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Force 2001:  The Employment Of Marine Aviation In Offensive Air Support
CSC 1992
SUBJECT AREA - Aviation
			EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Title:  Force 2001:  The Employment of Marine Aviation in Offensive Air Support
Author:  Major Oly OLSON, United States Marine Corps
Thesis:      Marine air power must be utilized in the strategic deep and deep
areas first and not arbitrarily set aside for CAS, especially if we have the
opportunity to destroy the enemy's will and means to fight before we have to
engage him on the ground.
Background:     The Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) concept has made
the Marine Corps a unique and special fighting force.  The MAGTF concept laid
the foundation for a combined arms organization which can be task organized
and mission oriented. In a new era highlighted by the attempt to "fight" the
MAGTF, we will need this warfighting MAGTF to use all its might to destroy an
enemy as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to prevent excessive
friendly  losses.  A  new  look  at  the  integration  of  combined  arms  with
maneuver warfare which is supported by an integral Combat Service Support
(CSS) is necessary in order to win the next war.
Marine aviation provides the MAGTF with the overwhelming combat power
needed to destroy the enemy quickly.   The Marine Corps presently thinks and
employs its aviation combat element as a supporting arm of the ground combat
element (GCE).  Post Desert Storm, with the introduction of the MEF commander
as  a  warfighter,  Marine  aviation must be  allowed  to  fight the  deep  and
strategic  deep  battle  while supporting the  GCE commander with  close  air
support (CAS).   Today, Marine aviation can no longer be held in reserve for
CAS and the GCE but must be apportioned and allocated to the full horizontal
dimension of the battlefield.   Marine aviation must be used to fight the deep
battle first and when available, and in accordance with priorities as set by the
MEF/MAGTF commander, scheduled for CAS.  The Marine Corps cannot afford to
hold a majority of its offensive air support (OAS) capable aviation in reserve
for the GCE and his scheme of maneuver as is the present case.  Those assets
capable  of reaching out and  touching the enemy's centers of gravity  and
critical vulnerabilities must be allocated to the deep and strategic battle.   The
enemy must be shaped and, if possible, destroyed prior to the requirement for
ground battle.   The MEF/MAGTF commander possesses aviation assets, in the
form of F/A-18 and A-6 aircraft, capable of taking the battle to the enemy and
attacking those critical areas that may produce the desired end-state of the war
perhaps even without a ground battle.
Recommendation:       Marine air power should be utilized in the deep and
strategic deep battle areas first and assigned to CAS once these targets have
been  fully serviced.
                                  FORCE 2001:
          THE EMPLOYMENT OF MARINE AVIATION IN OFFENSIVE AIR SUPPORT
Thesis:      	Marine air power must be utilized in the strategic deep and deep
             	areas first and not arbitrarily set aside for CAS, especially if we
             	have the opportunity to destroy the enemy's will and means to
             	fight before we have to engage him on the ground.
