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Air and Space Power Today. The Global War on Terrorism.

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air and space power today

Air and Space Power Today

The Global War on Terrorism


“Almost every captain in the Air Force who flies airplanes has combat experience… virtually every engineer, security forces troop and medic in the Air Force has deployed…This is a veteran, hardened combat force…They have been shot at. They know what it’s like. When we go, wherever we go, we’re going to be at the peak of our game.”

Gen. John P. Jumper

CSAF, 2001 - 2005

  • The Global War on Terror
    • Background
    • Launching a War on Terrorism
  • The Military Campaign
    • Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF)
    • OEF Emerging Lessons Learned
  • Operation IRAQI FREEDOM
    • Background
    • The Military Campaign
    • OIF Emerging Lessons Learned
  • USAF GWOT Lessons Learned
  • US National Lessons Learned from GWOT
  • CFD Review
the global war on terror background
The Global War on Terror Background

OEF marked the beginning of a broader US and international global war on terrorism, but our enemies actually declared war on us through acts and words years earlier.

Sheik Rahman

Osama bin Laden

the global war on terror background1
The Global War on Terror Background

The 1983 suicide bomb attack against US Marines in Lebanon was our first introduction to this war—220 Marines were killed in the attack.

The first World Trade Center bombing

in Feb 1993 killed six and injured over 1,000 people.

the global war on terror background2
The Global War on Terror Background

In 1996, Osama bin Laden issued his fatwa: a “Declaration of WarAgainst the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.”

the global war on terror background3
The Global War on Terror Background

In 1996, the USAF facility at Khobar Towers was attacked with a truck bomb. That attack killed 19 USAF Airmen.

the global war on terror background4
The Global War on Terror Background
  • US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar el Salaam, Tanzania, in 1998
  • US retaliated withstrikes against Sudanand Afghanistan
  • USS Cole attackedin Yemen, killing 17 Americans

US Embassy Nairobi

Damaged USS Cole

the global war on terror background5
The Global War on Terror Background
  • September 11, 2001 attack launched on the US using airliners as piloted missiles to kill Americans
    • Two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers (3,000 dead, towers destroyed).
    • Third airliner crashed into the Pentagon
    • Fourth airliner crashed into a field in western PA
the global war on terror background6
The Global War on Terror Background
  • Attacks on September 11, 2001 motivated the United States to initiate the Global War on Terrorism
  • The first battle zone: Afghanistan and the Taliban
launching the war on terror
Launching The War on Terror
  • US announces two-pronged approach
    • Go after the terrorists

“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”

    • Go after their supporters

“Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

launching the war on terror1
Launching The War on Terror
  • Department of Homeland Security is established
  • American diplomats forge different coalitions of nations willing to engage in the war on terrorism in a variety of ways
  • Law enforcement agencies, at home and abroad, work around the clock to uproot terror networks and disrupt potential attacks
launching the war on terror2
Launching The War on Terror
  • Financial regulators and law enforcement combine forces to deprive terrorists of sources of financial support
  • Reserves and the National Guard patrol US skies and bolster the security of airports and other public places
  • US intelligence community redoubles efforts to gain needed intelligence and prepare for a series of covert actions
launching the war on terror3
Launching The War on Terror
  • Global Perspective
  • Broader than just Afghanistan
    • The Philippines
    • Bosnia
    • Africa
  • Introduction of Doctrine of Preemption
oef military operations
OEF Military Operations
  • US began military operations in Afghanistan on 7 Oct 2001
    • US air assets achieved air superiority within 3 days
    • Taliban government fell within two months
oef military operations1
OEF Military Operations
  • US Objectives for OEF
    • Make clear to the Taliban leaders and their supporters that harboring terrorists is unacceptable and carried a price
    • Acquire intelligence to facilitate future operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban regime that harbored the terrorists
    • Develop relationships with groups in Afghanistan that oppose the Taliban regime and the foreign terrorists that they support
oef military operations2
OEF Military Operations
  • US Objectives for OEF (cont’d)
    • Make it increasingly difficult for terrorists to use Afghanistan freely as a base of operation
    • Alter the military balance over time by denying the Taliban the offensive systems that hamper the progress of the various opposition forces
    • Provide humanitarian relief to Afghans suffering truly oppressive living conditions under the Taliban regime
oef military operations3
OEF Military Operations
  • A new style of warfare
    • Special Operations Forces + anti-Taliban Afghani forces + long-range airpower
    • ISR assets provided US forces with persistent surveillance
    • Special Op Forces provided indispensable HUMINT while manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft patrolled the skies
    • Radar systems, electro-optical and infrared cameras, and signals intelligence systems guided attacks against al Qaeda and Taliban targets
air and space power and oef
Air and Space Power and OEF
  • Strategic Attack Targets:
    • Taliban headquarters and leadership
    • Al Qaeda training camps
    • Electrical power systems
  • Counterair Targets:
    • Airfields
    • Air defense nodes
    • Communication nodes
air and space power and oef1
Air and Space Power and OEF
  • Information Operations by C-130 “Commando Solo” aircraft
    • Transmitted radio broadcasts
    • Assured Afghani people that coalition forces there to help
    • Key effort to ensure support of the populace
air and space power and oef2
Air and Space Power and OEF

