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Joint Force Air Component Commander: The Joint Air Control Cold War Rages On
CSC 1992
SUBJECT AREA - National Military Strategy
Title:	Joint Force Air Component Commander:
	The Joint Air Control Cold War Rages On
Author:	Major D. R. Motz, United States Marine Corps
Thesis:  The increased importance of joint doctrine and the
evolving role and authority of the Joint Force Air Component
Commander  (JFACC) has served  to increase concern  that the
Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF)  commander will  lose
control of fixed-wing aviation assets  that are vital to his
combat effectiveness.
Background:  To  fully  comprehend  concerns  about Marine
aviation's  responsiveness  to the  needs  of Marine  ground
forces in joint operations,  it is useful to first understand
the  evolution and divergence of Air  Force and Marine Corps
doctrine for  the employment of  air power.    The Goldwater-
Nichols  Department  of Defence  Reorganization Act  of 1986
greatly increased the  importance of  joint doctrine to  the
extent that  its importance  has sometimes exceeded  that of
individual  service  doctrine  in  providing  the  political
justification  for  service  programs and  force  structure.
Consequently,  the  process of developing joint  doctrine has
frequently become a battleground of service ideology.
This work  examines  the  controversy  surrounding  the
doctrinal  role,  functions,   and authority  of the  JFACC in
sustained joint operations ashore.    The process begins with
an examination  of the historical  basis for  Air Force  and
Marine Corps aviation doctrine.    The doctrinal evolution of
the JFACC will be traced and the functioning of the JFACC in
the Persian Gulf war will be evaluated from the Marine Corps
Recommendation:  The Marine Corps  should take a more active
role in  further refinement  of joint air  control doctrine.
Additionally,  the Marine Corps must take steps to update its
aviatian doctrine and  invest in the doctrinal  development,
training  and   equipment  necessary  to   more  effectively
contribute to joint force operations.
     The role,  functions, and  authority of the Joint  Force
Air  Component  Commander (JFACC)  continues  to be  an area
where the Air Force and Marine Corps sharply disagree.    The
controversy centers around the  Air Force preference to view
the JFACC  as  having  operational control   (OPCON)   of  all
theater tactical air assets.   The Marine Corps  view is that
the JFACC  should function  as a  coordinator  of  joint  air
assets, with OPCON remaining with the  individual component
I.	Historical Perspective of the Employment of Air Power
	A.	North Africa 1942
	B.	Vietnam experience:  the "single manager" concept
II.	Service Doctrinal Evolution
	A.	Marine Corps Aviation Doctrine
	B.	Air Force Doctrine
	C.	Joint Air Control Doctrine
III.	Joint Doctrinal Development
	A.	JFACC Doctrine
	B.	JFACC at War
IV.	JFACC Deficiencies
	A.	"Purple" JFACC proposal
	B.	ATO process
	C.	Airspace management
V.	Conclusion
     "B9Z this is X4Q,  we are in contact with an enemy tank
column and are  under heavy fire!    I need air support  now.
What can you do for me?  Over."
     "X4Q this is B9Z, my air request net to the joint force
TACC is saturated, how long can you hold on?  Over."
     A situation such as this would be tragic for the Marine
riflemen on  the ground and  the forward air controller who
could not  supply critically needed  air support.    Could  a
situation like this  arise in the future  with the continued
centralization  of control authority  over air  power at the
Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) level?  What can
the  Marine Corps do  to ensure  that the Marine  Air Ground
Task Force (MAGTF) commander can obtain air support when and
where  he needs  it?   This  work  examines the  controversy
surrounding the doctrinal role,   functions, and authority  of
the JFACC in sustained joint operations ashore.
     In order to fully comprehend the concerns about  Marine
Aviation not  being responsive  to the  needs of  the Marine
ground  forces in  joint operations,   it is useful  to first
understand  the evolution  and divergence  of Air Force and
Marine  Corps doctrine for the employment  of air power.   The
focus will  then shift  to the  growing importance  of joint
doctrine,   and how  the process  of drafting  joint doctrine
frequently  becomes the  battleground  of service  ideology.