I.     	Mission of Marine Aviation
II.    	Functions of Marine Aviation
       	A.    	Offensive Air Support (OAS)
		1.	Close Air Support (CAS)
            	2.     	Deep Air Support (DAS)
	B.	MAGTF's Role in War
	C.	Air Force Offensive Air Support
		1.	Air Interdiction (Al)
            	2.     	Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI)
III.   	Marine Aviation in OAS as Part of the MAGTF
       	A.    	Apportionment
	B.	Deep Air Support  Versus Close Air Support
IV.    	DAS and CAS as applied in Desert Storm
V.     	Marine Aviation in Offensive Air Support  and Conventional Warfare
       	During Medium or High Intensity (MIC/HIC) Conflict
       	A.    	Strategic Deep Battle
	B.	Deep Battle
	C.	Close Battle
       	D.    	Rear Battle
VI.    	Future Conflicts
       	A.    	The Strategic Deep and Deep Battles
	B.	The Close and Rear Battles
       	C.    	Low Intensity Conflicts
       	D.    	Amphibious  Operations
                                  FORCE 2001:
           THE EMPLOYMENT OF MARINE AVIATION IN OFFENSIVE MR SUPPORT
The rough draft of FMFM-2 states:
       	For the MAGTF to seize the initiative and compel the enemy
       	to react to its will, the MAGTF commander visualizes the
       	multidimensional battlefield and decides when and where
       	the MAGTF will fight.  He then simultaneously shapes a chosen
       	aspect of the enemy's warfighting capability (deep battle)
       	which have [sic] not yet joined the engagement while orchestrat-
       	ing available resources to generate superior combat power
       	at the chosen place and time (close battle).  (emphasis added)  (13:16)
The Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) concept has made the Marine
Corps a unique and special fighting force.   The MAGTF concept laid the
foundation for a combined arms organization which can be task organized and
mission oriented.   There is, however,  an increasing trend to prepare  for
tomorrow's war with past experiences.   In a new era highlighted by the
attempt to "fight" the MAGTF, we will need this warfighting MAGTF to use all its
might to destroy an enemy as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to
prevent excessive friendly losses. A new look at the integration of combined
arms with maneuver warfare and supported by an integral Combat Service
Support (CSS) is necessary in order to win the next war.
Marine  aviation provides the Corps with  the overwhelming combat power
needed to destroy the enemy quickly.  This Offensive Air Support (OAS) can be
used as Deep Air Support (DAS), in the strategic deep battle areas, or in the
close battlc area in the form of Close Air Support (CAS).  For whatever means
that aviation is used, it must be employed with full clarity as to the expected
and capable result.  In the past, aviation has been used to support the Ground
Combat Element (GCE) commander in his scheme of maneuver with a relatively
minor emphasis placed on shaping the enemy prior to battle.   This task in
previous conflicts, for a large part, was left up to the Air Force which was
responsible for the strategic deep and deep battle areas.  If the 1990s are going
to be a period where the Marine Corps is to play in "Yankee stadium" with its
MAGTF  and  Marine  Expeditionary  Force  (MEF)  concept,  then  it  must
understand fully the horizontal dimensions of the battlefield.   Marine  air
power must be utilized in the strategic deep and deep areas first and not
arbitrarily set aside for CAS, especially if we have the opportunity to  destroy
the enemy's will and means to fight before we have to engage him on the
ground.
                       I.   Mission of Marine Aviation
The mission of Marine Aviation is to participate as the Air Combat Element
(ACE) of the MAGTF in the seizure and defense of advanced naval bases and for
battle as may be essential to a naval or land campaign.  An additional mission is
to participatc as an integral part of a joint or combined force in the execution
of such other aviation functions as the Commander-in-Chief (CINC) requires.
(11:16)
MAGTFs normally possess the organic equipment and personnel to accomplish
all  six  aviation  functions  required  by  the  mission  and  enemy  threat.
Additionally, Marine tactical aviation can stand alone or operate as part of the
concerted air-ground effort.   Marine aviation has a powerful and direct effect
in  ensuring  success  in  battle,  and  in  exercising  this  power  creates  the
opportunity  for overwhelming combat power by  deceiving,  dislocating,  and
disrupting the enemy.
