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Ground-Aided Precision Strike

Heavy Bomber Activity in Operation Enduring Freedom

Lt Col Eric E. Theisen, USAF
2003, 34 pages
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Cost: $0, AU Press Code: MP-31

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The advent of near-precision weapons, particularly the joint direct attack munition (JDAM)—combined with the flexibility of the heavy bomber—offers the combined/joint force air component commander a new tool to utilize for close air support (CAS) operations. However, Col Theisen asserts that this mission goes beyond the support of forces on the ground and should be classified as a new mission, with heavy precise firepower being the maneuver element in the sky, supported by small groups of forces on the ground. Does the coordination between heavy bombers and terminal attack controllers along with employment of nearprecision weapons constitute a new mission for the United States Air Force? He proposes calling this mission ground-aided precision strike.

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