Author(s)Nimmo, Caleb M
KeywordsAttack and Fighter Aircraft
Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
AIR FORCE PROCUREMENT
ASIA PACIFIC REGION
TOT(TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION AND TRAINING)
BPR(BUSINESS PROCESS REORGANIZATION)
ISR(INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE RECONNAISSANCE)
CAS(CLOSE AIR SUPPORT)
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AbstractThe current budget considerations have driven the Air Force into a self-proclaimed simplification model for mission sets trading size for quality. Specifically, it is touting the following four mission sets as essential: Air and Space Control, Global Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), Rapid Global Mobility, and Global Strike. Similarly, it has established high-priority modernization acquisition programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the Long Range Strike Bomber, the KC-46 refueling tanker, and Space-Based ISR. While there is no question about the importance of these mission sets, the all-ornothing rhetoric, which excludes the fielding of light-attack and lightmobility aircraft, will carry strategic costs in future operations within the Asia-Pacific region. First, a general Defense strategy will be summarized to examine current and future military obligations in support of national security. Second, I will highlight significant historical events in Light Attack platforms for trends of mission effectiveness and lessons learned. Third, I will detail the modern operational need for light-attack aircraft. Fourth, I will analyze the current security issues in the Asia-Pacific region to see where light-attack mission sets are highly relevant, and I will package the optimal technology, organization, and training structure for successful implementation. Finally, I will evaluate why the United States can and should incorporate Light Attack options in the Asia Pacific region to increase security through global presence and international partnerships. The study will consider platforms, organizations, training, operations, and people as equally important. For example, the career progression of aviators involved in training allies in light-attack aviation is as important to the success of the endeavor as the specialized airplane flown.
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