The air combat element of the MAGTF is employed to meet the priorities and
requirements established by the mission.   ACE assets are best employed when
available assets are brought together in a coordinated manner to weight the
main effort.  (11:16) It is important to note that the MAGTF main effort can be
assigned to aviation in the deep battle.   Additionally, as stated in FMFM-2,
"Aviation assets are not normally held in reserve."  (emphasis added)  (13:16)
                       II. Functions of Marine Aviation
The capability to conduct successful tactical air operations is essential to the
execution of an amphibious operation or land battle.   For this, the Marine
Corps has designed an effective aviation combat element capable of meeting
all requirements for amphibious and land battle.   To achieve this requires a
flexible, responsive ACE specifically tailored to meet the anticipated tactical
situation.   At this point, the specific functions of Marine aviation need to be
understood and are stated in FMFM 5-1:
       	Aviation tasks include planning and employing air power to
       	assist in seeking out and destroying enemy forces and supporting
       	installations,  gaining and maintaining air superiority,  preventing
       	movement of enemy forces along routes of communication into and
       	within the area of responsibility, and to provide direct air support
       	to the ground combat element [MAGTF] in order to assist in the
       	attainment of assigned objectives.  The numerous tasks required to
       	support the Marine aviation mission are categorized into six
       	functional areas.   These functional capabilitles include antiair
       	warfare (AAW), offensive air support (OAS), electronic warfare
       	(EW), aerial reconnaissance, assault support, and control of aircraft
       	and missiles.  Of these functions, OAS provides the most powerful
       	firepower capability.   (14:16)
A.   Offensive Air Support in Marine Aviation.  As stated in FMFM 5-4:
       	OAS is a function of Marine aviation where the actual delivery of
       	firepower against the enemy ground forces for the destruction or
       	neutralization of installations, equipment, and personnel is executed.
       	OAS missions are grouped according to the degree of coordination
       	required with ground elements and fall into two categories--close
       	air support (CAS) and deep air support (DAS).  (20:17)
       	1.  Close Air Support.  This is a mission where aviation is brought to
bear against hostile targets which are in proximity to friendly forces and
which  require  detailed  integration  of each air mission with  the  fire  and
movement of those forces.   If targets are not in proximity to friendly forces
and are generally outside the Fire Support Coordination Line (FSCL) then they
are designated a part of deep air support.  (20:17)  CAS is the forte of Marine
aviation.
       	2.  Deep Air Support.   These missions are air attacks against hostile
targets which are at such distances from friendly forces as to require no
coordination with the fire and movement of those forces.   DAS missions are
usually attacks beyond the FSCL to destroy, neutralize, or delay enemy ground
forces before they can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces.
(20:17)   The Marine Corps possesses suitable and substantial assets capable of
performing  this  function.
B.   The MAGTF's Role in War
The MAGTF is the Marine Corps tactical warfighting organization through
which joint or combined commands conduct strategical, operational  and or
tactical maneuver from the sea or the land.  The MAGTF is task organized to
fight land or amphibious battles in support of the theater commander.   It is
important to note that the MAGTF is specifically organized, equipped, and
trained to offer a variety of amphibious and expeditionary options to support a
theater campaign as well as a capability to support sustained land operations.
(13:16)
The MAGTF commander,  through his ability to command  and control  air,
ground, and logistics operations, develops a complete vision of the battlefield.
He uses this vision of the battlefield to shape that battlefield by applying
aviation resources to the deep battle first.   Thus, having decided when, where
and how the MAGTF will fight, and having shaped the enemy to his liking, the
MAGTF commander then orchestrates available resources to the close battle
where he controls combined arms warfare conducted by the GCE commander.
FMFM-2 goes on further to state:  "The most critical of the MAGTF command
elements  functions include the planning and  conducting of deep  and  rear
operations."  (13:16)
The MAGTF commander is now given the responsibility to conduct the deep
battle through the ACE by execution of offensive air support.   OAS functions
are provided by missions involving DAS, CAS and Close-In Fire Support (CIFS).
C.   Air Force Offensive Air Support.  Air Force OAS operations are similar
to the Marine Corps with the exception that they break down DAS into two sub-
functions.  The  functions  include  air  interdiction  (AI)  and  battlefield  air
interdiction (BAI).  (19:17)  It is recommended that these terms be included in
the OAS function.
