ABSTRACT - MAGTF Air Defense And Maneuver Warfare CSC 1989 SUBJECT AREA - Aviation ABSTRACT MAGTF AIR DEFENSE AND MANEUVER WARFARE by Major James E. Thigpen, United States Marine Corps 15 May 1989 Can the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) defend itself from airborne attacks by a determined threat equipped with modern aircraft and helicopters? This study will answer that question in terms of five principles of war associated with the Marine Corps' newly adopted doctrine of Maneuver Warfare. The method selected for answering the question is to examine several major air defense battles waged since World War II; to examine the Marine Corps' current air defense doctrine, organization, and equipment; and to analyze the doctrine, organization and equipment relative to the principles of Mass, Surprise, Simplicity, Maneuver, and Unity of Command. This study will not focus on the merits of this or that technology versus some other technology. The mountains of literature and data on that subject are suffocating and change daily. Also, this study will not focus on Offensive antiair warfare (AAW) but will address Offensive AAW in the historical chapter. Usually it is easier, safer, and more efficient to destroy one's enemy air threat before it is airborne than after it is airborne. The distinction is provided by the following two definitions: Air Defense is all defensive measures designed to destroy attacking enemy aircraft or missiles in the earth's envelope of atmosphere, or to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of such attack. (JCS Pub. 1) Offensive AAW constitutes operations conducted against the enemy air or air defense system before it can be launched or assume an attacking role. Offensive AAW operations in or near an objective area consist mainly of air attacks to destroy or neutralize hostile aircraft, airfields, radars, air defense systems, and supporting areas. (OH 5-5) The sources used for the historical chapter were all books on the Arab-Israel Wars, the Vietnam War, and the Falkland Islands War. Sources used for the current posture chapter were FMFMs and Operational Handbooks. Finally, sources used for the analysis were written and personal interviews, magazine articles and the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System (MCCRES) historical data for actual system performance over the past 10 years. It was evident in reading air defense history that historians had a slant toward one belligerent or the other. For example, Israeli aircraft losses in 1973 ranged from 107 to 200. However, trends were evident despite some prejudices held by some authors. Finally, analysis proved very difficult because opinions about our air defense abilities varied so drastically from person to person. But, here again, clear trends were identifiable and helped me reach my conclusion. My conclusion is that the current MAGTF air defense system is flexible and capable enough to support Maneuver Warfare doctrine. However, this task will be extremely difficult without organic airborne early warning, better passive sensors, more air defense firepower, and a more responsive organization for MAGTF air defense. WAR IN THE MODERN ERA SEMINAR MAGTF AIR DEFENSE AND MANEUVER WARFARE Major James E. Thigpen, USMC (15 May 1989) Marine Corps Command and Staff College Marine Corps Combat Development Command Quantico, Virginia 22134-5050 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Table of Contents ii Introduction 1 Chapter I: Major Air Defense Operations Since WWII 6 II: MAGTF Air Defense - Current Posture 40 III: MAGTF Air Defense - Analysis 61 IV: Conclusions 78 Endnotes 83 Bibliography 86 INTRODUCTION In the 44 years period since the end of World War II there have been sweeping changes in the nature of air warfare and air defense. Before and throughout World War II, air warfare was conducted by propeller driven aircraft operating from airfields or aircraft carriers, controlled only toward the end of the war by simplistic radar. Air defense was conducted by gun-equipped fighter aircraft and ground-based antiaircraft guns, again controlled with limited success by rudimentary radar systems. Since World War II, two major developments have revolutionized air warfare and dramatically complicated the task of air defense. First, the jet aircraft engine increased the speed of fixed- wing military aircraft from less than 350 miles per hour up to 3 times the speed of sound. The jet engine also increased the range and payload of military aircraft. Speed, however, was the primary factor complicating air defense operations. Second, the rotary-wing aircraft (the helicopter) revolutionized air warfare with the ability to operate from almost any location, not just airfields and aircraft carries, and to fly extremely low and slow, utilizing terrain to avoid air defenses. In the arena of air defense, there have also been two sweeping changes since World War II. Computer-controlled radar and surface-to-air missiles have enhanced the lethality and potential decisiveness of air defense operations to a level which can potentially prohibit air warfare from being conducted at all. The computer-controlled radar can reject radar clutter (providing clear target range, azimuth, and elevation), and can guide a weapon (missile, bullet, dart and others) into killing proximity of an aircraft. The surface-to-air missile is an outgrowth of both computer-controlled radar and advanced rocket technology achieved during and after World War II. The surface-to-air missile gives the air defender an extremely high probability of a one shot kill against his target aircraft by guiding the missile (using radar or heat seeking techniques) into the aircraft. This is a major improvement over the manpower intensive and logistically expensive World War II method of flinging literally thousands of unguided projectiles into the air for every aircraft actually destroyed. It must be noted of course that a second outgrowth of ever more efficient and smaller computer-controlled radar and guided missiles is the air-to-air missile fired from aircraft. Air-to-air missiles entered the air defense picture during the 1950s. Today, all major military powers own large quantities of deadly, accurate and highly reliable jet aircraft and helicopters for a whole range of air warfare missions. These include: attacking other aircraft, helicopters and missiles in-flight; attacking targets on the earth's surface; providing aerial reconnaissance; transporting military men and material; conducting electronic warfare (EW) operations; conducting aerial refueling of military aircraft in-flight; and commanding or controlling ground or air warfare operations in-flight. Many lesser powers, including narcotics trafficers and organized criminal organization as well as third world governments, have relatively sophisticated air warfare capabilities in substantial numbers. If the Marine Air-Ground Task Force is going to be able to fight across the entire spectrum of war from Low Intensity Conflicts to High Intensity Conflicts, it must be able to defend itself from these prolific air threats. Enemy Air Order of Battle (AOB) statistics are not supposed to be as relevant in Maneuver Warfare thinking as in straight attrition warfare, but these must be considered. For basic overview, here is what our potential adversaries could throw against the MAGTF: TABLE 1 1 Click here to view image The Marine Corps acknowledges these sobering statics and has assigned the functions of AAW and control of aircraft and missiles to the Marine Aviation component of the MAGTF. Air defense and Offensive AAW are subfunctions of both AAW and control of aircraft and missiles. Is Marine Aviation able to perform its air defense mission? Before answering that question, an historical examination is needed. CHAPTER 1 MAJOR AIR DEFENSE OPERATIONS SINCE WORLD WAR II There have been many wars and countless smaller violent engagements around the world since the end of World War II. In many of these conflicts, air warfare and counter-air (air defense) operations have occurred. From the United Nations action in Korean from 1950-1953, to the doomed French aerial resupply effort at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, to the tragic shoot down of an unarmed Iranian Airbus airliner by a United States warship during hostilities in the Persian Gulf in 1988, air warfare and air defense have become an integral part of modern war. Just as the mounted horsemen brought mobility and shock effect to war only to be countered by the rifled musket and then negated by the machine gun, so the airplane has epitomized mobility (maneuver), shock and firepower during the last seventy-five years only to be countered (but not yet negated) by a wide range of air defense weapons. France was one of the first post World War II nations to learn bitterly just how decisive air defense operations can be when the principles of Mass, Surprise and Unity of Command are applied correctly. During the 56 day assault on the French base at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 by the Viet Minh, France lost 48 aircraft shot down by a murderous corridor of antiaircraft fire.2 Because the French base was solely dependent on aerial resupply, Dien Bien Phu was lost and so was France's colonial empire in Southeast Asia. However, it has been the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the American War in Vietnam, and the Falklands Islands Conflict of 1982 which have most influenced and shaped the future course or air defense operations probably for the rest of the 20th century. These will now be examined in some detail. THE ARAB-ISRAELI WARS Sinai Campaign - 1956 There was no real air defense operation involved in this conflict. It was a war primarily of ground combat.3 Six Day War - June 1967 On 5 June 1967, Israel conducted the premier Offensive Antiair Warfare action in modern history. No large scale air defense operations occurred because on that day the Israeli Air Force destroyed 309 of 340 Egyptian combat aircraft on the ground in Egypt. On the afternoon of the 5th, the entire Jordanian Air Force was wiped out. Then the Syrian Air Force was wiped out on the ground in retaliation for Syrian attacks on the Haifa oil refineries. By the end of the sixth of June, 1967, 416 Arab aircraft had been destroyed (393 on the ground) with only 26 Israeli aircraft lost.4 The obvious lesson for the world in this short, violent air war was that without strong, vigilant air defenses, even the best air forces are vulnerable to surprise Offensive AAW operations. War of Attrition - July 1967 - August 1970 This period of constant air strikes by Israel and Egypt across the Suez Canal has been ignored by writers; yet, it proved to be an invaluable testing period for Russian SAM-2, SAM-3, and SAM-6 surface-to-air weapons systems by Russian advisors. The building of a great air defense barrier along the Suez Canal was begun during this period of sporadic fighting. During this period, the Russians thoroughly developed a layered air defense system with multiple overlapping radar coverages, SAM engagement zones, and antiaircraft gun barriers.5 This barrier would shock Israel and the Western World during the next Middle East conflict. Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) grew in significance during the War of Attrition, just as ECM was evolving as significant in the Vietnam War during the same period (1967-1973). Immediately after the Six Day War in June 1967 "a War of Electronics quickly developed in the air. The Soviet Union supplied Egypt with SAMs for defense against Israeli aircraft. The introduction of these effective missiles redressed the situation that had developed immediately after the June defeat in which Israeli pilots had freedom of Egyptian skies. Encountering SAMs in Vietnam, the Americans had developed ECM pods, which were fixed to the wings of planes and gave the pilots warning of oncoming missiles, enabling them to take evasive action. Soon a `mad scientists war' developed as on-the-ground radar directional, searching, and tracking equipment improved and in the air more advanced ECM pods enabled the pilot to jam, counter-jam, and even deflect missiles aimed at him."6 The Yom Kippur War - October 1973 The major Israeli miscalculation of the Yom Kippur War was the assumption that the Egyptians would not attack them until the Egyptian Air Force could strike and neutralize the Israeli Air Force. Israel believed that this could not happen until at least 1975 or later. President Sadat decided not to wait that long and sought an alternative. When the Egyptian Minister of War visited Moscow in February, 1972, "The Russians proposed such an alternative. The Israeli Air Force was to be dealt with by the creation of one of the densest missile `walls' in the world, composed of a mixture of ..... SAM-2, SAM-3, and SAM-6, in addition to conventional antiaircraft weapons which would provide an effective umbrella over the planned area of operations along the Suez Canal".7 It is instructive to review the Air Orders of Battle on 6 October 1973: TABLE II 8 Click here to view image As can be seen from these impressive numbers, an historic air warfare versus air defense confrontation was inevitable. At 1400, 6 October, 1973, 240 Egyptian aircraft attacked in mass and surprised Israeli positions, including HAWK SAM batteries, all along the Eastern Suez Canal and destroyed most of their targets with the loss of only one aircraft. Next the Air Defense Barrier came into play. "In view of the weakness of their Air Force, the Egyptians under- standably relied heavily upon the Air Defense Command to counter the Israeli Air Force. ... Intending to strike first, the Egyptians expected massive retaliation; their answer was to be the Air Defense Barrier, multi-layer and multi-altitudinal, a combination of SAMs and guns."9 This