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JFACC: A Reattack: The Joint Force Air Component Commander And Joint

JFACC: A Reattack: The Joint Force Air Component Commander And Joint

Air Operations

 

CSC 1995

 

SUBJECT AREA - Aviation

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

Title: JFACC: A Reattack, The Joint Force Air Component Commander and Joint Air

Operations

 

Author: Major James J. Drew, USAF

 

Thesis: Centralized control of joint air by a single air commander, the JFACC, is

essential to ensure unity of the joint air effort and realize the full impact of theater air

power.

 

Background: The idea of a single air commander is not new but dates back to World

War II. The recent idea of a joint force air component commander (JFACC) in charge

of joint air operations got its first real test in Operation Desert Storm-and it worked.

The centralized control of joint air under a single air boss using a coordinated air

tasking order (ATO) was a major factor behind the dramatic success of the air

campaign. Although there is a general consensus on the need for a JFACC, service

views, reinforced by dissimilar service doctrine, differ considerably on how centralized

control of joint air is best achieved. Specifically, there is still considerable debate over

a number of issues which include: the JFACC as a commander and the apportionment

of joint air assets, the JFACC's role in the targeting process, his relationship with the

Joint Targeting Coordination Board (JTCB), JFACC control of deep attack assets, and

composition of the JFACC's staff. This paper examines each of these areas in light of

our recent experience in Desert Storm and proposes solutions to some past problems

which can alleviate similar difficulties in the future. It also examines the distinct

perspectives of the soldier and the airman, as well as different (and sometimes

conflicting) service doctrinal views, which contribute to the lingering controversies over

the concept of a JFACC.

 

Recommendation: Joint doctrine on the role and authority of the JFACC must be more

explicit. Service doctrines need to evolve to fully integrate the new paradigm of the

JFACC who can best employ joint air power to achieve unity of effort and maximum

effect. The air targeting and ATO processes must be streamlined to improve their

effectiveness, and the JTCB must assume a more conspicuous role in integrating the

targeting recommendations of ground commanders with those of the JFACC. The

JFACC's staff should be composed of a more equitable representation of each service

component Finally, the control of deep attack assets must be reexamined with the

JFACC's need to synchronize the theater deep attack effort in mind.

 

CONTENTS

 

 

Page

 

Executive Summary ii

 

Contents iii

 

List of Figures iv

 

Introduction 1

 

Historical Perspective 2

 

The JFACC Role: Command, Control, or Coordinate? 3

 

The JFACC and Apportionment 5

 

The JFACC and Targeting 7

 

The JFACC and the ATO 16

 

The JFACC and the JTCB 20

 

The JFACC and His Staff 24

 

The JFACC and Doctrinal Difficulties 26

 

The JFACC and Deep Attack 32

 

Conclusion 34

 

End Notes 38

 

Bibliography 44

 

LIST OF FIGURES

 

 

Page

 

Figure 1: Strategic Attack and Battlefield Preparation Sorties 12

 

Figure 2: The ATO Cycle 17

 

Figure 3: JTCB Under DJFC 23

 

Figure 4: JTCB Under JFACC 23

 

JFACC: A REATTACK

 

The Joint Force Air Component Commander and Joint Air Operations

 

 

 

Joint force operations are here to stay, and in most multi-service operations,

 

there will probably be a Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) to ensure

 

unity of effort among service aviation components. Yet the centralized command and

 

control of joint air operations under a JFACC still remains a controversial issue among

 

services. Different views abound on the JFACC's role as a commander or coordinator

 

that are reinforced by dissimilar service doctrines and distinct warfighting philosophies.

 

In particular, the JFACC's role in the targeting process and establishing target priorities

 

continued to be an area of ongoing debate. Service doctrines clash on how centralized

 

control of theater air assets is best accomplished. This paper's central theme is that

 

centralized control of joint air by a single air commander, the JFACC, is essential to

 

ensure the unity of the joint air effort and realize the full impact of air power. To that

 

end, lingering controversies over the JFACC as a commander, apportionment of air, the

 

JFACC's role in the targeting process and with the Joint Targeting Coordination Board

 

(JTCB), control of deep attack assets, the JFACC's staff, and conflicting service

 

doctrines must be settled. The JFACC experience in Operation Desert Storm provides

 

a rich basis for examining each of these issues as they emerged then and as they

 

stand now. These remaining issues that continue to hinder unity of the air effort under

 

a JFACC in joint operations need to be resolved. In short, it is time to put the joint" into

 

JFACC.

 

Historical Perspective

 

The idea of a single air commander goes way back to World War II. Since then,

 

the U.S. military has experienced a history of fragmented air operations. The

 

Solomons Campaign was the first true joint air operation in U.S. history with a single

 

airman commanding all the land-based aircraft of Marines, Army Air Force, and Navy

 

components. During the course of the campaign, officers from the Marine Corps, Navy,

 

and Army Air Force each served as the air commander. Perhaps it was limited air

 

assets and a situation in which the certainty of winning was actually in question, but not

 

until the Gulf War has the same degree of unity of effort in the planning and execution

 

of joint air operations again been displayed. In Korea, coordination control was the

 

byword where service air components operated practically autonomously. The Navy

 

adamantly insisted on independent operations based on geographic deconfliction while

 

the Air Force attempted to gain operational control over naval air. In Vietnam, the

 

laissez-faire control of air power continued with essentially five separate air wars taking

 

place along with the division of airspace over North Vietnam between the Air Force and

 

Navy into a "route package' system which proved very inadequate.1 The Commander

 

in Chief of Pacific Command ran the air war over North Vietnam while the Commander,

 

U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (COMUSMACV) controlled the air war in

 

the South and Cambodia. A bitter feud between the Air Force and the Marines erupted

 

over control of Marine air. Targeting was micro-managed by Washington, and even the

 

Air Force would not place its Strategic Air Command B-52 bombers under the control of

 

its own 7th Air Force commander. All of this led to an unsuccessful attempt by

 

COMUSMACV to tighten control in 1968 under a single air manager for Vietnam.

 

In contrast with the fragmented approach to the air war in Vietnam, the

 

Commander in Chief, Central Command (ClNCCENTCOM), General H. Norman

 

Schwarzkopf, established centralized control of theater fixed-wing air operations under

 

a JFACC, Lieutenant General Charles A. Horner, from the very beginning.

 

Schwarzkopf was a firm believer in the JFACC concept and strongly supported the

 

notion that the JFACC was solely responsible for planning the air campaign. In

 

prosecuting the air campaign, Schwarzkopf gave Homer his full support saying,

 

"There's only going to be one guy in charge of the air: Horner... If you want to fight

 

your interservice battles, do it after the war."2 Operation Desert Storm was the first

 

practical test of the JFACC idea in a major military conflict. General Horner's challenge

 

involved orchestrating the air power capabilities of 14 separate national or service

 

component with those of 10 coalition forces.3 Although not without some growing

 

pains, the dramatic results of the air campaign demonstrated that the JFACC concept

 

works. Centralized control of air power contributed to the dramatic success of the 43

 

day air campaign. Operating under a single air boss and a single, coordinated air

 

tasking order (ATO) resulted in the efficient, coherent application of air power and

 

significantly lessened the possibility of fratricide among coalition aircraft.4

 

 

 

The JFACC Role: Command, Control, or Coordinate?

 

Despite disagreement over some specific issues, there is a general consensus

 

on the need for a JFACC in large joint air operations. Unity of effort, achieved through

 

centralized control of joint air assets through a JFACC, is the most decisive way to

 

employ theater air power. Centralized control allows the joint force commander (JFC)

 

to focus his air power on enemy targets that best support his theater strategy and use

 

air power's inherent flexibility and speed to effectively respond to changes in the

 

combat situation.5 It allows the JFC to employ air power at the time and place in which

 

it will have the greatest impact. How best to achieve this unity of effort and what

 

constitutes centralized control are key issues in the JFACC debate.

 

Does the JFACC command, control, or coordinate? The simple answer is yes.

 

According to Joint Pub 3-0, the JFACC derives his authority from the JFC who

 

establishes the JFACC's specific responsibilities and command authority. The JFACC's

 

four chief responsibilities are to plan, coordinate, allocate, and task in executing the air

 

portion of the JFC's campaign strategy. Typically, the JFACC exercises operational

 

control (OPCON) over assigned and attached forces as a functional component

 

commander and tactical control (TACON) over forces made available by other

 

components for tasking.6 Ultimately, the JFC defines the JFACC's command authority.

 

To effectively orchestrate the joint air operation, the JFACC must command his

 

assigned forces, control or task other air assets via TACON, and coordinate between

 

service components in setting targeting priorities and allocating actual sorties.

 

Coordinating authority defines a consultative relationship between commanders.

 

It usually applies more to planning activities and does not involve authority to task. A

 

coordinator can only ask. The JFACC does more. Since the JFACC is normally

 

designated a supported commander for the JFC's air effort, he exercises tactical control

 

which is the authority to "direct and control designated forces," in other words, to task.7

 

The single ATO is the JFACC's key instrument for exercising centralized control of the

 

joint air effort. The point is that operational control of all joint air assets is not

 

necessarily essential for the JFACC to run the air war. The desired unity of effort can

 

be achieved through tactical control.8 Coordination alone falls short. In Desert Storm,

 

the JFACC did not actually command (exercise OPCON of) Navy or Marine air units.

