The Role Of Hornet-D In The Marine Air Ground Task Force Air Combat Element
AUTHOR Major Ronald G. Richardella, USMC
CSC 1989
                       EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
I.  PURPOSE:  To report the results of independent crew-size
studies and use them to justify and recommend a tactical
aviation force structure which integrates the F/A-18D and its
capabilities into the Marine Corps Air Combat Element.
II. PROBLEM:  As a more effective weapons delivery platform
in both the strike and air-to-air arenas, the two-seat
F/A-18D should play a major role in Marine aviation in terms
of both force composition and mission allocation.  Both
flight testing and simulation have proven the superior
survivability and weapons employment ability of two-seat
aircraft.  Adoption of the F/A-18D into Marine aviation would
enhance warfighting capabilities while reducing the logisti-
cal support necessary to support the various aircraft used
today to accomplish our tactical missions.  Capabilities of
the all-Hornet force would eventually exceed present
capabilities due to the aircraft's performance character-
istics and its ability to integrate emerging technology.
III.  DATA.  The Marine Corps currently has twelve single-
seat F/A-18 squadrons responsible for conducting antiair
warfare (AAW) and offensive air support (OAS).  Its five-
squadron all-weather attack force is becoming increasingly
difficult to maintain and support.  Its photo-reconnaissance
squadron uses an aging aircraft in need of replacement.  All
of its tactical air coordination (airborne)/forward air con-
troller (airborne) (TAC(A)/FAC(A)) aircraft are being retired
this year.  Independent studies present overwhelming evidence
that two-seat strike/fighter aircraft are capable of superior
performance in the air-to-ground and air-to-air arenas, and
are more survivable.  The incorporation of Hornet-D as our
primary all-weather attack, photo-reconnaissance, and
TAC(A)/FAC(A) aircraft would provide a tactically superior,
logistically supportable aircraft, fully capable of AAW and
OAS, to compliment our current fighter/attack force.
IV.   CONCLUSIONS.  The dual-seat F/A-18D provides the Marine
Corps with an economically feasible, tactically superior,
logistically supportable option for the future.
V.  RECOMMENDATIONS.  The Marine Corps should replace its A-6
squadrons (all-weather attack), RF-4B squadron (photo-
reconnaissance), and OA-4 squadrons (TAC(A)/FAC(A)) with six,
twelve-plane F/A-18D squadrons.  This transition requires
supporting fewer aircraft than at present with a system which
is already in place.  Most importantly, however, it provides
the Marine Corps with vastly superior performance and the
ability to exceed current capabilities as the technology is
developed and incorporated.
THESIS: As a more effective weapons delivery platform in both
        the strike and air-to-air arenas, the two-seat
        F/A-18D should play a major role in Marine aviation
        in terms of both force composition and mission
      A.  One seat/two seat debate
      B.  Historical perspective
      C.  Timeliness of raising issue
      D.  Methods of addressing issue
      A.  Autonetics
      B.  U. S. Navy
      C.  F. ter Braak
      D.  Boeing
      E.  Hughes (1969)
      F.  Hughes (1975)
      G.  CNA
      A.  Study conclusions
      B.  Author's conclusions
      A.  Structure
      B.  Mission Allocation
      C.  Deployment
      D.  Employment
                     AIR COMBAT ELEMENT
    Is there a role for the Hornet-D in Marine Aviation?
Indeed, is there a need for a two-seat fighter-attack
aircraft in any aviation scenario given the technology
available today?  Can one man do it all, or have the
performance capabilities of modern flying machines
exceeded the ability of human pilots to control them as
some sources claim?1 In military tactical aviation
circles, one could not pick a more controversial or timely
topic.  Why did such a debate ever begin?  Weren't
fighters always single-seaters and bombers always crew-
manned?  Yes, but times have changed.  In fact, times
changed on May 27, 1958 with the maiden flight of the F-4
Phantom, a two-seater soon to become the nation's front-
line fighter, which would stock the inventories of all
fighter-equipped U.S. military services, as well as many
others around the world.
