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Close Air Support Research Papers

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Close Air Support (CAS) is a complex mission due to the interaction of ground forces and airpower in short distance from the enemy. Historical examples evidenced that cultural differences and service rivalry affected the efficiency of CAS after World War II; while on the other hand, having a joint force with proper training improved its performance. The US Air Force and US Army argued about the property of the assets as the main factor limiting efficiency, conversely the Marine Corps exploited the strength of having CAS as the rationale for their air assets to optimize its procedures. However, beyond the issue of who owns the planes, the real difference is the use of proper training to integrate air and ground forces, assimilate doctrines, and exploit the new technologies. This paper presents a review of historical examples of CAS training, the problems of current training and future challenges to enable joint training under current restrictions of budgets and availability of forces. CAS was one of the main contributors to the initial success of the German blitzkrieg, and a major innovation in the use of airpower during WWII. Wartime practice in Spain allowed…show more content…
While the threat of a Soviet aggression to Europe driving most of the training during 1980s, the integration of technological innovations in communications, weapons and platforms in the training resulted in the success during Desert Storm. Specialized platforms like the A-10 and the AH-64 performed according or even exceeding the expectances. However, technology could not solve completely the problem of fratricide. In successive wars, the lesson for CAS forces is that such wonders of modern technology do little to help pilots that must get very close to their work in order to separate friendly from enemy
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