 

These units reported to their respective service component commanders. However,

 

General Horner exercised tactical control through the ATO by tasking these forces to fly

 

missions based on the CINC's apportionment guidance.9

 

 

 

The JFACC and Apportionment

 

The JFC is ultimately responsible for running the air war and apportions joint air

 

assets by percentage or weight of effort based on his priorities.10 The JFACC makes

 

recommendations on apportionment, usually based on the anticipated sortie rates of air

 

resources available in-theater, for the JFC's apportionment decision. Based on the

 

JFC's apportionment guidance, the JFACC then allocates sorties through the ATO.

 

The focus should really be on weight of effort in expressing JFC apportionment

 

guidance. Apportionment simply by percentages is undesirable because it limits the

 

JFACC's flexibility to best allocate sorties and may not result in optimum use of the air

 

assets involved. Here is why: The actual numbers, types, and unique capabilities of

 

the aircraft available in-theater can affect the percentage figures since some aircraft

 

only perform certain roles (or they perform certain roles only so well).11 For example, if

 

there are 30 F-15Cs out of a total of 100 aircraft, this 30 percent of theater air will be

 

allocated to the air superiority (anti-air warfare) mission because that is what F-15Cs

 

do--and all they do. Another equally unsatisfactory approach is to divide air assets in

 

shares to support each ground commander; in other words, the JFACC gives each

 

corps commander a certain number of daily sorties. However, concentration of air

 

power is a central principle of air warfare.12 Concentration allows the theater

 

commander to focus aerial firepower on the most important targets at the most

 

important time. Merely dividing air assets among ground commanders dilutes the

 

effectiveness of air power. This lesson was aptly demonstrated in the early fighting in

 

the North African campaign of World War II when aircraft were parceled out to Army

 

corps. As a result, there was no unity of effort for Allied air, no concerted effort to

 

achieve air superiority, and air losses were prohibitively high as German air devastated

 

small formations of Allied aircraft trying to support their ground units.13

 

In addition, the number of sorties flown is not what really matters. What counts

 

is the type of aircraft and ordnance mix applied against each particular target Different

 

types of targets require different aircraft and weapon combinations in varying numbers

 

to achieve an optimum probability of kill. The JFC should ideally provide his guidance

 

on relative air priorities through weights of effort and leave the actual determination of

 

how many aircraft are required to fulfill these priorities to his JFACC planning experts.

 

Weight of effort is best expressed in terms of emphasis within the mission categories of

 

strategic attack, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), offensive counter air

 

(OCA), defensive counter air (DCA), close air support (CAS), and air interdiction (INT).

 

Weight of effort will usually vary with the particular phase of the JFC's theater

 

campaign. Early in a campaign, gaining air superiority through OCA and SEAD, along

 

with attacking key strategic targets such as command and control facilities, are usually

 

top priorities. Once control of the air is assured, other missions can be flown

 

unhampered by any significant enemy counterair threat. As a campaign progresses

 

further, certain aircraft such as F-16s may shift from SEAD to CAS or INT. With major

 

ground operations underway, priorities naturally shift to direct support of engaged

 

ground forces along with interdiction of rear echelon enemy forces. Certainly the

 

requirement for CAS is directly related to the progress of the ground operation.

 

However, some level of strategic attack may still be necessary to prevent the enemy

 

from reconstituting previously destroyed warmaking capabilities.

 

 

 

 

The JFACC and Targeting:

 

The targeting process-the identification, selection, and prioritization of enemy

 

targets for attack-is a significant area of friction between components and centers on

 

how target priorities are determined. The JFACC must carry out the JFC's

 

apportionment guidance by matching available air assets against the target list The

 

issue here is the relative priority of the targets nominated by ground commanders within

 

their respective areas of operation (AO) vis-a-vis strategic or theater targets identified

 

by the JFC and how the JFACC allocates air assets to each.

 

The disagreement on target priorities stems in part from different basic

 

perspectives of the airman and the soldier. The JFACC has a theater-wide view of the

 

battlefield-and seeks to employ air power in line with the JFC's priorities for maximum

 

overall effect. As an airman, this theater-wide view comes naturally because of the

 

range, speed, and expanse of his medium. The ground commander is concerned

 

about his AO-and rightly so. As a soldier, he naturally focuses on the immediate and

 

near-term battle within his geographic area, and he sees the enemy forces immediately

 

opposite him as the most important targets to win his battle. Surface forces typically

 

depend on geographic division of the theater for effective control, and the ground

 

commander's primary concern is to destroy the enemy within his battlespace with as

 

much firepower as he can obtain. The airman, unconstrained by geography in his

 

medium, favors direct attacks on enemy strategic targets as an expedient means to win

 

the war.

 

These two very different perspectives often clash, and Desert Storm was

 

no exception. Both the Army's VII Corps and the Marines' I MEF commanders

 

became concerned about emphasis on the strategic air campaign at the

 

expense of battlefield preparation.14 Prior to Desert Storm, joint targeting

 

procedures for component commanders and the JFACC were not clearly

 

established. General Schwarzkopf never established a CINC-level joint

 

targeting coordination board (JTCB). Technically, a JTCB did exist, but its

 

importance or authority in the overall targeting process is questionable since it

 

was not comprised of any flag officers or even full colonels.15 The absence of a

 

true high-level JTCB meant that the Army corps and division commanders did

 

not have a forum to express their concerns and views about targeting to the

 

CINC and the JFACC. A targeting process emerged that was sponsored by the

 

JFACC who hosted a daily joint targeting meeting. However, the JFACC's

 

Guidance-Apportionment-Targeting (GAT) cell, also known as the "Black Hole",

 

assumed many functions normally performed by a JTCB. It exercised the

 

greatest influence on the targeting process since it controlled the Master Target

 

List and MAP. Although it had some planners from other services who could

 

provide some oversight of the process, the vast majority were Air Force officers.

 

This led to allegations that the JFACC-led targeting process lacked the

 

necessary balance between the Air Force's strategic view and Army and Marine

 

Corps concerns of shaping the immediate battlefield. Ground commanders felt

 

that the air effort was weighted too heavily on strategic targets instead of such

 

targets as artillery on the front lines in Kuwait.16 The CENTCOM J-3 never

 

became involved to level the playing field, and there was no effective joint

 

campaign oversight by the CENTCOM staff who primarily ran CENTCOM's

 

operations center.

 

A major area of debate was (and still is) over who should integrate the

 

target lists of various components, the JFACC staff or a theoretically more

 

objective JFC-level JTCB. On 31 January with the ground offensive

 

approaching, Schwarzkopf told Horner:

 

Target development and nomination during the early phases of the

campaign were clearly led by the... [JFACC]. As we move into

battlefield preparation, maneuver commander input into the target

selection process becomes even more important. Therefore, the

opportunity for corps and other subordinate commanders to plan for and

receive air sorties to fly against targets of their choosing must increase.17

 

Because of ground commander concerns that battlefield preparation was not receiving

 

enough emphasis, General Schwarzkopf charged the Deputy ClNC (DCINC),

 

Lieutenant General Calvin Waller, with the responsibility for reviewing targets

 

nominated by ground commanders and arbitrating disputes over the corresponding

 

apportionment of air.18 General Waller, along with General Horner, developed initial

 

sortie allocation recommendations 72 hours prior to ATO execution, reviewed these

 

with ground commanders, and made a final proposal to Schwarzkopf 48 hours prior to

 

ATO execution.

 

A master target list, initially developed before the war by the Air Staff's

 

Checkmate division and the Navy's Strike Projection Evaluation and Antiair Research

 

(SPEAR) team, eventually grew from 300 to over 700 targets and was a comprehensive

 

description of strategic targets in Iraq.19 Targets submitted by ground commanders for

 

battlefield preparation in Kuwait Theater of Operations (KTO) were integrated into a

 

separate DCINC target list. The reason for two distinct target lists may be that the master

 

target list was developed during the early stages of Desert Shield by Checkmate as part

 

of its air-only option named Instant Thunder. The list was further refined by the Black

 

Hole planning cell as the air campaign plan developed into its four stage form. The KTO

 

planning cell was separate from the Black Hole team during this process. The two

 

planning cells were finally merged to form the Guidance-Apportionment-Targeting cell

 

just before Desert Storm. The DCINC consolidated and prioritized corps commander

 

targets into a single KTO target list which went to the JFACC who then allocated sorties

 

against it.

 

JFACC planners envisioned the air campaign as a phased application of air

 

power. The first phase would destroy Iraqi's air defense system, gain air superiority,

 

attack strategic Iraqi targets such as its command and control network, and strike key

 

warfighting industries and infrastructure such as Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical

 

production facilities. Next, the campaign featured a short second phase to destroy air

 

defenses in the KTO followed by a third phase which focused on preparing the

 

battlefield for the coalition ground campaign in Kuwait. The last phase would provide

 

air support for the ground offensive. In reality, the strategic attack, interdiction, and

 

battlefield preparation phases all merged into a single, enormous air campaign which

 

soon brought different service views on the best ways to allocate air power to the

 

forefront. The Air Force generally emphasized attacking strategic Iraqi targets, the

 

Army and Marines stressed targeting front-line Iraqi forces in Kuwait, and the Navy

 

emphasized fleet defense targets. Although part of the disagreement had to do with

 

different views on what wins wars, certainly some of it also had to do with the timetable

 

of the individual phases. The Air Force was reluctant to shift from strategic attack to

 

battlefield preparation so early in the air campaign.20

 

The best way to allocate air power is the JFC's way. During Desert Storm,

 

General Schwarzkopf, was given a nightly briefing on the next day's ATO that included

 

strategic targets to be hit and number of sorties by type of aircraft allocated to battlefield

 

preparation in Kuwait. He took an active role in determining the air targeting decisions in

 

the KTO and often made adjustments that he deemed appropriate.21 Even though the

 

DCINC's JTCB did not review target nominations generated by the GAT, General

 

Schwarzkopf and General Horner knew of, and agreed with, the target selections.