The doctrinal evolution of the JFACC will be traced, and the
functioning of  the JFACC in  the Persian  Gulf War will  be
evaluated from  the Marine Corps perspective.   The work will
conclude with  an analysis of  deficiencies in Marine  Corps
aviation  doctrine and  review  current service  initiatives
that  are underway to ensure that  the Joint Force Commander
is able to make optimal use of all the service components he
has available.
     The historical controversy  concerning the best methods
by  which  air  support  is  provided  to  ground forces  is
extensive.    The debate  originated  during the  1943  North
African  campaigns to  defeat German  forces.    A memorandum
from  Colonel Henry V. Dexter, Operations  Officer of the 2d
Armored Division,  to U. S.   Army Headquarters, reported  on
the  responsiveness of  air power  to the  ground commander.
Colonel Dexter summarized his  views of the centralized  and
decentralized methods for providing  air support  for  ground
units,  and brought  to light  a dilemma,  which is  as true
today as  it was in 1943.    In referring to  the theories of
centralized versus  decentralized  control,  Colonel  Dexter
     Both (theories) are correct, . . . (but must  be)
     reconciled by the intermittent nature  of ground
     action.   When  a ground unit is launched in a major
     attack,  it needs and should have direct close air
     support for  such (an) attack. . . .  In the period
     between major attacks, during which  ground forces are
     relatively inactive, the Air can be  employed more
     effectively under centralized control; and by
     directing [its]  major effort toward an air war against
     the enemy air and his ground installations.  (5:43)
     Despite  its age,  this statement  remains  an accurate
description of the advantages and  disadvantages of both the
centralized and  the  decentralized control  of  air  power.
From Colonel Dexter's  statement,  one could  logically state
that  the  preferred  method  of control  of  air  power  is
dependent upon  the mission that is assigned to the aviation
     The  Marine Corps  has exhibited  a  certain degree  of
paranoia  over losing  control  of  its fixed-wing  aviation
assets.   To a large  degree, this condition is justified, as
operational control of Marine  aviation assets has been lost
by Marine commanders on several occasions in recent history.
Marine  commanders have  not  forgotten the  Korean  War,  in
which  the  Ist  Marine  Aircraft   Wing  was  placed  under
operational control of the Air Force resulting in poor close
air support for the Ist Marine Division.
     In Vietnam, the "single manager" concept  caused Marine
commanders significant concern over losing control of their
fixed  wing  squadrons.    Compromise  on  this  issue  was
eventually  achieved,  but  not  without  significant   hard
feelings  between Air  Force  and Marine  Corps  leadership.
Several different command relationships were attempted.   The
best  compromise arrangement  had the  Air Force  retain its
coordination authority for  all fixed wing assets,   with III
Marine Amphibious Force   (MAF) retaining operational control
of  Marine aviation.    However,   the ground  commanders were
still not  completely satisfied with  the close air  support
systems that  resulted.  (12:152)  This  conflict between Air
Force and  Marine  Corps  doctrine for  the  employment  and
control of air power  in sustained operations ashore, became
one  of  many   reasons  for  the  development   of  a  more
institutionalized   joint   war-fighting  structure.      The
requirement for  strong Joint doctrine has  become necessary
to  eliminate   the  disruptive  effects   of  inter-service
competition which  have occurred from World War II to Desert
     Since its  beginnings during World War I, the existence
of the Marine Corps' air element has been justified in terms
of  its value  in supporting  ground operations.    Alfred A.
Cunningham,  the  first Marine  Corps  aviator, defined  the
rationale for  Marines flying aircraft  in a statement  that
may hold more substance for Marines than for other services.
He wrote:
     The only excuse for aviation in any service is its
     usefulness in assisting troops on the ground  to
     successfully carry out their operations.  (6: 1)
     Today,   Marine Corps aviation  assets have  one primary
purpose, that   of  supporting  the Marine  rifleman  on  the
ground.   However,  close  air support  is  but  one  type of
offensive air support, and offensive air support is only one
of six  different  functions  of  Marine Corps aviation.   The
six functions of Marine aviation, although  not all directly
supporting  the Marine  rifleman  on the  ground, provide  a
highly effective aviation combat arm, capable of meeting all
the requirements of a landing force.
