Air Defense at the Operational Level in the Down-Sized Army   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Despite events in the Middle East, the Army is faced with a force structure reduction of at least 25% and reductions in research, development, and acquisition accounts. Faced with these reductions, General Vuono has stated that we will maintain an Army with the proper force structure, fully modernized, well led, doctrinally sound, trained and with quality people. That will be a challenge for the Army but an even greater challenge for Air Defense. Air Defense has lagged behind the rest of the Army in modernization and in force structure at the corps level. The American Army has fought with virtual air superiority since the early days of World War II. We tend to focus on our most recent experience. There is concern that because the Air Force performed as advertised in Desert Storm, air defense will not have to be employed in its traditional role of defeating an enemy air breathing threat. The ineffectiveness of the Iraqi air threat does not mean you can ignore future threats. Failure to recognize potential future threats and to structure a force to counter that threat could be dangerous. As one speaker at the USAWC [United States Army War College] states, the greatest lesson from Desert Shield/Storm was that it happened. The purpose of this paper is to look at Air Defense Artillery's future requirements at the corps level in what has become the Army's primary focus-- contingency operations. The paper argues that while the organizational future of Air Defense appears to be well in hand, there is immediate attention required in liaison and coordination, in logistical support, and in doctrine."

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