    To fully appreciate the present debate over the role
of the two-seat Hornet-D in the Marine Corps inventory, it
helps to begin by understanding the reasons why the Navy
initially approved the two-seat design for the F-4 in
        "...No one was entirely certain whether the
    new intercepter should be a single- or a two-
    seater (the argument continues with new designs to
    this day).  In a single place version, the pilot
    workload would be very high, and this factor could
    possibly restrict further development, given the
    technology of the period.  MAC (McDonnell Aircraft
    Corporation) therefore produced an alternative
    two-seat layout, differing from the original
    proposal. . .Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and
    Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) were offered the
    choice and within 36 hours had settled for the
        Having established the military requirement
    for the F4H-1 (two-seat) type of fighter, BuAer
    invited Chance Vought to build a competing air-
    craft. . .the XF8U-3 Crusader III...a single-place,
    single engined design...
        On December 17, (1958) the result (of the
    "fly-off" competition) was announced; the F4H-1
    had been selected as the U.S. Navy's first-line
    all-weather fighter.  The choice of the McDonnell
    fighter. . .was mainly decided by two factors.  The
    two-man crew was judged to be the more effective
    for the mission, given the complex nature of the
    weapons system, and two engines were also
    considered to be an advantage... although this
    consideration was reported to be secondary."2
    This rationale would seem to support the idea that, in
the late 1950's, aircraft capabilities had surpassed a
single human's ability to control them.  However, in
examining tactical aviation developments twenty years
hence, it would seem that technology did advance to the
point which would allow one man to adequately employ a
modern weapons system.  This is evidenced by:
    - the U.S. Air Force switch from the F-4 to both the
F-15 and F-16, both single-seaters, which now handle the
fighter and attack missions, respectively, previously
performed by the Phantom; and
    - the U.S. Marine Corps switch to the single-seat
F/A-18 to handle the dual fighter-attack role of Marine
fighter squadrons.  Only the U.S. Navy has retained a
two-seat fighter, the F-14 Tomcat, because in its view:
        "The two-seat fighter offers significant advan-
    tages over single-seat aircraft in both short
    range air-to-air combat over enemy territory and
    longer range fleet air superiority encounters.
    The air- combat advantages accrue primarily
    because the two-man crew can sight and acquire
    targets quickly while maintaining six o'clock
    surveillance and surface-to-air missile (SAM)
    lookout.  Fleet air superiority advantages stem
    from the ability of the second crew member to
    concentrate attention on sophisticated multiple
    target threats and electronic countermeasures
    (ECM) while the pilot flies the aircraft and
    maintains the essential visual surveillance."3
    In the case of the Marines' switch to the F/A-18, does
the inherent technology truly allow one man to maximize
the awesome multi-mission integrated capabilities of the
aircraft in a given threat scenario?  This is the crux of
the issue, and opinions vary widely.
    For the Marine Corps, a relatively small, integrated
air-ground team, the answer to this question is absolutely
critical.  According to one officer, Hornet pilots agree
that the man-machine interloop in the F/A-18 is one of the
tightest ever designed, and that introduction of a second
crew member into the system will interrupt the delicate
interface and result in degraded vice enhanced
capability.4  This is a subjective opinion, as are the
opinions of those Hornet pilots who state that there is no
substitute for a "second set of eyeballs" regardless of
the aircraft's capabilities and technology.  Of importance
is that this is not a moot issue for the Marine Corps
since, at the writing of this paper, a Deputy Chief of
Staff for Aviation proposal sits on the Commandant's desk
which involves the replacement of all five all-weather
attack A-6 squadrons and the photo-reconnaissance RF-4
squadron with six squadrons containing the F/A-18D two-
seat aircraft.5  Because both the single- and two-seat
models of the F/A-18 will be configured with similar
weapons systems and avionics, it is imperative that the
Marine Corps understand the strengths of each variant in
order to allocate mission priorities to each type of unit
in a way which will best support its mission.  This
research paper, based on a review of several objective,
independent crew size studies, will make recommendations
relative to the assignment of mission priorities for each
community as well as recommendations for peacetime
geographical employment which would enhance training in
support of the mission of the air combat element of the
Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF).
    For an appreciation of the basis upon which these
recommendations will be made, a synopsis of the findings
of all crew size studies used is presented.
