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Military

Air Power--Maneuver Element Or Pretender?
CSC 1992
SUBJECT AREA - Aviation
			EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Title:  Air Power--Maneuver Element or Pretender?
Author:  Major G.A. Morrison, United States Marine Corps
Thesis:  All aircraft must ultimately answer the call of
gravity; therefore, they are unable to perform the functions
of maneuver elements.
Background:  Just as the term "maneuver warfare" has
nothing to do with fighting while walking around, so too the
term "maneuver element" has nothing to do with the ability
to walk, drive, or fly.  Much has been written, particularly
since 1989, regarding the use of "air" as a maneuver
element, virtually all of it favoring such use.  It is most
interesting, however, that in no Field Manual, Fleet Marine
Force Manual, or article, including the bench mark FM 100-5
of 1986, has any author found it necessary to define the
term "maneuver element," yet they have come forward by
dozens to claim that "air" is a maneuver element, as though
the statement is tautologically true.  An analysis is made
of the term wherein the ability to hold or to seize terrain
is found to be the only relevant criterion for determining
who is and is not justified in being recognized as a
maneuver element.  Comparison is made between artillery,
cavalry, and aircraft, the latter often being compared to
the former two in other writings.  The conclusion is reached
that while air power, the Marine's Air Combat Element
specifically, should in fact have security force missions,
interdiction missions, airspace control missions, as well as
close air support missions, these to not render air power a
maneuver element; air power is a supporting arm.  The
implications for the Marine Expeditionary Force are that it
is commanded by too high-ranking an officer and that its
power is over-stated.
Recommendation:  The Marine Corps as an institution
would help itself by realizing that air power, for all of its
capabilities and numerous applications in reconnaissance,
security force operations, interdiction and close air
support roles is an enabler of victory on the ground--a
supporting arm.  As such, the implications for command of
our Marine Air-Ground Task Forces should be considered and
our command structure streamlined.
AIR POWER- -MANEUVER ELEMENT OR PRETENDER?
Thesis:  All aircraft must ultimately answer the call of gravity;
therefore, they are unable to perform the functions of maneuver
elements.
I.	What is a maneuver element?
	A.	Possesses the ability to seize and occupy, or
		defend and deny; the term is not self-descriptive
	B.  Uses firepower to enable movement
II.	What is a supporting arm?
	A.	Its function is support; term is self-descriptive
	B.	Uses movement to enable firepower
	C.	Subordinate in role to the maneuver element
III.	Artillery
	A.	Elements--observation, communication,
		transportation, and detonation
	B.	Role and functioning vis-a-vis infantry
IV.	Cavalry
	A.	Modern mission--primarily reconnaissance/
		security force operations
	B.	Role and functioning vis-a-vis infantry
V.	Aircraft
	A.	Elements and capabilities
	B.	Role and functioning vis-a-vis infantry
	C.	Maneuver element?
VI.	Relevancy of the argument
	A.	Matter of intent rather than substance
	B.	Implications of accepting aircraft as a
		maneuver element rather than a supporting arm
AIR POWER- -MANEUVER ELEMENT OR PRETENDER?
     Just as the term "maneuver warfare" has nothing to do
with fighting while walking around, so too the term
"maneuver element" has nothing to do with the ability to
walk, drive, or fly.  Much has been written, particularly
since 1989, regarding the use of "air" as a maneuver
element, virtually all of it favoring such use.  The
successes of aircraft against the Iraqi Air Force and Army
in 1991 has only served to intensify the argument.  Air-
craft, however, are different from infantrymen and land
vehicles.  All aircraft must ultimately answer the call of
gravity; therefore, they are unable to perform the functions
of maneuver elements.