mass of weapons was well equipped with surprises for the Israelis. First, the Israelis had not encountered the SA-6, or the deadly ZSU-23(4) until this time. Secondly, the Egyptian (ECM) was far better than expected, amounting to what would today be termed Wartime Only Modes (WARM) The Egyptians really used surprise in this area initially by having installed SA-2 ECM equipment which was left behind in crates by the Russians when they left in 1972. "The Russians estimated that it would take 29 Soviet experts about 9 months to install it. Egyptian instructors and students completed the job in 50 days. The radar and electronic capability of the Egyptians was grossly underestimated by the Israelis and others".10 The Israelis had no ECM against the SA-6 nor the ZSU-23(4) radars at all. As soon as the initial Syrian and Egyptian aircraft were returning to base about 1420 on 6 October 1973, the Israeli Air Force attacked and ran head-on into the trap with disastrous results. "By the end of the first day of the war, the Israelis had lost from both missiles and ZSUs at least 30 A-4 Skyhawks, 10 F-4 Phantoms, and a proportion of their best pilots, the cream of the Hunter squadrons."11 The second and third days of the War were basically the same. "A missile expert and U.N. observer officer, Major William Milinckrodt of the Dutch Air Force, calculated that during the first three days of the war `three out of five Israeli aircraft that appeared overhead were hit, either by missiles or guns'".12 This occurred despite having arguably the best pilots and aircraft in the world at that time. The bottom line at the Suez Canal during the first 3 days of war was that the Egyptian Canal crossing was a complete success due to their massed, redundant Air Defense Barrier. The Egyptians maneuvered of guns to protect all canal crossing sites as these were completed. However, a weakness of the Egyptian SAMs was their lack of mobility. The SA-2 & SA-3 were fixed site systems. Though the SA-6 was mobile, it was limited because of the 8-hour calibration time required every time it was moved. The only truly mobile SAM, the SA-7, was not effective because the Israeli pilots could out maneuver the missile in-flight. On 8 October, the Israelis lost 30 aircraft on the Egyptian front and 20 aircraft on the Syrian front. On 6, 7, and 8 October, the Arabs fired over 1,000 SAMs "reflecting a deployment density surpassing that of any known SAM system in the world, the Soviet Union included"13. A big key to the Egyptian Air Defense Barrier's success was unity of command. Their C2 system was so streamlined and responsive that the entire Barrier (800 guns, 166 SAM batteries, and 400 radars) could be turned on and off as an entity to allow friendly aircraft to return to Egypt. On the Syrian front, on the Golan Heights, Israeli reaction to the Syrian advances mirrored that in the Sinai. The Syrian air defense was massed, intense, and well controlled. On 6 October, the Israelis attempted a new tactic using a low altitude, high speed approach to the north over Jordanian territory with a quick pop-up over the Golan Heights to strike Syrian armor from the flank. This was somewhat successful during daylight, but the Syrian armor advanced all night and on the morning of the 7th the situation was again critical, as explained by author Bruce Brant: The airborne pounding began at dawn with successive waves of Phantoms and Skyhawks streaking across the (Golan) Heights firing rockets, cannons, and dropping bombs against the Syrian columns. The missiles and antiaircraft fire wreaked havoc. For example, in the area of Juheder, an Israeli battalion commander asked for air support at first light. As the sun rose, four Skyhawks penetrated to bomb the Syrians, but as they approached their targets the tell tale smoke trails of the SAMs were seen. All four planes exploded in the air in full view of the hard pressed troops of the battalion. Undetered, a second flight of four attacked and two exploded.14 At this point, the air warfare (and Marine Aviation) mission of Close Air Support (CAS) of ground troops should be addressed in light of the battle on the Golan Heights. The lesson was obvious. The Israelis found the conduct of CAS almost impossible in the face of the Syrian air defenses. Also, the intermingling of forces on the Heights made identification of ground targets difficult and CAS equally impossible. As the battle progressed, more and more Israeli aircraft had to be diverted to attack the SAM and AAA batteries so that subsequent sorties could hopefully be directed at Syrian ground targets. The 1973 War proved to the IAF that the old method of CAS did not work and should only be used in an emergency. They believed that the (surface-to-air) missile denied the capability of the pilot to fly over the battlefield, contact the ground commander, and then try to find and attack the target.15 On the Golan Heights, ECM also played a major role in the battle. In fact, "General Hod, former Commander of the IAF said, `An ounce of ECM is worth a pound of additional aircraft, in the presence of dense, sophisticated air defense'."16 Soon after the war started, Israel did receive 200 ECM pods and chaff from the U.S. The new U.S. ECMs were able to counter the SA-2 and SA-3, but could not defeat either the SA-6 or the ZSU-23(4). Most of the SA-6s had to be destroyed by ground artillery fire. The fate of the Arab assault was really sealed on 14 October when the Egyptian Army moved east, out from under their Air Defense Barrier. Israeli ground maneuver units quickly surrounded the Egyptians while at the same time Israeli General Sharon's ground forces finally breached the Egyptian Air Defense Barrier. This breach was steadily widened, Israeli tanks threatened Cairo, and after 13 days the Israelis completely out-maneuvered the Air Defense Barrier (Israel launched 1,000 sorties over their penetration of the west bank of the Suez on 19 October alone.)17 A cease-fire was declared and Israel retained almost all of its 1967 territorial gains, but at a great price. Israel launched over 11,000 sorties, but lost 200 aircraft (107 aircraft by Israeli accounts) and 160 of her best pilots. About 85% of Israel's lost aircraft fell to SAMs and 15% were lost to antiaircraft guns. The Arabs lost 368 aircraft and 47 SAM batteries. Interestingly, thirty-five of the Egyptian aircraft were lost to Egypt's own Air Defense Barrier. Twenty-two were shot down by HAWK missiles. The remainder fell to Israeli fighter pilots.18 In the first days of the War, the Arabs clearly had superior mass and technological surprise. The Arabs had simple, effective tactics and procedures for air defense. They also had clear unity of command executed by a rigid C2 system. The Israelis defeated the Arab's mass by superior maneuver and they defeated Arab surprise by quick adaptability. Air defense mass in this case was indecisive because it could not move to protect Egyptian ground maneuver units in the Sinai. Air defense surprise lost its effectiveness to flexible Israeli tactics. The Israeli use of passive detection systems in their Stratocruisers, direction finding, massive jamming, radar homing missiles and ground artillery helped them eventually defeat the Arab air defenses. The Israeli's had no airborne early warning (AEW) capability, but this was not critical because the Arab air forces did not use low-level tactics to any great extent. This would not be true for any air warfare operations today. Peace for Galilee - The 1982 War On 6 June 1982, Israeli armor moved into Lebanon to rout the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The Israelis quickly pushed back the PLO ground forces. This lead to one of the most significant events of the war on 9 June, 1982. The Israelis decided to push the Syrian forces in Lebanon back to a 40km limit from the Israeli border. Because this would require air support, the SA-2, SA-3, and SA-6 batteries in the Bekaa Valley were to be attacked.19 Here is what happened, as described by Major Bruce Brant: At 1400 hours, the IAF .... attacked the Syrian defense system in the Bekaa Valley. The Syrian defenses were formidable. They included 15 SA-6, two SA-3, and two SA-2 batteries with some 200 missiles ready to launch and supporting antiaircraft guns. These were concentrated in the valley and along the Syrian border. ..... Using artillery, surface-to-surface missiles, EW jamming and deception, the IAF was able to knock out ten of the 19 SAM batteries within the first ten minutes of their first air attack. Before the attack was over, the IAF claims to have destroyed 17 batteries and damaged two others without losing an aircraft. The Syrians counter-attacked by sending up to sixty MIG-21, and MIG-23 fighters to drive the IAF off. But, the Israelis had stripped away the ground control devices used by the Syrian pilots and had an airborne early warning plane to vector them to attack headings to intercept the Syrians. In other words, the Syrians were flying blind while the IAF was aware of where the Syrians were and the best way to attack them. .... By 12 June, 1982, the Syrians had lost 80 planes in air combat without an Israeli loss. The IAF did lose one plane to ground fire. According to U.S. sources, a total of 23 SAM batteries were destroyed. There are two major reasons for the success of the IAF. First, the Israelis were able to change their tactics to take advantage of new weapons systems and C2 devices. Second, the Syrian were inefficient. The Israelis used Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPV's) for over a year to gain reconnaissance information on the Syrian SAM batteries. They knew the location of every site. .... Jamming and deception were extensive using RPV's, drones, and manned aircraft. The unmanned aircraft were able to get the Syrians to turn on their radars (denying them Surprise) which opened them up for jamming or destruction by anti-radiation missiles. While this was happening, artillery was destroying any batteries within range.20 So the IAF, in an air defense role, used unity of command (centralized command and decentralized control), surprise (based on superior intelligence gathered and disseminated) and maneuver once again to shoot down ultimately 86 Syrian jets without the loss of a single Israeli plane in air-to-air combat. Both sides had front line weapons systems and good training. While western equipment has been highly credited for this smashing air defense victory by Israel, unity of command, surprise, and maneuver were masterfully applied in battle and this simply capitalized on good, modern technology. VIETNAM Air defense operations during the American involvement in Vietnam between 1962 and 1973 were almost exclusively conducted by the North Vietnamese and (to a much smaller extent) by the Vietcong. The North Vietnamese steadily built a massed, simple, and redundant air defense system throughout their country in direct response to U.S. reliance on tactical aviation (air warfare) to fight the war. The following table shows the final effect of their system on American air power: TABLE III 21 Click here to view image However, when taken in the context of time, September 1964 to 1973, these horrendous losses lose some of their sting. When viewed as a percentage of sorties flown, it was obvious that the North Vietnamese air defense system did not prevent the U.S. from conducting any portion of its air war that it really wanted to. The real reason for so many losses is captured by William Broyles, Jr. in "A Veteran's Return to Vietnam", The Atlantic, April, 1985: They talked about shooting down American planes with a sort of childlike wonder about why the pilots kept flying into their flak and SAMs. There was admiration in their voices, but pity, too.22 It was a poor set of Rules of Engagement (ROE) and overly centralized control of targeting which helped the North Vietnamese air defenders score so many American kills. An example of the former is given in "On Yankee Station", by Commander John B. Nichols: SAM sites were another case in point. Secretary of Defense McNamara knew that Soviet technicians were installing and often operating the new surface-to-air missile batteries. Because of concern about harming 'neutral' Soviets, U.S. TACAIR crews were ordered by the Pentagon to pass up these sites even when they were vulnerable during construction. One F-4 squadron commander off USS Midway actually watched the SAM site being built that eventually shot him down in 1965.23 An example of the latter is: Lyndon Johnson boasted that `they can't bomb an outhouse without my approval' and thought that was something to be proud of. But whether one regards that situation as laudible or ludicrous, the fact is it didn't work and it didn't make sense. At times it seemed as if we were trying to see how much ordnance we could drop on North Vietnam without disturbing the country's way of life.24 See Figure I for a depiction of the safe havens the U.S. gave to the enemy in Vietnam. However, the North Vietnamese were dedicated, industrious, and brave air defenders. They capitalized on the liberal supply of AAA, SAM, and a few MIG fighters to fight back against America's overwhelming air power. AAA In the period between the Korean War and 1965, American aviators looked at the SAM as their biggest air defense threat and overlooked AAA. They thought that low-level bombing was a way to fly below the SAMs and still hit their targets. When they tried this against the North Vietnamese, they found themselves in a sky full of flak. Again, as Commander Nichols wrote in his memoirs: Through March 1965, when Rolling Thunder began, the Navy's attrition fluctuated between fifteen and thirty losses per one thousand sorties. To put that figure in perspective, the absolute highest loss rate for the rest of the war was barely seven per thousand, and that came in late 1965 and