FAST-VAL: 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)
Dec 31, 1970
Compares actual combat data with FAST-VAL simulation results for a 2-company U.S. Marine infantry attack on a North Vietnamese reinforced infantry platoon in a hastily prepared defensive position. The Marines used only small arms — rifles and machine guns; the NVA used both small arms and mortars. Information from official records and interviews with 3 participating Marine officers was sufficiently detailed to permit separate examinations of 3 portions of the 4-min engagement — a small arms exchange, an assault, and an NVA mortar attack. Simulation results agreed closely with combat results. Following the mortar attack, one Marine company withdrew from the fight. The company casualties were 24.6% at that time. The percent of casualties at withdrawal is consistent with the FAST-VAL criterion that an attacking company stops its advance at 23% casualties. Appendixes include the transcribed interviews and the expected damage patterns from mortars and from small arms.