A League of Airmen: U.S. Air Power in the Gulf War


A comprehensive account of the contributions and limitations of air power in the Persian Gulf War.

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A comprehensive account of the contributions and limitations of air power in the Persian Gulf War.

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Editorial Reviews

Airpower Journal
Very readable...the most balanced survey of airpower in the Gulf War....recommended to anyone interested in the study of modern warfare.
Foreign Affairs
A useful and generally balanced one-volume account of the air war in the Gulf.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780833015037
  • Publisher: RAND Corporation, The
  • Publication date: 1/3/1996
  • Series: Project Air Force Series
  • Pages: 335
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: The Setting for the Gulf Air War
Defining Desert Storm as an Intersection of Trend Lines
The End of the Post-Vietnam Era
The Gulf as the New Cockpit of U.S. Security Interests
The Rise of Iraqi Military Power
The Technological Evolution in Warfare
Revived Professionalism
The Arrival of (Almost) True "Jointness"
The State of Air Doctrine on the Eve of the Gulf War
Prewar Developments
Movement to Crisis
The Initial U.S. Response—2 August 1990
Chapter Three: The Deployment
Overview of Strategic Airlift Operations
Historical Summary
Precrisis Preparations
Phase I: 7 August-6 November 1990
Phase II: 9 November 1990-16 January 1991
Phase III: The War, 17 January-28 February
Phase IV: Redeployment and Postwar Activities, March-August 1991
Performance Shortfalls in Strategic Airlift
Factors That Substantially Limited Strategic Airlift Operations
Commercial and CRAF Operations
An Assessment of the Contribution of Commercial Airlift
Aerial Refueling Operations During the Force Deployment
SAC Unit Deployments
Fighter and Other Combat Unit Deployments
What If Saddam Had Invaded Saudi Arabia in August 1990?
A Retrospective on the Deployment
Chapter Four: Planning the Air Campaign
U.S. Regional Strategy and Plans
The Evolution of Air Doctrine
The Early Role of Checkmate in Gulf War Planning
The Instant Thunder Plan
Air Campaign Planning
The Desert Storm Air Campaign Plan
The Air Campaign Objectives and Target Sets
Translating the Plan for the First 48Hours to Air Tasking Orders
In-War Planning
The Command and Control Interface
The Intelligence Interface
Issues in Apportionment and Targeting
A Critique of the Strategic Air Campaign Plans
Planning in Perspective
Chapter Five: Command, Control, and Organization
The Coalition Command Structure
Command and Control in CENTCOM's Service Component Commands
The Air Force Component Command Structure
The Navy Component Command Structure
The Marine Corps Component Command Structure
The JFACC Organization
How the Command and Control System Worked
Air Defense Command and Control
USAF and Marine Approaches to Airspace Control
Marine Close Air Support
The Special Operations Forces (SOF) Interface
Direct Action Missions
Combat Search and Rescue
Command, Control, and Organization in Perspective
Chapter Six: Operations
Overview: Executing the Air Campaign
Training for War
The First Twenty-Four Hours
The First Two Weeks: Achieving Air Supremacy and the Strategic Air Campaign
Achieving Air Supremacy
The Strategic Campaign
The Scud Hunt
Tanker Support
The Key to Effective Operations: The Air Tasking Order
Controlling Air Operations
The Damage Assessment Problem
Coalition Operations
The Second Air Front: Joint Task Force Proven Force
Weeks 3-5: Attacking Enemy Ground Forces
Assessing Attrition
The Final Week: Supporting the Ground Campaign
Friendly-Fire Casualties
Results of the Air Campaign
Assessing the Strategic Campaign
The Air Campaign in the KTO
Chapter Seven: Tactics
The First Two Days: The Interface Between the Plan and Tactics
Killing the Iraqi Air Force
Runway Denial Tactics
Air-to-Air Combat Tactics
The Scud Hunt
Strike Tactics
B-52 Tactics
Battlefield Preparation
Defense Suppression Tactics
Close Air Support
Close Air Support of Army and Coalition Forces
Close Air Support of Marine Forces
Air Control
Targeting Limitations
Availability of Support Aircraft
Assessment of Tactics
Chapter Eight: Information Acquisition and Management
The First Information War
Prewar Activities
Organizing to Support the Air Campaign
CONUS-Based Intelligence
Theater-Based Intelligence
The Sensors and the "Enablers"
Sensors: Tactical Ballistic Missile (TBM) Warning
Sensors: Airborne Reconnaissance and Surveillance
Sensors: HUMINT
The Enablers: Environmental Monitoring (Weather)
The Enablers: Remote Sensing
The Enablers: Navigation and Positioning
Tactical Communications
Intratheater Communications in Supporting Air and Space Defense
Long-Haul Communications
Targeting and Mission Planning
Battle Damage Assessment
Information Acquisition and Management in Perspective
Chapter Nine: Logistics
Phase II Deployments
Service and Joint Logistics Support Concepts for Air Forces
The United States Air Force
Marine Air
Navy Air
Express Airlift
Intratheater Airlift
Air Force
Redeployments, Tactics, and Target Allocation Changes Drove Intratheater Munition Support Efforts
Marine Corps
Sortie and In-Commission Rates
Base Building
Logistic Support in Perspective
Logistics Concept of Operations
Supporting a Downsized Wartime Force
Transportation, Repair, and Spares Tradeoffs
Infrastructure of Host Nation
Chapter Ten: Air Combat System Performance
Measuring Aircraft System Performance
F-117A Nighthawk
Tomahawk Sea-Launched Cruise Missile
The F-111 Aardvark
F-15E Strike Eagle
A-10 Thunderbolt
F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-14 Tomcat
A-6E Intruder
F/A-18 Hornet
F-4G Wild Weasel
B-52 Stratofortress
AV-8B Harrier
EF-111 Raven
S-3B Viking
Chapter Eleven: Air Power Performance in the Gulf War
A Revisionist View
Force Application
The JFACC: A Step on the Long Road to Jointness
The Triumph of Service Doctrine and Preferences
Land- and Sea-Based Air
Heavy Bombers Versus Fighter Bombers
What Would We Change in Retrospect?
The Scud Hunt
Intelligence/Battle Damage Assessment
Lift Planning
Precision-Guided Munitions Capabilities
Moving Naval Air into the Gulf
Tanker and Fuel Compatibility
Chapter Twelve: An Assessment of Air Power's Role
Is There a Consensus View?
Arguing at the Extreme
Sequentially Enabling the Application of Power
Air Power in Historical Perspective
The "All Wars (and Especially Desert Storm) are Unique" School
The Contribution of Air Power to the Gulf Victory
The Objectives of the Air Campaign
Appendix: Statistical Data on Desert Shield and Desert Storm
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