early 1966 when we went into Route Pack VI in a big way. From mid-1966 on, the attrition over the North never reached four per thousand. How can the drastic difference be explained? It's simple: low-level attacks with treetop pullouts put aircraft within range not only of AAA but of small arms as well. Barrage fire worked just fine, even with the relatively limited number of antiaircraft guns available at the time. In early 1965, the North Vietnamese had barely one thousand medium - and heavy-caliber guns; 37-, 57-, 85- and 100mm. By late summer the number had tripled, and by the end of 1966 there were between six thousand and seven thousand guns Up North of greater than 20mm. Few of these guns were radar-controlled, but they didn't have to be. The light-caliber weapons were mobile and could be towed to new sites easily. Pure concentration was the,name of the game -- concentration and fire discipline.25 Figure I Click here to view image Simply stated, good early warning radars, predictable American targets and tactics, and a Mass of AAA guns made AAA a deadly air defense weapons system in Vietnam. SAMs Surface-to-air missiles appeared early in the North Vietnamese defense network, and remained for the next eight years. Photo- recon planes confirmed the presense of SA-2s southeast of Hanoi in April 1965, and the Soviets announced the fact to the world in May.26 As has been stated, the Americans were actually for- bidden from destroying the SAM sites for years, and the Vietnamese exploited this ROE to the maximum. After 1967 there were usually 30 SAM battalions active in North Vietnam which equated to 100 missiles on launchers as a daily figure. Another 100 missiles were ready for reload at the SAM sites and 300 more were usually in storage. Even though 500 missiles up North at any one time may not seem to be a great many, the resupply chain from Russia was uninterrupted for seven years.27 See Figure II. MIGs The flying element of the North Vietnamese air defense system started arriving in 1964 and by mid-June 1965, the North Vietnamese had received 70 MIG-15s and MIG-17s. In December 1965 they started receiving MIG-21s. The first American warplane fell to MIGs on 4 April 1965, when 2 F-105Ds were shot down by MIG-17s Figure II Click here to view image over the Thanh Hoa Bridge in North Vietnam.28 (The Thanh Hoa and Paul Doumer bridges were considered the key Lines of Communications (LOCs) in North Vietnam and were attacked by American warplanes hundreds of times, but proved both hard to destroy and quickly repairable. Predictably, the bridges became the most heavily defended areas from air attack in the world prior to the Suez Air Defense Barrier in 1973.) As in all Soviet inspired air defense systems, ground controlled intercept (GCI) and height finding radars of top quality accompanied the MIGs into North Vietnam from the Soviet Union. This new capability gave the North Vietnamese early warning and GCI coverage over all of North Vietnam and much of the Gulf of Tonkin. U.S. Countermeasures The American counters to the massive, cohesive, and deadly North Vietnamese air defense buildup were inventive and often ingenious. Ever improving aerial reconnaissance denied the enemy surprise by pinpointing his SAM/AAA sites prior to U.S. air strikes. Precision guided munitions, to include Electro-Optical Guided Bombs (EOGBs) and Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) dramatically increased the accuracy of air delivered weapons while at the same time decreasing the number of strike aircraft needed to destroy a target and the time that aircraft had to spend over the target area to ensure success. Also, on-board Radar Homing and Warning (RHAW) equipment was provided to American pilots to warn them when SAM or AAA radars were tracking them and chaff dispensers were mounted on-board to deceive or break the radar "lock-on" of enemy SAM/AAA radars. But probably the most effective and daring counter to the North Vietnamese air defense systems was the Wild Weasel: This new weapons system combined a pilot and an electronic warfare officer (EWO) in a tactical fighter aircraft, a combination descriptively called "Weasel" because its job was to ferret out and suppress or destroy the enemy's SAM, AAA, and AW (automatic weapons) installations. The strike pilots relied heavily on the Wild Weasels throughout the Vietnam war, especially in heavily defended areas such as those around the Paul Doumer and Thanh Hoa Bridges. The "Weasels" took on the SAMs while the strike force went for the targets. The courage of the Wild Weasel provides us an excellent example of supporting forces that are invaluable in air operations. Obviously, the Wild Weasel mission was not an enviable one, and American flying men often say that the call of the Wild Weasel is, "How in the hell did I get into this business?" But that jibe is only a respectful salute from fellow aviators who saw the Weasels write a glowing chapter of heroism in the SAM filled skies of North Vietnam while adding a new dimension to the art of tactical air warfare.29 Just as in the 1973 Arab-Israli conflict, EW played an ever increasing role in countering an air defense system. American EW progress probably culminated during the Linebacker II B-52 missions against North Vietnam in 1972 when EW operations (aboard B-52s, Navy EA-6s, and Marine EA-6s) resulted in only 15 B-52s being shot down out of 3,500 sorties of B-52s and other strike aircraft. The success of the U.S. EW operations is more clearly related when one realizes that 1,000 SAMs were fired at those 3,500 sorties.31 Vietnam - Summary A summary of North Vietnamese air defense operations hinges again on American policy, not tactics. Specifically, the American Bombing Halt (1968-1972) after the Rolling Thunder operation was supposed to convince the enemy that Americans were good guys and they (the North Vietnamese) should negotiate a settlement out of the goodness of their hearts. What they in fact did was to rebuild their supply lines, rebuild the Paul Doumer and Thanh Hoa bridges, and beef up their air defense system far beyond its 1968 capabilities. When North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam on 30 March 1972, it was clear Hanoi had no desire to accept any settlement other than one dictated by a smashing military victory. Despite their mass of SAM and AAA coverage along the DMZ, American air power stopped the invasion. Both sides suffered many losses. But eventually, and as would happen a year later on the Sinai, a ground maneuver element which out paced its cumbersome SAM umbrella and had no fighter coverage was vulnerable and stopped by tactical air power working in support of the opposing ground maneuver element. Finally, a summary of the waning days of the American air war vs. North Vietnamese air defense would be incomplete without mentioning the SA-7. This weapon's introduction is described as follows: The SA-7 surface-to-air missile made its first appearance in South Vietnam in April, 1972. Man-portable, fired from the shoulder, and possessing an infrared- sensing homing system, the SA-7 Strela became at once a serious threat to all aircraft, especially to helicopters and other slow-flying aircraft. Western intelligence had known about this Soviet weapon for about three years, although it had never before been deployed in combat. Allied flyers knew how to deal with the SA-2 missile from experience over North Vietnam, but the SA-7 was entirely new. Some of the first FAC reports described "funny little back missiles following some of the fast-movers off the target." Various countermeasures came into early use, especially among the slow-movers. FAC's and gunships raised operating altitudes. Crews kept alert to missile firings, making abrupt evasive maneuvers to avoid the missile flight path. A hard turn was sometimes effective, by allowing the fuselage and wings to cover the engine heat, upon which the missile homed. Aircraft with flare dispensers, such as C-130's, released flares in order to decoy the missiles. SA-7's brought down several A-1's and FAC aircraft in the northern provinces during April and May. An SA-7 succeeded in bringing down the first AC-130 ever downed in South Vietnam on 18 June. The gunship was operating southwest of Hue at an altitude that should have protected it from the Strela. The target was in mountainous terrain--in a valley with hills around it that reached up 3,500. The SA-7 was fired from the side of one of the hills. Sgt William B. Patterson had the job of watching for missiles and AAA fire. He lay on the aft cargo door, actually hanging out into the airstream so he could get a good field-of-view below the aircraft. It was dark and Sgt. Patterson spotted the tell-tale flash of light when the missile was fired. It arched up toward the aircraft in a smooth curving trajectory, the motor burning with an eery blue-white light, holding straight to its course, not porpoising back and forth the way SA-7's usually did. When the missile was 2-3 seconds away, the crew fired a decoy flare, but the SA-7 kept boring right in, hitting the right inboard engine. There was a loud explosion and a flash of fire as the missile struck. The aircraft shuddered, rose up at the nose slightly and then settle down; the #3 engine separated from the wing. The flight engineer called on intercom that they were losing altitude, the pilots worked to pull her up. Someone else was calling out on the UHF radio that Spectre 11 had been hit by a missile.32 Twelve of the fifteen crewmen aboard that AC-130 died. Clearly by 1972 the man-portable, shoulder-fired missile had come of age. The previously discussed Linebacker II operation which was flown against the major cities of North Vietnam in December, 1972, humbled the North Vietnamese (and their air defense system) long enough for the U.S. to negotiate a peace settlement and get out of the war. Vietnam - Conclusions Conclusions about the true effectiveness of North Vietnamese and Vietcong air defense operations are not easily drawn. They inflicted great punishment on American air power, but the North Vietnamese never stopped American commanders from using tactical air power to achieve tactical objectives. In my opinion, this occurred because: they did not have enough mass of air defense assets, they could only achieve very localized air defense surprise, American technical and tactical ingenuity overcame the enemy's simple air defense weapons and C2, and, finally, the enemy's SAMs were not maneuverable. (One shutters to speculate the cost of prolonging the war after 1973 in the face of the totally maneuverable SA-7 threat.) Maybe the most important lesson for Marine air defenders to learn from the North Vietnamese is that their air defense operations supported not only tactical goals (where they failed) but also operational and strategic goals (where they clearly won). Hopefully in the next shooting war Marine air defenders, and everyone else, will know what America's operational and strategic goals are. THE FALKLAND ISLANDS WAR When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands at 0015 on 2 April 1982, neither Argentina nor Great Britian could have guessed the violent intensity of the air defense operations that would be involved in the British retaking of these remote islands in the South Atlantic. The British won the war and their air defense system played a far greater role in the war than did that of Argentina. So the British integrated air defense system will be examined first. The British Air defense of the British Fleet which regained the Falkland Islands was conducted by a mix of systems, including ship based radars, ship and airborne passive detection systems, Harrier aircraft, SAMs (Sea Dart, Sea Wolf, Sea Cat, Rapier), anti- aircraft guns, and, at close range, small arms and hand-held Blowpipe and Stinger missiles. The result was a defense in-depth (also the MAGTF's air defense doctrine) that worked fairly well.33 Argentina started the war with 241 combat aircraft, and her air losses are depicted in Table IV. TABLE IV 34 Click here to view image The British scored their air defense victory by judicious use of the mass of their air defense assets around the British vital areas at the right place and time; surprise of the Argentines with superior British weaponry (fighter, SAM, and fire control radars) and training (gained by practicing for war against a sophisticated Warsaw Pact foe); simplicity of C2, overall objectives, and commander's intent; unity of command (with centralized command and decentralized control). However, the British practised limited maneuver of their air defense assets due to lack of airborne early warning. The British did not have enough mass of air defense assets to defend everywhere all the time. This was painfully brought home to the British public by the loss of such modern warships as HMS Figure III Click here to view image Sheffield, HMS Ardent, HMS Antrim, HMS Antelope, HMS Coventry, HMS Sir Tristram, and the supply ship Atlantic Conveyor (see Figure III). However, the British point of main effort was the amphibious landing at San Carlos, Figure IV. They massed Harriers, sea-based SAMs and AAA, and ground-based SAMs and AAA long enough and with enough depth to protect the vulnerable amphibious force as it moved ashore and ultimately defeated the Argentinian ground forces to win the war. Air defense surprise worked for the British in many ways. First, the short-range, sub-sonic Harrier became the first line of the British air defense. As Bruce Watson points out: Neither the Sea Harriers nor the RAF version of the Harrier are supersonic. Argentine Mirages and Daggers are capable of speeds nearing mach 2. In numerous engagements over the Sinai, Syrian countryside, and Mediterranean, Israeli pilots flying Mirages have bested MIG-21s. Mirages and Daggers are generally rated among the better combat