The utility of high resolution modeling in Army Special Operations Aviation mission planning
Smith, Robin R.
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The purpose of this thesis is to explore the application of high resolution modeling in the Army Special Operations Aviation mission planning process. This thesis looks at the unique missions Special Operations Forces are expected to perform, often at very high levels of public scrutiny, and how the use of combat simulation can assist commanders, planners and staffs in simplifying the frictions encountered in the planning process. The main objective of this study is to define common practical uses for combat simulation in deliberate and time sensitive mission planning. This investigation surveys the use of special operations to achieve key foreign policy objectives and the ability of combat simulation to provide answers to potential questions and to stimulate queries to subjects that operators may not have considered germane to the outcome of the mission. By applying combat simulation in the mission planning process, planners can streamline decision making capabilities by constructing correct and visible paths to valid conclusions. An historical case study, the raid on the Son Tay prisoner of war camp in North Vietnam in 1970, serves as a instructive example to demonstrate basic applications of combat simulation in the mission planning process and investigating variables possibly cogent to the outcome of the mission. Finally, a discussion on high resolution special operations models used at the United States Special Operations Command and their architecture for future mission planning modeling will assist in spanning the chasm from the Cold War paradigm to new and unexpected tactical scenarios.
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