Forward Air Control: A Royal Australian Air Force Innovation (Military Aircraft) Forward Air Control: A Royal Australian Air Force Innovation (Military Aircraft)

Forward Air Control: A Royal Australian Air Force Innovation (Military Aircraft‪)‬

Air Power History 2006, Winter, 53, 4

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Publisher Description

Since military aircraft first appeared in the skies over the battlefield they have threatened to intervene decisively in the land-battle. In World War I evidence of this power was demonstrated in Palestine during the Battle of Armageddon in September 1918. Following a rupture of the Turkish lines by the Allied ground forces, the British 40th Wing (Army), which included No. 1 Squadron Australian Flying Corps, devastated the retreating Turkish forces in scenes that prefigured the destruction of the Iraqi army fleeing Kuwait on the "Highway of Death" during the 1991 Gulf War. (1) The impact that air power can have on enemy surface forces has increased over time with developments in the capability of the platform itself and in the capacity and precision of its weapons. However, unless this airborne firepower is closely controlled it can be a two-edged sword, when employed in close proximity to friendly ground forces. From World War I to the recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq aircraft have been involved in "friendly fire" or "blue-on-blue" incidents that have caused the death of cooperating forces on the ground. (2) The struggle to develop a way of avoiding these unfortunate incidents began shortly after the end of World War I. In the period between the two world wars, many air forces struggled with the problem of controlling the close air support of ground forces. Most developed methods of communicating the needs and locations of friendly ground troops to the aircraft providing the support. Initially these methods included the use of smoke, candles, flares, and large panels arranged on the ground to indicate friendly and enemy locations. (3) These techniques proved cumbersome and in close terrain, such as in jungle environments, their use proved to be less than ideal. During this same period radio equipment continued to reduce in size while its reliability increased and it became the most efficient way for ground forces to communicate with the supporting aircraft.

GENRE
Professional & Technical
RELEASED
2006
22 December
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
13
Pages
PUBLISHER
Air Force Historical Foundation
SELLER
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.
SIZE
167.3
KB

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