aircraft in the world and superficially they seem to have many advantages over the slower Harriers. One of the big surprises of the Falkland Islands War would be the performance of the Harriers. Besides their unique maneuvering characteristics, the Harriers had another surprise waiting for the Argentines, their AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles. These advanced heat- seeking missiles proved more capable than the earlier models used by the US Air Force over Southeast Asia. In addition to homing on the exhaust of the enemy aircraft, these advanced Sidewinders have an "all aspect" attack capability which means the pilot need not get on the enemy's tail before firing but can fire at approaching targets. The British deployed twenty-eight Sea Harriers and fourteen RAF GR-3s to the South Atlantic. The latter were primarily equipped for ground attack missions. Royal Air Force GR-3s were scheduled for modifications to arm them with the AIM-9Ls in 1983. Those modifications were accelerated so that the RAF Harriers used in the South Atlantic were able to use the advanced Sidewinders. Argentina jets operating at the limit of their combat radii did not attempt to engage the British in dogfights. Air-to-air combat consisted of Harrier pilots firing their AIM-9Ls or shooting their 30mm cannon at Mirages, Daggers, and Skyhawks as they flashed by en route to their targets. No Harriers were lost in air-to-air combat.35 Next, the British surprised the Argentinians by landing at undefended San Carlos and thereby using the terrain of West Falkland Island to provide air defense against the Exocet missile threat (Argentinian aircraft could not fly-in low-level and get the required lock-on with the missile within the confined waters of Falkland Sound). Finally, the positioning of British Frigates and Destroyers in Falkland Sound and the tenacity with which these ships fought and died to protect the amphibious landing was probably a great surprise to the Argentines. Simplicity worked very well for the British also. Some examples were air defense warning procedures, Rules of Engagement and use of darkness. Air defense warning procedures in the crowded San Carlos Amphibious Objective Area (AOA) were incredibly simple. When condition red was announced by the AAW commander, every British ship in the AOA blew its siren and broadcast the warning on all radio channels. Then the simplest of ROE went into effect in that all British helicopters dropped to below 50 feet in altitude. A weapons free condition was immediately effected against any target flying above 50 feet until the all clear was indicated over radio nets. Finally, the British used darkness as an air defense weapon after the battle at Goose Green during which Argentine Pucaras inflicted damage on the Royal Marines. After Goose Green the British simply conducted all night attacks.36 The British C2 system demonstrated flexible Unity of Command exercised through an intelligent arrangement for decentralized control by sector. Sector Antiair Warfare coordinators were designated just as they are by U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps doctrine. These coordinators made their intent clearly known and various ships knew who was first, second, and third line of defense and what to do if one ship failed to react, as depicted in the following account: Captain John Coward of Brilliant describes how his ship took over. It was the first operational firing for her Sea Wolf close-defense missiles. `After their Sea Dart failed to fire, Glasgow held steady while we fought the battle. We hoped to be able to fire Sea Wolf fully automatic. We took our hands off and let it fire itself to see how it behaved, which it did perfectly. Two missiles were fired and they took out the first two aircraft. They both disintegrated in balls of flame about a mile away. A third aircraft ran straight into the disintegrating parts of these two and it crashed into the sea as well. Its engine catapulted right over our flight deck. The fourth aircraft passed overhead and her bombs hit the water and skipped over the stern of the ship. We asked the flight deck crew if they had seen the markings on the aircraft; they said they had even seen the markings on the bombs! We were very happy with the Sea Wolf.' The Argentinians had indeed lost three out of the four planes and all three pilots were killed. The second group of four Skyhawks came in twenty minutes later, straight out of the sun. This time, Glasgow's Sea Dart system acquired the targets at twelve miles range but a frustrating malfunction in the missile system occurred and again it would not fire and again Brilliant had to take over.37 Admiral Woodward's system of centralized command and decentralized control worked exceedingly well. There are some directly applicable lessons learned by the British air defenders which MAGTF air defenders (and MAGTF commanders) need to heed. These center around EW, AEW, and over dependence on one SAM. With the exception of some good use of chaff, British EW operations were not very effective, as illustrated in this account: Both Argentine and British forces made minimal use of electronic warfare techniques, due primarily to the limited equipment available to the engaged forces. The British lack of airborne early warning (AEW) capability has been well documented. Surely this was one of the most serious deficiencies of the Royal Navy in the war. What has been overlooked by many is that passive electronic warfare SIGINT (signals intelligence), and communications receivers could have provided much of the warning against the aircraft and Exocet missile attacks despite the lack of AEW aircraft. However, as evidenced by the success of three of the four Exocet attacks, British SIGINT provided the ships with little warning of the missiles. Analysts have stated that these results are unrealistic and more emphasis needs to be placed on equipment and readiness factors to ensure that SIGINT is used more effectively. They state that shipboard SIGINT existed at the time but problems of coordination prevented timely utilization of vital information.38 The lack of AEW had the three detrimental effects on the British that it would have on the Marine Corps; Combat Air Patrols could not be vectored to intercept in time to stop threat raids, strip alert fighters could not be scrambled in time to intercept threat raids, and SAM units were not at peak alert and correct orientation when the threat raids came over-the-horizon. Thus, Much has been written about the British lack of airborne early warning radar (AEW). Any shipboard based aircraft type such as the Gannet, the U.S. Navy's E-2, or the RAF's AEW aircraft could have both provided ships with additional warning and directed the Harriers to intercepts of incoming aircraft. In fact, the Argentines had the benefit of their own Neptune aircraft and radar stations on the islands to assist their aircraft in both locating the Royal Navy and avoiding the Sea Harrier combat air patrols.39 Finally, the initial poor performance of the Rapier shore-based missile system (maximum range of three miles and maximum altitude of 10,000 feet) highlighted the problem of depending on only one fragile SAM system. The Rapiers had been deck mounted on the voyage from England and salt water had taken its toll. A more dependable, longer range SAM, like HAWK, and a modern AAA gun could have probably saved many British lives and HMS Artrim which was sunk while supposedly being protected by Rapier.40 While the Blowpipe and Stinger missiles performed well, these systems could not stop Argentine air attacks against British ground forces, leading to the British night attacks previously mentioned. THE ARGENTINES The Argentine air defense system consisted mainly of modern 35mm Oerlikon AAA guns linked to Skyguard fire-control radars, a single Roland unit, and a small number of Blowpipes and SA-7s with an AN/TPS-43 radar for C2. Essentially the Argentines were sorely lacking in mass of air defense assets to stop the British from retaking the islands. Ultimately, they did inflict the following casualties. TABLE V 41 Click here to view image However, the Argentine commander had one primary point of main effort after the British arrived in the South Atlantic: to sink British ships, not to conduct a serious air defense operation. Therefore no more discussion of Argentine air defense operations is warranted. FALKLAND ISLANDS SUMMARY The Falkland Islands campaign is a masterpiece of Maneuver Warfare at the operational and tactical levels of war, much as Inchon was during the Korean War. The one exception to this was the British air defense operation which became a battle of attrition. As already discussed, the British air defenders had enough mass, surprise, simplicity, unity of command and maneuver to ultimately win. But, lack of coordinated passive detection (SIGINT) and especially lack of AEW forced an attrition type air defense battle for three reasons. First, the British could not be pro-active in the defense. The lack of AEW caused them to be reactive and suffer heavily. Second, the British could not see the enemy early so they could not shape the air battle and maneuver their precious few Harriers in time to prevent heavy losses. Third, lack of AEW and airborne SIGINT caused the British to be unable to deny rear area disruption and destruction within the AOA. The British were lucky that their standard, somewhat static defense in-depth worked given their inability to see, shape, and maneuver in the skies over the Falklands. The Argentines simply started running out of aircraft before the British ran out of air defense weapons with which to knock them down. But, the British used what they had, not what they wished they had, to win. POST WORLD WAR II SUMMARY This study of major air defense operations since World War II highlights the fact that mass, surprise (and denial thereof), simplicity, unity of command, and especially maneuver are critical to successful air defense operations. If one cannot, for whatever reason (political, technical or tactical) conduct a completely decisive Offensive AAW campaign and must conduct air defense operations, then these five principles must be intelligently applied. However, a clear thread that runs through these operations on the side of the winners is flexibility in application of these principles. Flexibility to focus on the enemy's actual actions and intentions, to deviate from pre-war doctrine in the face of reality, and to adjust before one's adversary can counter-adjust or counter-react has consistently lead to tactical success in the air warfare vs. air defense arena. Therefore this examination of MAGTF air defense must include flexibility along with the five principles of war to be complete. Two recent wars in the Middle East, the Iran-Iraq War and Afghanistan, involved air defense operations. There is a paucity of reliable information on the Iran-Iraq War available to the west. Therefore, I did not attempt to give a history of that war. In the Afghanistan War, the U.S. Stinger missile is widely held to have been a major threat to Soviet air operations in that country. Apparently, the lethality and maneuverability of the Stinger seriously hindered Soviet air operations and may have contributed to the Soviet decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1988 and 89. CHAPTER II MAGTF AIR DEFENSE - CURRENT POSTURE The MAGTF is theoretically organized, equipped and trained to provide its own air defense. Current MAGTF doctrine realistically assumes vital external support for some key elements of the MAGTF air defense will be available. This chapter will examine the current organization, equipment and doctrine for MAGTF air defense. Organization The Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) is the organization which provides air defense for the MAGTF Commander. After World War II, a National Security Act provided for a Marine Corps with three active MAWs and one reserve MAW and that is still the status in 1989. Within each MAW, two subordinate organizations provide pieces of the MAGTF air defense system, the Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) and the Marine Air Control Group (MACG). See Figure V. Figure V 1 Click here to view image The combat organizations provided by these administrative organizations are as follows: MACG - (Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron) provides Tactical Air Command Center (TACC) - centralized air defense command post for the MAGTF Tactical Air Commander (TAC). MACS - (Marine Air Control Squadron) provides Tactical Air Operations Center (TAOC) - decentralized air defense control center(s) for ground-based surveillance, detection, identification, and weapons control. LAAM - (Light Antiaircraft Missile Battalion) provides, Improved HAWK SAM batteries with 40km range, radar guided missile. LAAD - (Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion) provides Stinger SAM batteries armed with a man-portable missile of 3-5 km range. MAG - Provides following aircraft squadrons: VMFA - F/A-18 fighter aircraft or F-4 fighter aircraft. VMA - AV-8B attack aircraft with air-to-air weapons capability. HMA - AH-1 attack helicopters with limited air-to-air weapons capability. VMO - OV-10 observation aircraft with limited air-to-air weapons capability. VMAQ - EA-6B aircraft for EW support of air defense. VMGR - C-130 aerial refuelers. The theoretical MAGTF (combat) air defense system looks like this: Figure VI Click here to view image Figure VI is the on-line organization (system) directly charged by the MAGTF commander with air defense responsibility for the MAGTF. There are many more organizations which support this on-line air defense system. Internal to the MAGTF are the Marine Wing Communications Squadron, which provides all required voice and data communications; VMFP