Airland Combat: An Organization for Joint Warfare by Thomas A. Cardwell

By Thomas A. Cardwell

A firm for joint struggle

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As the United States entered the war in Europe in 1942, Allied tactical air employment concepts were in a confused state. Aviators believed in the importance of air superiority and that interdiction would be helpful to ground operations ; however, no one was particularly eager to pursue close air support for ground troops . This was due in part to Chennault believed in the importance of both offensive and defensive air superiority . His thinking was not in terms of point air defense, and in the early mid-1930s he didn't really do much thinking about air support for ground operations other than in providing air superiority .

In the summer/fall of 1990, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the US military was faced with a serious problem : How. to respond to a crisis and defend our ally, Saudi Arabia, from Iraq . For the Air Force, it had to develop a strategic air campaign and a plan to support our land forces . 2 (formerly JCS Pub 26) . The JFACC, who was commander of US Central Command Tactical Air Force (COMUSCENTAF), was charged to ensure that unity of effort was achieved, to serve as the Area Air Defense Commander and as the 36 HISTORICAL REVIEW Airspace Control Authority, and finally, to ensure proper application of air power in support of Central Command (CENTCOM) objectives .

The air deputy exercised operational control over Air Force assets, but his authority was specifically excluded from control over Army helicopters and Marine aviation . 97 28 HISTORICAL REVIEW Although the Air Force raised the issue of a single manager for air with MACV numerous times, the command arrangement issue lay essentially dormant from 1965 through the end of 1967 . 98 The issue of a single manager for air thus came to the forefront . MACV Directive 95-4, 6 May 1965, had excluded Marine aviation from control of the MACV air deputy ; Marine forces were employed in I Corps (the northernmost corps area in South Vietnam) under the III Marine Amphibious Force command .

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