     The ball is crubal.  Well, fine.  We know what a ball
is but what does crubal mean?  Absolutely nothing; it only
serves to demonstrate a point--one can't very well say
whether a statement is true or not unless all of the terms
have definition.  It is most interesting that in no Field
Manual, Fleet Marine Force Manual, or article I have read,
including the bench mark FM 100-5 of 1986, has any author
found it necessary to define the term "maneuver element,"
yet they have come forward by dozens to claim that "air" is
a maneuver element, as though the statement is tautologic-
ally true.
     Lieutenant Colonel Harold T. Gonzales USAF states that
"the primary maneuver arms of the modern battlefield are
infantry and armor.  These combat arms develop firepower
only to enable them to maneuver better."(6:3)  They
obviously aren't maneuvering only to move around.  There is
a purpose; a maneuver element defeats an enemy by moving to
occupy the space formerly held by that enemy.  It doesn't
matter whether we are talking of positional, attrition,
maneuver, or any other classification of warfare--when the
enemy either quits in confusion or dies by gunshot the
maneuver element occupies his spaces.  Analogously, a
maneuver element defends by physically occupying the space
desired by the enemy.  This may be by a position defense or
mobile defense.  Either way the objective is the same--to
deny the enemy use of the terrain.  A maneuver element uses
firepower as an enabling tool in carrying out its occupation.
     Is this a suggestion that defeating the enemy is not
important, that only occupying terrain is relevant?  Far
from it.  Defeating the enemy is the only criterion for
success.  We defeat him by forcing him to yield; we cannot
claim to be victorious so long as the enemy stubbornly holds
the terrain and defies our every effort to cause him to
yield.  Defeat and victory are thus intimately tied to the
occupation of terrain.
     All elements maneuver, but not all are maneuver
elements.  The term "maneuver element" is not self-
descriptive.  It is not the ability to maneuver per se which
defines a maneuver element, but the ability to take
possession of the enemy's space or prevent him from
occupying one's own.
     "Supporting arm," on the other hand, is a self-
descriptive term.  The role of supporting arms is to provide
the means necessary to enable maneuver elements to
accomplish their occupation, either in offense or defense.
Supporting arms utilize maneuver to facilitate firepower--
they move to bring themselves into the range of their
particular weapons, or skills in the case of combat
engineers.  Perhaps the most salient point regarding
supporting arms is the most obvious--they exist to support.
As such, they are subordinate in their role relative to the
maneuver elements.
     In a brief article in the April 1981 Marine Corps
Gazette, Mr. William S. Lind, the controversial progenitor
of the Marine Corps' maneuver warfare doctrine, seeks to
define supporting arms as qualitatively different than
combined arms.  "Combined arms" is defined as when an action
to counter one arm makes the enemy more vulnerable to the
other arm, and "supporting arms" is defined as when the
counter to one arm is also the counter to the other.  Mr.
Lind makes use of a very clever psychological ploy in
offering these definitions.  He says that "if Marines
understand the difference between combined and supporting
arms clearly (as some [unnamed] analysts believe the Soviets
do), they will be in a better position to achieve true
combined arms and thus make more effective use of their
firepower."(9:54)  What the Soviets do is a non-entity in
1992, but the point is clear--Mr. Lind thinks Marines just
aren't sharp enough to grasp the concept of how the two
terms differ and provides a goad to spur us to greater
interest.  Perhaps more to the point is that Mr. Lind's
definitions are needlessly complex and of dubious value.
The concept of a supporting arm, whether being utilized
alone or combined with maneuver elements and other
supporting arms, is clear and well understood historically--
supporting arms support.
     The concept of holding the terrain or forcing the enemy
to yield as the criteria for identifying a maneuver element
should cause us to call into question LtCol. Gonzales's
concept of infantry and armor as the normally thought of
maneuver elements.  History is replete with examples, the
1973 Egyptian-Israeli war among them, demonstrating that
armor cannot by itself dislodge a disciplined, determined
enemy.  Nor can armor by itself hold terrain against a
determined enemy.  The logical conclusion then is that
tanks, for all their shock action, armor, firepower, and
mobility, do not supplant infantry.  Tanks support infantry;
they are therefore a supporting arm.