squadron, which provides photographic reconnaissance; and the new Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Intelligence Group (SRI Group), which will provide what the name implies. External to the MAGTF are a myriad of other service and even other nation support systems, the most critical of which are E-2C and E-3A AEW aircraft and EP-3, RC-135, and EC-130 SIGINT (passive detection) aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force. Equipment The MAGTF's air defense equipment is most easily understood in the context of the functions that any air defense system must perform: surveillance/detection, identification, weapons employment, and command/asset management. Surveillance/Detection The key to a successful air defense system is integration of surveillance data and distribution in a timely manner to weapons platforms (real intelligence in time)2. The MAGTF has four types of surveillance assets: ground radars, airborne radars, ground and airborne visual sensors (eyeballs), and extremely limited passive detection (SIGINT) assets. The TAOC has four ground-based radars and each square LAAM Battery will have four ground-based surveillance radars for a total of eight radars in the newly reorganized LAAM Battalion. The total ground radar picture in a MAW will be as follows: Click here to view image These radars are state-of-art and can provide very reliable surveillance/detection of air threats flying above their radar horizon of that particular radar. The radars can be remoted away from control centers for improved survivability and can be moved around the battlefield with varying degrees of effort. Movement times can range from a day or more for the AN/TPS-59 to less that an hour for the HAWK radars. Airborne radars used in an air defense role in the MAGTF are limited to those in the F/A-18 and F-4 fighters. Area surveillance is certainly not the mission of a fighter, however, that is the only airborne radar currently owned by the MAGTF commander. Next, the eyes of all Marines in the MAGTF can provide surveillance/detection of threat aircraft. Personnel most commonly employed in this function are LAAD Battery personnel, HAWK Battery personnel, and aircrew members assigned to Visual Combat Air Patrol (VISCAP) in areas where radar surveillance is either degraded or not available. Though almost any MAGTF aircraft could fly a VISCAP mission, it is usually assigned to AH-1, OV-10, or AV-8 aircraft because of their air-to-air weapons capability. Finally, the MAGTF's organic passive detection capability against threat aircraft is limited to those assets in the EA-6B aircraft from the VMAQ squadron (which are viewed as national assets). This is an extremely limited capability of a classified nature. However, the EA-6B aircraft is manned and equipped to handle only a very small fraction of a MAGTF's area surveillance/ detection requirements. The MAGTF's Radio Battalion in the SRI Group also has no passive detection capability against threat aircraft, nor is that the Radio Battalion mission. There is a network of Tactical Digital Information Links (TADIL)s which pass surveillance/detection information between air defense centers. However, TADILs are not sensors. TADILs will be discussed further under asset management. TADILs are illustrated in Figure VII. Figure VII Click here to view image Identification The ability to discriminate between friendly and threat aircraft and missiles is accomplished within the MAGTF currently using two methods. The first and primary one is a radio electronic interrogation system call Identification Friend or Foe (IFF). This system is used by the entire U.S. military and our NATO allies. IFF is simply an electronic signal sent from a radio acting as an interrogator which strikes another radio on-board an aircraft and evokes a response. If the response is positive in accordance with pre-arranged rules, the aircraft can be assumed to be friendly. If the response is negative, the aircraft may be assumed to be unknown or hostile. The secondary method of discriminating between aircraft is by visual means. These visual means are much shorter range than IFF and vary from naked eyeballs to magnifying T.V. cameras in the HAWK batteries to Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) systems all of which present a "picture" of the aircraft in question at close range. Weapons The MAGTF has available both air-to-air and surface-to-air weapons for air defense. In the air-to-air category, the MAGTF has radar fighters, visual fighter/attack aircraft, and helicopters. Radar Fighters The primary fighter for the MAGTF is the F/A-18 Hornet. It is designed to fulfill AAW missions of Air Defense and OAAW. Equipped with the AN/APG-65 radar, it provides an excellent airborne detection/surveillance platform for air defense and an air-to-ground detection capability for ground OAAW targets. Its armament includes air-to-air missiles (Sparrow and Sidewinder) and guns. The F/A-18's air-to-ground armament includes air-to-surface missiles, guided bombs, conventional bombs, cluster weapons, rockets, and guns. The F/A-18 is capable of IFF, voice communications and two-way data link to the TAOC. The F-4 Phantom, which is being replaced by the F/A-18, is also an air superiority fighter. It is equipped with a pulse- doppler radar which provides airborne detection/surveillance and an IFF capability for AAW missions. It can be configured for ground attack missions against OAAW targets. Its armament includes air-to-air missiles (sparrow and Sidewinder) and a pod-mounted gun. Its air-to-ground armament includes air-to-surface missiles, guided bombs, conventional bombs, cluster weapons, rockets, and guns. Visual Fighters/Attack Aircraft All Marine fixed-wing aircraft (with the exception of the KC-130 and EA-6B) can carry air-to-air armament. For attack aircraft, this capability is primarily for self-defense. However, it gives the ACE the flexibility to assign attack aircraft to a VISCAP. This can provide the ACE with an air defense force multiplier. The AV-8, A-4, and OV-10 can carry Sidewinder missiles and guns, while the A-6 can carry only Sidewinder missiles. These aircraft can provide visual surveillance to the air defense system during daylight conditions. In fulfilling their primary mission of ground attack, the AV-8, A-4, and A-6 provide excellent capability to the MAGTF for OAAW missions. Their air-to-ground armament is comparable to the F/A-18 and F-4. Helicopters Helicopters are potential AAW resources. Air-to-air armament compatible helicopters can provide point defense/VISCAP/air defense escort capabilities to the MAGTF. The only helicopter currently carrying air-to-air armament is the AH-1 Cobra. It has Sidewinder missiles and an embedded gun. The AH-1, equipped with guns, rockets, and air-to-ground missiles, can also be used in the OAAW mission. Air-to-Air Missiles Air-to-air missiles have increased significantly the range for engaging enemy aircraft. This extension in firing ranges provides interceptors with more opportunity for engagement and offers less exposure time to hostile aircraft. The ROE for the employment of the various missiles is a definite consideration for AAW. Visual identification by friendly interceptors before missile firing will reduce the capabilities of the current air-to-air missiles. The air-to-air weapons available are the Sparrow and Sidewinder. AIM-7 Sparrow The Sparrow is a radar semi-active homing, all-weather, all- altitude, air-to-air missile designed for carriage by the F-4 and F/A-18. The Sparrow requires the aircraft weapon system to be locked on an enemy target so that guidance information can be provided to the missile to complete the intercept. The Sparrow has been improved significantly to provide better maneuverability and to increase its close-in, air combat maneuvering (ACM) capability. The Air Force's F-4 and F-15 and the Navy's F-14 and F/A-18 are also capable of employing the AIM-7. AIM-9 Sidewinder The sidewinder is an infrared radiation (IR) homing missile. It is the primary IR air-to-air missile available to Navy and Marine aviation. It can be carried on the F-4 and F/A-18 aircraft and, although not mission required, can also be carried by all attack aircraft for close-in defense. The sidewinder is one of the simplest and cheapest guided missiles. It requires closer proximity to the target for successful intercept. The Sidewinder is a complementary asset when used in conjunction with the longer range radar air-to-air missiles. The capability of the Sidewinder has been improved continually, particularly in the area of ACM. The latest version has an "all aspect" capability and can be employed from virtually any angle in an ACM environment. The Air Force's F-4, F-15, and F-16 and the Navy's F-14 and F/A-18 can carry the AIM-9. Air-to-Air Guns The F/A-18, A-4, AV-8, and AH-1 are equipped with internal guns that can be used in an air-to-air environment. The reliability and accuracy of the gun make it well suited for air-to-air warfare. With the advent of radar ranging, heads up display, and lead computing gunsight, air-to-air guns have become a potent weapon in the ACM environment. This, in conjunction with the improved close-in capability of the Sparrow and the Sidewinder, has improved the AAW aircraft capability in an ACM environment, without degrading the long-range capability of the interceptor. The Air Force's F-4, F-15, and F-16 and the Navy's F-14, F/A-18, and A-7 all have air-to-air guns. Surface-to-Air Weapons Surface-to-air weapons available to the MAGTF consist of HAWK and Stinger missiles, and organic small arms. A brief description of the HAWK and Stinger systems follows: HAWK Missile System The HAWK system is normally deployed as a complete triad battery. Triad refers to the batteries ability to engage three targets simultaneously. To provide even greater mobility and to increase the defense capability of the HAWK system, the battery can be divided into two major configurations--the Base Fire Unit (BFU) and the Assault Fire Unit (AFU). The BFU can engage two aircraft at a time while performing low and medium altitude surveillance. The AFU can engage one aircraft at a time with low altitude surveillance only. Both the BFU and AFU are IFF capable and are normally connected to the TAOC via Army Tactical Data Link-1 (ATDL-1). (See Figures VIII & IX) Stinger Missile System The Stinger missile system is capable of destroying low-flying aircraft. The basic operational fire unit is the Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) team, consisting of a team leader/gunner and a motor vehicle operator/gunner. There are five teams to a LAAD section and three sections to a LAAD platoon. This element and all elements, operating independently at platoon or lower level, are dependent upon the supported unit for logistical assistance and physical security. The most basic consideration in Stinger employment is whether this limited asset will be used as protection for combat maneuver elements or as a gap-filler in an overall AAW surveillance/weapons employment plan. (See Figure X) Small Arms As the very last line of AAW defense, organic ground weapons should be employed. Although the use and effectiveness for AAW planning purposes excludes them for consideration, organic weapons offer some defense to a unit under air attack. The volume of fire from ground units can be effective in contributing to that unit's air defense. However, success of this fire depends largely on luck. The target aircraft must fly into the rounds. FIGURE VIII 4 Click here to view image Command/Asset Management As depicted in Figure VI and VII, the equipment provided for command and asset management of the MAGTF air defense system consists of the TACC and the TAOC. The TACC is a large, fairly immobile group of inflatable shelters and support vans (metal shelters of various sizes). The TACC issues orders and receives requests and reports via a complex network of radio circuits, telephone lines, and TADILs. The TACC has no sensors. The TAOC is equipped with vans where air defense controllers orchestrate and manage the air defense battle, support vans, and the ground-based radars already discussed. The TAOC has the capability to join the TADIL networks in order to receive target information from other senior and parallel air defense centers and forward target information to CAPs and LAAM units (but not to LAAD units). The TAOC also has many radio circuits and telephone lines with which to manage the air defense battle. Subordinate units in the air defense system below the TAOC do not normally get involved in command or asset management activities and are therefore not very well equipped to do so. A leader of a section or division of CAPs, a LAAD Battery Information Center (BIC), and a LAAM unit Combat Operations Center (COC) all may be delegated some degree of management or coordination responsibility. However, the TAC delegates primary decentralized control, coordination, and management of the MAGTF's air defense assets to the TAOC. This completes the description of the equipment used by the MAGTF air defense system to perform surveillance/detection, identification, weapons employment, and command/asset management. A discussion of the doctrine governing the use of this equipment now follows. Doctrine It is the unwritten doctrine of the MAGTF to (if possible) conduct such a decisive OAAW campaign that air defense is unnecessary. However, if air defense is required, tentative doctrine exists to guide its conduct. Principles Operational Handbook 5-5, dated June 1987, is the publication which lays out the MAGTF doctrine for air defense. Three doctrinal principles of MAGTF air defense are presented in OH 5-5: destruction-in-depth, mutual support, and centralized command and decentralized control. Destruction-in-Depth. Destruction-in-depth is based on the principle that threat