    The Autonetics Division of the North American Rockwell
Corporation did a study in 1967 of one-man crew
effectiveness for the F-X (experimental) fighter
aircraft.  Mission scenarios selected were:
    - fighter screen;
    - point intercept;
    - day interdiction;
    - all-weather strike.
    Results and conclusions were as follows:
    - a one-man system optimized for air-to-air missions
will be effective for air-to-ground missions also;
    - the controls and displays necessary to operate and
monitor this system will fit in a one-man cockpit;
    - the performance of this system shows reduced
dependence on crew size/performance;
    - this system will not cause problems for a one-man
crew in non-tactical regimes such as takeoff and landing;
    - the system can achieve its capabilities through
utility, centralization, integration, and increased
automation/advanced technology.
In general the study concluded that a one-man crew would
not be overloaded.  However, the study did not consider
degraded mode operation.  It was also not apparent that
varying threat levels were utilized in judging pilot
performance in different mission scenarios.
    As a component of the same study, Air Force combat
flying personnel were interviewed.  They agreed that a
two-man crew is desirable when:
    - flying CAP (combat air patrol) missions requiring
long range radar detection;
    - navigating difficult low altitude air-to-ground
missions; and
    - when degraded mode operations cannot be handled by
one man.6
    U.  S. Navy
    In research conducted by the U.S. Navy and summarized
in 1973, the merits of a two-man aircraft in the
air-to-air and fleet air superiority roles are discussed
as already indicated above.  However, it is also added
        ... A two-man crew permits a double check on
    flight procedures and minimizes diversion of pilot
    attention from flying the aircraft.  Dual seat
    aircraft consequently enjoy a 2 to 1 safety
    improvement over single seaters in Navy
        The high combat kill effectiveness. .. combined
    with low losses due to accidents and enemy action
    make the second seat a good investment for Navy
    F.  ter Braak
    For the purpose of determining whether or not a second
crewmember reduces cockpit workload, F. ter Braak (1974)
studied the physical, mental, and psychological factors of
crews during strike, attack and reconnaissance missions.
It was concluded that workload was not reduced because
each crewman performs his tasks under the same conditions
as a single pilot crew.  In fact, it was also ter Braak's
opinion that workload increased due to the need for crew
coordination.8  No further details are available,
however, which define the parameters of this study.
    This study compared one- and two-man crew performance
in visually acquiring small ground targets from low
altitude (200 feet) at various airspeeds ranging from Mach
.4 to 1.2 (approximately 300 mph to 900 mph at sea
level).  Performance was measured in terms of range at
visual acquisition, acquisition errors, and time and
distance required to designate the target after visual
acquisition.  The findings were as follows:
    - two-man crews acquired targets at significantly
greater ranges at lower airspeeds.  These distances
decreased as airspeed increased;
    - at Mach 1.2, acquisition probability was poorer and
nonacquisitions occurred at about the same rate for either
sized crew;
    - little change in performance was noted in single-man
crews as test conditions varied;
    - both one- and two-man crews acquired targets at
significantly greater ranges during a second pass over the
test area; and
    - acquisition distance varied by individual target
under all test conditions.9
    Generally, the results can be characterized as
        "... The two-place multi-mission fighter/attack
    aircraft system appears.. .to provide the best
    probability of mission success. .. and. . .has
    advantages if degraded-mode operations are
    required, and could improve target acquis ition
    performance under any mission situation.. "10
Major criticisms of this work, however, are "the lack of
any out-of-cockpit visual tasks other than the visual
target acquisition task and the failure to vary crew
workload in a controlled manner over a large range."11
    Hughes (1969)
    A one- versus two-man crew study was done by Hughes
Aircraft Company during development of the F-15.  The
study concluded that two men could better exploit the
avionics system than one.  However, it was also discovered
that the long term cost of adding the automatic features
necessary to compensate for a second crewman was not
significant when compared to the aircraft performance
penalties involved with adding the second seat.  Hughes
thus finally concluded that the workload would be small
enough so that one man could effectively employ the
    Hughes (1975)
    Because it was felt that existing information
(summarized previously) could not address the question of
a single pilot's ability to both control the aircraft and
designate radar targets, the U.S. Air Force Avionics
Laboratory initiated a study to investigate the crew size
requirement for tactical all-weather strike aircraft.