 

Target priorities were discussed at the CINC's daily 1900 target selection briefing, and

 

Army and Marine representatives were present at these briefings. During one briefing,

 

ground commanders complained about not enough attacks on front-line Iraqi forces in

 

the KTO. Horner replied that they misunderstood the best way to use air power.

 

Schwarzkopf ended it by saying, "Guys, it's all mine, and I will put it where it needs to be

 

put."22 At the 1900 meetings, General Horner and Brigadier General Buster Glosson

 

would brief General Schwarzkopf on the ATO for two days in the future. Horner

 

recounts: "[Schwarzkopf] would say, 'No, no, no, here is what I want done... Put 200

 

sorties on this one [Iraqi division], and 30 sorties on that one' and stuff like that. So that

 

is what we did. Now that frustrated the Army greatly because they felt nobody was

 

listening to them. Well, the trouble was they weren't in charge. They wanted to be in

 

charge, and they weren't in charge. Schwarzkopf was in charge."23

 

Click here to view image

 

Figure 1: Strategic Attack and Battlefield Preparation Sorties (Source: A League of Airmen)

 

 

Despite dissent to the contrary, the battlefield was well-prepared for the ground

 

offensive by G-day. After just seven days into the air campaign, the majority of sorties

 

were allocated to battlefield preparation, and from day thirteen through the coalition

 

ground offensive, over 80 percent of ATO sorties were for battlefield preparation (see

 

Figure 1).24 Battlefield preparation sorties flown in Kuwait exceeded 35,000 including

 

5,600 against the Republican Guard.25

 

Repeated air attacks reduced the military effectiveness of Iraqi front-line units along the

 

Kuwait-Saudi border to less than 50 percent, less than 70 percent for second echelon

 

units, and less than 80 percent for (primarily) Republican Guard forces along the Iraq-

 

Kuwait border near Basrah. A sign in a JFACC planning cell read: "We are not

 

'preparing the battlefield,' we are destroying it"26

 

Apparently unknown to corps commanders, the CINC had directed the JFACC,

 

General Horner, not to bomb Iraqi units that were below 50 percent strength.27 General

 

Schwarzkopf's focus of effort was to reduce Republican Guard strength which he saw

 

as the Iraqi center of gravity.28 Since the Guard units were deployed in reserve behind

 

front-line regular Iraqi divisions facing coalition ground forces, this decision probably

 

reinforced ground commanders' concerns that they were not being allocated enough air

 

against the front-line forces facing them. Schwarzkopf had also directed the JFACC

 

staff not to attack front-line artillery until just before G-day to prevent it from being

 

replaced. In addition, the CINC limited attacks on Iraqi forces in the west so as not to

 

tip off the Iraqis to the coalition's "left hooks attack plan.29 This CINC guidance largely

 

determined the way the JFACC allocated sorties against corps commander targets.

 

The JFC has the lead role in theater-level targeting, but this role is not well defined in

 

current joint doctrine. This may be at the root of the confusion in Desert Storm.

 

Ground commanders were dissatisfied with the JFACC targeting process for not being

 

responsive to their target nominations, but at the same time, the JFACC's targeting

 

conformed to the CINC's priorities and supported his deception plan. Ground

 

commanders nominated targets of immediate tactical importance to them while the

 

JFACC and CINCCENT took a theater-wide approach. Tension resulted because the

 

ground commanders did not understand that the ClNC's preference for striking the

 

Republican Guards sometimes outweighed their own preferences for striking front-line

 

targets.30

 

After Desert Storm, the Army's VII Corps complained that the JFACC actually

 

allocated sorties against only 15 percent of some 2,000 nominated targets.31 Of the

 

3,067 total targets nominated by the Army for air attack during the course of the war, a

 

little over one-third were actually hit.32 However, there were problems with many of

 

targets the Army submitted. Some nominated targets were outdated with validations

 

over a month old. Others could either not be confirmed or had repositioned, had

 

already been hit and were awaiting battle damage assessment (BDA) results, or simply

 

were not suitable as an air target. Suitable targets that could be revalidated were

 

normally targeted although some were not necessarily the Army's higher priority

 

targets.33 A major shortcoming in the process was a lack of feedback to the ground

 

commanders on the status of various targets, not unresponsiveness to ground

 

commander targeting requests. The JFACC staff provided no explanation when

 

unsuitable targets were dropped from the target list. Some targets within kill boxes

 

were attacked, but in those cases, the Army generally had no way of knowing what was

 

actually destroyed. In addition, problems with outdated intelligence and limited air

 

targeting expertise hampered corps ability to provide suitable air targets. Doctrinally,

 

for a JFACC to commit sorties against outdated, mobile, unconfirmed, or otherwise

 

unsuitable targets might waste valuable sorties that could strike other validated targets

 

elsewhere in-theater. Furthermore, it may result in risking aircrews and aircraft

 

unnecessarily.

 

Along with the misunderstanding between the JFACC and ground commanders,

 

problems with timely and accurate BDA greatly complicated the air targeting process in

 

Desert Storm. The CINC gave both the Army Component, Central Command (ARCENT)

 

and the Marine Corps Component, Central Command (MARCENT) responsibility for

 

assessing battle damage within their respective AOs. This decision seems to make

 

sense; however, ARCENT and MARCENT each used different criteria to determine BDA.

 

Initially, ARCENT used only A-10 mission reports (MISREPs) or confirmation by imagery

 

intelligence to determine a tank kill. Other coalition aircraft mission reports were not

 

counted until later confirmed by overhead sensors. MARCENT counted MISREPs from

 

A-10s and AV-8s.34 At first, MISREPs from F-15Es, F-111Fs, and A-6s were not credited

 

as kills despite cockpit video showing targets blowing up. Later, ARCENT changed its kill

 

criteria and credited one-third of A-10 and one-half of F-111F, F-15E, or A-6 claimed kills

 

in their official counts The JFACC staff initially assumed that pilot MISREPs would be a

 

primary means of BDA. Since no common method of determining BDA was agreed upon

 

by the JFACC, ARCENT, and MARCENT, all parties had trouble agreeing on when a 50

 

percent attrition level was achieved. Without this common reference, ground

 

commanders also lacked a reliable basis for assessing JFACC support in their AOs. As

 

mentioned earlier, attrition levels determined the focus of the JFACC's targeting efforts in

 

the KTO, and these results remained subject to dispute depending on the criteria used.

 

Lack of real-time BDA had a significant impact on the air targeting process.

 

The absence of BDA on targets just hit-or being hit-to a certain extent determined

 

which targets in the JFACC's Master Attack Plan (MAP) were scheduled to be attacked-

 

-and which were not.36 The BDA process simply could not keep pace with the

 

enormous scope and rapid tempo of the air campaign.37 The attrition level confusion

 

was compounded by independent (and more conservative) Defense Intelligence

 

Agency (DIA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assessments which were

 

significantly lower than CENTCOM's own estimates. DIA did not have access to aircraft

 

imagery and relied on national-level overhead reconnaissance assets which, designed

 

primarily to monitor relatively static strategic areas of interest, could only detect

 

catastrophic damage.38 Due to delays in assessing data from overhead sensors,

 

attrition figures fluctuated from one day to the next and complicated the JFACC staff's

 

attempts to effectively allocate sorties against targets. In addition, the lagging BDA

 

cycle affected the ATO development cycle. Target selection and ATO development

 

were often complete before BDA results of previous sorties became available.39 The

 

JFACC's attack planners were often forced to make their own damage assessments

 

using cockpit videotape recordings.

 

 

 

The JFACC and the ATO

 

The air tasking order is the JFACC's key tool for ensuring unity of effort in the

 

air war, and its development is directly affected by the targeting process. The ATO is a

 

two part document consisting of a main section with mission and target information and

 

a special instructions (SPINS) section containing necessary information on topics such

 

as aircraft deconfliction, radio frequencies, aircraft routing and airspace control

 

measures, search and rescue, and air refueling procedures. The ATO is an Air Force

 

mechanism for directing a large-scale air campaign. It allows a JFACC to concentrate

 

air strikes involving large numbers of aircraft from different units and different bases

 

across multiple targets in a short period of time. The ATO also enables the JFACC to

 

selectively employ platforms best suited to attack particular targets with the most

 

effective munitions. Its significance was summarized by General Horner, "Without the

 

ATO, you don't have the JFACC. With the ATO, you don't have anything but a

 

JFACC."40 The ATO concept is in keeping with the Air Force's philosophy of centralized

 

control and decentralized execution, but this differs from the Navy and Marine

 

philosophy of centralized command and decentralized control using mission-type

 

orders. The Navy had never favored an ATO system because of the less predictable

 

nature of war at sea or along a coast. The Navy also had reservations about

 

involvement in a centrally directed air campaign by a JFACC, but had no alternative to

 

the ATO system. It had no similar system for command and control of an air campaign

 

of such scope or duration. Both the Navy and the Marines were willing to sacrifice

 

efficiency in air operations for a less rigid approach.41 In Desert Storm, the ATO often

 

exceeded 700 pages and this size, along with some communications interoperability

 

problems, caused dissemination delays. As a tasking mechanisms the ATO process

 

was frequently criticized as inflexible and too slow to quickly respond as the fast-

 

moving air campaign progressed.42

 

Click here to view image

 

Figure 2: The ATO Cycle (Source: Gulf War Air Power Survey, Vol. I)

 

 

The lengthy 48 hour ATO development cycle (depicted in Figure 2) was another

 

factor in the overall air targeting process. The ClNC's targeting and apportionment

 

guidance was passed at the daily 0700 JFACC staff meeting. The MAP for the day two

 

days in advance was then created by the GAT cell of the JFACC's staff. Once

 

approved by the Director of Campaign Planning at 2000, the GAT targeting cell officers

 

would perform weaponeering-determine the specific type and quantity of weapons

 

required to achieve the desired damage level given target vulnerability, weapons

 

effects and reliability. The MAP information went to the ATO Division in the form of

 

target planning worksheets. The ATO division developed a flyable ATO which was

 

finally disseminated to units around 1800 the next day for execution beginning at 0500

 

the following morning. Coalition land-based forces including the Marines received the

 

ATO by computer via the Computer-Aided Force Management System (CAFMS) to

 

land-based units which proved to be cumbersome and time-consuming. The Navy had

 

no capability to receive the ATO electronically. Navy communications equipment was

 

not compatible with CAFMS so the ATO was flown out to sea from Riyadh by S-3

 

courier daily.43 As a result of these difficulties, changes were rarely made to Navy

 

missions once the ATO went out.

