A Study of Close Air Support (A Briefing Summarizing the Comparisons of Model with Combat Results and Illustrating the Influence of Supporting Arms on Fire-fight Outcomes)

by Jennifer Lind, Kathleen Harris, S. G. Spring


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Comparisons of FAST-VAL model results with Vietnam combat results indicate that FAST-VAL computed munitions effects are consistent with the "conventional wisdom" of engagements — that is, force ratios on the order of 3:1 or better are preferred for attack and ratios of 2:1 are marginal. As an illustration of the model's use, supporting arms requirements are computed for one type of delivery tactic — area fires. The results suggest that relatively modest but timely support fire can stop an infantry attack and that, with current standard munitions, the attacker's weapon requirements are impractically high. It is concluded that FAST-VAL can be used to examine other tactics and weapons in the context of a fire fight. Such analyses should provide a basis for making improved choices among weapons and delivery systems and for answering associated questions dealing with sortie demands, delivery timing, and weapon alternatives.

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