By Benjamin S. Lambeth
This record files the outstanding cross-service concord that the U.S. Air strength and U.S. military have gradually built of their behavior of built-in strike operations because the first Persian Gulf battle in 1991. That shut concord contrasts sharply with the placement that prevailed all through many of the chilly warfare, whilst the 2 prone maintained separate and specific working mindsets and lacked any major interoperability beneficial properties.
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Extra resources for COMBAT PAIR: The Evolution of Air Force-navy Integration in Strike Warfare
Led oﬀensive, code-named Operation Desert Storm, bore much resemblance to the planning assumptions that underlay the Reagan administration’s Maritime Strategy that had been created during the early 1980s to accommodate a very diﬀerent set of concerns. Although naval aviators had routinely trained for and were wholly proﬁcient at over-the-beach conventional strike operations, the Navy’s carrier battle groups during that period were geared, ﬁrst and foremost, to doing open-ocean battle against the Soviet Navy.
Although Horner did not exercise formal command over the air assets of the Navy and Marine Corps that were deployed to the Gulf, he did wield operational control over them to an extent that empowered him to task them as he deemed appropriate to support the jointforce commander’s air apportionment decisions. That arrangement was unprecedented in Navy experience. S. services came to accept, at least in principle, the need for a single jurisdiction over allied air power in Desert Storm. Yet three of them (not only the Navy but also the Marine Corps and Army) frequently chafed at the extent of authority given to General Horner to select targets and determine the details of ﬂight operations.
With Carl Vinson the designated command and control ship, the Air Force, for the ﬁrst time in its joint-operations experience, had to adjust to the novel experience of working with a Navy JFACC aﬂoat. The Air Force’s contribution entailed ﬁghters, bombers, and tankers embodied in Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) III, which collectively ﬂew 23 percent of the sorties in the largely Navycentric exercise. S. Central Command Naval Forces (NAVCENT), B-52s from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, ﬂew nonstop from the continental United States (CONUS ) to the Udari weapons range in Kuwait, where they each dropped 27 live 750-lb bombs in the ﬁrst use of Air Force bombers in an overseas Navy-led theater training exercise.
COMBAT PAIR: The Evolution of Air Force-navy Integration in Strike Warfare by Benjamin S. Lambeth