 

Numerous changes to the ATO during Desert Storm, sometimes because of late

 

BDA, hindered its timely dissemination. Changes issued to the ATO comprised a

 

significant percentage of the total sorties flown. ATO sortie changes, primarily changes

 

in timing or target changes, averaged over 500 per day out of around 2,550 average

 

total sorties flown each day. In all, approximately 23,000 ATO changes were made

 

during the course of the air campaign.44 The JFACC should minimize changes to the

 

ATO once it is published since effects tend to ripple throughout the product affecting

 

not only the planners attempting to put the ATO together but also on the fliers who

 

need adequate time to effectively plan their individual missions. Many fliers noted that

 

the ATO changes made daily in the ATO became almost overwhelming.45 Unless they

 

is not absolutely critical, changes should be incorporated into the next day's ATO. The

 

CAFMS software was designed to handle a maximum of 2,400 planned sorties per day.

 

The ultimate result was that the ATO was disseminated several hours late for the first

 

three weeks of the war. Clearly, the ATO development and dissemination process

 

needs to be streamlined and shortened to increase the flexibility in execution and

 

responsiveness of joint air operations. An more aggressive enemy could take

 

advantage of inherent time lags and inflexibility. The best way to shorten the ATO

 

cycle is to reduce the CAFMS processing which took over 13 hours during Desert

 

Storm.

 

In addition to a shorter ATO development cycle, the targeting cycle of

 

nominating, validating, and revalidating air targets must be cut down from

 

approximately 48 hours to 36 hours. For the ground commander, one issue is

 

responsiveness. He must be able to nominate a target within his AO (but unable to

 

strike with organic assets) and have it taken out quickly if it affects his close battle.

 

Also, to effectively prosecute the deep battle, the ground commander must be involved

 

in the target selection process. For example, targets that might normally be selected

 

for air attack by the JFACC staff because of their importance to the enemy may, in fact,

 

be of even more importance intact to the ground commander's future plans. Therefore,

 

the ground commander may want to restrict certain targets within his AO from air

 

attack.

 

Finally, since the BDA cycle provides a key input for the daily targeting process,

 

real-time, accurate BDA is essential for JFACC planners to concentrate successive

 

attacks--or reattacks-on the most important remaining targets. The damage

 

assessment function itself should be centralized. A single agent such as a joint

 

intelligence center (JIC) should be ultimately responsible for collating BDA inputs from

 

various sources into a single overall picture. Furthermore, BDA should be principally

 

determined by the JFC's staff in the theater of operations, not Washington, The JFC in

 

the combat theater is in the best position to make the ultimate assessment. In addition,

 

greater emphasis must be given to cockpit videotape imagery as a reliable, real-time

 

validation of MISREPs in determining BDA.46 MISREPs validated by cockpit video

 

should be given full credit for targeting purposes. Also, unmanned aerospace vehicle

 

(UAV) imagery, the Navy's Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS), and the

 

new Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (ATARS), must be exploited

 

as primary sources of real-time BDA imagery to shorten the joint targeting cycle.

 

Satellite imagery is a valuable source of BDA, but it cannot be relied on as the primary

 

source. Analysis of these products is an inherently time consuming process, and the

 

systems limited total capacity cannot meet the demands of large, high tempo

 

operations.

 

 

The JFACC and the JTCB

 

To prelude similar difficulties between the JFACC and ground commanders

 

over targeting in the future, a joint form to give ground commanders a greater voice in

 

the target selection process is needed. A joint targeting coordination board (JTCB)

 

chaired by the deputy JFC (DJFC) and made up of senior component representatives

 

of the JFACC, land component commander (which could include representatives of

 

Army and Marine corps-level elements), naval component commander, J-2

 

(intelligence), and J-3 (operations) should be established to evaluate, consolidate, and

 

prioritize targets. For multinational operations, membership could even include certain

 

coalition force representatives. While membership may vary somewhat, the object is to

 

have senior (O-6 to O-7) decision-makers from every component present to ensure

 

target priorities within each AO are addressed along with theater-level targets. The

 

DJFC should chair the JTCB since he has the authority to task the three functional

 

component commanders.

 

The JTCB receives validated targets nominated by all major elements. Army

 

corps targets may be submitted through the battlefield coordination elements (BCE)

 

located within the JAOC. The JTCB reviews the nominated targets daily and develops

 

an integrated list that establishes relative theater targeting priorities which, in turn, will

 

drive attack sequencing and allocation of air assets. Other major functions of the JTCB

 

include balancing conflicting component target priorities, coordinating the type of deep

 

attack asset to be used against theater interdiction targets, and ensuring target

 

priorities are both consistent with the JFC's campaign strategy. A final function is the

 

coordinated joint targeting effort with all players understanding the intent and focus of

 

the game plan. An additional feature is that the JTCB will provide and avenue for

 

necessary feedback and dialogue between the JFACC and ground commanders on the

 

status of their previously nominated targets.

As a JFC review mechanism, the JTCB must take a macro view of the entire

 

theater. It must focus primarily on target categories and not involve itself in the details

 

of attacking individual targets. This should be left to the JFACC staff to work out.

 

Moreover, the primary focus of the JTCB should be on future operations in the 72 hour

 

time-frame. However, some targets are time-critical, since not striking them first might

 

result in an unacceptable threat to friendly forces, they may be of a fleeting nature

 

because they are temporarily vulnerable, or important operational benefits may be

 

gained by destroying them as soon as possible. In such cases, the JTCB process must

 

be flexible enough to also address such targets of opportunity.

 

Current joint doctrine on the JTCB and its relationship with the JFACC is

 

extremely vague; more specific guidance on JTCB role in joint targeting is required. A

 

future Joint Pub 3-56.1, "Command and Control of Joint Air Operations," currently in

 

draft form, provides little useful guidance on the JTCB or authority of the JFACC.

 

While it affirms the JFACC's authority to task and direct missions in the ATO to meet

 

the JFC's theater objectives and ensure unity of effort, it fails to address the JTCB or

 

the JFACC's role in the joint targeting process other than to acknowledge that it is the

 

JFC's decision on whether or not to establish a JTCB. Meanwhile, in the absence of

 

more concrete guidance, the U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Pacific Command have

 

both developed JFACC concepts of operation which outline specific JFACC functions

 

and responsibilities as well as a JTCB structure. U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) and

 

U.S. Atlantic Command (LANTCOM) place the JTCB, chaired by the DJFC, under the

 

JFC (depicted in Figure 3).

 

Click here to view image

 

The JFACC's and His Staff

 

Another controversial JFACC issue during Desert Storm was the composition of

 

the JFACC's staff. The JFACC staff was not joint. Although it had representatives

 

(liaison officers) from the other services and the British Royal Air Force, its membership

 

was predominantly Air Force. Both the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Major

 

General John A. Corder, and the Director of Air Campaign Planning, Brigadier General

 

Buster Glosson, were U.S. Air Force generals.47 This naturally tended to reinforce

 

perceptions of parochialism. A truly joint staff in the Air Operations Center (AOC),

 

composed of representatives from each service, would go a long way towards

 

alleviating such concerns. A joint JFACC staff involves more than a handful of liaison

 

officers from other services performing in an advisory role. Instead, the JFACC's staff

 

should be composed of a mixture of talented officers drawn from each service in

 

proportion to the approximate number and type of air assets each contributes to form a

 

Joint AOC (JAOC).48 This more balanced staff would also provide the JFACC and JFC

 

with a solid range of expertise across all service aviation specialties. The real role of

 

these JFACC staff officers is to combine their individual service expertise in planning

 

effective joint air operations, not to ensure that their service views prevail.49

 

The JFACC himself is normally the component commander with both the

 

preponderance of air assets in-theater and the best capability to direct and control air

 

operations.50 For most large operations, this usually (although not always) means that an

 

U.S. Air Force officer will assume the JFACC role since the Air Force will probably

 

provide both the preponderance of aircraft and the AOC infrastructure. A deputy JFACC

 

or director of operations from a service other than the JFACC's should be appointed. In

 

Desert Storm, a U.S. Navy officer in such a position would have provided better service

 

component representation and also helped allay suspicions of service bias. Furthermore,

 

the Area Air Defense Commander (AADC) and Airspace Control Authority (ACA) duties

 

are normally performed by the same individual because joint air defense efforts and

 

airspace control measures are closely interrelated. Although the duties of the AADC and

 

ACA can be performed by the JFACC himself, as was the case in Desert Storm, the

 

scope of responsibilities is large enough that these are better delegated to another flag

 

officer. To minimize the possibility of fratricide, both joint air defense operations and

 

airspace control procedures must be integrated together in the ATO and airspace control

 

order (ACO). Since, the JFACC is in the best overall position to synchronize the entire

 

counterair effort of both aircraft and ground defense systems, it follows that the AADC

 

and ACA should report to the JFACC as an element of his staff.