     Artillery is the weapon most often thought of when
supporting arms are mentioned and the weapon with which
aviators most disdain to be compared.  There are four
elements required for successful employment of artillery.
They are, for purposes of consonance, observation,
communication, transportation, and detonation.  Without any
one of these elements artillery ceases to be a viable
weapon.
     Observation, or target detection, can be accomplished
by either a human in the capacity of the "forward observer,"
or by other intelligence gathering sources.  In any event,
accurate target location and description are essential for
engagement.  Observation of the fall of shot on the target
is also necessary in order to collect damage information.
The mission of reconnaissance by fire, for example, which is
generally conceded to be horribly wasteful of ammunition, is
downright suicidal in this age of counter-mortar radars, and
is fired at no particular target in hopes of seeing the
enemy scurry, thereby giving evidence of his presence,
requires an observer in order to have any effectiveness
whatsoever.
     Communication between the observer and the battery's
fire direction center (FDC--where the azimuth and elevation
for the weapons are computed) and his corresponding Fire
Support Coordination Center (FSCC) is the second key.  Its
importance cannot be overstated.  The lack of a rapid and
reliable communications means was the principal draw-back of
artillery in the First World War.  Indeed, the overwhelming
power of land-based rifles has not been duplicated since
1918, yet their power was largely wasted in the generation
of vast oceans of mud because of the inability of
maneuvering units to control the weapons.
     Transportation of both the howitzer and its ammunition
consumes far more of an artilleryman's time and energy than
any other element.  The rapid, silent, and coordinated
movement between firing locations is practiced ad nauseum in
an effort to guarantee minimal breaks in firing capacity.
But, for what purpose except to extend the range of the
howitzer, which is otherwise quite limited.  But, why state
the obvious?  To emphasize the point that transportation is
required to move any weapons delivery means to a distance
from which its particular projectile can effectively be
employed against a target.
     Detonation, comprising both the howitzer and its
projectile, is the most often thought of element of
artillery.  Much has been made, particularly during the Gulf
War of 1991, of the superior range of the Iraqi 155mm
howitzer in comparison to the American M198 155mm
howitzer.  Those who ask the question are considering only
this particular element of the four necessary elements of
artillery.  It is important to have well designed ordnance
with long range.  All things being equal, the side with the
longer range weapons will have a decided advantage in the
counter-fire arena; but, by denying the other three elements
to the Iraqis, the small advantage they possessed in
delivery means was for nought.
     The role of artillery within the U.S. armed forces has
never been in doubt.  Its function is to support maneuver
elements.  Whether "artillery conquers and infantry
occupies" is true or whether artillery is merely an enabler
of infantry victory is happy-hour conversation for the well
lubricated.  No artilleryman ought seriously to purport to
being anything other than a supporting arm of maneuver
elements.
     Cavalry is a type of combat organization found in the
Army but not the Marine Corps.  What does it do that it
should have a special organization and title?  The first
sentence of FM 17-95, Cavalry Operations, states that
"armored cavalry is organized for the specific purposes of
reconnaissance, surveillance, and security."(4:1-1)  This is
succinct and in fact hasn't changed since the American Civil
War when horse mounted cavalry had, by 1864, developed an
identical purpose.  For whom does cavalry perform these
functions?  The mission statement from the same field manual
says:
     The mission of armored cavalry is to perform
     reconnaissance and provide security for the unit to
     which it is assigned or attached.  A [cavalry]
     regiment may also engage in offensive, defensive or
     delaying actions as part of the main battle or may
     be employed in an economy of force role.(4:1-18)
     The mission of providing security for a unit is broken
into three different types of security missions.  Note the
escalation of the severity of fighting intrinsic in each
mission as they are enumerated.
     A screen provides early warning, counters enemy
reconnaissance activities, gains and maintains enemy
contact, impedes with indirect fires, and is prepared to
guide reaction forces.