       	1.  Air Interdiction.  AI is the same as Marine DAS where operations
are conducted to destroy, neutralize or delay enemy ground or naval forces
before they can be brought to bcar against friendly forces.  These operations
also restrict the combat capability of enemy forces by disrupting their lines of
communications  (LOCs)  and  by  destroying  the  supplies  that  sustain  an
effective level of enemy activity.  These missions are affected at such distance
from friendly forces that detailed integration with the fire and maneuver of
friendly forces is not required.   The Air Force goes one step further in the
deep battle by providing for attacks against targets that have a near-term
effect on the operations or scheme of maneuver of friendly forces, but are not
in close proximity to friendly forces.  These are referred to as BAI.  (19:17)
       	2.  Battlefield Air Interdiction.  BAI and AI are both a part of DAS
but differ in the near-term effect and influence produced against the enemy
in  support of the GCE scheme of maneuver.   BAI  attacks  require joint
coordination  at  the  component  level  during  planning  and  may  require
coordination during execution.  If the Marine Corps is going to assume a larger
force and "fight" the MEF, then it will need to incorporate more of the deep
battle into its plan and provide for both AI and BAI in the DAS portion of the
campaign.
               III.  Marine Aviation in OAS as Part of the MAGTF
In MAGTF operations prior to the Gulf War, Marine aviation was used primarily
to support the GCE scheme of maneuver in battle.  The planning process began
with the GCE commander apportioning his aviation assets to best support his
maneuver units with offensive air support mainly scheduled in the close air
support role.  Marine aviation was used to fill the void caused by the Marines'
designed lightness on artillery assets.   As such, planning for operations before
ground battle or apportioning DAS missions was usually met with resistance
due to the reluctance to use aviation direct support assets for anything but GCE
close fire support requirements or CAS.   Hence, scheduling of aviation assets
capable of performing OAS were usually held for the CAS mission and few, if
any, DAS or shaping the battlefield missions were flown.
An additional OAS mission is the antiair mission which is performed with most
of the same present-day multirole assets required for the CAS mission (F/A-18).
The normal apportionment provides for AAW and air superiority followed by
the OAS sorties next which include CAS and DAS.   The apportionment and
allocation of aviation sorties for CAS and anti air warfare usually leaves few
sorties available for DAS missions.  This is  the beginning of a problem and is
where the MEF commander in "fighting" the MAGTF must now allocate his
assets for fighting the deep war.  The answer to apportionment is not in more
aviation assets, though that would help, but in a reprioritization of those assets
at the MAGTF level.
A.   Apportionment.   Apportionment is defined in Joint Pub 1-02 as, "the
determination  and  assignmcnt  of the  total  expected  effort  by  percentage
and/or by priority that should be devoted to the various air operations and/or
geographic areas for a given period of time."   (6:16)  In order to be able to
fight the MAGTF and successfully accomplish the mission of the MEF and
MAGTF operating in "Yankee stadium," the future apportionment of assets must
be done at the MAGTF level with priorities that include a stronger emphasis on
DAS.   Additionally, a new role within DAS must be to attack targets in the
strategic deep battle area if they possess the qualities that are referred to as
enemy critical vulnerabilities and possible centers of gravity.   The MAGTF
must in  the  apportionment process be  willing  to  sacrifice  the  long-range
artillery mission of the ACE in the CAS role for missions that will influence
and shape the enemy before the ground battle.   The apportionment process
must at least emphasize the DAS mission equally to that of the CAS mission,
especially if DAS can be used to shape and destroy the enemy and perhaps
even prevent a ground confrontation.
B.     Deep Air Support Versus Close Air Support
Marine Aviation has the capability to carry the fight to the enemy before he
can influence the battle.  This can be done by medium-range strike and attack
aircraft presently in the Marine inventory.  The Gulf War provided the Marine
Corps with the opportunity to exploit this capability and test the--fighting
MAGTF commander concept.  The Marine Corps, as part of the Joint Force Air
Component Commander (JFACC),  apportioned  its  aircraft to the deep  and
strategic deep areas to shape the enemy before ground combat commenced.
Though not allotted to the full potential, the effort demonstrated the capability
and the idea that DAS is very important and should be the focus of effort by the
MAGTF  commander  early  in  a  conflict.    Apportionment  and  subsequent
allocation for each functional area of aviation must be viewed in light of first
shaping and destroying the enemy, and then scheduling CAS sorties as needed
and  available.
