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Thread: Aviation in COIN (merged thread)

  1. #301
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Some good points, Xenophon, and I really, REALLY, want to read your mothers' paper .

    LtFuzz, do you know Brian Selmeski at the Air Force Culture and Languiage Center at Maxwell AFB? Brian and his colleagues have been doing some very interesting work on the role of air bases as a COIN centre - how to integrate them and use them. You may want to contact him for some ideas; pm me if you want his email address.

    Cheers,

    Marc
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  2. #302
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    Default Snap!!

    Doing some work on this as well - do you want to contact me offline and we might be able to share/compare notes? Have just reviewed the RAAF's Friends in High Places - Air Power in Irregular Warfare on my blog if you want to have a look...

  3. #303
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
    Be a Good Boy, Eat your Green Beans, and Protect the Population: The Application of Nagging in Military Operations Other Than War.
    Off this topic, or maybe not, but you might argue that this is exactly the IO campaign that is being waged against us by the opposition(s)...?
    Last edited by SJPONeill; 01-29-2010 at 09:36 PM. Reason: More typos

  4. #304
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Agree with the others. Best thing an AV unit can do for support is understand the dynamics of the AO's they're flying over, and endeavor to not fly in such a way that it (intentionally or unintentionally) pisses off the population. Close coordination with battlespace owners is key, which is really just good traditional AGI ...

    Take a look at the products in the Knowledge Center at https://coin.army.mil - some generic OPDs you may find useful. Done an ASCOPE analysis of your AO(s) for the pilots? Understand the key civilian infrastructure and terrain?

    Enjoy the forum. I've learned a ton.
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  5. #305
    Council Member Starbuck's Avatar
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    I say this as an Army Aviator (albeit one committed to the COIN movement...shhhhh...don't tell AAAA), but you need to kind of keep it simple, like Xenophon said. At least at first. Most aviators, particularly warrant officers, will stand up in the middle of a lecture about Galula and say "hey, does anyone have a MANPADS? That's all I care about".

    You might be able to build from there. One thing that might be interesting is subtly altering the nature of the mandatory aviation "hooah" video, and replace the shots of missiles blowing things up to shots of IPs and ANA people loading up onto Chinooks and Black Hawks.

    Cargo/Lift assets will, of course, be somewhat of a battlefield logistics function, but they can also serve as a means of transportation to seize HVT in a kinetic operation, and serve as CAS as well. Aside from a lot of the tactics and the op-tempo, Army Aviation hasn't had a radical mindshift since 9-11 like the rest of the Army has. They're happy just to keep flying.

  6. #306
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    Default AFCENT UW paper

    Link: http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

    I have no idea if this paper will be beneficial for your needs or not. But I thought it was worth directing your attention to on the chance that there might be a nugget or two in it somewhere that fits your situation.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Thanks for the replies, gentlemen. I'll be looking at all your recommendations and will contribute back here my findings.

    SJPOneil, if you could provide me your email address I'd love to compare notes.
    Last edited by LtFuzz; 01-30-2010 at 05:48 AM.

  8. #308
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    1. Ask the real-estate owners what pisses off the locals. Most people I've chatted with in the past get real worked up when aviation starts buzzing them when they're working.

    2. Ask the real-estate owners when the enemy likes to screw around - usually the sound and lights of aviation keeps them from digging in for a bit.

  9. #309
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtFuzz View Post
    -- that if we don't adopt COIN philosophy and doctrine we will be quickly left behind on the modern battlefield and relegated to a role of air logistician.
    What's wrong with logistics? Ammo in, casualties out. Move troops as and when required. Likewise observation tasks.
    That's G*d's work in irregular warfare. Look at the Army Air Corps. RAF and FLeet Air Arm, in Northern Ireland as a good template as to what is possible with a bit of imagination.

    IMO, provide the support your CoC wants.
    Last edited by William F. Owen; 01-30-2010 at 07:12 AM.
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  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    What's wrong with logistics? Ammo in, casualties out. Move troops as and when required. Likewise observation tasks.
    That's G*d's work in irregular warfare. Look at the Army Air Corps. RAF and FLeet Air Arm, in Northern Ireland as a good template as to what is possible with a bit of imagination.

    IMO, provide the support your CoC wants.
    Nothing wrong with it at all, Mr Owen.

    The issue here -- however -- is that you're maintaining a force paradigm that has existed, relatively unchanged, throughout all conflicts, conventional and unconventional.

    I'm attempting to endeavor a comparison and discussion of how things can be tweaked -- not wholly changed -- to provide even more flexibility to the ground force commander.

    In Afghanistan today it cannot be "keep it up" but "how can we make it even better?"

    Someone will always have to deliver the mail, but how can we make the AH64s a more effective asset if they are told to hold their fire?

    Boots on the ground have had to radically change their posture. I think we're missing something if our aircrews aren't being told to do the same. The UH60 is capable of almost any mission -- how can we make incorporate it onto the battlefield in a more meaningful way than ferrying PAX?

    Maybe it's not possible, maybe the trajectory of rotary-wing combat power has reached its pinnacle and I'm reaching for new models that don't exist.