     The  primary  mission  of  Marine  Corps  aviation  is:
". . . to participate  as the  supporting air component  of the
FMF in the  seizure and defense of advanced  naval bases and
for conduct of such  land operations as may be  essential to
the prosecution  of a naval campaign."   (6:5)   In support of
this mission, Marine Corps aviation doctrine has evolved and
specialized to provide aviation support of amphibious forces
throughout an assault and subsequent land operations.     The
Marine Corps considers organic Marine Air  Ground Task Force
(MAGTF) aviation to be a supporting arm in operations, where
the ground battle is paramount.
     Due to the Marine Corps' expeditionary nature, and  the
resulting paucity of heavy artillery and armored assets, the
MAGTF  has come to depend on its organic aviation element to
provide the  needed firepower.    The Marine Corps'   focus on
air support,   in close  proximity  to Marine  ground  forces
engaged  with the enemy,   is what  differentiates the Marine
air power  perspective from that  of the Air Force.    Marine
aviation is  organized,   equipped,   and trained  to  be  the
aviation combat element (ACE) of a MAGTF that is immediately
responsive to the  needs of the MAGTF  ground combat element
(GCE)  commander.     The  directly   available,   integrated
employment of MAGTF aviation is designed to offset the MAGTF
GCE's relatively light organic fire support.
     To  provide a  direct  resource of  air  power for  the
ground  combat  element,   the  Marine  Corps  has  developed
aviation  command and control   agencies and   procedures that
maximize  responsiveness and   flexibility.    The fundamental
concept of  employment  of this  control  system and  Marine
aviation in  general:   ". . . permits  centralized coordination
and  supervision   of air  operations at  the  highest level,
while incorporating decentralization of control authority to
subordinate agencies. "  (6:47)
     The  evolution  of  Air  Force  doctrine  has  had  two
distinguishable periods.
     Prior to  1947, the  Air Corps  was part  of the  U. S.
Army.    Under close control and  scrutiny of the Army, early
Air Corps doctrine was focused on providing support directly
to ground forces.   The 1926 doctrinal manual stated that air
elements were controlled by Army commanders,  who decided how
aircraft would be employed.   (1:A-2)  During the 1930s , the
expanding capabilities of aircraft combined with new mission
capabilities,  resulted  in   the  development   of  somewhat
revolutionary   doctrinal  concepts   that  envisioned   air
elements, as independent and  equal to land and sea  forces.
Development of this "independent" thinking was suppressed by
the Army, however, the General  Headquarters of the Army Air
Corps made  slow but sure progress  toward the establishment
of an independent Air Force.
            As a  result of American  air lessons learned  in North
Africa,  and growing political  pressure exerted  on the War
Department, a new Air Force Doctrine, FM 100-20, Command and
Employment  of Air Power, came  into being on  21 July 1943.
This document was the first to state that land and air power
were coequal  and interdependent.   Additionally,  the manual
asserted  that air  power  must be  centrally controlled  in
order  to  exploit  its   flexibility  and  ability  to   be
concentrated to win a battle.  (1:A-3)
     In the ensuing forty years since the official Air Force
independence in 1947,  the number of Air  Force missions has
expanded dramatically.  However, the fundamentals of current
Air Force doctrine remain largely unchanged:
     Airpower  can exploit  speed,  range, and  flexibility,
     better than land and sea forces, and therefore, it must
     be allowed  to operate independently  of these  forces.
     These  characteristics are most fully realized when air
     power is controlled centrally but executed decentrally.
     (1: A-6)
     Modern Air  Force doctrine  focuses on  the larger  air
battle with  a subset  thereof, the  provision of  close air
support to land  battle formations.  For the  Air Force, the
air battle takes precedence over that of ground combat.
The  Air Force contention is  that centralized management of
all air assets, enables the commander to shift the weight of
air power  throughout the entire theater,  and that tactical
air assets -- of whatever  service component -- are national
assets) to be placed under centralized control.