 

"Dual-hatting" of the JFACC, who is probably also a service component

 

commander, is another area of debate. Lt. Gen. Horner was both the commander of

 

the Air Force Component, Central Command (CENTAF) and Commander, Ninth Air

 

Force in addition to being the JFACC. Although serving in these two different and

 

potentially conflicting roles, General Horner did much to accommodate the interests

 

and concerns of the other services.51 The willingness to deal is a characteristic of an

 

effective JFACC. As JFACC, Horner was willing to make tradeoffs with other

 

component commanders and enjoyed good working relationships with each. This

 

avoided open conflict over the JFACC's status and authority. Also, daily dialogue of

 

the JFACC with other senior leaders is vital in ironing out difficulties that arise. Still,

 

with dual-hatting, concerns over conflict of interest, such as assigning key missions or

 

targets to one's own service to steal the limelight, are bound to arise. When dual-

 

hatting is unavoidable, the perception of conflict of interest can be minimized by a

 

balanced JFACC staff consisting of officers from each services and aviation specialty.

 

The JFACC's task, whatever his service, is to make the most effective use of all the air

 

assets available, regardless of their service source. As one JFACC planner in Desert

 

Storm aptly summarized, "It's a war; we're not trying to make budget decisions, we're

 

trying to defeat someone."52

 

 

 

 

The JFACC and Doctrinal Difficulties

 

Different service perspectives and doctrine on the control and employment of air

 

power fuel arguments over the JFACC's role in joint air operations. The phrase

 

"shaping the battlefields may mean two very different things to an aviator and an

 

infantryman. Furthermore, the airman and soldier may differ in defining the enemy's

 

center of gravity. The airman may view the command and control network or other

 

strategic targets as an enemy center of gravity while the soldier tends to see the enemy

 

force itself as the center of gravity. Each service has a distinct view of joint warfighting

 

which is shaped by their respective service doctrine. Admittedly, each point of view has

 

sound rationale supporting it. But while doctrine serves a useful purpose in that it

 

defines the service's mission and identity, it can sometimes serve as a barrier to true

 

jointness.

 

For the Air Force, the principal doctrinal precept is the primacy of the strategic

 

air war. The Air Force's doctrine is that centralized control (if not command) of all

 

service component air assets, under a single air commander, allows air power to be

 

focused where it will do the most good in achieving theater objectives and promotes

 

both unity and economy of effort. The JFACC, in the Air Force view, is in the best

 

position to determine priorities among various theater air assets in keeping with the

 

JFC's guidance. He fights the entire depth, width, and height of the battlespace. The

 

Air Force's greatest fear is the misuse of air by failing to achieve air superiority at the

 

outset or diluting air power, a concern not altogether unfounded in U.S. military history.

 

General Momyer, former commander of Seventh Air Force in Vietnam, wrote:

 

Throughout the three wars, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, the

command and control of airpower has been a major issue. Airpower has

great flexibility to perform many tasks in war, and its ability to respond

with varying levels of firepower to a variety of targets has led Army and

Navy commanders to seek control of airpower as part of their forces.

But to give in to these understandable wishes of surface commanders is

to destroy the very thing that gives airpower its strength-the ability to

focus quickly upon whatever situation has the most potential for victory

or for defeat Airmen know that centralized control of airpower in a

theater of war can best serve armies and navies; to fragment airpower is

to court defeat In North Africa, Europe, Korea, and Vietnam this

principle has been proven time and again. As Air Marshal Tedder writes,

'Air warfare cannot be separated into little packets; it knows no

boundaries on land or sea other than those imposed by the radius of

action of the aircraft; it is a unity and demands unity of command.'53

 

 

The danger lies in suboptimizing the battlefield which can result in the diffusion of air

 

power at the expense of the theater objectives. Air Force officers argue that the

 

soldier does not understand the synergy of focused and direct attacks on strategic

 

targets of the enemy.54 The Air Force position is that early destruction of the enemy's

 

leadership, command and control capability, lines of communication, industrial

 

infrastructure, and other warfighting capabilities through strategic attack can help

 

ensure a decisive victory.55 Attacks against command and control centers and airfields

 

play a major role in the air superiority battle. The Air Force believes that air superiority

 

is a fundamental priority and a precondition for the effective conduct of joint ground or

 

air operations.

 

While the Air Force acknowledges its support responsibilities to ground forces, it

 

does take a decidedly strategic focus with air superiority, deep attack, and interdiction

 

as elements of a larger air war executed independently of the ground battle. Indeed,

 

Air Force doctrine states that air power employed primarily in a close air support role

 

(as opposed to interdiction and strategic attack) is not likely to achieve campaign-level

 

effects.56 This statement seems to ignore the point that air power may provide crucial

 

support which ultimately helps the Army win a major land battle. That victory, in turn,

 

can have a profound effect on an entire campaign, and air power has therefore

 

contributed to that effect. Despite the claims of those who advocate the classic

 

strategic bombing campaign, history has shown that a strategic air campaign can have

 

a devastating impact on the enemy, but it will not win a war by itself.57 In General

 

Horner's words, "See, the trouble with our air power people is that sometimes they get

 

too carried away with what air power is all about.. They wanted the Iraqi army to

 

surrender without the ground battle taking place so that it would vindicate them as

 

airmen... The reason you would want that to happen is so that no U.S. soldiers were

 

killed on the battlefield."58

 

The Navy's focus is on the primacy of the war at sea that involves sea control,

 

forward presence, and power projection in the littoral or near-land environment. In this

 

context, the Navy views its carrier air as an extension of the fleet and is reluctant to

 

surrender control to a land-based commander. The Navy sees its air performing a

 

combination of fleet defense and strike operations along the littorals. Naval air is an

 

essential part of overall fleet operations, and the traditional view holds that since carrier

 

air supports naval operations, it should therefore fall under the command of the naval

 

commander afloat. However, while maritime missions have priority, sorties in excess of

 

maritime air requirements are made available for JFACC tasking. The Navy's strictly

 

maritime missions were not normally included in the ATO. The JFACC does not need

 

to control these sorties, only those which are integrated with the joint air effort inland.

 

The Navy has recently come a long way in its shift from war in the open ocean

 

towards becoming part of the joint sea-air-land team. Going into Desert Storm, the

 

Navy's focus was on maritime battle against the former Soviet navy and independent

 

contingency operations. It was not well prepared to integrate with land-based air forces

 

in an extended air campaign. The Navy lacked a developed system for planning and

 

directing an air campaign comparable to the Air Force's AOC or for developing an ATO

 

to integrate employment of aircraft from multiple bases. This capability to control an air

 

war is an essential prerequisite for a future Navy JFACC. Also, the Navy's limited

 

number of precision munitions and lack of onboard target identification systems for

 

beyond-visual-range (BVR) missile employment tended to limit its participation in

 

certain aspects of the air campaign which called for those capabilities.59

 

The Marine Corps' fundamental precept is the primacy of the Marine Air Ground

 

Task Force (MAGTF). In spite of the 1986 Omnibus Agreement, the Marines and the

 

Air Force views still diverge on control of the organic air component of its MAGTF.60

 

Marines view their air assets as an integral part of their air-ground combat team and are

 

very uncomfortable with the idea of a theater air commander who is able to shift Marine

 

air assets away from the direct support of their ground forces. The Marine reliance on

 

its air component stems from the Corps's unique role in amphibious operations and the

 

need for immediate firepower during the critical landing phase before other supporting

 

arms are ashore to provide such fire support. Marine air compensates for the MAGTF's

 

limited artillery and armor, and it exists to support the MAGTF's ground component. It

 

is also the MAGTF commander's primary means of fighting the deep battle. The

 

association of Marine air with the ground component it serves is so close that

 

questioning the need for separate Marine air is equivalent to questioning the need for a

 

Marine Corps.61

 

The Marines do believe in centralized control of air-but by the MAGTF

 

commander. This is so that when the MAGTF needs air, it can get it immediately

 

instead of finding that the air it relied on was diverted elsewhere in theater. The Air

 

Force is adamant about the centralized control of all theater air assets under a single

 

air boss for reasons already explained. So who is right? Both services have valid

 

points. The Joint Chiefs simultaneous endorsement of both the JFACC concept and

 

the Omnibus Agreement continues to create a context for disagreement between the

 

Marines and the Air Force. During Desert Storm, the Air Force did, in fact, adhere to

 

the Omnibus Agreement which reaffirms the integrity of the MAGTF combined-arms

 

team and recognizes that Marine air is required for MAGTF effectiveness as a fighting

 

force. Since the Omnibus agreement states that OPCON of Marine air is retained by

 

the MAGTF commander, Marines prefer to think of the JFACC title as a designation

 

and the JFACC himself as strictly a coordinator.62 In Desert Storm, Marine

 

commanders and the JFACC staff disagreed over the degree to which the ATO

 

covered Marine sorties in excess of the number specifically committed to it. Some

 

Marine officers, including Lt. Gen. Royal N. Moore, Jr., Third Marine Aircraft Wing

 

Commander, viewed the ATO as merely a coordination mechanism.63 This assertion

 

ignores the fact that the air tasking order was, as the name implies, the instrument used

 

by the JFACC, as the supported commander for the ClNC's air effort, to task various

