TOPIC: Identification, Friend or Foe is difficult, at best.
DISCUSSION: Throughout the entire theater of operations, there are numerous weapon systems that are common to both sides of the conflict (Iraq has Kuwait's equipment and what they have acquired on the open international arms market). The individual soldier is going to be faced with the monumental problem of separating friend from foe by more than just the manufacturer or silhouette of a piece of equipment. This will be true of both air and ground systems. This identification problem will also be compounded by the nonlinear battlefield where focus will not be separated by a line.
LESSON(S) LEARNED: A. The command and control of the nondedicated air defense assets needs to be the strictest. The nonair defense units should be placed on WEAPONS HOLD and the fact that you only fire in self-defense should be emphasized to all soldiers. B. For the dedicated air defense personnel that use visual identification, training on theater-directed rules of engagement is a must. Additional measures can be taken all friendly aircraft for visual identification. C. Vehicle recognition training and special markings on ground vehicles will enhance the identification process for both ground troops and pilots. D. Throughout history units have used field-expedient methods to identify friendly vehicles. Some of these methods include: chemical lights, tape, flags, engineer tape in patterns, etc. E. As did the units in North Africa, set up a "traveling circus" of actual enemy and allied vehicles and equipment to enhance the recognition training.
TOPIC: The desert is an outstanding setting for employing aircraft. Every unit must be extremely proficient at passive and active air defense.
DISCUSSION: The Allies in North Africa and Israelis in the Middle East found that dispersion limited the effects of air attacks and small arms air defense techniques were effective. Almost every weapon in North Africa had a secondary antiaircraft/antitank mission.
LESSON(S) LEARNED: Emphasize to each unit that, when in position, units must disperse very widely making a less-than- lucrative target. When moving in column and under air attack, units must move at least 40 to 50 meters off the road for the aircraft normally have nose guns trained on the road with wing armament adjusted to fire into the ditches/shoulders on both sides of the road. A vehicle on the road or on the side of the road will die. Additionally, each unit should set up and use a miniature version of the moving target simulator utilizing a screen/sheet, a projector/mirror and the weapon system for training equipped with a flashlight. Aircraft tracking and engagement can then be practiced and evaluated. All soldiers need to be proficient with the weapons in their units against all types of targets.
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