     The     Goldwater-Nichols     Department     of     Defence
Reorganization  Act   of 1986, has  done much to  increase the
importance    of   joint   operations  and   service    inter-
operability.   The  Act  identifies the Chairman  of the Joint
Chiefs  of Staff  as the  principle military advisor  to the
President.    The increased powers  of the Chairman,   and the
consolidation of  command and control  of the armed  forces,
through the  unified and  specified combatant commands,   has
greatly  increased  the  importance  of  the  body of  joint
     The creation and revision   of  joint  doctrine  can  serve
two purposes,  only one of  which will assist the Joint Force
Commander (JFC) win the next war.   The only valid purpose  of
joint doctrinal  development and revision is  to improve the
organizational  structure and  functioning of  joint forces.
It aims to improve efficiency and create an environment that
allows  each component to  contribute optimally in attaining
the JFC's objectives.
     A  secondary  purpose of  joint  doctrine  is  one  not
directly related to winning a war.   It  is, however, one that
may become  primary to many inside the  capitol  beltway.   In
this   environment,   joint   doctrine   becomes  a   primary
justification  for  the   sustainment  or  strengthening  of
service force structure and procurement programs.   In an era
of shrinking  budgets,   this  purpose  takes  on  additional
utility.   In light of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, the
ability  of   services  to  participate    in   joint/combined
operations will  become increasingly important  in budgetary
terms.    Those  who do  "joint" well  may be  the survivors.
Those that  choose not to participate,  or who compete poorly
on  the joint/combined playing  field, may  become budgetary
casualties.   Both of   these motivations  should be   kept in
mind  when  studying   the  evolution  of  joint  air  control
     Much of the conflict between Air Force and Marine Corps
doctrine for the control  of air power can be  attributed to
the scope  of the Air Force mission in comparison to that  of
the Marine Corps.    To say that the doctrine  of one service
is better than  that of another  is improper.    (Except when
each service is competing  for limited budgetary resources. )
The two  services  have  tailored their  doctrines  to  best
support accomplishment of their  vastly different  missions.
     The doctrinal  concept of the JFACC evolved from an Air
Force concept called the Air Component Commander (ACC).   The
ACC concept provided an option  for the JFC to organize  and
control air  assets which would not  necessarily be assigned
to the  Air Force Component Commander.    The ACC concept was
not  looked upon  favorably by either the Navy  or the Marine
Corps.    However,  in an effort to improve joint war-fighting
capability and to package the ACC concept in  more palatable
terminology,   the term  Joint Force Air  Component Commander
(JFACC) was  introduced to the  Joint Chiefs of  Staff (JCS)
through  the  "tank. "   (9:2)     The  JFACC was  originally
developed by  USCINCEUR as a coordination  agency that would
recognize the full  authority and flexibility of  the JFC to
organize  forces to  best accomplish  the assigned  mission.
The  JCS approval  of  this concept  first  occurred in  JCS
Publication 26  and it ".  .  . recognized  that the  JFC may
designate  a JFACC  to coordinate  the joint  air operations
campaign. "  (9:2)
     The most current description  of the role and  function
of the JFACC is found in JCS Publication 1-02:
     The JFACC  derives his authority  from the JFC  who has
     the authority  to exercise operational  control, assign
     missions,   direct coordination  among  his subordinates
     commanders, redirect and organize his forces to  ensure
     unity of  effort in the  accomplishment of his  overall
     mission.   The JFC will normally designate a JFACC.   The
     JFACC's responsibilities  will be  assigned by  the JFC
     (normally  these would include, but  not be limited to,
     planning, coordination, allocation and tasking based on
     the  JFC's  decision).    Using  the JFC's  guidance and
     authority, and  in coordination with  the other service
     component commanders, the  JFACC will recommend  to the
     JFC apportionment of air sorties to various missions or
     geographic areas.   (8:123)
     This definition clearly states that the JFC is the only
one that has OPCON of joint force aviation assets.
     Marine Corps  concerns over the JFACC  and its function
as the centralized "controller" of joint force aviation were
mitigated by the JCS issuance of the "1986 Omnibus Agreement
for  Command  and  Control  of   USMC  TACAIR  in  Sustained
Operations Ashore," which states:
     The Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commander will
     retain  operational control of  his organic air assets.
     The primary  mission of the MAGTF air combat element is
     the support of the MAGTF  ground element.   During joint
     operations,  the MAGTF  air assets  will normally be  in
     support of the MAGTF mission.   The MAGTF commander will
     make sorties available to  the JFC,  for tasking through
     his  air  Component commander,   for air  defense,  long-
     range  interdiction,   and   long-range  reconnaissance.