    But the British in Malaysia and the Portugese in Angola had two very different interpretations of airpower (thanks for that article, Rifleman) in -- philosophically -- the same environment.

    I wonder if we can add to the debate...

  11. #311
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtFuzz View Post
    Nothing wrong with it at all, Mr Owen.
    Call me Wilf.
    In Afghanistan today it cannot be "keep it up" but "how can we make it even better?"
    All good, and I agree with asking the customer as the best way to answer the question.
    Someone will always have to deliver the mail, but how can we make the AH64s a more effective asset if they are told to hold their fire?
    Well the AH-64 can be configured to carry a cargo payload. Cheap and easy to do, but rejected by Army Aviation!
    I suggest mothballing the AH-64 if you-cannot find a role for it. UK seems to be using over-time in Helmand, or so it would seem.
    The UH60 is capable of almost any mission -- how can we make incorporate it onto the battlefield in a more meaningful way than ferrying PAX?
    Why? Why do you want to do more than what history proves to be the most important mission? Personally I can only see roles for basically two types. UH-60/UH-1X and CH-47/CH-53X.

    Question: Is every US UH-60 and CH-47 crew deployed to A'Stan cleared to do fly under-slung loads? If not, why not?
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    I suggest mothballing the AH-64 if you-cannot find a role for it. UK seems to be using over-time in Helmand, or so it would seem.
    There is a role, just as kinetic action has a role in COIN.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Why? Why do you want to do more than what history proves to be the most important mission? Personally I can only see roles for basically two types. UH-60/UH-1X and CH-47/CH-53X.
    I'm not saying we need to abandon traditional mission sets -- but how can we expand them?

    There are lots of examples I'd like to discuss, but I'm very concerned about OPSEC. If anyone has SIPR/CENTRIX, please PM me and we'll exchange addresses.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Question: Is every US UH-60 and CH-47 crew deployed to A'Stan cleared to do fly under-slung loads? If not, why not?
    CHs sling-load regularly. UH60s rarely. (If I am interpreting your question correctly.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LtFuzz View Post
    CHs sling-load regularly. UH60s rarely.
    Why is this?

    I hooked up several sling loads to UH-60s at various West German training areas in the mid-'80s. It wasn't unusual at that time.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

  14. #314
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    In Afghanistan, the density altitude (high altitudes, high temperatures) make it more difficult to carry large sling-loads with UH-60s, not so much with CH-47s.

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    You guys would nix the AH and OH? Where else will troops in contact get CAS, route recon, etc? (maybe UAVs in the future, but for now, we have R/W aircraft)

  16. #316
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pointers to other places

    LtFuzz,

    I am sure something can be learnt, or learn to not learn from, the Soviet experience in Afghanistan and there is a general thread on this: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=9483

    Secondly, SWC have repeatedly looked at the Rhodesian experience, notably 'Fire Force' and the on the ground aspects. Underpinning the Rhodesian "lessons" was an exceptionally competent, experimenting Air Force - who had to maximise impact for resources used. There are several Rhodesians threads: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=868, http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2090 , http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6013,

    We have also touched upon extending the concept of the 'Flying Doctor' and elsewhere others have asked why there is such a poor response to civilian road accidents. Unusual roles maybe, but potentially part of working with the locals.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-30-2010 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Add thread links
    davidbfpo

  17. #317
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
    You guys would nix the AH and OH? Where else will troops in contact get CAS, route recon, etc? (maybe UAVs in the future, but for now, we have R/W aircraft)
    Starry mate. For me it comes down the 2 uses rule. Can I use this for regular Warfare and Irregular warfare?

    1. Why do you need OH and AH?
    2. Can armed UH fulfil 80% of OH and AH tasks? - door gunners with NVGs and LL-LP?
    3. Can A-10 do the rest?

    A lot of the debate about AH that I see outside the US is a general agreement of the need for armed helicopters, but a general rejection of a machine as large, expensive and complex as AH-64 - whose cost being associated with survivability, seems very much in doubt.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  18. #318
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Secondly, SWC have repeatedly looked at the Rhodesian experience, notably 'Fire Force' and the on the ground aspects. Underpinning the Rhodesian "lessons" was an exceptionally competent, experimenting Air Force - who had to maximise impact for resources used.
    Concur about the excellence of the Rhodesian Air Force. Legendary skill and innovation !
    However I think we need to be aware that the Fire Forces had almost no ROE, as we would accept them today, and the equipment limitations they coped with are unlikely to be relevant today - well the Americans anyway!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    If you find yourself operating over or near urban battlespace as ISR or CAS, aircrews should memorize the GRGs that the ground forces provide. This memorazation should include major landmarks/ buildings and all roads. If the GRG has a building numbering system, while it might not be possible to memorize every building number familiarity with the numbering system is a must.

    The less time spent in the cockpit fumbling with maps and GRGs, the more time spent eyes out.

  20. #320
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    This is a good tip, especially near Baghdad. By the time you think you finally pull the map out of the mission packet, unfold it, and finally find yourself on the map, you've flown through three more sectors.

    Fortunately, the Electronic Data Module (basically an electronic kneeboard) helps to reduce the confusion.

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