     A guard performs the functions of screening but in
addition protects the main body from direct fire weapons and
surprise attack, and disrupts deployment of the enemy first
echelon.  The guard force does not withdraw to successive
positions without permission from the main body commander,
whereas the screening force commander may direct movement to
successive screen lines on his own initiative.
     A cover denies the enemy information about the size,
strength, composition, and objectives of the main body,
destroys enemy reconnaissance and security zone forces,
develops the enemy situation to determine enemy strength and
disposition, and forces the enemy to deploy first and second
echelon elements prematurely.  The U.S. Army has helicopters
as a regular part of their armored cavalry units.  It also
has entire units of helicopters only, with similar mission
requirements, designated as air cavalry units.  FM 17-95 is
very clear as to the limits of the air cavalry's employment:
"Air cavalry units will not be assigned a cover mission.
They do not have the closing and staying power required." (4:8-27)
     To the naked eye, the armored cavalry has the appear-
ance of a maneuver element.  Is it one?  Again, FM 17-95
gives indications.  "Armored cavalry is used by the corps
commander. . . to help achieve his overall goals."(4:1-6)  "The
[cavalry] regiment may be reinforced with maneuver
battalions or task forces . . . "(4:1-7)  "A [cavalry] regiment
can act as a covering force without reinforcement.  However,
reinforcement by maneuver, combat support, and combat
service support units increases the distance and time the
regiment can operate away from the main body and the
regiment's ability to destroy the enemy."(4:7-23)
     The point is clear--cavalry is not intended or
structured to operate independently; but, rather, it is an
enabling force for the accomplishment of the maneuver
element's mission.  In the vein of using firepower to enable
movement it appears to be a maneuver element; however,
cavalry chiefly uses stealth to enable movement and uses
firepower for defense.  In its role as an enabler and in its
subordination to the maneuver element commander, cavalry
serves as a supporting arm.
     There is herein an essential difference from FM 100-5
of 1986.  In chapter three of the manual we read:  "Basic
types of maneuver units are discussed in the following
paragraphs:  Light Infantry. . .Mechanized Infantry. . .
Motorized Infantry. . .Armor. . .Cavalry. . .Aviation. . ."(5:43)
As previously noted, FM 100-5 makes use of the term
maneuver unit" without ever defining it formally or even
providing an informal basis for its use.  The point is, how-
ever, moot for the U.S. Army wherein cavalry and aviation
serve as supporting arms, regardless of how they wish to
write about them, and are organizationally structured within
their corps and divisions subordinate to those commanders.
     Air power is often compared to the two preceding arms--
to artillery by those who see aircraft as a bigger bludgeon
and to cavalry by those who see aircraft in a sweeping,
chivalrous light.  In fact, of course, there are many kinds
of aircraft designed for many purposes and these two views
fit easily into the spectrum.
     Fighters, the aircraft au gallant, exist for a realm
far removed from the infantry existentially, yet not really
so far at all in their reason for being.  These aircraft,
since their inception as purpose built craft in the First
World War, exist to destroy those opposing aircraft which
seek to threaten friendly forces on the ground.  Of course,
as both sides possess such aircraft, the first task
necessary in order to attack ground-threatening aircraft is
to remove the threat to one's own self--thus the aerial
dogfight and the realm of the air superiority fighter.
     Attack aircraft, those for whom the fighters clear the
way, have a much more visceral, far less romantic, aire
about them.  They are primarily designed not for speed and
maneuverability, as are fighters, but as weapons delivery
platforms.  As such, ability to lift heavy ordnance loads
and accurately release them upon their intended targets is
paramount.  LtCol. Gonzales's paper, Tactical Air Support of
Ground Forces in the Future, seeks to demonstrate that
aircraft are not flying artillery.  Yet how are attack
aircraft different in their essence from artillery; the four
elements of artillery are identically the primary elements
of attack aircraft.