     Sorties in excess of MAGTF direct support  requirements
     will be provided to the JFC for tasking through the air
     Component Commander for the support of other components
     of the joint  force,  or of the joint force as a whole.
This statement has done much to endorse the integrity of the
MAGTF and  to reaffirm that  Marine aviation will  always be
foremost in support of the MAGTF  ground element.    However,
the Omnibus  Agreement has not  completely laid to  rest  the
controversy between  the Air Force  and Marine Corps.    In a
memorandum to the Director of the MAGTF  Warfighting Center,
Colonel  R.  W. Gaskin,  former  Air Force action  officer who
drafted  major portions of joint doctrine  in 1985 and 1986,
documented  Air Force objection to  the Marine Corps' view of
the joint  battlefield.   It  seems to  have a practical,   as
well as parochial basis:
     . . .  the Air  Force (will) always have a  problem with
     the  notion that  within any  theater of  operations, a
     USMC "Zone of Operations" be carved out for a separate
     USMC war, producing,  in effect, a mini-JFC.  .  . . .
     While no one would question the need for a specific AOR
     during the actual amphibious or insertion phase,  it may
     be less certain that  the USMC  AOR need  be continued
     once  USMC forces  have been  integrated into  a larger
     scheme of operations in which Army forces and Air Force
     forces greatly outnumber those  of the MAGTF commander.
     I  am  sure the USMC has  a problem with some  Air Force
     commander  penciling  in  USMC  tail   numbers  on  his
     scheduling  board.   But common  sense must prevail when
     we  all  recognize  that  each  scenario  may be  quite
     different,   and  that the  JFC  must organize  to fight
     based on the strategic situation at hand.  (7:2)
     While the force  employment philosophies and individual
doctrines of the two services differ, joint doctrine  should
attempt  to accommodate  employment  of service  components,
consistent with their designed warfighting capabilities and
in  a  manner   designed  to  exploit  those   capabilities.
However,  on  the  subject  of  the  JFC  having  the  final
authority  to organize  the way  he sees  fit,  both  the Air
Force and the Marine Corps are  in agreement.   In his  White
Letter No. 4-86,  the Marine Corps Commandant, General  P. X.
Kelley leaves little doubt about his feelings concerning the
employment of Marine aviation in a joint environment:
     The bottom line is that the Joint Force Commander is in
     charge.   If he  personalIy believes that he has  higher
     priority missions  for any, repeat  any, Marine TACAIR,
     he has the  authority to utilize them as he sees fit.
     (10: 1)
     The  establishment of  the  Joint  Force Air  Component
Commander (JFACC), as the Joint Force Commander's manager of
air power, has served to renew the conflict between  the Air
Force and  the Marine Corps.    The evolution of  the JFACC's
doctrinal role toward a  centralized manager, rather than  a
coordinator  of tactical  air assets,   has been  viewed with
great  concern by  the Marines  as an  Air Force  attempt to
establish control  of  Marine  tactical  air  in  the  joint
theater.    These concerns  were recently  heightened, as the
Air  Force authored  Title V  report to  Congress attributes
much of the success of the air campaign in the  Persian Gulf
to the JFACC.   It states:
     An important  precept underlying the  air campaign  was
     the  importance   of  overall  synchronization  of   air
     assets.     To  maximize  air  power's  flexibility  and
     striking power  it must  be integrated  and coordinated
     under a central air  commander.   .   .  . The problem   of
     fragmented command of  air operations  was solved  when
     CINCCENT  assigned  the  Commander  of  the  Air  Force
     component, COMCENTAF as the JFACC.   (4:2)
     The war  in the Persian Gulf has  provided us with many
lessons about air doctrine in general, and the strengths and
weaknesses  of the JFACC concept.   However, as with any war,
caution must be used in drawing conclusions  that may not be
applicable to subsequent operations.
     Desert Storm was a unique operation that highly favored
the employment and success of air power.    This was also the
first practical  test of the  JFACC concept for  command and
control of joint/combined aviation  forces.   The success  of
the  concept was  beyond  expectation as  the JFACC  ". . .
synchronized the efforts  of over 2,700  Coalition aircraft,
representing 12 separate national or service components."
