, Thomas F, "Chemical Threat: Moscow is Said to Plan Key Role for Poison Gas In the
Event of War in Europe," The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 1986, pp. 20.
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