     Observation, through the eyes of a Forward Air
Controller (FAC) or some other external intelligence agency
must locate a target.  In some instances, the pilot is given
the freedom to choose targets as he observes them from the
cockpit, but even in this case, observation of the target
must take place prior to engagement.
     Communication of the target location to the pilot must
take place, even if this communication occurs entirely
within the pilots own head.  Because of the distances
involved, and the need to ensure that mid-air collisions
don't occur, the radio communications involved, and the
number of control agencies through which they must pass, are
far more complex than with artillery yet nonetheless are in
essence the same.
     Transportation of the bomb to its release point is the
attack aircraft's reason for being.  Certainly, if it were
possible to accurately propel a 1000 pound shell 40 or 50
miles there would be no reason to consume the fuel and
endanger the pilot in his attempt to carry the bomb the same
distance.
     There are a few differences in principle.  Chief among
these is that aircraft are direct fire weapons in most
instances whereas artillery is an indirect fire weapon.  In
most instances the pilot, once made aware of the target's
location, physically views the target and aims his weapon at
it.  Further, he does not get an opportunity to adjust his
fire since, unlike artillery which stays put awaiting word
of how it shot, the aircraft must keep moving in order to
stay aloft; if he misses, he must start over.
     Reconnaissance aircraft should probably be termed
photography aircraft.  They are able to give a portrayal,
via the skilled photo-interpreter, of things on the ground
at a particular instant in time.  They are not able to
perform such important features as determining
trafficability, stream fordability, bridge load capacity or
keep watch for an extended period on a suspected location
for tell-tale movement.  The information they provide is
vital, but does not substitute for reconnaissance forces on
the ground.  Instead, they serve as an extension of
reconnaissance forces, providing some information at
extended distances where there would otherwise be no
information at all.
     Rotary wing aircraft are no more all alike in purpose
than are fixed wing aircraft.  Transport and light utility
helicopters are generally self-explanatory in their
purposes, whereas reconnaissance and attack helicopters have
been specially designed, particularly so in the Army, for
the role of ground support in the form of hunter-killer
teams.  The helicopter is extremely susceptible to small
arms fire, so the Army's diminutive OH-58D is designed to
hover with its fuselage below covering terrain, while a
periscope looks out in search of the enemy.  Upon locating
and identifying a target, the observer calls in the attack
helicopter (AH-64) which, with its missile range and fire
control system, doesn't need to jeapordize itself to enemy
fire in order to make a kill.  The Marine Corps has not been
in a hurry to adopt these tactics and instead uses their
AH-1 attack helicopter as both scout-observer and killer.
     So, after the briefest of discussions regarding the
aircraft themselves, we arrive at the quintessential
question.  Is aviation capable of acting as an independent
maneuver element or not?  Furthermore, why is it necessary
that a very strict definition of the term should be applied?
     Mr. Lind builds the case that aviation should be
involved in maneuver warfare--that pilots should "always
have permission to act on their own initiative, according to
the situation--whether or not they have communications with
the ground."(8:63)  This within the framework of aviators
being "fully read-in on the ground situation,"  under-
standing the scheme of maneuver and the ground commander's
intent. (8:58)
     The spectre of aircraft zipping over the battlefield at
400 miles per hour dropping 1000 pound bombs on their
pilot's own initiative, in the hope that the pilot got a
positive identification of his heavily camouflaged target,
is indeed a daunting one--yet, let us consider that it may
happen without catastrophe.
     What is the implication of Mr. Lind's suggestion?
Whose intent is the Air Combat Element (ACE) obliged to
follow, whose concept of operations, the Ground Combat
Element (GCE) commander's or the Marine Air-Ground Task
Force (MAGTF) commander's?  Under the Marine Corps's current
doctrine, the ACE commander follows the MAGTF commander's
intent and concept of operations--the ACE is thereby treated
as an independent maneuver element.  Mr. Lind implies,
however, that the ACE will act in subordination not to the
MAGTF commander, but to the GCE commander, shifting the
ACE's efforts as the GCE commander shifts his focus of
effort--as all the supporting arms within the GCE do.