After approximately two weeks of bombing, application shifted from air supremacy to supporting surface forces. 

air and space power and oef3
Air and Space Power and OEF
  • Airlift:
    • C-130s delivered Special Ops forcesto remote areas
    • C-17 and C-130 airdropsresupplied them
  • Special Ops Employment:
    • USAF Special Ops troops traversedthe backcountry on horseback
      • Located enemy forces
      • Sent recon information to command centers by satellite link and to loitering aircraft
air and space power and oef4
Air and Space Power and OEF
  • Counterland: Bomber aircraft like the B-52 and B-1 realized evolved interdiction and close air support (CAS) roles
    • AC-130 Gunships
    • F-15/16 strafing runs
    • CAS was deciding factor in several later battles including “Roberts Ridge”
air and space power and oef5
Air and Space Power and OEF
  • Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance—Remotely piloted vehicles (RPV) technology saw increased employment
    • Global Hawk, Predator, and Shadow RPV
    • Predator drones equipped with Hellfire missiles and laser target designators
air and space power and oef6
Air and Space Power and OEF

Airpower used across the entire spectrum, in conjunction with ground forces, enabled the Taliban to be removed from power and forced al Qaeda to flee.

oef lessons learned
OEF Lessons Learned
  • Lessons about warfare in the new age
    • The potential of highly networked joint operations
    • The lethality of Special Ops forces on the ground when combined with sophisticated overhead reconnaissance systems
    • Modern communications systems dramatically shortened the kill chain time
oef lessons learned1
OEF Lessons Learned
  • Joint and Combined Operations Technology worked well
  • Combined forces interaction with Afghani forces was positive
  • Joint Command structure took too long to establish
    • Once established, Command and Control (net-centric warfare) was highly successful
oef lessons learned2
OEF Lessons Learned
  • RPV capability to operate and provide real time intel in any weather was a plus
  • New ordinance developed specifically for Afghanistan worked well
  • Strategic Airlift and Air Refueling worked exceptionally well but were stretched too thin
  • ISR in all aspects worked well, but more bandwidth was needed for communications
  • HUMINT was very weak
oef lessons learned3
OEF Lessons Learned
  • Strategic airlift, supported by Air Refueling, enabled the United States to conduct expeditionary operations in the most remote areas of the world
  • More intratheater airlift was needed
  • Aircraft range and endurance capabilities improved to ease the strain on limited refueling assets and crews
  • Advances in ISR and communications technology afforded the US military the capability to link ground and air forces to ISR information
oef lessons learned4
OEF Lessons Learned
  • The combination of technologies and advancements applied in OEF provided unprecedented C4ISR capabilities
  • Integrated Common Operating Picture enabled commanders to view battlefield developments and direct operations from 7,000 miles away
  • Advancements in communications networks improved interoperability between the services by allowing information sharing
  • Additionally, increased bandwidth required to reduce “sensor to shooter” time