     In Desert  Shield/Desert Storm, the  Air Force  service
component  commander (USCENTAF),   was  designated as  JFACC.
The JFACC,   under  the  authority   of  USCINCCENT,  had  the
responsibility for overall air operations in the CENCOM Area
of  Responsibility (AOR).    Specific  JFACC responsibilities
included mission  planning, mission tasking,  targeting, and
airspace control measures.    The JFACC in  the gulf war  was
very  much an  Air  Force  show  and  they  were  far  better
prepared for  war on  a large scale  than any  other service
components.     The JFACC  was manned and  staffed by  CENTAF
personnel, with liaison augmentation from other services and
allied  nations.   Army,  Navy, and  Marine liaison personnel
were   junior   in   rank,    untrained,    and     acted   as
service/component representatives,  not  as part  of a  joint
organization.    The  predominantly  single service  staffing
resulted in an air operation  that had a decidedly strategic
focus, even as ground operations neared.
     The  key element that drove all  aspects of the JFACC's
air campaign was known as the Master Attack Plan (MAP).  The
MAP  was a  document  in which  Air Force planners"  . . .
identified the  critical elements  or centers of  gravity of
the enemy  which, if effectively  attacked, would result  in
achieving the President's stated objectives."  (4:3)  After
these critical elements were  identified they were targeted.
The  JFACC's   targeting  decisions  were  based   on  " . . .
strategic objectives, CINCCENT guidance, target priorities,
the desired effect on each target, a synthesis of the latest
multisource intelligence and  analysis, operational  factors
such  as  weather,  the  threat, and  the  availability  and
suitability of strike assets." (4 : 3 )
     The ATO planning process was a lengthy staffing process
based  on a 72 hour cycle.   The process began with guidance
for adjustment  to the air  campaign plan made  by CINCCENT,
and  ended  with  a  complete  ATO  being  received  by  the
participating aviation  elements.  On  any given day  of the
air campaign,  three  separate wars  were  conducted --  the
execution of today's  ATO, the planning and  staffing of the
next day's war, and the MAP for the third day's war.
     The JFACC's  primary  means of  tasking  Coalition  air
power was through the Air Tasking  Order (ATO).  The ATO was
the   daily  schedule   that   provided   the  details   and
coordination necessary for Coalition aircrews to execute the
MAP.   Because  of the  extremely large  number of  aircraft
missions involved,  and the  special instructions that  were
necessary to  coordinate these missions, the daily ATO was a
very large  document,   frequently exceeding  more  than  750
pages in  length.   (4:7)     Dissemination  of the  ATO  was
accomplished through  an Air  Force computer  network called
the  Computer-Aided   Force  Management  System    (CAFMS).
Terminals were provided for  the Third Marine Aircraft  Wing
at  the  Tactical Air  Command  Center   (TACC) that allowed
direct access to CAFMS.   The transmission  of the ATO itself
was  a  lengthy  process  that   took  roughly  6  hours  to
accomplish via the CAFMS network.
     Another  function  assumed  by  the  JFACC  during  the
Persian Gulf  War  was that  of  Airspace Control  Authority
(ACA).    As  ACA, COMUSCENTAF  coordinated the  planning and
operation  of the  joint airspace  control system.    Through
this  system, the  MARCENT commander  was allocated  his own
tactical operations area (TOA),  which included  the airspace
overlying  the   MEF's  AOR,    between   the  fire   support
coordination line (FSCL)  and the rear area.    This division
of  airspace  provided MARCENT  with flexibility  inside the
TOA, but  presented some coordination  difficulties when the
MEF  commander wanted  to attack  mobile enemy  targets just
beyond  the FSCL  that  had a  direct  influence on  MARCENT
     The overall  success of the  JFACC in managing  the air
campaign is legendary, but the concept has many deficiencies
that should be corrected.    However, this critical review of
JFACC  deficiencies  does  much to  expose  deficiencies  in
Marine aviation  doctrine  that  must be  addressed  if  the
Marine Corps  is to  contribute to  joint operations  in the
future.   This section will identify  some major deficiencies
and trace  the "workarounds" that were  developed by MARCENT
personnel to minimize the effects of these deficiencies.