detection and destruction begin as far from the vital area as possible and continue as long as the threat exists. By means of operation plans and orders, the AAW area is divided into AAW sectors, which are made known to subordinate units of the landing force and to interested external commands. The four major factors that govern the expansion or contraction of this area are the effective communication range, detection range, weapons range (friendly and enemy), and the relative danger from an air and surface attack.7 The AAW area referred to here is the total set of airspace which the MAGTF TAC is responsible for defending. The area is usually divided into sectors and defense of those sectors is assigned to Sector Antiair Warfare Coordinators (SAAWC) who coordinate from TAOCs. Mutual Support. AAW weapons are employed and/or located to ensure continuity of engagement. In this way a landing force increases its chance of preventing the penetration of the AAW vital area by hostile aircraft or missiles. Proper employment and/or location ensures that each target is within range of several AAW elements. This integrated and overlapping pattern of mutual support and continuity of engagement minimizes any reduction in effectiveness of the AAW system resulting from the loss of one or more AAW elements.8 This definition refers to MAGTF landing force operations but the principle of mutual support among MAGTF air defense weapons would be the same during sustained combat operations ashore. Centralized Command/Coordination and Decentralized Control. Coordinated operations and economy of force require centralized coordination; however, to achieve a system that has minimum reaction time, maximum damage resistance, and elemental self- sufficiency, the capability to function under decentralized control is required. The overall centralized command, control, coordination, and supervision of (air defense) is the responsibility of the ... TAC, and is exercised through the agencies of the MACG. To meet the demands of decentralization, authority and control is delegated to subordinate elements within the system ashore..... These subordinate elements have the capability to react immediately to a threat unless vetoed by higher authority.9 This is the same doctrinal principle used by Israeli air defenders and by the British in the Falkland Islands War. Types of MAGTF Air Defense There are two types of MAGTF air defense based on the principles just presented. Both types center around protecting a vital area. The "Traditional Air Defense" simply draws circles around the vital area representing first a missile engagement zone (MEZ); second, a cross over zone; third, an air intercept zone (AIZ), and finally, at the longest range possible from the vital area, is a surveillance area. "Mutual Support Air Defense" also centers on a vital area, but this type air defense allows for overlapping MEZs and FEZs, while also allowing for VISCAPs with overlapping visual surveillance areas within the TAOC's radar surveillance area. See Figure XI. There are countless tactics and techinques used by individual TACs, SAAWCs, flight leaders and LAAM/LAAD unit commanders to conduct air defense of the MAGTF. But the three principles and two types of air defense presented here are the underlying foundation for MAGTF air defense. Chapter 3, Section II of OH 5-5 puts forth the doctrine for MAGTF air defense during amphibious operations which has been developed and refined over the years since World War II. That doctrine is quite sound and will not be re-stated here. FIGURE XI 9 Click here to view image Current Posture Summary I have examined the organization of the MAGTF air defense system which is basically an informal set of agencies (TACC and TAOC), weapons (fighters, HAWKs, Stingers), and supporters (EW, communications, air refueling) "provided" by a set of formal administrative organizations (MAW, MAG, MACG) and commanded by the TAC. I have described the equipment used by the MAGTF air defense system and briefly examined the doctrine under which the system is employed. Now I will analyze this system relative to the Principles of War of Mass, Maneuver, Surprise, Simplicity, Unity of Command and flexibility in a Maneuver Warfare environment. CHAPTER III MAGTF AIR DEFENSE - ANALYSIS MANEUVER WARFARE The Marine Corps is adopting Maneuver Warfare as it's basic doctrine. Naturally the MAGTF must be able to defend itself from air attack when fighting while using Maneuver Warfare methods, just as it did when preparing for Attrition Warfare. But what is Maneuver Warfare? Maneuver Warfare is an approach to war which holds that a smaller force can defeat a larger force by out-thinking the larger force. This statement is not as far-fetched as it first sounds. The goals of Maneuver Warfare are to focus on the enemy; observe, orient, decide and act faster than the enemy (as many times as necessary to defeat him); avoid enemy surfaces and find enemy gaps; exploit the enemy's gaps in order to disrupt his C2, reserves and logistics; maintain this disruption until the enemy's cohesion is destroyed; finally, when the enemy's cohesion is crushed, annihilate him or force him to surrender. Mnneuver Warfare is characterized by bold, audacious actions, and by risk taking at low levels of command in order to exploit real situations (as opposed to methodical, cautious compliance to inflexible orders). It is implemented by mission type orders which give subordinates the flexibility to exploit opportunities when possible and which convey the intentions of the senior commander. In the air defense business, the Marine Corps needs enough mass of air defense assets in order to deny gaps to enemy aircraft attacking the MAGTF. The enemy should find only air defense surfaces. The MAGTF air defenders must be able to maneuver in order to block all enemy air attacks, even those attacks on rapidly moving MAGTF ground combat units outside of the "vital area". The air defense system must be simple enough that flexibility is not lost in order that the air defenders can be proactive vise reactive. The MAGTF must be able to constantly surprise the enemy with our air defense surfaces and deny surprise to him by the earliest possible detection of his intentions and actions. Our air defenders demand clear, unambiguous unity or command exercised by a system which is flexible and willing to delegate authority. Finally, the Marine Corps air defense system must be flexible enough that we can observe, orient, decide and act faster than the enemy, for perhaps very long periods of time. How well can the present MAGTF air defense system adhere to these principles? Before entering that discussion a review of the air threat the MAGTF faces is in order. Table I presented the sheer numbers of potential threat aircraft and helicopters which could be employed against the United States and our Allies. Figure XII depicts those threats, along with the missiles, drones, satellites and parachutist which round out the spectrum of air threats facing the MAGTF. It is obvious that the skies over the Maneuver Warfare battlefield will be crowded, diverse and technically sophisticated. FIGURE XII 1 Click here to view image Again, this is not a comparison of technologies. However, Figure XIII represents technical trends that all air forces are following. This of course includes threat air forces. MASS Does the MAGTF air defense organization, doctrine and equipment adhere to the principles of Mass? The organization depicted in Figure VI, in and of itself, does generally allow the MAGTF commander, through the TAC, to mass his air defense assets. There are however three major problems which the TAC's organization must overcome when attempting to mass in order to blunt enemy air attacks. The first problem is an acute shortage of weapons systems in most MAGTFs. A 1987 Force Structure Study Group determined that 150 Stinger teams are required to provide 24 hour per day protection to a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF)3. Each MEF has only 90 Stinger teams. Also, a separate HAWK battery is required to provide medium range protection to at least two airfields, a combat service support area, and a rapidly maneuvering Ground Combat Element (GCE) in each MEF. The aforementioned Force Structure Study Group reduced the number of active duty HAWK batteries from three to two per MEF. Only the airborne air defense weapons (the fighters) have relatively healthy numbers with sixty per MEF. This assumes 5 squadrons of 12 aircraft each. Even the fighters will be stretched very thin when tasked to provide 24 hour per day, 360 degree air defense coverage to the MAGTF. The second organizational problem for air defense is a lack of organic airborne early warning or airborne passive detection assets. The MAGTF's dependence on "other Service support" for AEW and passive detection is one of its biggest air defense weaknesses. This is specifically because lack of timely warning impairs the TAC's ability to Mass his assets at the right place and time to blunt threat air attacks. This weakness is documented over a ten year period by the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System (MCCRES). During 24 MCCRES tests between 1979 and 1989, TAOC surveillance operators failed to detect, identify, classify and track 45% of threat aircraft and were able to maintain track on only 70% of those aircraft which were detected and identified4. This is primarily due to lack of ability to detect low flying threat aircraft. Finally, the third organizational problem is the tendency of the air defense "provider" organizations listed on page 42 to create ad hoc battalion or squadron command and control nodes in order to get into the game. Usually, more C2 nodes means more information bottlenecks and less timely warning and action. MAGTF air defense doctrine, as discussed in Chapter 2, is so general that it does not infringe upon the TAC's ability to mass his assets as he sees fit. That is if he has the assets in the first place and can squash the non-doctrinal, ad hoc battalion and squadron nodes that may spring up. Some equipment of the MAGTF air defense system lends itself to mass and some does not. Fighter aircraft can easily mass when and where needed if given enough early warning and intelligence. HAWK and Stinger units can also mass where needed but, require even earlier warning and intelligence to be in the right place at the right time. Concensus among experts in the Fleet Marine Force is that the MAGTF will have enough C2 equipment when the new self- contained Tactical Air Operations Module (TAOM) is fielded in 1991 to the TAOCs. Eight of these TAOMs, with the eight radars already in the MEFs, will provide enough Mass for overlapping and in-depth surveillance, detection, identification and tracking of high and medium altitude targets. But the TAOM will still be unable to see the low altitude threat. This weakness is particularly trouble- some near the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) where low flying attack helicopters are the primary threat. Conclusion The principle of Mass can be applied in MAGTF air defense, but the TAC remains so short of assets that massing to blunt one or more attacks will create gaps somewhere in the MAGTF air defense. Lack of organic AEW will make those gaps even more vulnerable. MANEUVER Does the MAGTF air defense organization, doctrine, and equipment adhere to the Principle of Maneuver? The current organization inhibits maneuver somewhat because of a tendency to keep all air defense weapons within line-of-sight of the TAOC. This usually does not work. The organization dissolves into autonomous air defense engagements by HAWK, Stinger, and CAPs. This unplanned dissolution of decentralized control by the TAOC results in air defense gaps; loss of early warning and intelligence by the HAWKs, Stingers and CAPs; and can result in MAGTF ground combat elements maneuvering out from under their air defense protection as the Egyptians did at Suez in 1973. It is readily apparent from the air defense doctrine depicted in Figure XI that there is a "circle the wagons" mentality focused on vital areas which permeates current air defense thinking in the MAGTF. Also, there is an overly optimistic assumption that the "threat axis" will usually be known in order to orient MAGTF SAM and CAPs correctly. The practice of Maneuver Warfare is not compatible with the mentality of vital areas or the predictability of the enemies' attack axis. Effective doctrine must be developed which protects all maneuver units spread over a large battlefield or AOA. The current practice of providing LAAD units in Direct Support (DS) of ground maneuver elements is on the right track; but this practice often seriously decreases these DS LAAD unit's effectiveness, making them revenge weapons used after the threat has found a gap in the MAGTF air defense. The MAGTFs also seldom practice maneuvering HAWK to defend mobile ground maneuver elements. Lastly, the current air defense equipment again ranges from the epitome of maneuver (the fighters) to the antithesis of maneuver (the TACC). Starting with the short range weapons, Stinger is highly maneuverable in that each Stinger team has its own vehicle (the HMMWV). The team must dismount to fire the shoulder launched weapon however, and can carry only four rounds per vehicle. Another stinger limitation is that it cannot currently engage at night or in bad weather because it depends solely on visual identification. This means that Stinger currently cannot defend maneuvering ground combat elements at night or in foul weather (rain, fog, snow). Additionally, the HMMWV cannot keep pace in many types of terrain with the light armored vehicles (LAV) of the Light Armored Infantry Battalion (LAIB). This ground combat unit, as well as some other high speed mechanized task forces of the MAGTF, require a