Operation Anaconda: The Battle of Roberts Ridge

oif background
OIF Background
  • After major combat operations in Afghanistan ended, the US shifted focus to Saddam Hussein’s regime
  • UN Resolution 687 codified Cease Fire Agreement for the Gulf War
  • Iraq was testing and breaking these agreements
oif background1
OIF Background
  • Paragraph 8 stated that Iraq must “…unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision of:”
    • All chemical/biological weapons
    • All ballistic missiles with range greater than 150 km
oif background2
OIF Background
  • Paragraph 12 addressed nuclear capabilities, stating that Iraq must “…agree not to acquire or develop nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon-usable material
  • Paragraph 32, with regards to terrorism, stated that “…[Iraq] will not commit or support any act of international terrorism”
oif background3
OIF Background
  • 12 Sept 2002: President Bush addressed the UN General Assembly to highlight observed violations and attempt to gather further international support for action against Iraq
  • 16 Oct 2002: President Bush signed the Iraq War Resolution  
  • 8 Nov 2002: The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1441
oif background4
OIF Background
  • Dr. Blix (chief UN investigator) reported non-cooperation to the UN Security Council multiple times
  • In February 2003, Secretary Powell addressed the UN Security Council
oif background5
OIF Background
  • 16 Mar 2003: President Bush demanded senior leaders leave Iraq within 48 hours
  • 19 Mar 2003: President Bush addressed the nation stating that military operations had begun in Iraq
oif campaign
OIF Campaign
  • OIF Air Campaign = Operations NORTHERN WATCH and SOUTHERN WATCH
  • Not a single Iraqi Combat Sortie during OIF
oif campaign1
OIF Campaign
  • ISR: Of the 1,801 aircraft used during OIF, 80 aircraft were dedicated to the ISR mission
  • 1,000 ISR sorties collected:
    • 3,200 hours of streaming video
    • 2,400 hours of SIGINT
    • 42,000 battlefield images
  • ISR managed from the CAOC located at PSAB; under the command of the CFACC, Lt Gen Moseley
oif campaign2
OIF Campaign
  • Strategic Attack: On 5 Apr 2003, coalition forces attacked General Ali Hassan Majid’s (“Chemical Ali”) home 
  • 7 Apr 2003: Strategic Attack operations continued as US planes attacked a building, targeting Saddam and sons
oif timeline
OIF Timeline
  • Counterair: 21 Mar 2003, Special Ops Forces took control of two airfields
  • Numerous Counterair and Interdiction missions were conducted throughout OIF  
oif timeline1
OIF Timeline
  • Counterland
    • 24 Mar 2003: B-52 aircraft interdict Republican Guard positions South of Baghdad
  • Counterland—Historical Perspective
    • Battle of the Bulge
    • Battle of Baghdad
oif timeline2
OIF Timeline
  • Counterspace
    • SCA
    • OIF Roles
      • Weather
      • ISR
      • GPS
oif timeline3
OIF Timeline
  • Airlift/Refueling: 24,196 sorties during initial phase of OIF
    • 6,193 refueling sorties
    • 376.4 million pounds of fuel
    • OIF/OEF airlift one of the most extensive in history
  • Airlift Shortfall Issues
    • Short 10 million ton miles per day
oif lessons learned
OIF Lessons Learned
  • Joint Operations have matured
  • Conventional forces/ Special Ops forces integrated well
  • Precision munitions continued to improve
oif lessons learned1
OIF Lessons Learned
  • Areas for improvement
    • Fratricide prevention and combat identification systems
    • Cumbersome deployment planning and execution processes
    • Information sharing at all levels
    • More bandwidth
    • HUMINT capabilities to meet new GWOT challenges
usaf gwot lessons learned
USAF GWOT Lessons Learned
  • USAF strategic planners must develop new concepts of deterrence to counter a wide range of non-traditional adversaries and asymmetric threats
  • New technologies are now widely available to potential adversaries
  • USAF is first line of homeland defense
  • USAF should continue to refine its expeditionary culture and strategic agility
usaf gwot lessons learned1
USAF GWOT Lessons Learned
  • Joint, allied, and coalition operations require precise real-time command and control
  • USAF must achieve decision cycle dominance to strike adversaries before they can mount an effective defense
  • Demand for precision in warfare will increase
  • USAF will require robust, effects-based information operations capabilities that can deny, manipulate, or significantly degrade adversary C4ISR
us national lessons learned from gwot
US National Lessons Learned from GWOT
  • Wars in the twenty-first century will increasingly require use of all elements of national power
  • Ability of forces to communicate and operate seamlessly on the battlefield will be critical to success in future wars
  • Wars best fought by coalitions of the willing, but should not be fought by committee.
  • Defending the United States requires prevention and sometimes preemption
us national lessons learned from gwot1
US National Lessons Learned from GWOT
  • The US must rule out nothing in advance
  • Victory in the GWOT requires steady pressure on the enemy, leaving them no time to rest and nowhere to hide
  • The new and the high-tech have not totally replaced the old and conventional
us national lessons learned from gwot2
US National Lessons Learned from GWOT
  • The US must link military operations directly with humanitarian assistance, radio broadcasts, rewards, and other efforts
  • American leaders must be honest with the American people
us national lessons learned from gwot3
US National Lessons Learned from GWOT

The United States must not make the mistake of believing that terrorism is the only threat of the twenty-first century. Terrorism is a deadly asymmetric threat but not the only possible one.

Chinese Forces on parade

Iranian Uranium

Conversion Facility

review of cfd model
Review of CFD Model
  • Distinctive Capabilities: Air and space expertise, capabilities, and technological know-how that produces superior military capabilities
  • Functions: Broad, fundamental, and continuing activities of air and space power
  • Doctrine: Fundamental principles that guide the actions of military forces in support of national objectives
  • The Global War on Terror
    • Background
    • Launching a War on Terrorism
  • The Military Campaign
    • Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF)
    • OEF Emerging Lessons Learned
  • Operation IRAQI FREEDOM
    • Background
    • The Military Campaign
    • OIF Emerging Lessons Learned
  • USAF GWOT Lessons Learned
  • US National Lessons Learned from GWOT
  • CFD Review





final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Final thoughts for you as future Air Force leaders
    • The GWOT is still very much a current event and a conflict we must win
    • How long will it take?
    • How vigilant do we need to be?
    • Are you ready?