A-10 ADAPTIVE BASING OPERATIONS AND APPLICATIONS IN SUPPORT OF SOF
Nordhagen, Leif C.
Borer, Douglas A.
Rice, Ian C.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of pushing A-10 operations away from main operating bases (MOBs) in future operating environments? What are the critical requirements, risks, and challenges associated with operating from forward locations? The conventional U.S. Air Force understands that it will need to operate away from MOBs in future conflicts in order to project forward, remain tactically unpredictable, increase combat resiliency, and ultimately win. Research on non-traditional basing strategies has garnered many terms: Agile basing, adaptive basing, forward basing, FARP operations, austere operations, distributed basing, untethered operations, disaggregated basing, lily-pad strategy, and Rapid-X among others. This study analyzes the A-10 enterprise’s ability to operate away from a MOB, in austere environments, to provide fire support to special operations forces. This study shows adequate potential of the A-10 enterprise to operate in austere environments bringing significant benefits to the joint force without substantial risk. The demonstrated capability during the Cold War, Desert Storm, and recent SOF-specific exercises highlight tangible benefits that bode well for future conflicts.
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