The focus of effort between the ACE, GCE and the CSSE must be evaluated
constantly in order to provide the best momentum for the campaign.   As this
evaluation  is  underway,  emphasis must be placed on  what will  critically
impair the enemy and hurry his defeat and the pursuit of peace.  DAS must be
weighed on its comparative destruction and prevention capability as to that of
CAS.   The MAGTF commander must use his aviation to apply overwhelming
firepower deep before the enemy engages friendly forces and the need for
close combat exists.
                  IV.  DAS and CAS as Applied in Desert Storm
Desert Storm provided the US a view of a present and possible future scenario
of conventional warfare that could be encountered.   I contend that the Gulf
War wasn't an aberration of historical warfare as it is sometimes called, but
rather it was a decisive war that was won by applying US strengths against the
enemy's weaknesses and centers of gravity and to a large degree destroyed his
critical vulnerabilities before ground combat began.
In the Gulf War, the MAGTF commander fought two GCEs and an ACE with a
view of the battlefield both vertically, as has been most comfortable in the
past, and horizontally, as the Air Force has viewed it.  (15:16)  Additionally, the
ACE was given the focus of main effort in the air campaign and apportioned
roughly 50% of fixed-wing assets, 36 F/A-18, and 10 A-6, to DAS and the
strategic air campaign.  Though this may be the first time that Marine aviation
has been used jointly in a combined strategic air campaign, the remaining
fixed-wing aircraft, 80 AV-8B and 36 F/A-18, were held in reserve in case a
ground campaign was necessary.   The outcome of providing aviation assets, to
the tune of 200 sorties a day, to DAS and the deep and strategic deep battles was
successful.   This success should be cultivated in order to breed additional
victories in future conflicts.   (2:16)
In addition to the MAGTF commander apportioning assets to DAS first and
retaining some for CAS and contingencies, aviation in the Gulf War provided
reinforcement  of  the  fundamental  concepts  of  maneuver  warfare  which
include:    focusing  the  air on  the  enemy  rather  than  terrain  objectives,
avoiding enemy strengths on the ground, using the ACE in attacking enemy
critical vulnerabilities, and acting more quickly than the enemy can react.
(5:16)  This is precisely what happened for the 43 days of Desert Storm.  Having
obtained  complete air superiority in the initial hours of the operation,  a
massive number of aircraft sorties were launched against thousands of Iraqi
targets carefully selected for their strategic, operational, and tactical value.
(2:16)
As Col Edson so aptly stated in a Gazette article,
       	Iraqi forces were quickly deprived of intelligence, their air
       	arm [was] put out of action, command and control centers destroyed,
       	communications disrupted, supply dumps leveled, reserve
       	units  battered, weapons systems obliterated, bridges and roads
       	destroyed.  The attack created widespread chaos and confusion
       	at every level.  Attempts at maneuver by Iraqi forces rendered
       	them more vulnerable and more exposed to immediate destruc-
       	tion.  As a result of these actions, the initiative passed entirely to
       	coalition forces.   In maneuver warfare terms, the air campaign
       	not only put the allies "inside" the Iraqi observation-orientation-
       	decision-action loop (OODA) but actually destroyed Iraq's ability to
       	employ an OODA cycle....  The systematic destruction of selected targets
       	simply collapsed the Iraqi forces... and much of their will to fight....
       	2:16)
The  principal  goals  sought by  maneuver warfare doctrine  were  brilliantly
achieved, but the job was done by aviation and with a clear definition of the
horizontal and vertical battlefield.  What was witnessed in the Gulf War was a
demonstration  of the  new  relationship  between  maneuver  and  aviation  as
applied against an enemy by air and subsequent ground confrontation.
