VMLO: the Strategic, Operational and Tactical imperative for a Light Observation Squadron with the USMC
Bamford, Gregory R.
Buettner, Raymond R.
Robinette, William J.
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The military, and the Marines specifically, are experiencing a gap in their light mobility, persistent ISR and CAS/FAC(A) capabilities. Ever changing international and local political and economic realities are impacting the way in which the Marines will continue to act as a force projection of the national strategy. The use of commercial off-the-shelf aircraft, integrated with existing sensors and weapons systems, is a performance and cost effective augmentation to existing military aircraft and is a discussion centered on placing the right technology, not always high technology, at the right place and time to influence the next battlespace. Researchers considered the future environments these aircraft would operate in and the capabilities that would enhance current aviation capabilities and augment distributed operations. Four aircraft were considered and compared in configuration, performance, cost and commonality on the current commercial market. In addition to the discussion of aircraft, consideration was given to the benefits of the creation of a fixed wing light observation squadron within the Marines and its ability to influence operations and augment current aviation capabilities.
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