     One of the most significant Marine Corps' criticisms of
the JFACC in Desert Storm  was that the JFACC was  reluctant
to  shift  phases  of  the war  from  strategic  targeting  to
battlefield preparation.   Such criticism would be in keeping
with the Air Force philosophy  of employment of air power as
a strategic force.    The same could  also be said  about the
Army commanders,   who expressed a similar  concern about the
strategic  focus  of the air  campaign.    This viewpoint  was
emphasized in an  I MEF response  to a USCENTCOM  inquiry on
how  components should  integrate into  the JFACC  in future
joint operations and exercises.   The I MEF response states:
     The problem of  not having a truly  joint structure for
     targeting and apportionment is that the strategic views
     become  the order  of  the day  at the  expense  of the
     tactical .   .  .  .  .    A strictly Air  force view failed
     to  adjust  the      tactical targets  vis-a-vis  strategic
     until driven to it by  the MARCENT insistence  that we
     would  fly  a   preponderance  of   our   sorties  for
     battlefield shaping as G-Day approached.   (3:1)
     A possible solution to this  problem mentioned in the I
MEF  message,  is the establishment of a "purple" JFACC, that
would be manned  by a broad  spectrum of personnel from  all
major service  components that make up  joint force aviation
assets.   Such a proposal now exists and  is being refined by
USCINCLANT.  The "purple" JFACC  would function as  a staff
element for   the Joint Force Commander,  in contrast with the
current arrangement,   where the JFACC doubles as a component
commander.    The  concept's  major  objective  is  that  of
ensuring   that  the    "purple"  JFACC    has   full  service
integration  through   a   joint  staff,    not   a  component
commander.   (3: 2)
     Under current  joint doctrine,   when forces of  similar
size  to  those  in  Desert  Storm  must  operate  together,
targeting  and tasking  of  joint force  airpower will  most
likely be  subject to a  decidedly Air Force  strategic view
that may  be far removed  from the battlefield.    One reason
for this is that the Air Force is the only service that  has
the personnel and equipment to efficiently manage a military
operation the size  of Desert Storm.    For this reason,  the
"purple" JFACC  proposal somewhat ignores the  fact that the
Air Force has already developed systems, staffs, and a great
deal of expertise in  managing an air campaign on  the scale
of Desert  Storm.   However, getting a broader representation
on the JFACC   staff would provide  better service  component
representation  on critical  targeting and  airspace control
     Another JFACC issue that  drew significant Marine Corps
criticism  was the  unresponsive nature  of the  ATO process
that  drove  Coalition  air  operations.     Because  of  the
inability to change or add missions to the ATO,   MARCENT Air
Combat  Element (ACE)  developed  what came  to be  known as
"workarounds."  Examples of these Marine solutions to an ATO
process that lacked flexibility are discussed  in the Center
for Naval  Analyses  report   of Third Marine Air  Wing (MAW)
operations.   It states:
     The simplest  workaround  was deliberately  overbooking
     the ATO,  that is, scheduling sorties with the intention
     of cancelling  the  sorties if  they  were not  needed.
     Another technique  used by  Third MAW  was deliberately
     scheduling two MEF packages  with almost the same time-
     on-targets.    If a  valuable target of  opportunity was
     noted during  the first mission, the second group could
     be  diverted to  that  target.    In general,   Third MAW
     attempted  to write  generic strike  packages  into the
     schedule rather  than target-specific packages,   all in
     an attempt to retain flexibility.   (11:13)
     The  Third   MAW  "workarounds"  were   constructed  to
minimize the  effects of  the 72  hour  ATO planning  cycle.
Targets  of interest to Marine planners  tended to be highly
mobile.   The fleeting nature of these targets made the short
response time of MEF  aviation critically important.   During
ground operations,  the battlefield  situation in the  Marine
AOR changed  at a  faster pace  than the  intelligence, bomb
damage assessment, and targeting cycles.
