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Although airpower capabilities have improved dramatically in the past decade, the joint warfighting potential offered by these capabilities is not being fully realized. Service transformation efforts and lessons learned during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq highlight doctrinal and technical issues with air and ground integration. The authors propose several alternative options for improving the effectiveness of air and ground fires and maneuver. To compare the potential effectiveness of the options, they develop a methodology that models the essential counterland air-ground interactions under discussion, based on a scenario that focuses on the disruption of enemy ground force maneuver. They suggest a new joint warfighting concept that has design elements specifically put in place to enhance the prioritization and synchronization of joint fires and maneuver. This concept offers important benefits and significant added flexibility for employing joint forces to achieve the commander's objectives across the entire theater.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Options for Enhancing Joint Fires and Maneuver

  • Chapter Three

    Potential Effectiveness of Air-Ground Options

  • Chapter Four

    Command and Control Implications

  • Chapter Five

    Information and Information System Implications

  • Chapter Six

    Observations and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Option 2 Vignettes

  • Appendix B

    Information Systems

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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