This study was conducted by the Display Systems and Human
Factors Department of Hughes Aircraft Company in 1975 for
specifically determining whether a radar should be used in
single-seat aircraft.
    This study required a crew (one- or two-man) to
perform tasks which included:
    - flight control
    - air-to-air radar monitoring and target lock-on
    - radar warning receiver monitoring
    - countermeasures activation
    - outside-cockpit threat detection
    - ground map radar target recognition and designation
    - communications with airborne command and control
center and second crewman.
Five threat densities from one to over fourteen threats
per minute were used.  Performance was measured in terms
of flight control (heading, altitude, etc.), threat
detection and response, and ground map target
acquisition.  Results are summarized as follows:
    - as threat density increased, flight control
performance degraded, especially altitude control; this
occurred much more rapidly for one-man crews;
    - there was no appreciable difference for inside
cockpit threat detection during the target acquisition
phase, except at the highest threat density, where one-man
crews were better.  This was caused by a crew coordination
breakdown in the two-man crews.  However, during the
penetration phase two-man crews were slightly better;
    - two man crews were significantly better in
outside-cockpit threat detection by a factor of forty to
ninety-five percent;
    - less radar target acquisition time was required by
two-man crews except at the highest threat density.  The
probable reason for this is the ignoring of outside-
cockpit threats by one-man crews until the radar
acquisition task was completed.  Thus, one-man crews
sacrificed outside-cockpit threat detection at the highest
threat density in order to achieve higher performances.
    The major advantage of two-place radar air-to-ground
aircraft, therefore, is the "improved visual surveillance
achieved with two crewman and the resulting increased
survivability when over hostile enemy territory."13
    Center for Naval Analyses (CNA)
    By far the most comprehensive, current and relevant
work done to examine the benefits and/or penalties of a
second crewmember is the CNA study entitled "F/A-18
Single-Seat Versus Dual-Seat Crew Evaluation."  This study
was the result of Secretary of the Navy approval in 1984
of a program to develop a night, austere all-weather
capability for all F/A-18's.  The question followed as to
whether one pilot was capable of assimilating and
effectively using all the information which would now be
available in the cockpit.  Phase I of this study
identified penalties associated with a dual-seat F/A-18
(less fuel, increased aircraft carrier habitability
problems and increased costs), but also found that more
research would be required to quantify the benefits
associated with a second crewmember and the optimum mix of
single- and dual-seaters for the Navy, if any were in fact
to be recommended.14  This issue was, at the time,
already resolved for the Marines, who would include eight
dual-seaters and eight single-seaters in each of its
twelve fighter/attack squadrons.  Missions of the Marine
dual-seaters would include reconnaissance, tactical air
coordination (airborne), forward air controller (airborne)
(FAC(A)/TAC(A)), and air defense near the forward edge of
the battle area -- expected to be a "many versus many"
air-to-air scenario. 15
    For Phase II of this study, which would address the
benefits of the dual-seat configuration, five Naval
missions were singled out for simulation (listed in order
of increasing difficulty):
    - day strike;
    - strike escort;
    - close air support (CAS);
    - night strike; and
    - adverse weather.
These missions seemed to emphasize the strike aspects of
the F/A-18, but each included an air-to-air aspect.  The
objective of the simulation was a summarization of results
and conclusions of one- versus two-seat performance.  The
primary measures of performance were:
    - survivability to the ground threat;
    - ordnance delivery performance;
    - timeliness at target;
    - escort effectiveness; and
    - terrain impacts.
    Further, kill removal would not be used in order to
allow all measures to be treated independently.  The
flight simulation was conducted at the McDonnell Aircraft
Company, in St. Louis, in the Manned Air Combat
Simulator.  Five missions, each with steadily increasing
levels of aircrew workload, were flown by six single- and
six dual-seat crews, resulting in 180 sorties.16  The
biggest limitation of the flight simulation was the lack
of experienced F/A-18 back-seaters, but to some extent
this may have been offset by the lack of a wingman for
single-seat aircrews, causing them to have to do their own
lookout. 17
    Results of this study were considered in detail for
purposes of final recommendations, and will therefore be
discussed by sub-category and more extensively than those
of previous studies addressed (see enclosure (1) for
graphic summary of results).