     V.   Marine Aviation in OAS and Conventional Warfare
     During Medium or High Intensity (MIC/HIC) Conflict
Marine aviation is capable of operating in both high and medium intensity
level conflicts of conventional-land warfare and amphibious operations.   In
applying air to these conflicts, the MAGTF commander must be able to "fight"
the MAGTF with both mission orders and a commander's intent.  The ACE must
be an equal part of the commander's decision and should be designated as the
focus of effort early in order to shape and attack an enemy's centers of gravity
and  critical  vulnerabilities.    As  demonstrated  in  the  latest  conflict,  the
commander must be willing to sacrifice some CAS, or long-range artillery, in
order to optimize all of the MAGTF assets on the battlefield and better utilize the
ACE potential.
A.   Strategic Deep Battle.  The ACE is fully capable of providing attacks on
targets in the deep strategic battle.  For the MAGTF to enter the "big leagues,"
the MEF commander must be willing to take on these targets which usually
include the enemy centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities.   Some of
these targets may be more suitable for strategic and Air Force assets, but as
demonstrated  in  the  Gulf War and  Vietnam,  Marine tactical  aviation  can
effectively  target strategic  deep  area targets.   Additionally,  many  of the
strategic/operational  reserves  are  located  in  an  area  which  can  directly
influence the MAGTF and GCE commander and are considered to be in his area
of responsibility (AOR).   The ACE must be employed to the maximum extent
possible by the MAGTF commander for targets in this area in order to shape
and destroy the enemy before close combat ensues.
B.    Deep Battle
The MAGTF commander must conduct the deep battle with the ACE and not hold
back  those  assets capable of destroying LOCs,  communication and control
centers,  military  production  areas,  critical  transportation  nodes  or theater
reserve forces.   An apportionment decision that saves aviation assets for CAS
and the GCE scheme of maneuver will jeopardize the capability to influence
the enemy critically and shape him for close combat.   Any asset that has the
capability to disrupt and disorganize the enemy away from the front will
provide a multiplying type advantage if ground or close combat is required
later.
The deep and strategic deep battles are targeted in order to isolate the close and
rear battle areas.  Additionally, DAS must be sustained for the duration so that
the enemy is not allowed to recuperate from the effects of previous strategic
deep and subsequent deep battle area attacks.
C.  Close Battle.  Once the close battle becomes necessary, those aviation
assets required from the ACE should be sequenccd into battle along with the
other fire support agencies to support the GCE and his scheme of maneuver.
The apportionment and allocation of assets must support the GCE and the focus
of main effort with a second effort applied to strategic deep and deep targets
that will  influence tomorrow's battle.   The deep battle areas must not be
abandoned once the close battle is underway.   This is still where the biggest
bang for the buck can help achieve operational objectives.
D.   Rear Battle.   The rear battle will also be conducted by the MAGTF
commander, or his representative, and consist of CAS or close-in fire support
(CIFS) sorties allocated to the rear commander.   It is anticipated that this
allocation can come from the apportionment  of assets for the close battle, as is
presently the case.   Most important is the capability of aircraft such as   the
AH- l in the CIFS role to accomplish this mission.  DAS capable assets should be
allocated as a last resort with CIFS-capable platforms scheduled primarily.
                             VI.  Future Conflicts
In the next conflict requiring US resolve, the CINC may turn to the MAGTF
commander and direct him to undertake operations for the accomplishment of
missions as stated in the tasking order.  In order to best accomplish the mission
in a high intensity conflict (HIC) or medium intensity conflict (MIC)
conventional-warfare environment, the MAGTF commander may turn to the
ACE commander and design a strategic deep and deep campaign to shape and
disrupt the enemy before engaging him with ground forces.  It is important to
note that, as stated in FMFM-2, future employment of the Marine Corps may be
as a MEF where the MAGTF commander conducts the strategic deep and deep
battle through his ACE and the close and rear battle through his GCE and CSSE.
The MAGTF commander is not the GCE commander as is presently the case.
