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What Happened to Battlefield Air Interdiction? Army and Air Force Battlefield Doctrine Development from Pre-Desert Storm to 2001

By Terrance J. McCaffrey III


Description
The ground and air forces have strong interlocking connections in the battlefield operations known as close air support (CAS). In the 1970s the Army and Air Force began to develop a shared battlefield doctrine known as battlefield air interdiction(BAI) that was concerned with a class of targets that lay out a fair distance from the front lines. Later, on the battlefields of Desert Storm, the Air Force excluded BAI from its tasking orders, although some claimed interdiction missions of this nature were carried out under different names. Lt Col Terrance J. McCaffrey III looks into What Happened to BAI? Army and Air Force Battlefield Doctrine Development from Pre–Desert Storm to 2001. He traces airground doctrine and operational practices relative to battlefield interdiction from World War I to Operation Desert Storm and suggests at one point that even the flank support for Patton was, in effect, BAI. The author carries the discussion through the decade after Desert Storm and shows how the issue is too important to be dropped by either service, even as technology provides new weapons for both services.

Table of Contents
1 INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 2 ORIGINS OF BATTLEFIELD AIR INTERDICTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 3 WHERE WAS BATTLEFIELD AIR INTERDICTION IN DESERT STORM? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 4 WAS BATTLEFIELD AIR INTERDICTION A VICTIM OF SUCCESS? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 5 IS BATTLEFIELD AIR INTERDICTION BACK? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 6 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS . . . . . 97 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 GLOSSARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115

 

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