PERFORMANCE.  Duals (dual-seaters) were consistently more
survivable versus the ground threat, but singles
(single-seaters) were more effective when delivering
ordnance on designated targets, especially at the highest
threat level (of the three used).  Based on these
findings, did singles tend to trade off survivability for
ordnance delivery performance?  It was speculated that
under high workloads, there was a tendency of singles to
disregard other tasks and concentrate on a single
task.18  It was possible, due to the no kill removal
scenario, to disregard the ground threat, concentrate on
delivery accuracy, and score higher in this area as a
result with no penalty.  This occurrence, also seen in a
previous study, tends to invalidate the better delivery
performance of singles, especially when it occurred at the
highest threat level.
Singles acquired the correct target during more sorties
than duals (81% to 67%), but the average sensor target
acquisition range was longer for duals in eleven of twelve
sorties.  In seven of ten scenarios duals deviated less
from briefed time-on-target than singles.  On the average,
duals were twenty-seven seconds more precise.  Overall
delivery performance favored singles.  Duals were better
at day strike, adverse weather, and low threat CAS, but
singles were better in all other scenarios. 19
    --ESCORT.  The measure of effectiveness for this
category was separation from lead aircraft when over the
target.  Singles were slightly more effective.20
    --TERRAIN IMPACTS.  Singles consistently flew at lower
mean altitudes than duals, but the number of flights
during which terrain impact occurred was about the same
for both.21
which effectiveness versus the air threat was measured
    - hits per F/A-18 missile launch (AIM-7 {radar guided}
or AIM-9 {heat seeking});
    - percentage of incoming threat missiles defeated;
    - number of air-to-air first hits given and taken on
each sortie; and
    - total hits received by each crew.
Results based on these evaluators were:
    - duals had a higher hit ratio for the AIM-7 (hits
given to hits taken).  The second crewmember increased the
effectiveness of AIM-7 employment, possibly by being able
to launch the AIM-7 from the rear cockpit;
    - singles were slightly more effective using the
AIM-9, although the sample size was very small and results
may be an anomaly;
    - duals were more effective at defeating incoming
short and medium range missiles.  Singles were shown to be
more effective at defeating medium range missiles in a
high threat, but the sample size was very small and this
result is also questionable.  The success of duals in this
area was probably due to the second set of eyes and the
additional crew member capable of dispensing flares;
    - exchange ratios (first hits given to first hits
taken) were higher in all cases for duals;
    - when ranked by fewest hits taken, duals were higher
and therefore more survivable to the air threat.22
    --OTHER FINDINGS.  Duals usually landed with an
average of 9% more fuel than singles.  This difference in
fuel remaining, when compared with the differing fuel
capacities of the single- and two-seat aircraft
(single-seater having more), did not generally exceed the
difference in capacity.  It did, however, exceed the
difference in capacity in the CAS, night strike, and high
threat scenarios. 23
Despite the results referred to above, a consensus of the
participating aircrews expressed the below opinions:
    - singles were adequate for day strike, escort, and
CAS.  Night strike was questionable, but adverse weather
was definitely a dual mission;
    - dual performance depends on crew coordination and
    - the lack of a wingman was a major disadvantage for
    - no agreement existed on the number of duals
appropriate for a carrier air wing;
    - none of the aircrews approved of the idea of singles
and duals in the same squadron. 24
    --EXPECTATIONS.  Prior to beginning the simulation, it
was anticipated that with the addition of the second crew-
member, the biggest differences in performance would occur
in the night strike and adverse weather missions.  It was
also expected, to a lesser degree, that escort and CAS
would be enhanced due to the second set of eyes, and that
performance in the higher threat scenarios would favor
    The following summarizes the results of all studies
and encompasses modifications in cases where sufficient
evidence existed, in the author's opinion, to either
invalidate a finding or render it unlikely on an intuitive
    - Duals are more survivable versus the ground and air
threat, and had consistently higher air-to-air exchange
    - Singles were more effective in the delivery of
ordnance, but duals were more timely.  Dual performance,
however, may have been hindered by backseaters' lack of
experience with the Hornet weapon system as well as the
use of cockpits which were not truly decoupled. 27
    - Singles were found to provide better escort
support,28 but it is concluded that duals could, in
reality, support this mission at least as well as
singles.  This segment of the simulation was judged as the
least realistic by participants.29
    - It is concluded that singles traded off
survivability for ordnance delivery accuracy at higher
threat levels, and that duals would be more effective in
this scenario.  While it is possible that a breakdown of
dual crew coordination at the highest threat levels may
have contributed somewhat to the singles' better
performance,30 evidence from all studies used seems to
indicate that, when in a high threat scenario, single
crews tended to prioritize all tasks and concentrate on
the most important, to the exclusion of other taskings.