(13:16)
A.   The Strategic Deep and Deep Battles
Either before, during or after ground combat begins, the enemy's centers of
gravity  can  be  targeted  with  present A-6E or F/A-18  aircraft.    Critical
vulnerabilities should be targeted with remaining aviation assets to deprive
the  enemy  of  sanctuaries  for  his  war base  logistic,  transportation,  and
communication systems.   This targeting can also occur if enemy forces exploit
neutral  territory  or  when  political  constraints  prevent  unlimited  attacks
against  specified  areas  or  target  categories.    Consistent  with  political
constraints,  an  aggressive  air campaign  can  be  sustained  against  targets
authorized for attack through the ability of tactical air assets to implement
selective target destruction.
Following the initial apportionment of ACE assets, the interdiction campaign
against deep targets must be undertaken so that the enemy is not allowed to
recuperate  from  the  effects  of previous  air  attacks  and  support  ground
operations.   A key point is to isolate the battlefield and concentrate on the
enemy's vulnerabilities.   The scale of operations deep will generally be the
greatest in the early stages of the program, followed  by  a reduction in
operations to that required to maintain the objective of deep interdiction or
DAS.  A good example of this is the air campaign in the Gulf War where air was
properly used against key targets that were both new and previously attacked
for 38 days prior to the ground war.    (2:16)   Sufficient resources must be
allocated to insure the attainment of the objective while at the same time
economizing on the effort required through careful targeting.   (13:16)
It would assist the MAGTF commander if DAS was broken up into AI and BAI for
allocation purposes.   The Air Force breakdown of the deep battle area allows
for proper targeting and better availability for additional ACE assets to be
employed in this area.   Primarily this would bring in the Harrier to the BAI
area and release the F/A-18 and A-6 to AI targets in the deep area as well as to
targets in the strategic deep battle area. (19:17)
B.    The Close and Rear Battles
The close and rear battles should be the primary domain of artillery and CIFS
aircraft such as the AH-1 Cobra.  Additionally, aircraft that specialize in CAS,
such as the  AV-8B  Harrier, should be assigned this mission.   There  are
sufficient CAS and CIFS aircraft assigned to a MEF to accommodate the close and
rear battle as required by the MEF and subsequent GCE commander.   The
aircraft capable of deep and strategic deep targeting should be used for that
mission first and not held in reserve for possible CAS.
The present F/A-l8 and A-6 have a multi-mission capability and can exploit
the advantages of the deep and strategic deep battle very well.  Future aircraft
procurement will in all probability have the same capability as these and must
be apportioned and subsequently allocated to the deep and strategic battle first.
When required to stem the enemy momentum and blunt his forces in the close
and rear battles, the DAS and interdiction capable aircraft can and should be
used to support the GCE commander.  The area of contention, and thesis of this
paper, is in the proper weighting of the deep and close battle and the asset
apportionment for them.   It must be understood that a tremendous potential
exists in taking the war to the enemy before we are engaged on the ground.
All assets capable of striking deep and strategic deep must be apportioned/
allotted deep until absolutely required for the close or rear battle.
As stated in FMFM-2,
       	Time and spatial considerations come into play for requirements
       	of the GCE commander.  Given a fixed force, an increase in air
       	interdiction (DAS) sorties produces a corresponding reduction in
       	CAS capabilities.  Analysis may demand that, initially, air inter-
       	diction (DAS) be assigned a higher priority by the MAGTF com-
       	mander than CAS and the GCE commander may have little influence
       	in the assignment of this priority.  The decision to emphasis air
       	interdiction (DAS) over CAS in the future must be made at the
       	operational level or MAGTF level.  The GCE commander may not
       	readily discern the payoff of this prioritization until they begin
       	pushing toward their objectives and observe destroyed enemy
       	supply dumps, vehicles, tanks, and enemy casualties.   Or perhaps
       	not note the lack of enemy forces or support caused by the strategic
       	deep and deep targeting.  (13:16)
Many  military   analysts, including those in the Air Force, believe the key to
OAS  is  to  destroy  or to neutralize  the enemy  targets  through  full-scale
interdiction before they become targets for CAS.   In the long run, more
friendly  lives  are  saved  in  the  achievement of tactical  ground  objectives
through an emphasis on the strategic deep and deep area targeting.   MAGTF
and GCE commanders may misunderstand the value of interdiction because
they  are  much  more  interested  in  CAS  from  the  standpoint of attaining
immediate objectives either before or after the ground war is underway.   The
MEF  commander  must  have  a  better  appreciation  of the  merits  of air
interdiction since sortie for sortie, air interdiction may be the most effective
function in the furtherance of ground operations.   This importance should be
fully understood by both MAGTF and GCE commanders if they are to success-
fully utilize all the combat assets available to full combat potential.  (19:17)
C.  Low Intensity Conflicts.   The OAS targeting and allocation function is
primarily for the HIC and MIC environment.  For LIC, the MAGTF commander
will need a different view of OAS, DAS, CAS and the inherent problems
involved with this environment.   LIC probably would require less interdiction,
etc....