 

missions. All fixed-wing Marine air was in the ATO. Sorties provided to the JFACC

 

included all A-6 and EA-6B and half of the F/A-18 sorties with MARCENT retaining

 

tasking authority over all AV-8B and the remaining F/A-18 sorties for use in zones near

 

their ground forces.64 Interestingly, in mid-February 1991, MARCENT withheld all fixed-

 

wing assets for CAS use because the JFACC's allocated sorties did not meet

 

MARCENT's ground support requirements. Despite these philosophical differences,

 

General Horner and General Moore made the whole process work through a series of

 

mutual tradeoffs and compromises.66 General Horner commented, "You do common

 

sense things. And you don't worry about doctrine."67

 

For the Army, the principal precept is the primacy of the land battle. In the

 

AirLand Battle, which is now evolving into something called Army Operations, a basic

 

notion is that war is ultimately decided by the soldier on the ground. Like the Marines,

 

the Army complains that the Air Force's desire for centralized control leads to too much

 

emphasis on strategic operations at the expense of direct support for front-line ground

 

troops that it wants-and often needs.68 Unlike the Marines, the Army lacks an organic

 

fixed wing air component, and because of a limited number of ATACMS, it still depends

 

largely on air power to fight the deep battle.69 The Army tends to view air power as a

 

supporting force for its ground scheme of maneuver and would like to allocate a fixed

 

number of sorties dedicated for the exclusive use of each corps, in essence, to provide

 

an "air umbrella." However, in the Air Force's view, such an approach fragments air

 

power and wastes the synergy associated with centralized control of air power.

 

Centralized control allows the JFACC to focus air assets where they are most needed

 

by the joint force as a whole. It provides flexibility to shift roles or redirect aircraft to

 

other targets on the battlefield as a result of weather obscuring a primary target or

 

significant changes in one area of the battlefield. Also, as previously noted, the

 

number of sorties flown is not as important as the types of aircraft and weapons that fly

 

those sorties. Centralized control allows a JFACC to allocate the best combination of

 

aircraft and weapon and concentrate this firepower for the desired effect against each

 

target. Of course, the ground commander is in the best position to identify and

 

prioritize targets in his AO which are a factor to his forces. When it comes to direct

 

support, the crux of the matter is responsiveness. Army commander's want dedicated

 

CAS because when they need it, they need it right away. On a dynamic battlefield, 30

 

minutes is a long time to wait. Battles have been won and lost in less time. The

 

concept of "push CAS" developed by General Horner to provide readily available

 

aircraft for direct support is a great idea, but it only works when an abundance of air

 

assets are available (as was the case in Desert Storm).70

 

Army helicopters are yet another issue. Should they come under the JFACC's

 

purview? The Army sees its helicopters as part of a combined-arms team along with

 

armor, infantry, and artillery, all supporting its scheme of fire and maneuver. Attack

 

helicopters are used as a maneuver element in support of ground operations and are

 

not truly theater assets by virtue of their limited speed and range. When used in a

 

combined-arms or CAS role, they are best left under the direct control of the ground

 

commander. However, Army helicopters used in an interdiction role or beyond the fire

 

support coordination line (FSCL) should come under the JFACC's purview in the ATO.

 

 

 

The JFACC and Deep Attack

 

Another area of debate concerns JFACC control of deep attack assets other

 

than aircraft. B-52-launched Air Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCMs) come under the

 

JFACC's control through the ATO, but should Navy TLAMs and Army ATACMS also be

 

included in the JFACC's sphere of control? Generally, yes. TLAMs are a highly useful

 

weapon permitting strikes in either bad weather or against heavily defended targets in

 

the daytime without risking aircraft. It is essential that TLAMs be closely integrated with

 

air strikes to achieve unity of effort in the timing and targeting of deep strike operations.

 

TLAMs not employed in support of strictly maritime targets should fall under the

 

JFACC's control in executing the JTCB's joint target list.

 

With a range of over 120 km, ATACMS is the Army's principal means of

 

prosecuting deep operations.71 The ATACMS can also be a superb SEAD weapon in a

 

high threat environment too lethal for aircraft to attack enemy defenses without

 

incurring excessive risk.72 ATACMS is designed to be a highly responsive deep strike

 

system, while the Army's shorter range Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is

 

considered an artillery system. Since these are fundamentally employed as organic

 

corps support weapons, it is not desirable for a JFACC to exercise control over them

 

when used against targets within the corps' AO. However, when employed in deep

 

operations against targets outside the ground commander's AO, JFACC control is

 

again essential to allow the JFACC to deconflict targets between aircraft and other

 

attack assets when developing the MAP and to synchronize the theater deep attack

 

effort.

 

To facilitate the integration of deep attack assets, a deep attack coordination

 

line (DACL) should be established by the JFC, beyond which Navy TLAMs and Army

 

ATACMS employment must be coordinated with the JFACC's air interdiction efforts.

 

This concept differs from the fire support coordination line (FSCL), inside which pilots,

 

operating within the ground commander's main battle area, must coordinate their air

 

attacks with the ground commander. The DACL will normally be located beyond the

 

FSCL. The ground commander may freely employ his organic deep attack assets

 

inside the DACL. Past the DACL, he must coordinate with the JFACC who integrates

 

all deep attack assets to synchronize the theater deep battle. Merely extending the

 

FSCL way out to permit unrestricted use of ATACMS unnecessarily hampers the

 

JFACC's air interdiction effort. Pilots operating inside the FSCL cannot expend

 

ordnance unless under the control of a forward air controller (FAC), and the number of

 

aircraft that FACs can work at any given time is very limited. An example of this

 

occurred in the latter stages of Desert Storm when the XVIII Airborne Corps advanced

 

the FSCL well north of the Euphrates River. It was so far ahead of coalition ground

 

forces that it created what amounted to a sanctuary for Iraqi forces from air attack that

 

allowed them to escape north out of Kuwait.73 Just as it is crucial for the ground

 

commander to synchronize all attack assets inside the FSCL, it is equally essential for

 

the JFACC to integrate all deep attack assets in prosecuting the theater-wide deep

 

battle.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

As Desert Storm dramatically demonstrated, air power has come of age.

 

Stealth technology, lethal precision-guided weapons, long range air-and sea-launched

 

cruise missiles, and airborne battlefield management and surveillance systems

 

combine to make air power one of the most dominant and versatile aspects of modern

 

warfare. As President George Bush observed, "Gulf lesson one is the value of air

 

power."74 Other than the U.S., no nation has a comparable ability to use concentrated

 

air power with modern precision munitions against its adversaries. With the diverse

 

aerospace capabilities of the four services, air power will remain a dominant aspect of

 

U.S. military might and a unique advantage the U.S. can exploit in future conflicts. The

 

decisiveness of air power so clearly demonstrated in Desert Storm comes from its

 

inherent offensive capability." Only air power has the capability to strike the enemy

 

anywhere, anytime, and hit multiple targets simultaneously. The lethality of modern air

 

power, coupled with its freedom of maneuver, range, and precision, has revolutionized

 

modern warfare." Although air power alone may not win a war, without air power, a

 

war will not be won. Air power creates the essential conditions for success on the

 

ground and at sea.

 

The effectiveness of joint air operations is best achieved through the centralized

 

control of a JFACC who ensures unity of effort and coherent employment of air power

 

to best achieve decisive theater-wide results. The key elements of the successful

 

Desert Storm air campaign were centralized control of the joint air assets under a

 

JFACC and a single ATO. The JFACC achieved true unity of effort in the air war, and

 

this allowed the CINC to focus air power against the most critical targets at the right

 

time to support his concept of operations. Centralized control will continue to be

 

important in future conflicts with fewer U.S. air power assets available due to current

 

force reductions. In Desert Storm, the JFACC had an abundance of fighter assets to

 

employ which kept inter-service conflicts, for the most part, on the back burner. The

 

coalition forces fielded 2,430 fixed-wing aircraft and flew an average of over 2,500

 

combat and support sorties per day.77 There was enough air for each service to

 

employ its air assets the way it doctrinally preferred to fight" with the recent

 

downsizing of U.S. forces, the real test for the JFACC will come in the future when

 

limited air resources force hard choices between competing priorities on the battlefield.

 

Can the clash of different service doctrines over control of joint air operations be

 

reconciled? Yes, but first, old mindsets must change. The new paradigm for joint air

 

operations is that unity of effort is effectively achieved through a single air boss

 

exercising tactical control over all service component air assets. The Air Force must

 

recognize that air power alone will not necessarily win a war through a strategic

 

bombing campaign designed to drive the enemy into submission. It must also

 

recognize that supporting engaged ground forces is just as important to the theater

 

campaign as the strategic air battle is. It must give greater emphasis to CAS in

 

doctrine and training. The Navy must prepare now to assume the role of JFACC in the

 

future, especially in the littoral warfare environment. The Navy must integrate its carrier

 

air with other joint air assets beyond the fleet defense role in a larger theater air

 

campaign. The Marines need to recognize that under certain circumstances such as

 

sustained operations ashore, Marine air does not always need to be strictly tied to its

 

MAGTF combined-arms role. They must acknowledge that a JFACC's authority from

 

the JFC to exercise tactical control involves more than mere coordination. The Army

 

must recognize that air power does not only exist to support the ground forces' scheme

 

of maneuver. The use of ground forces to facilitate an air-dominant operation, such as

 

fixing enemy ground forces in place to increase their vulnerability to attack by air power,

 

is as valid a tactic as the use of air to support a ground scheme of maneuver. Also, as

 

a deep weapon, the Army's ATACMS needs to be integrated with the JFACC's air

 

targeting plan to ensure unity of effort.

