Airpower versus a Fielded Force:
Misty FACs of Vietnam and A-10 FACs over Kosovo--A Comparative Analysis
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Lt Col Haun examines two groups of airmen--the Misty forward air controllers (FAC) of Vietnam from 1967 to 1970 and the A-10 FACs over Kosovo in 1999. He compares the tactics used in these two cases in 'which US airpower was required to attack enemy forces independent of friendly ground troops. In the Vietnam War, Air Force O-1 and O-2 FAC began flying visual reconnaissance missions over the southern area of North Vietnam. A comparison of the Misty and A-10 FAC missions clearly demonstrates a failure of the USAF to develop a full range of suitable tactics for the direct attack of enemy fielded forces. Drawing from the lessons of the Misty and A-10 FACs, Colonel Haun's recommendations focus on equipment, tactics and training, and doctrine. Haun warns that airmen should understand there is no silver bullet for the challenge of target identification. No single piece of equipment or advance in technology will solve the problem. Airmen must first develop the proper doctrine and tactics, then take their equipment and trains as realistically as possible. Only then can USAF reach its potential for defeating an enemy army in the field.
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