Alternative Airpower for Afghanistan: Unmanned Aircraft Systems   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Abstract: "Over the last two decades, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have become an integral part of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations. Ground forces rely on the continuous support and protection of military air-power to be effective against an elusive enemy embedded among the population. However, in the case of Afghanistan, international advisors have struggled to fully develop a traditional manned air force and transition from foreign assistance to independent host nation-led air operations. This paper proposes and supports the expanded use of UAS as an alternative to augment the manned Afghan Air Force. As a case study, the Afghan National Army has begun independently using small-UAS for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, setting the precedent for further Afghan UAS capability. Additionally, the paper looks at the ease of UAS implementation in Afghanistan as an affordable alternative located, owned, and operated directly with ground forces like the US Army Aviation construct. The paper concludes by recommending UAS Training Platoons be included within the US Army's Security Force Assistance Brigades to implement UAS training programs in Afghanistan as well as other future counterinsurgency conflicts."

Report Number:
Wright Flyer Paper No. 86
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Air University: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/
Media Type:
Help with citations