D.    Amphibious Operations
The planning and execution of the ACE in an amphibious environment is no
different than in a HIC or MIC situation.   Aviation assets normally will be
required to conduct the strategic deep and deep battles before the ground
forces are employed on the land.  Once the GCE is ashore, the ACE must support
the close and rear battles as well as the strategic deep and deep battles.  The
apportionment of ACE assets should be clearly in support of the GCE until such
a time as the emphasis can be redirected back to the DAS targets.  Again, the
ACE must be involved in destroying or neutralizing the enemy targets through
full-scale interdiction before they become targets for CAS.   More can be
accomplished in   DAS  and interdiction targeting--if timely--for the overall
achievement of operational objectives than holding back for CAS.
The MEF commander's view should be of striking deep into strategic and
interdiction targets in order to shape the battlefield, such as was done in
Normandy during WW2 for operation Overlord.   Constant pressure on the
enemy's centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities, such as the LOCs in
Normandy, must be maintained to produce early and decisive results.   It must
be remembered that the tactical requirements for conducting air interdiction
are initially high and the enemy's mobility and air defense systems make
extended flights through his home territory more difficult.   This equates to a
higher  aircraft  loss  possibility,  but  the  expectation,  though,  is  that  the
requirements for CAS will decrease as the success of DAS on deep and strategic
deep targets increases.  DAS is more cost effective in the long run.
                                  Conclusion
The tasking of tactical aviation is directly dependent upon the prioritization of
targets and  subsequent declaration of operation requirements.   After targets
and missions are prioritized, tactical aviation assets are assigned to support
those priorities.   This prioritization of targets and missions culminates in the
production of the Air Tasking Order (ATO).  The process leading up to the ATO is
by far the most important step and demands the most detailed planning.
The future of the Marine Corps is being written now as--being able to compete
in the "big leagues" and "Yankee stadium."  To do this we must rethink aviation
and fire support as they support the MEF  commander--and  not  the  GCE
commander as has been the way of the past.  Aviation, like artillery, must not
be kept in reserve to support the GCE, but, rather it must be utilized to its
fullest extent on the horizontal battlefield.   Some aviation assets offer the
MAGTF commander the capability to attack the enemy before the ground battle
commences and essentially take the war to the enemy deep where it will hurt
the most.
The  Marine  Corps possesses the aviation assets capable of destroying the
enemy's centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities; therefore both shorten
and even eliminate a ground conflict.  If Desert Storm taught the Marine Corps
one lesson it should be that we own assets that can go deep and be effectively
employed against an enemy in a HIC or MIC environment.   Sortie for sortie,
DAS  may  be  the  most  effective  function  in  the  furtherance  of ground
operations and that this function should be understood fully by the MAGTF, GCE
and ACE commanders.  Marine aviation must be utilized and emphasized in the
deep battle especially if we have the opportunity to destroy the enemy's will
and means to fight before he is ready on the ground.
Sun Tzu said "know yourself, know your enemy.   I propose that we know our
enemy and his centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities and then apply
all our might against them.
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