     Conflict  arose between  JFACC  and MARCENT  as to  how
airspace lying beyond the FSCL would be managed.   JFACC, and
Air  Force  doctrine  in   general,   view  the  FSCL  as   a
restrictive control measure:  all aircraft and ordnance  used
beyond  the FSCL  must be  coordinated and  approved by  the
JFACC.   In contrast,  the Marine Corps  views the FSCL as  a
non-restrictive fire control  measure where supporting fires
may  be used  within  the commander's  AOR  in a  responsive
manner without coordination of  approval by the JFACC.    The
Center  for Naval  Analyses review  of Third  MAW operations
     The issue  was  important to  MARCENT  because a
     requirement to coordinate Marine  Air with JFACC during
     the   ground  offensive  could  introduce   tactically
     significant delays in providing fire support to rapidly
     moving Marine ground forces.   (11:35)
This disagreement in  doctrinal view of the  area forward of
the  FSCL  was  never  resolved,   and  lead  to  significant
confusion in the control of airspace beyond the FSCL.   JFACC
retained control of this airspace  despite the fact that the
vast majority of air support forward of the MARCENT FSCL was
provided by  Marine  air.     Resolution of  this  issue  and
standardization   of joint air  control procedures beyond the
FSCL   are   critically   important    in   maintaining   the
responsiveness of Marine air.
     Whether  the threat  to control  of Marine  aviation is
real or  imagined, certain  actions should  be taken  by the
Marine Corps  that will protect Marine aviation for the GCE,
and improve  the efficiency  of the Joint  Force Commander's
tactical air power.
     Regardless   of   Marine   Corps   preferences,    joint
operations and  the JFACC are  here to  stay.   The  issue of
whether the  JFACC's authority is  that of a commander  or a
coordinator is one that  is not likely to be  resolved soon.
How the JFACC will function in  the future is an issue  that
is still being developed.
     To date,   the development of joint  doctrine concerning
the role  and functioning of  the JFACC  has been  primarily
driven by the Air  Force.  In order to effect this portion of
joint doctrine,  the Marine  Corps must reverse its  reactive
posture  and take  an  active  role  in  shaping  the  joint
doctrine.   The "purple" JFACC initiative is one  such effort
that   deserves   full     Marine   Corps   endorsement   and
     In  summary, the  Marine Corps  must focus  on becoming
part of  the solution rather  than an obstacle  to progress.
An aggressive Marine  Corps program to  develope a  workable
concept for  employment  of  the  JFACC is  the  only  means
possible  to ensure  that the  Marine ground  commander will
have responsive and timely air support that is vital  to his
success.   However,   the Marine Corps  must first  revitalize
its aviation  doctrine from its  current 1979 vintage.    The
Marine's aviation  doctrine needs to  address joint/combined
force operations far more extensively then it does now.   The
lessons of joint air operations in Desert Storm should serve
as the  wake up call  to Marine aviation.    The days  of the
Marine Corps going it alone are memories of the past.
1.	AFM-1, Aerospace Doctrine of the  United States Air
Force.   Washington, DC, 1984.
2.	Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Message "Joint
Doctrine for Theater Counterair Operations.  4 March 1986.
3.	Commanding General, I MEF.  Message "Command and
Control  for Joint Air Operations." 13 December 1991.
4.	"Conduct of the Persian Gulf Conflict.", Title V Report,
Volume I.  January 1992.
5.	Dexter, Colonel  Henry V.   Memorandum published by
Proceedings, Washington, DC:  December 1990.
6.	FMFM 5-1, Marine Aviation.  Quantico, VA:  Marine Corps
Development and Education Command, 1979.
7.	Gaskin, Colonel Robert W.  Memorandum to Deputy
Commander for Warfighting.  Not dated.
8.	JCS Publication 1-02, The DoD Dictionary of Military and
          Associated Terms.  Washington, DC: 1991.
9.	JCS Publication 26.   Washington, DC:  1985.
10.	Kelley, General  P. X.   White Letter No. 4-86.  18 March
11.	"Marine Corps Desert Storm Reconstruction Report, Volume
III:  Third Marine Aircraft Wing Operations."  Center for Naval Analyses.
Alexanderia, VA.  October 1991.
12.	U. S. Marines in Vietnam:   The Landing and the Buildup,
1965.  Washington, DC:  Headquarters, U. S.  Marine Corps, 1978.

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