This technique would probably result in aircraft attrition
or mission kill in a kill removal scenario or real life
    - Duals performed better at day strike, CAS, and night
strike.  Singles performed slightly better in adverse
weather31 although it was a consensus among all
participants that this should be a dual mission.  With the
exception of adverse weather, it is concluded that at
lower threat levels, both singles and duals could perform
these missions with equal effectiveness.  Differences in
performance during the simulation were not statistically
significant and therefore not convincing.
    - Overall, duals were found to perform significantly
better.32  It is concluded that this is true for medium
and high threat scenarios only, assuming properly trained
dual crews.  With ample time for development of crew
coordination and training in the decoupled cockpits of the
Hornet D, the second crewmember should provide the
attention necessary for increased survivability and
mission performance effectiveness at higher threat levels.
    Based on the findings and conclusions presented
above, recommendations appropriate for consideration are
made in the following four areas relative to all
configurations of the Hornet (see enclosure (2) for a
graphic depiction of below structure and deployment
    - force structure
    - mission allocation
    - deployment
    - employment
    --FORCE STRUCTURE.  Currently all twelve Marine
fighter/attack squadrons (VMFAs) are configured with (or
are being conf igured with) the single-seat F/A-18.
Because of its adequacy for all missions as addressed
above, it is recommended that VMFAs remain as currently
configured in terms of equipment (single-seater).
    Based on the results of crew size studies, and
Hornet's ability to accommodate new technology, it is
recommended that the Marine Corps replace its A-6 aircraft
with the F/A-18D.  Although the F/A-18D does not yet
possess the true all-weather attack capability of the A-6,
it is vastly superior in performance and can be easily
modified to add this capability.  This transition would
also reduce the number of type-model-series (TMS) aircraft
currently supported and maintained in our inventory.
    At a date when an adequate reconnaissance capability
exists for the F/A-18, the RF-4B should also be replaced
by the F/A-18D.  Because the projected F/A-18
reconnaissance pallet will be compatible with all series
of the aircraft, the conversion of this sixth squadron to
the F/A-18D (there are five A-6 squadrons) will balance
the force and further reduce TMS aircraft currently
    Finally, in terms of numbers of aircraft, the
transition of A-6 and RF-4B squadrons should be to
twelve-plane F/A-18D squadrons (designated VMFA(AW) to
differentiate from single-seat squadrons).  This
transition, in terms of aggregate numbers, would require
support of approximately five fewer airframes, would save
substantial flying hour and maintenance dollars, and would
cost nothing in terms of ultimate capability.
    --MISSION ALLOCATION.  Marine F-4s have traditionally
performed the missions of AAW (antiair warfare), OAS
(offensive air support), and aerial reconnaissance.  The
F/A-18 has assumed the AAW and OAS missions in VMFAs, and
it has been recommended for replacement of the A-6 and
RF-4 and the assumption of their missions.  With the phase
out of the OA-4, the TAC(A)/FAC(A) mission will also have
to be reassigned.  Missions considered for allocation to
the various VMFAs and proposed VMFA(AW)s are therefore as
    - AAW (including escort)
    - OAS, including
      --  CAS
      --  DAS (deep air support)
    - TAC(A)/FAC(A) - considered separately from OAS due
to uniqueness and additional training required.
NOTE:  It is understood that any mission, depending upon
the tactical situation, will be performed across the
spectrum of threat scenarios, weather, and at night using
either aircraft configuration.  Superior performance by a
dual-seat crew during simulation of a high threat, night
or adverse weather scenario will not be used as grounds to
recommend that single-seat crews be precluded from flying
these missions.  These crews are trained and fully capable
of mission performance under most less-than-optimum
conditions.  Study results will be used, however, as a
basis for recommendations made concerning allocation of
missions, in priority order, to either community.