     What do other writers offer to this discussion?  LtCol.
Gonzales, USAF, writes:
           The air operations conducted during the Battle
     of the Bulge were consistent with the active defense
     operations later envisioned by AirLand Battle
     doctrine.  General Eisenhower's air and ground
     forces conducted a synchronized active defense
     against the German attack.  Simultaneously, Allied
     air forces conducted a deep, close, and rear battle.
     Because of their superior capability to maneuver,
     they were the spearhead of the Allied active
     defense.(Italics added)(6:110)
Is it true that it was a superior capability to maneuver
that made the air forces the spearhead?  Would the statement
not be more logical if it were written thus:  Because of their
superior ability to bring massive firepower to bear on the
enemy, they were the spearhead of the Allied active defense.
     Another example is presented in the same article
regarding Operation Totalize, the British breakout of the
Normandy beachhead in 1944.  During this operation, the
British Bomber Command repeated the success of the American
breakout near Cherbourg--but many of the mistakes had been
corrected.  Regarding Totalize, Gonzales states, "It is
important to note that it was the penetration of the air
forces that caused the disorganization of the enemy, not the
destruction of the enemy forces per se. . . .Airplanes served
as the independent maneuver element creating the
penetration."(Italics added)(6:105)
     Are you impressed when an airplane penetrates the
airspace over your house?  So, why should the German
soldiers in France have been so impressed by airplanes
penetrating their airspace either?  As the dazed, bleeding
soldier emerged from his hole to the sight of his friends
lying dead around him, his command and control facilities in
complete disarray, the roads leading to him cratered so that
resupply was nearly impossible, and he heard the rumble of
enemy tanks in the near distance--he was impressed.  It is
certainly true that aircraft created the opportunity for
penetration.  They did not create the penetration--aircraft
did not and cannot occupy the enemy's position.  Had the
path of destruction created by the air forces not been
followed immediatel  by ground forces able to exploit the
confusion, the opportunity for penetration would have
vaporized.  Aircraft, like artillery in these examples, use
their ability to maneuver to bring massive firepower to bear
in a decisive way.  The ability to maneuver in and of itself
provides nothing in terms of combat power.  Gonzales has
made the mistake of repeating his thesis so often that he
has believed it--without considering how to prove it.
     Gonzales is not alone.  In the August 1989 Marine Corps
Gazette, Major S. Donnell, USMC, claimed that "the ACE is,
in fact, far more than a supporting arm; it is an additional
maneuver element that can make major and direct
contributions to winning on the battlefield."(2:64)  No one
has suggested that air power's contributions are not major
or direct, but suppose the ACE is "merely" a supporting arm.
Is that so bad?  Artillery and engineers have been
supporting arms for over four-hundred years and the maneuver
elements still cry for more!  Being a supporting arm does
not make the battlefield contribution less major, less
direct, or less relevant; it does mean that one understands
the relative subordination of purpose.
     The ACE should be given a mission and be left to
perform it, as should every other supporting arm.  The ACE
should be assigned security force missions within the limits
of its capabilities, like the cavalry to whom it is often
compared, it should have specific interdiction missions with
priority of fire to specific types of targets, and it should
carry out, unimpeded, all of the associated functions
inherent with managing airspace; but, these things do not,
cannot, and will not make the ACE a maneuver element.  While
aircraft, either rotary or fixed wing, are able to deny the
occupation of terrain for a time, as any of the other
supporting arms can, they cannot hold ground or seize ground
from an enemy determined to stay, no matter how miserable
they make life for the enemy.
     Let us leave our thesis that air power is a supporting
arm and ask why it is even necessary to raise the issue.