ground vehicle based system for air defense protection. The maneuverability of the MAGTF medium range HAWKs is very low. A HAWK battery can move, but it is a time consuming process for even the best trained crews. On all MCCRES tests of HAWK units to date, there has been a 100% failure rate on the following two task evaluations5: - Fire unit is completely operational in 90 minutes BFU/45 minutes AFU with all nets manned, system oriented and aligned, silent mode integrated system checks (ISC) complete, and prefire checks complete. - Fire unit is completely operational in 105 minutes BFU/60 minutes AFU with all nets manned, system oriented and aligned, silent mode ISC completed, and prefire checks complete. There has been only a 30% success rate with this task: - Fire unit is completely operational in 120 minutes BFU/75 minutes AFU with all nets manned, system oriented and aligned, silent mode ISC complete, and prefire checks complete. The introduction of Phase III HAWK in the early 1990s will help overcome this situation. The MAGTF, however, needs a more maneuverable medium range air defense system in light of the threat trends evidenced by Figure XIII. The fighters need no mention here, but the TACC and TAOC surely do. The current C2 systems are absolutely not maneuverable. The Marine Corps has programs under contract which will give the MAGTF maneuverability in these C2 systems. The Advanced Tactical Air Command Center (ATACC) program will provide two highly mobile, automated TACCs per MEF by 1992 or 1993. The TAOM already addressed will provide up to 8 TAOCs per MEF starting in 1991. These two systems will allow the TAC to maneuver his critical C2 nodes as needed to support the Maneuver Warfare doctrine of the MAGTF. In conclusion, the TAC can maneuver to blunt threat air attacks against the MAGTF. His fighters can do so at 1000 miles per hour. His Stingers can do so at from 5 to 60 miles per hour. His HAWKs can echelon in an overwatch type maneuver; but, individual platoons take from 2 to 6 hours to displace, move, and emplace if remaining within the 40km umbrella of their sister units. Finally, maneuver of the new ATACC and TAOM equipped TAOC will give the TAC a capability he does not have today. SIMPLICITY Is the MAGTF air defense system simple enough to work consistently in every clime and place? One has only to look at Table I (page 4), Figure VII (page 45), and Figure XII (page 63) to realize that air defense is an extremely complicated endeavor. The threat is prolific and diverse. Marine air defense systems are extremely complex and can only be simplified if we try to make them understandable or "user-friendly". One cannot counter a large Soviet attack helicopter assault, supported by strike aircraft, high and low level stand-off jammers, decoy drones, reconnaissance drones, and SAM suppression aircraft with a "Simple" system; but self-imposed over-complication is certainly not needed and is in fact dangerous. The MAGTF air defense organization shown in Figure VI is simple. If the TAC uses this system, he can maintain his focus of main effort and shift his focus when necessary. The enemy of simplification for the TAC once again, however, is the nebulous relationship of the MAW's air defense provider organizations and the doctrinal air defense system. Only knowledgeable leadership can keep the MAGTF air defense organization clear and simple. The doctrine for MAGTF air defense is often called simplistic. The doctrine of defense-in-depth and mutual support is simple and well understood. Beyond these doctrinal philosophies one finds air defense tactics and techniques which vary greatly in complexity. The usual stumbling block to simplicity in the MAGTF air defense system is the excessively large number of "doctrinal" communications nets that are required. These lead to confusion and rob us of surprise by broadcasting radio locations to the enemy. Just as with mass and maneuver, MAGTF air defense equipment ranges from very simple to very complex. The Stinger missile is very simple, especially in light of its high effectiveness. At the other extreme are the F/A-18 and the TAOM which, although highly complex, are user-friendly. Conclusion Therefore, air defense operations are intrinsically complex because of the diverse threat and sophisticated C2 and weapons involved. However, MAGTF air defense organization and equipment are about as simple as possible. Our doctrine is also simple with the exception of the suffocating number of doctrinal communications nets our air defense system is burdened with. Surprise Can the MAGTF air defense system surprise the enemy air threat and deny surprise to that threat? Normally the answer to this question is no. The organization does not inhibit surprise of the enemy. The organization simply responds to the direction of its leadership. The doctrine on the other hand is crippled by MAGTF air defense equipment. The fighters can surprise the threat with ease if they have adequate early warning and intelligence. Stinger units can move and hide in many types of terrain. Even HAWK can move (especially at night) and use either data link targeting or the HAWK Tracking Adjunct System (magnifying T.V. camera) for a one time surprise of a threat attack before its radars tell the enemy where the HAWK unit is. Where then is surprise lost? C2, radar, and radio gives the MAGTF air defense system's location away over and over again, year in and year out. As already addressed the TACC and TAOC in use today are almost the size of small villages. Innovative air defenders in the MAGTF try everything from placing the units in dairy barns to burying them under mountains of sandbags. Once they become operational however, their electronic signature gives them away as surely as if there was a search light mounted on a mast above them. Some electronic signature is inevitable, but the immobility of the one TACC and two TAOCs in each MEF keep them in a static location far too long during almost all MAGTF exercises. The ATACC and TAOM equipments have been covered and offer some relief in the early 1990s for C2. Radar on the other hand is a search light. The electronic emissions of radars are broadcast in all directions and can be intercepted from tens to hundreds of miles away (depending on the radar's effective radiated power). Yet, no tool is more effective for early warning of attacking threat aircraft or missiles in-flight than radar; thus, it is in dispensable. This conflict between the indispensability of radar and the searchlight effect of radar results in many schemes to compensate for radar's shortcomings. The two most common schemes are radar blinking (turning radar on and off) and dependence on data links (see page 45). The former usually fails miserably because blinking is too hard to orchestrate under the stress of combat and allows gaps in air defense coverage. The latter usually fails, just as miserably because of the fragile nature of data links (which normally depend on some other unit's radar for early warning information). The 24 MCCRES tests of the TAOC to date have documented that on 56% of those tests ATDL-1 link between the TAOC and HAWK units has failed to work. TADIL-C which ties the TAOC to fighter aircraft for early warning and intelligence through data, without voice communications, has failed on 44% of the MCCRES tests ever conducted.6 Clearly, some means of augmenting radar other than blinking and data links are needed. The Marine Corps has recognized this and has approved a Required Operational Capability (ROC) for a Multi-Spectral Sensor Suite (MSSS) for the TAOC. The MSSS will provide passive detection devices for the TAOC. Using several parts of the electromagnetic spectrum for early warning, intelligence, and weapons positioning, the MSSS will allow no use of radar until absolutely necessary for precise targeting and weapons control after surprise has been lost. In the area of threat surprise denial, the MAGTF is even more vulnerable. Not only can the threat detect our radar emissions from far outside our radar coverage, he can by flying below our radar coverage, consistently surprise us with attack aircraft and attack helicopters. MCCRES tests have proven this over and over again. The doctrinal solution to this today is to task E-2C aircraft from the Navy or E-3A aircraft from the Air Force to provide the vital AEW needed. In fact, this tasking is often not filled; and, when it is answered, it is for extremely short periods of time. In war time, the four E-2Cs per "Carrier Air Wing" will be primarily tasked with defense of the fleet, not defense of the MAGTF. E-3A availability for MAGTF air defense requirements is similarly suspect. There are so many high level competing requirements for E-3A support that the aircraft is known throughout the air defense community as a "National Asset". Thus, the probability of its providing 24 hour per day AEW for the MAGTF is extremely low. In fact, strategic and operational surprise can be lost just by having an E-3A appear in an area where an Amphibious Task Force may desire to conduct special operations or conventional operations in a Low Intensity Conflict. If the Marine Corps had organic AEW, such operations could be conducted with less political turbulence and certainly with a better air defense system capable of denying surprise to airborne threats attacking from over land or over water toward the MAGTF. Again, the Marine Corps has recognized this problem and has established a Tentative Operational Requirement (TOR) for a Marine Corps Airborne Early Warning (MCAEW) system. This system will use radar and passive systems to gather and disseminate early warning and intelligence information to the MAGTF air defense system. Therefore, surprise is the biggest weakness of the MAGTF air defense system. The current sensors and C2 systems do not lend themselves to surprise of the enemy and cannot effectively deny the enemy the ability to surprise the MAGTF with low level penetration air attacks. This has a cascading effect: if the enemy can consistently surprise the air defense system, then the TAC cannot effectively maneuver or mass his assets to blunt those attacks. UNITY OF COMMAND When effective leadership is practised by the TAC, unity of command is not a problem for the MAGTF air defense system. SAAWCs can effectively coordinate air defense within their sectors up to the limits of their equipment and doctrine already discussed. It is only when non-doctrinal C2 nodes appear that unity of command becomes clouded and breaks down. Good leadership can easily fix this problem. FLEXIBILITY The MAGTF air defense system generally is very flexible. It is usually task organized for the mission assigned. However, its flexibility is hampered by the same equipment problems already discussed. The following specific examples are offered: (1) The lack of organic AEW may deny the flexibility to conduct air operations at all if other service AEW is not available. (2) The lack of night and all weather identification capability for Stinger hampers flexibility for use of Stinger during those times. If fact, according to MCCRES results, LAAD teams have been able to correctly identify aircraft acquired inside 10 kilometers within a 5 second time frame, even in fairly good daylight conditions, only 63% of the time.7 (3) Lack of a highly mobile air defense vehicle may hamper the flexibility to conduct high speed mechanized operations in the face of an air threat which can attack those MAGTF mechanized forces on the move. (4) Lack of passive sensors denies the MAGTF air defense system the flexibility to clandestinely gather early warning and intelligence on threat aircraft and missiles in-flight. (5) The large cumbersome nature of the current C2 systems clearly denies flexibility in the placement of those systems. Fixing these deficiencies can greatly improve the flexibility of the MAGTF air defense system. In conclusion, the weapons and personnel of todays MAGTF air defense system are among the very best in the world. Some improvements are sorely needed however in the areas of C2, sensors, and mobile ground-based air defense platforms as the MAGTF prepares for the 21st century against a prolific threat which is following the trends shown in Figure XIII. These improvements will be difficult to achieve in the near future because of reduced funding. However, the requirements are (or should be) firmly developed in anticipation of the next upswing of the military budget. CHAPTER IV CONCLUSIONS The Marine Corps has recognized the need for a responsive, integrated air defense system by investing a large portion of its resources in just such a defense. The Marine Corps is not in the business of static defenses however, as illustrated by the adoption of highly and continuously offensive Maneuver Warfare doctrine. Therefore, the MAGTF air defense system must support Maneuver Warfare tactics and techniques. In order to do this, the air defense system must be able to maneuver and mass in order to blunt all air attacks from any direction on widely dispersed MAGTF elements. The system must be able to surprise those air attacks and deny them the ability to surprise the MAGTF. The system must be simple and flexible enough that rapid changes can be made in order to be proactive vice reactive to enemy air operations. Unity of command must continue to be exercised through a simple chain which is understood by all and allows lower level initiative and exploitation. MASS Regarding the principle of Mass, the areas where more forces are needed in order to deny gaps in MAGTF air defense are the LAAD and LAAM Battalions. At least 120 Stinger teams per MEF are needed, as are at least 4 HAWK batteries per MEF. All future MAGTF aircraft procured should also have some air defense capability, even if not specifically designed as fighters. MANEUVER A new Mobile Surface-to-Air Weapon (MSAW) is required in order to replace HAWK in the LAAM Battalion in support of Maneuver Warfare techniques with medium range air defense. Closer into the protected units, the LAAD Battalion needs to be able to move quicker, fight at night and in all-weather, and to defend against mass attacks while on the move. The Pedestal Mounted Stinger, (PMS) mounted on a HMMWV, and the LAV Air Defense Variant (LAV-AD) provide all of these capabilities and should be procured and fielded as soon as possible. SIMPLICITY All new systems acquired for MAGTF air defense must be user friendly. The inherent complexity of the air defense business cannot be exasperated by needlessly complex weapons and C2 systems which cannot be managed by Marine air defenders. A new, simple, more reliable data link is also needed. SURPRISE The entire Marine Corps should support the procurement of an organic AEW capability and a multi-spectral set of passive and active sensors for use by the TAOC. This capability is required to support the mobile MAGTFs. Procurement of MCAEW and MSSS will prevent surprise of the MAGTF by low flying enemy aircraft and helicopters. It will be too late when Hinds, Flagons, Fencers, Floggers, and Havocs are pounding the MAGTF because of an inefficient air defense which was surprised by these low-flying, deadly threats. UNITY OF COMMAND It would help the MAGTF air defense system if the command structure was the same all the time (peace, war, garrison, and the field). The historical flip-flopping of Marines, weapons, and equipment from provider organizations to tactical organizations and back is highly disruptive. A possible solution is reorganization within the MACG. Instead of having 3 squadrons (1 H&HS and 2 MACS) and 2 battalions (1 LAAM and 1 LAAD) involved in C2 and ground-based air defense, it may be more efficient to organize into 2 Marine Air Defense Battalions (MAD Bn). The price of mixing equipments within this Battalion would be more than offset by the gains in stability, unity of command, and cohesive air defense training. Also the H&HS could be combined with the current Marine Air Support Squadron (MASS) to form one Marine Tactical Air Control Squadron (MTACS). This consolidation should provide enough Marine Aviation structure to allow the formation of a MCAEW squadron within the MACG to provide that desperately needed function without new manpower requirements. The new MACG would be organized as follows: FIGURE XIV Click here to view image *Each Detachment provides 1 TACC, 1 DASC, and 1 ASRT per MEB MEB - Marine Expeditionary Brigade MWCS - Marine Wing Communications Squadron MATCS - Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron ASRT - Air Support Radar Team The IAAD Battery depicted here would have 2 platoons equipped with PMS and 1 platoon equipped with the current shoulder-fired Stinger. The organization I recommend provides for two integrated air defense systems per MEF and one complete system per MEB. The on-line air defense system in each MEB would look like this: FIGURE XV Click here to view image This organization lends itself better to Mass, Maneuver, Simplicity, clear Unity of Command, denial of enemy Surprise, and much more flexibility than the MAGTF commander or his TAC have today. The lessons of history are clear. In order for the MAGTF to conduct Maneuver Warfare, a integrated air defense system with all of the characteristics addressed in this paper is required in the face of an ever growing, highly technical, sophisticated air threat. If the recommendations put forward here are heeded, the MAGTF will have such a system capable of facing the 21st century threat. END NOTES INTRODUCTION 1. The Military Balance, (International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1987). MAJOR AIR DEFENSE OPERATIONS SINCE WW II 2. Phil Chinnery, Air War in Vietnam. (Bison Books, New York, 1987), p.11. 3. Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israel: Wars, (Random House; New York, 1982), p.138. 4. Ibid., p.152. 5. Ibid., p.213. 6. Edgar O'Ballance, No Victor, No Vanquished: The Yom Kippur War. (Presidio Press, San Rafael, California, 1978), p.3. 7. Herzog, p.227. 8. O'Ballance. pp.17-69. 9. Ibid., p.280. 10. Ibid., p.284. 11. Ibid., p.291. 12. Ibid., p.292. 13. Ibid., pp.294-295. 14. Bruce A. Brant, Major, U.S. Army, Battlefield Air Interdiction in the 1973 Middle East War and Its Significance to NATO Air Operations. (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1986), p.71. 15. Ibid., p.78. 16. Ibid., p.85. 17. O'Ballance, p.300. 18. Ibid., pp.300-306. 19. Herzog, p.347. 20. Brant, pp.118-12O. 21. Chinnery, p.189. 22. John B. Nichols, Commander, U.S. Navy and Tillman, Barret, On Yankee Station. (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1987), p.49. 23. Ibid., p.18. 24. Ibid., p.16. 25. Ibid., p.51. 26. Ibid., p.54. 27. Ibid., p.56. 28. Air War-Vietnam, Edited by Colonel Dewey Waddell and Major Norm Wood, (ARNO Press, New York, 1978), p.26. 29. Ibid., p.24. 30. Nichols, p.57. 31. Peter B. Mersky, and Norman Polmar. The Naval Air War in Vietnam, (Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America, Annapolis, Maryland, 1981), p.205. 32. Air War-Vietnam. p.141. 33. Bruce W. Watson, Military Lessons of the Falklands Islands War: Views from the United States, (Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1984), p.44. 34. Rodney A. Burden, and Michael I. Draper. Falklands The Air War, (Arms and Armor Press, Great Britian, 1986), p.26. 35. Watson, p.44. 36. Major Jeffrey Niblett, DFC, MC, interview with author, 15 December 1988. 37. Martin Middlebrook, Operation Corporate, (Viking Press, London, 1984), p.189. 38. James A. Haggart, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, The Falklands Islands Conflict, 1982 Air Defense of the Fleet, Marine Corps Command & Staff College, War Since 1945 Seminar, 1984, p.24. 39. Ibid., p.63. 40. Ibid., p.73. 41. Burden, p.18. II. MAGTF AIR DEFENSE - CURRENT POSTURE 1. Antiair Warfare. U.S. Marine Corps Operational Handbook 5-5, (MCDEC, Quantico, VA., 1987), p.2-8. 2. Ibid., p.E-1. 3. Ibid., p.2-1. 4. Employment of the Light Antiaircraft Missile Battalion-Hawk. U.S. Marine Corps Operational Handbook 5-5A, (MCCDC, Quantico, VA., 1988), p.3-1 5. Ibid., p.3-2. 6. LAAD Platoon Commanders Handbook. U.S. Marine Corps Operational Handbook 5-5C, (MCDEC, Quantico, VA., 1986), p. 1-12. 7. Antiair Warfare, p.1-2. 8. Ibid., p.1-2. 9. Ibid., p.3-4. III. MAGTF AIR DEFENSE - ANALYSIS 1. U.S. Army Air Defense Operations, Field Manual 44-100 (Final Draft), (U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, Fort Bliss, TX., 1988), p.2-2. 2. Ibid., p.2-4. 3. LtCol Robert Dodt, USMC, Surface-to-Air Weapons Officer, Headquarters, USMC, Washington, DC. Interview with author. 4. Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System (MCCRES) Lessons Learned Report, 20 March 1989. 5. Ibid. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Books Burden, Rodney A. and Draper, Michael I. Falklands The Air War, Arms and Armor Press, 1986. This is an extremely detailed account of every aircraft and pilot involved in the Falkland Islands War. Every aircraft is discussed regarding color scheme, armament, and maintenance status before and after the war. All aircraft shoot downs are chronicled as to location, time, and description of the engagement. The actions and postwar status of every pilot on both sides is also presented. This a superb historical chronicle which does not attempt to reach any subjective conclusions about the war. Chinnery, Phil. Air War in Vietnam, Bison Books, 1987. This simplistic work attempts to describe the entire Vietnam air war in 189 pages. Most of the pages are photographs of various air actions which do offer a good visual picture of the air war. The author does give a good verbal account of the French air war prior to the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. Herzog, Chaim. The Arab-Israeli Wars. Random House, New York, 1982. One of the best Israeli oriented accounts of all of the Arab-Israeli Wars. The author shows a wealth of knowledge about air defense operations and all other forms of conventional combat. O'Ballance, Edgar. No Victor, No Vanquished. The Yom Kippur War. Presidio Press, 1978. This work offers a different slant to Herzog's book on the 1973 War. The author borders on a pro- Egyptian perspective. The work is still thorough and offers many details of Egyptian air defense operations against the Israeli Air Force. Mersky, Peter B. and Polmar, Norman. The Naval Air War in Vietnam. Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1981. This a good account of U.S. naval air activity in Vietnam from the early 1950s to 1975. The book offers little information on North Vietnamese air defense activity. Middlebrook, Martin. Operation Corporate. Viking Press, 1984. This is a detailed account of the Falklands War from a British perspective. The book is oriented to ground combat and provides little air defense information. Nichols, John B. Cmdr. USN. and Tillman, Barrett. On Yankee Station. Naval Institute Press, 1987. The definitive account of U.S. Navy air operations against the North Vietnamese and their air defense systems. It is a very personal account of the air war which is substantiated with facts and figures. Waddell, Dewey. Col. USAF., and Wood, Norm, Major, USAF. Air-War Vietnam. ARNO Press, 1978. This book lists thirty authors. All of the authors are U.S. military officers whose accounts are edited by Colonel Waddell and Major Wood. It offers many first hand accounts of U.S. air power opposing the North Vietnamese air defense systems. The book presents the best account of MIG vs. U.S. aircraft activities found in any source. Watson, Bruce W. and Dunn, Peter M. (editors) Military Lessons of the Falklands Islands War: Views from the United States. Westview Press, 1984. This book is a compilation of lessons learned about modern air defense operations. It gives an American perspective on the Falklands air war which is fairly objective regarding both sides in the conflict. The Military Balance 1987-1988, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1987. This is simply an encyclopedia of the Air, Ground, and Naval Orders of Battle for every country in the world. 2. Publications Brant, Bruce A. Major, USA. Battlefield Air Interdiction in the 1973 Middle East War and Its Significance to NATO Air Operations, U.S. Army Command & Staff College Research Paper, 1986. The author provides a great deal of insight into the difficulties of conducting Battlefield Air Interdiction or Close Air Support in the presence of an integrated air defense system. Haggart, James A. LCmdr. U.S. Navy. The Falklands Islands Conflict. 1982 - Air Defense of the Fleet. U.S. Marine Corps Command & Staff College Research Paper, 1984. This paper gives an unbiased account of the Royal Navy air defense activity required to protect the British Fleet in the Falklands. His account of air-to-air and surface-to-air combat is interesting and thought provoking. Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System (MCCRES) Lessons Learned Report. MCCDC, Quantico, VA., 1989. This is a computer file of the performance of every Marine Corps unit which as ever stood a MCCRES test. The report cited covered all Marine Air Control Group units tested between 1979 and March 1989. Marine Corps Order 3501.9A provides the standards which are evaluated. This report provides the historical results. U.S. Army Air Defense Operations. Field Manual 44-100 (Final Drafts. U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School. 1988. This is the latest operational guidance in the U.S. Army for the conduct of ground-based air defense. U.S. Marine Corps Operational Handbook 5-5. MCDEC. 1987. This is the general doctrine of the USMC for the conduct of Antiair Warfare. U.S. Marine Corps Operational Handbook 5-5A. MCCDC. 1988. Provides general doctrine of the USMC regarding employment of HAWK missile battalions. U.S. Marine Corps Operational Handbook 5-5C. MCDEC. 1986. This handbook gives a general doctrinal guidance for USMC Stinger platoon commanders. 3. Interviews Col. RAG Berns, Head, Standards Branch, T&E Center, MCCDC, Quantico, VA. February 1989. Col. Berns provided an evaluator's perspective on the current air defense system. He has a wide background in C2 and surface based air defense in the MAGTF. LtCol. Robert Dodt, U.S. Marine Corps--Surface-to-Air Weapons Officer, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. December 1988. Provided details of current ground-based air defense posture of the U.S. Marine Corps. LtCol. K. B. Levan, U.S. Marine Corps--Commanding Officer, U.S.M.C. Administrative Detachment, U.S. Army Air Defense School, Fort Bliss, Texas. 1988. This was a written interview which provided insight into Marine air defense command and control as well as personal experience with Marine surface-to-air weapons. Col. John Mohr, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding Officer, MACG-28, 2nd MAW, FMFLANT. January 1989. This interview provided detailed information on the real-world status of the command and control and air defense posture of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Major Jeffery Niblett, DFC, Royal Marines --Student USMC Command & Staff College. December 1988. Provided first-hand account of the British air defense activity at San Carlos landing site in the Falkland Islands. Major Niblett was a Royal Marine helicopter pilot supporting the British landings. Major General M.P. Sullivan, Deputy Commander for Warfighting, MCCDC, Quantico, VA. December 1988. General Sullivan provided a wealth of knowledge in a written interview. He is the architect of the MAGTF Master Plan, which includes MAGTF air defense system plans. He also provided a fighter pilot's outlook on the MAGTF air defense system.
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