 

Service doctrine should provide a constructive basis for examining new

 

warfighting ideas, not serve as a dogma that obstructs effective joint operations

 

because it fails to acknowledge exceptions to its major doctrinal precepts. Nor should

 

service doctrine usurp either joint doctrine or the JFC's concept of operations. To fight

 

joint, mutual understanding and appreciation of the other services' warfighting doctrines

 

is essential to understand warfare in not only one's own medium but in the other

 

mediums as well. There is no room for any dysfunctional interservice squabbling when

 

the shooting starts.

 

Service components should be allowed to fight the way they are organized and

 

trained. At the same time, services must tailor their organization and training to the way

 

they will fight in the future--and that way is joint. Joint exercises must involve a JFACC,

 

JTCB, JAOC, and different service component air assets with limited total air resources

 

to force the tough calls. Joint targeting, BDA, and ATO planning and dissemination

 

processes, along with equipment interoperability, must be tested in dynamic exercise

 

environments. Exercises must be designed to focus on true joint integration of air

 

assets, not service-sponsored exercises in which other services play mere token or

 

supporting roles.

 

"Jointness" should not be confused with "fair-sharing," that is, the assignment of

 

missions or targets for parochial reasons at the expense of overall campaign

 

effectiveness. It is not the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy fighting separate air,

 

land, and sea campaigns. These service forces are each part of air, land, and sea

 

components fighting the JFC's campaign. They all work for the JFC and a common

 

goal: to win-and win decisively. True jointness requires a JFACC to make the most

 

effective use of all air assets available, regardless of their parent service. It is not

 

necessary to be "purple." Each service component brings its own unique air power

 

capabilities (and limitations) to the fight. The diverse capabilities of each service air

 

component are complementary and can be best employed by the JFACC who

 

synchronizes joint air actions for maximum overall effect and unity of effort.

 

 

 

NOTES

 

1 The route package concept, which was developed in Korea and flourished in

Vietnam, divided airspace over North Vietnam into seven parcels or "route packages."

The Air Force or the Navy was assigned responsibility for targets and operations within

its respective packages. It was nothing more than an arrangement to get around

unresolved doctrinal issues and offered simplicity at the expense of effective

employment of all air assets available. See General William W. Momyer, Air Power in

Three Wars (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, 1987), pp. 95-96; JFACC Primer, 2nd ed.

(Washington DC: Department of the Air Force, February 1994), p. 5; James A.

Winnefeld and Dana J. Johnson, Joint Air Operations: Pursuit of Unity of Command

and Control, 1942-1991 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1993), pp. 156-160. In

some circumstances, such as single strikes or smaller scale operations, geographic

separation may be useful in preventing mutual interference and simplifying planning.

At that time, lack of sophisticated communications and computer systems prohibited

the kind of close coordination that is possible today.

2 Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS), Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control

(Washington, DC: GPO, 1993), pp. 58, 62, 217.

3 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Title V Final Report to Congress, April 1992,

p. 101.

4 Les Aspin and William Dickinson, Defense for a New Era: Lessons of the

Persian Gulf War (Washington, DC: Brassey's (US), Inc., 1992), p. 1, 8, 10; Conduct

of the Persian Gulf War, pp. 101, 103,179; James P. Coyne, Airpower in the Gulf

(Arlington, VA: Air Force Association, 1992), p. 155; Charles A. Horner, General.,

USAF (ret), "The Air Campaign," Military Review, September 1991, p. 26; Thomas A.

Keaney and Eliot A. Cohen, Gulf War Air Power Survey Summary Report

(Washington, DC: GPO, 1993), pp. 161, 240.

5 AFM 1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force, Vol. I.,

March 1992, pp. 3, 7, 17-18.

6 According to Joint Pub 0-2, Unified Action Armed Forces (UNMF), 11 August

1994, operational control (OPCON) is "authority to perform those functions of command

over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces,

assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving authoritative direction necessary to

accomplish the mission." It provides "full authority to organize commands and forces

and to employ those forces as the commander...considers necessary." Tactical control

(TACON) is "command authority over assigned or attached forces or commands, or

military capability or forces made available for tasking, that is limited to detailed and,

usually, local direction and control of movements or maneuvers necessary to

accomplish missions or tasks assigned."

7 Joint Pub 0-2, Unified Action Armed Forces (UNAAF), pp. 111-112.

8 The Air Force position is that tactical control is the appropriate level of JFACC

authority to conduct joint air operations. See JFACC Primer, p. 10.

9 Keaney and. Cohen, p. 146; Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations, pp.

125-126; James A. Winnefeld and Dana J. Johnson, "Unity of Control: Joint Air

Operations in the Gulf," Joint Forces Quarterly, Summer 1993, p. 98.

10 According to Joint Pub 1-02, DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms,

apportionment is the JFC's "determination and assignment of the total expected effort

by percentage and/or priority that should be devoted to various air operations and/or

geographic areas for a given period of time." This differs from allocation which involves

assigning actual sorties by mission and type aircraft based on the JFC's apportionment

guidance.

11 Numerous examples exist. The F-15C currently performs only an air-to-air

role and the A-10 is strictly a ground attack aircraft to name just two. Many aircraft are

best utilized in only certain roles. For example, the F-117 is best suited for strategic

attack and the AV-8B for a direct support role.

12 AFM 1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force, Vol. II, pp.

119-120; John A. Warden III, The Air Campaign: Planning for Combat (Washington

DC: National Defense University Press, 1988), p. 161; Jerome V. Martin, Victory From

Above: Air Power Theory and the Conduct of Operations Desert Shield and Desert

Storm (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.: Air University Press, 1994), p.8.

13 Momyer, pp. 39-41. The Air Force has never forgotten this hard lesson.

14 Aspin, pp. 9-10; Rick Atkison, Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War

(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1993), p. 222; Richard P. Hallion, Storm over Irac: AirPower in

the Gulf War (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992), pp. 2O6-209; Richard B.

Lewis, "JFACC: Problems Associated With Battlefield Preparation in Desert Storm," Airpower

Journal, Spring 1994, pp. 16, 19; Dwight R. Motz, "JFACC: The Joint Air Control 'Cold War'

Continues," Marine Corps Gazette, January 1993, p. 70; Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air

Operations, pp. 192, 194.

15 GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, pp. 63, 171.

16 Stephen W. Dade, "Adventures in Targeting," Marine Corps Gazette, June

1992,

pp. 34-35; John W. Schmidt and Clinton L. Williams, "Disjointed or Joint Targeting?,"

Marine Corps Gazette, September 1992, p. 67-8; Triumph without Victory: The

Unreported History of the Persian Gulf War (New York: Times Books, 1992), pp. 267-

268.

17 GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, pp. 57-58.

18 GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, p. 58; Triumph without

Victory, p.268; Winnefeld and Johnson, pp. 125, 136, 192, 194.

19 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, p. 94.

20 Rick Atkison, Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War (Boston:

Houghton Mifflin Co., 1993), p. 221; Lewis, pp. 8, 20; Triumph without Victory, pp.

265-267. Schwarzkopf directed Horner to begin the Phase III well inside of two weeks

into the air campaign.

21 Atkison, pp. 105-106; GWAPS, Vol. 1, Part II, Command and Control, p. 60;

Lewis, p. 7.

22 GWAPS, Vol. 1, Part II, Command and Control, pp. 59-60.

23 General Charles A. Horner interview, 27 Dec 1993.

24 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, p. 101; Lewis, p. 8.

25 Reaching Globally, Reaching Powerfully: The United States Air Force in the

Gulf War (Washington DC: Department of the Air Force, September 1991), p. 41.

26 Ibid., pp. 40, 42.

27 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, pp. 90-91, 94, 140; GWAPS, Vol. I, Part I,

Planning, p. 170; Hallion, p. 209; Lewis, pp. 12,19; Reaching Globally, p 40.

Historical evidence shows that units are rendered combat ineffective after suffering

attrition levels of 20 to 50 percent. Schwarzkopf's combat analysis team concluded

that 50% attrition was necessary as a precondition for a coalition ground offensive to

succeed. According to Lewis, corps commanders were unaware of Schwarzkopf's

guidance until after the war, apparently due to some sort of communications disconnect

between ARCENT and the commanders.

28 According to Carl von Clausewitz, a center of gravity is "...the hub of all power

and movement, on which everything depends. That is the point against which all our

energies should be directed." Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Michael

Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976), pp. 595-

96; GWAPS, Vol. I, Part I, Planning, p 172; Keaney and Cohen, pp. 152-153.

29 Lewis, pp. 13,19.

30 Keaney and Cohen, pp. 152-153, 155; Winnefeld, Niblack, and Johnson, p. 110.

31 Atkison, p. 219; Lewis, p. 17. Nominated targets were to be plotted to within

100 meters on the map and then validated just hours before an air strike. Of an

average 110 targets nominated daily, only a few dozen actually were designated for

attack in the ATO.

32 Atkison, p. 222.

33 Atkison, p. 219; Michael Leurs, "Joint Doctrine: New Pubs, Old

Controversies," Joint Forces Quarterly, Summer 1994, p. 112; Lewis, pp. 18, 21. To

be a suitable target for air, among other things, it must be readily identifiable from

altitude and vulnerable to aircraft-delivered munitions. An example of an unsuitable

target would be infantry dispersed and dug in over a large area.

34 Hallion, p. 208; Lewis, pp. 10-13. Kills on tanks, APCs, and artillery pieces

were counted in determining attrition levels. Col. Lewis, a member of the JFACC's

staff, gives an excellent account of specific details surrounding the BDA confusion

during Desert Storm.

