Combat Operations Decisionmaking in Tactical Air Command and Control

by R. Stockton Gaines, Willard Naslund, Ralph E. Strauch

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Examines the Combat Operations function in tactical air command and control, and explores some of the human and organizational issues related to the use of technology (particularly automation) to support and enhance that function. Command and control of tactical air power involves a combination of people and technology, principally communications and data processing technology. In this Note, "people" issues and the relationships between the human organizations which comprise the command and control system and the technical systems which support them are examined. The authors focus on the command and control process occurring in the Combat Operations section of a Tactical Air Control Center (TACC). This includes monitoring and managing planned air operations as they occur, and modifying those operations to adjust to changing circumstances. TACC can be thought of as a decisionmaking entity in which incoming information about the state of an ongoing conflict is used to manage the employment of airpower resources.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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