Consider the implications of air power, the Marine Corps's
ACE specifically, as a maneuver element.  It is difficult,
if not impossible, to say which is the cause and which the
effect of the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) commander
assuming three-star rank and the rise of the concept of the
ACE as a maneuver element.  With two distinct two-star level
maneuver elements within the MEF we have, de facto, a corps--
and a corps is commanded by a lieutenant general.  On the
other hand, this corps has only one division.  Is it fitting
to "advertise" that the MEF is a triple-X unit when, under
normal circumstances, it has only a single division?  There
are those who would say that with the Wing, a MEF has the
combat power of a corps.  We must regard it as highly
suspect that these individuals have ever seriously examined
the force structure of a corps.
     Disregarding what impression we leave on others, what
does this mean for the Marine Corps?  Who is responsible for
the success of an operation, the GCE commander or the MAGTF
commander?  Naturally the MAGTF commander.  As such, is it
plausible to assume that the MAGTF commander will give a
mission to the GCE commander and then keep hands off?  One
hardly suspects this to be possible.  There are simply no
other ground forces available for the MAGTF commander to
deal with, unlike a corps commander who has two or more
divisions plus his own corps level forces to utilize.  The
Marine Corps has effectively added another layer of command
but has provided no ground forces, other than the Division's
forces, to the commander in order to influence the battle.
The result in essence is having two commanders for the same
troops--an arrangement that is likely to be unsatisfactory
and often explosive.
     It is certainly true that the ACE, with its fixed-wing
aircraft, has the ability to attack the enemy with great
force at distances considerably farther than a normal
division could.  It is also true, however, that a Marine
division is very light in internal fire support and relies
upon the ACE to make up the shortfall.  In the net then, we
have a team in the MAGTF which, under favorable meteor-
ological and geographic conditions, is stronger than a
regular division, and thus perhaps there may be an argument
that something larger than a division should be symbolized--
but it is by no means the equivalent of a corps.  There
should be no need for a MEF at the lieutenant general level.
The division commander, with perhaps a small addition to the
division staff, should be capable of commanding the MEF, as
was done until only a very few years ago.  The three-star
level should be for a true corps, with two or more
divisions, as was the case in the Gulf War.  But, you say,
how can this be with a wing commander who may be senior to a
division commander; who will be the MEF commander in this
case?  This is potentially no more of a problem than when an
artillery battalion is placed in direct support of an
infantry battalion.  Even if senior, the artillery battalion
commander is the supporting unit and when questions arise,
the final decision regarding employment of fires rests with
the supported, i.e. the infantry battalion, commander.
     Air power, for all of its capabilities and numerous
applications in reconnaissance, security force operations,
interdiction and close air support roles is an enabler of
victory--victory which occurs on the ground.  Air power is a
supporting arm.  Major Donnell asserts that "the Marine
Corps has got to come to terms with the ACE as a maneuver
element.  Waging turf wars will only complicate the
transition.  This means disregarding old perceptions,
maintaining open minds, avoiding stereotypes, and dropping
the heat shields."(2:66)  Major Donnell is correct.  One
wonders, however, whose minds are closed.
		BIBLIOGRAPHY
1.	Dixon, Maj. William H.  "The ACE Is Not a Maneuver
Element--Yet."  The Marine Corps Gazette February 1992:  59-63.
2.	Donnell, Maj. Steven B. "The ACE as a Maneuver Element."
The Marine Corps Gazette August 1989:  64-66.
3.	Driscoll, Maj. Daniel A. and O'Neill, Maj. Gordon C.
"Maneuver Warfare:  Can the ACE Adopt This Philosophy of
 War?"  The Marine Corps Gazette May 1991:  77-83.
4.	FM 17-95:  Cavalry Operations.  Washington, DC:
Department of the Army, 14 February 1986.
5.	FM 100-5:  Operations.  Washington, DC:  Department of
the Army, 5 May 1986.
6.	Gonzales, LtCol. Harold T.  Tactical Air Support of Ground
Forces in the Future.  Center for Aerospace Doctrine Research
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