    The recommended allocation of missions to each
community, in priority order, is as follows:
    - to VMFAs
      1.  AAW
      2.  OAS
      3.  Aerial reconnaissance
    - to VMFA(AW)s
      1.  OAS - with emphasis on night, all-weather
                attack, and any special weapons missions
                adopted by the Marine Corps
      2.  AAW
      3.  TAC(A)/FAC(A)
Rationale for the assignment of AAW and OAS to VMFAs is
historical and does not need justification.  However,
because at least one Marine Corps aerial reconnaissance
expert maintains that it should be treated as a dual-seat
attack mission,33 the recommendation to place aerial
reconnaissance in VMFAs may generate some controversy, but
is made for several reasons: the single-seater will be
just as capable as the dual-seater of performing the
mission;34 the dispersal of the mission among twelve
squadrons will translate to a broader capability; the
F/A-18D will, should it be necessary, still be capable of
accepting the standard reconnaissance pallet now planned
for the Hornet; and this will relieve the F/A-18D
community from the additional training burden of preparing
for this mission.  The training requirements necessary to
fulfill the missions recommended for the F/A-18D
community, especially with OAS and the addition of
TAC(A)/FAC(A), will be challenging indeed.  The training
requirements for AAW alone are formidable, especially with
AAW placed second among VMFA(AW) priorities.  The high
priority placed on AAW for VMFA(AW) squadrons was made
because of the undeniably outstanding performance
qualities of the aircraft, which make it impossible to
deemphasize in its fighter role.
    OAS, with emphasis on night, all-weather attack and
special weapons should be the highest priority of VMFA(AW)
squadrons.  The current A-6 community encompasses these
priorities and the transition would be natural.  This also
takes advantage of the strongpoints of the F/A-18D and
dual-seat crews in general as discussed in previous
sections.  AAW must be a high priority due not only to the
performance characteristics of the Hornet, but to also
capitalize upon its effectiveness as displayed in the
air-to-air arena during the CNA simulation.  The
TAC(A)/FAC(A) mission is one which must be organic to each
Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW).  This mission provides a basis
for close air support and lies at the very heart of the
MAGTF concept.  The performance of this mission will be
discussed under Employment/Deployment.
    --DEPLOYMENT/EMPLOYMENT.  The F/A-18D should be
organic to each wing (its presence in 1st MAW would be
satisfied through the unit deployment program) as depicted
graphically at enclosure (2).  The notable facet of this
recommendation is that VMFAs and VMFA(AW)s are collocated
at MCASs Beaufort, Cherry Point, El Toro, and Kaneohe
Bay.  There is a two-to-one ratio of single-seat F/A-18s
to F/A-18Ds at each location.  The main reason for this is
to ensure tactical interoperability.  (Commonality will
allow logistical support at all sites without imposing a
burden.)  In addition to AAW and OAS, each air station/MAW
will have aerial reconnaissance and TAC(A)/FAC(A) organic
to its mission assets.  This provides much more balanced
support to each Marine Expeditionary Force.
    What is seen as truly critical to this reorganization
is the integration and assimilation of F/A-18D equipped
VMFA(AW)s into the present "VMFA family".  Collocation at
all F/A-18 sites will serve to prioritize training as
necessary to support rewritten mission statements, will
foster complimentary joint training (e.g. OAS/escort,
CAS/FAC(A)), prevent the subordination of lower priority
missions (as happens now), discourage elitism, and allow
the training methods of each community to have a
synergistic effect on training of the entire Hornet
community.  Joint deployments of some mix of single- and
dual-seaters should also be considered as a standard
practice, since the complimentary missions of both
aircraft, as recommended, would enhance the warfighting
potential of the air combat element and therefore support
to the MAGTF commander.