35 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, p. 113; Keaney and Cohen, p. 142; Lewis,

p. 10-13; Winnefeld, Niblack, and Johnson, p. 149-150. ARCENT never revised its

initial figures based on its revised "discounted" criteria however.

36 The MAP contained TOT, mission number, the basic encyclopedia number

(BEN)-a reference to the DIA's automated installation file identifier, target category

code, target description, and number and type aircraft tasked to conduct the attack.

Some delays led to unnecessary restrikes. See GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and

Control p. 299.

37 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, pp. 175-176, 343; Norman Friedman,

Desert Victory: The War for Kuwait (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991), p.

186; Larry Grundhauser, et al., "The Future of BDA," Concepts in Airpower for the

Campaign Planner (Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University, 1993), pp. 89-91;

GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, p. 304; Keaney and Cohen, p. 142.

Under ideal circumstances, overhead imagery of a single target took 18 hours to be

processed and disseminated by DIA in Washington to Riyadh for assessment. When

multiplied by approximately 2,000 sorties each day, the system was overwhelmed.

38 Atkison, p. 236; Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, pp. 138, 175-176, 343-344;

Coyne, p. 159; Keaney and Cohen, p. 140-142; Lewis, p. 13; Grundhauser, et al., p.

99. Triumph without Victory, p. 276. The Iraqis resorted to burying their tanks and

artillery pieces in sand, sandbagging turrets, and wrapping gun barrels with rags which

made it both harder for aircraft to achieve kills and to assess damage. Analysts had a

hard time assessing target destruction unless it was very apparent such as a tank turret

blown off. BDA was also hampered by poor weather which often obscured some

targets and prevented reconnaissance imagery. Satellites could only cover around 20

percent of the targets hit.

39 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, pp. 103,176.

40 GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, p. 52.

41 Friedman, p. 174.

42 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, pp. 103-105, 552, 574; Friedman, pp. 174-

175; GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, pp. 51, 55; Royal N. Moore, Lt

Gen., USMC, "Marine Air: There When Needed," Proceedings, November 1991, p. 63;

Motz, pp. 70-71; Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations, p. 110; Winnefeld,

Niblack, and Johnson, p. 111. Gen. Moore referred to gaming the ATO process by

scheduling additional sorties which he canceled if not needed because he felt that the

ATO process did not respond well "to a quick-action battlefield." The NAVCENT staff

created a "Fleet Defense" sortie category to give them the flexibility to strike targets

important to the Navy but not serviced by the normal targeting process.

43 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, p. 104-105; Keaney and Cohen, p. 151;

Hallion, p. 256. The Contingency Tactical Air Control Automated Planning System

(CTAPS) is an ongoing joint program to address problems associated with

disseminating a joint ATO. The Navy is installing CAFMS on its carriers in the

meantime.

44 GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, pp. 220-227, 231-235. A

number of these ATO changes were due to bad weather (around 100 on several days).

Weather was so bad that four out of every ten sorties through late January were

canceled.

45 GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, p. 231; Keaney and Cohen,

p. 151.

46 Aircraft video tape recordings (AVTR) is not a panacea. It does not

necessarily permit reliable BDA either because some products, such as A-10 and F-16

video, show the target at weapons release but not up to impact like F-15E or F-117

products do. The use of cockpit video imagery for higher headquarters BDA review in

currently a USAF Air Combat Command special interest item.

47 Horner placed certain Air Force officers that he personally knew in those key

positions where he felt, as JFACC, he needed individuals in whom he could place

special trust. The Air Force was comfortable with the Air Force-dominated staff

supplemented by liaison officers from the other services, and the other services did not

initially seem eager to provide manning. See GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and

Control, p. 67; Winnefeld, Niblack, and Johnson, p. 106-107.

48 Authors Winnefeld and Johnson recommend a standing JFACC cadre staff of

joint membership/composition that can be rapidly expanded for large-scale, continuous

combat operations. See Joint Air Operations, p. 135 and "Unity of Control: Joint Air

Operations in the Gulf," Joint Forces Quarterly, p. 99.

49 Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations, p. 137.

50 Joint Pubs 3-0, 3-01.2, and 3-04 set forth criteria for JFACC selection.

51 According to Lt Gen. Walter E. Boomer, I MEF Commander, General Horner

adhered to the Omnibus Agreement and made no attempt to assume operational

control of Marine air. In return, the Marine Corps provided sorties for JFACC tasking as

promised. See "Special Trust and Confidence Among the Trail-Breakers,"

Proceedings, November 1991, p. 50; GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control,

pp. 57, 73; Martin, p. 38; Moore, p. 64; Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations,

p. 147; Winnefeld, Niblack, and Johnson, p. 110.

52 Hallion, p. 254.

53 Momyer, p. 107-108.

54 Triumph without Victory, p. 267.

55 Christopher Bowie, et al., The New Calculus: Analyzing Airpower's Changing

Role in Joint Theater Campaigns (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1993), p. 44; Winnefeld,

Niblack and Johnson, p. 60.

56 AFM 1-1, Vol. II, p. 166.

57 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, pp. xxi; Friedman p. 267. Air power was

(and is) a necessary ingredient for victory, just not the only ingredient. Air power

contributed in an extraordinary way to the coalition victory in Desert Storm, but maritime

and ground operations also played essential roles as well.

58 Horner interview, 27 Dec 1993. Some Air Force planners, especially in

Checkmate, believed that air power could single-handedly win the war through an

intense strategic bombing campaign. The initial plan named "Instant Thunder" focused

heavily on strategic targets almost to the exclusion of Iraqi forces in Kuwait. See

Friedman, p. 160,171; Triumph Without Victory, p. 269-274.

59 James Blackwell, Michael J. Mazarr, and Don M. Snider, The Gulf War:

Military Lessons Learned (Washington DC: The Center for Strategic Studies, 1991),

pp. 20-21.

60 The 1986 Omnibus Agreement specifies that the MAGTF commander will

retain operational control over his organic air assets but will make sorties available to

the JFACC for air defense, long-range interdiction, and reconnaissance. These are not

considered "excess" sorties. In addition, he will make available those sorties in excess

of MAGTF direct support requirements. The JFC still retains the prerogative to

reapportion any MAGTF air assets he deems necessary to accomplish the overall

mission.

61 Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations, p. 10.

62 The 16 December 1990 CINCCENT Operations Order for Operation Desert

Storm contained a statement that the MAGTF commander will retain OPCON of his

organic air assets as the Omnibus Agreement requires. The order gave Horner the

authority to require air units to consult in planning and execution of interdiction

operations, but it did not give him the authority to compel agreement if they differed.

Such differences were to be referred to USCINCCENT. Ambiguity of the operations

order did little to reconcile the different views of the Air Force and the Marines over the

JFACC's authority. See GWAPS, Vol. I, Part II, Command and Control, pp. 42, 50-51;

Winnefeld, Niblack, and Johnson, Joint Air Operations, p. 94.

63 GWAPS, VoI. I, Part II, Command and Control, p. 42; Moore, p. 64;

Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations, p. 109.

64 Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations, pp. 119-120; JFACC Primer, p. 7.

65 Fedorchak, Scott A., "Close Air Support: Repeating the Past Again?,"

Airpower Journal, Spring 1994, p. 30.

66 Coyne, , p. 155; Moore. p. 64; Winnefeld and Johnson, Joint Air Operations,

p. 119. An example of a tradeoff was USAF A-10s for CAS in exchange for Marine

F/A-18s for deep strike missions that the A-10 is unsuited for.

67 Horner interview, 27 Dec 1993.

68 James Blackwell, Thunder in the Desert: The Strategy and Tactics of the

Persian Gulf War (New York: Bantam Books, 1991), pp. 114-119, 129-131.

69 The total programmed buy of ATACMS is around 2000. Army attack

helicopters can provide CAS in some circumstances.

70 In anticipation of the ground commanders' requirements for CAS, Horner

developed the "Push CAS" concept because he did not want aircraft sitting on the

ground waiting for a call from attacking Army units. CAS aircraft would fly to a stack or

holding point at regular intervals (as frequently as 7 minutes) to await tasking. If no

CAS was needed at the moment, they were sent deeper in the KTO to kill boxes.

71 Deep operations are those directed against enemy targets beyond the close

battle area. Interdiction is an important facet of deep operations designed to destroy,

delay, or disrupt enemy forces or sustainment before it can be employed against

friendly forces. Improvements to the ATACMS will extend range out to around 400 km.

72 Ten ATACMS were fired against targets in Kuwait during the first night of the

war as part of the joint defense suppression effort. A total of 33 ATACMS were fired in

Desert Storm with great effectiveness.

73 JFACC Primer, p. 34; Keaney and Cohen, p. 157.

74 Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, p. 89, George Bush, 29 May 1991. The

impact of air power can be overstated. Desert Storm was an ideal environment for the

asymmetric application of air power against Iraqi ground forces despite the worst

weather in 40 years. The open desert and set-piece nature made the Iraqi forces

extremely vulnerable to air attack, and the aircraft themselves possessed the

technology to conduct precision strikes. Iraq's inability or unwillingness to aggressively

act further compounded their predicament. Still, air power did ground Iraq's air force

(the sixth largest in the world), destroy over 400 aircraft, overwhelm Iraq's air defense

system, and shatter Iraqi ground forces' confidence. See "Air Force Performance in

Desert Storm," White Paper, April 1991, p. 2.

75 Martin, p. 95.

76 Hallion, pp. 253-4.

77 Martin, p. 63.

78 Winnefeld, Niblack, and Johnson, p. 265.

 

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