Integrating Naval Surface Fire support into an improved Joint Close Air Support architecture
Lindahl, Amy E.
Boger, Dan C.
Pfeiffer, Karl D.
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Control (C2) process. Situations often occur in which forward air controllers (FACs) from one service integrate into the structure of another service, yet still report to their own leadership. Many non-interoperable communications systems are used, further adding to the confusion. This thesis analyzes the effectiveness of current Joint Close Air Support doctrine in providing the guidelines necessary for the warfighter at all echelons to plan, prepare and execute integrated close air support missions seamlessly when operating in a joint environment. Themes which hamper the ability to efficiently employ command and control (C2) to provide close air support to the Ground Combat Commander are examined. Finally, Naval Surface Fire Support is studied to determine its place in the JCAS architecture and where, within that architecture, it should be implemented. The analysis of case studies involving situations in which JCAS was not used effectively revealed that, though there has been significant progress made in revising Joint CAS doctrine, weaknesses still exist. Joint doctrine must keep pace with emerging technology but for that doctrine to remain relevant, warfighters at all levels must know it, use it and provide feedback when it doesnâ t work so future iterations can mature and flex with the force.
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