    The F/A-18 has greater capabilities, and potential to
absorb new technology, than any aircraft we have yet
encountered.  It will some day fulfill all of our OAS, AAW
and aerial reconnaissance needs to the limit of current
technology.  With such a wealth of capabilities at hand,
it is imperative that we understand the strengths and
limitations of each configuration, allocate missions and
prioritize training on that basis, posture our forces in a
complimentary manner, utilize our potential, and plan now
for a future with fewer resources available.  This
proposal provides a tactically and administratively sound
option for consideration.
1"Fighter Aircraft," Encyclopaedia Britannica (1985), IV, 771.
2Doug Richardson and Mike Spick, Modern Fighting Aircraft: F-4
    Phantom II (New York:  Arco Publishing, Inc., 1984), pp. 5-7.
3U.S. Air Force Avionics Laboratory, "Crew Size Evaluation For
    Tactical All-Weather Strike Aircraft," Defense Technical
    Information Center, April, 1977, p. 4.
4Walker, R. W., Maj, USMC.  "New Roles for the F/A-18. "Marine
    Corps Gazette (May 1986), 94.
5Stearns, Richard D., LtCol, USMC.  Personal Interview
    (March 24, 1989).
6U.S. Air Force, p. 3.
7U.S. Air Force, p. 4.
8U.S. Air Force, p. 5.
9The Boeing Company, Military Aircraft Product Development,
    "Low-Altitude, High-Speed, Visual Acquisition of Tactical and
    Strategic Ground Targets, Part VII," Defense Technical
    Information Center, May, 1967, pp. v-vi.
10U.S. Air Force, p. 2.
11U.S. Air Force, p. 3.
12U.S. Air Force, p. 4.
13U.S. Air Force, pp. 4-12.
14Center for Naval Analyses.  "F/A-18 Single-Seat Versus Dual-
    Seat Crew Evaluation (U)" July, 1987, pp. 1-2.
15Center for Naval Analyses, p. 5.
16Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 1-4.
17Center for Naval Analyses, p. 16.
18Center for Naval Analyses, p. 55.
19Center for Naval Analyses, p. 42.
                     FOOTNOTES (Cont'd)
20Center for Naval Analyses, p. 51.
21Center for Naval Analyses, p. 54.
22Center for Naval Analyses, p. 34.
23Center for Naval Analyses, p. 61.
24Center for Naval Analyses, p. 63.
25Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
26Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
27Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
28Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
29Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
30Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
31Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
32Center for Naval Analyses, pp. 64-65.
33Fagan, M. S., Maj, USMC. Personal Interview (March 24,
34Krupp, D., LtCol, USMC.   Personal Interview (March 24,
1.  The Boeing Company, Military Aircraft Product Develop-
      ment.  Low-Altitude, High-Speed, Visual Acquisition
      of Tactical and Strategic Ground Targets, Part VII.
      Cameron Station:  Defense Technical Information
      Center, 1967.
2.  Center for Naval Analyses, Naval Warfare Operations
      Division.  F/A-18 Single-Seat Versus Dual-Seat Crew
      Evaluation (U).  Alexandria:  Center for Naval
      Analyses, 1987.
3.  Fagan, M. S., Maj, USMC, Administrative Assistant to
      the Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, USMC.
      Personal interview about aerial reconnaissance.
      Arlington, Virginia, March 24, 1989.
4.  "Fighter Aircraft," Encyclopaedia Britannica (1985),
      IV, 771.
5.  Krupp, D., LtCol, USMC, Fighter Program Coordinator,
      Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps.  Personal interview
      about F/A-18 capabilities.  Arlington, Virginia,
      March 24, 1989.
6.  Richardson, Doug, and Mike Spick.  Modern Fighting
      Aircraft:  F-4 Phantom II.  New York: Arco
      Publishing, Inc., 1984.
7.  Stearns, R. W., LtCol, USMC, Section Head, Aviation
      Plans, Programs, Doctrine, Joint Matters and Budget
      Branch, Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps.  Personal
      interview about proposed aviation force structure.
      Arlington, Virginia, March 24, 1989.
8.  Walker, R. W., Maj, USMC. "New Roles for the F/A-18."
      Marine Corps Gazette, (May 1986); 90-95.
9.  U. S. Air Force.  Air Force Avionics Laboratory.  Crew
      Size Evaluation For Tactical All-Weather Strike
      Aircraft, Cameron Station: Defense Technical
      Information Center, 1977.
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