Title: From Desert Storm to 2025: Close Air Support in the 21st Century
Subject: This research project deals with why the United States Air Force must view Close Air Support as a unique mission requiring specifically designed aircraft and specially trained pilots.
Author(s): Leon E. Elsarelli; William C. Watkins (Faculty Advisor)
DTIC Keywords: ATTACK AIRCRAFT, CLOSE SUPPORT, GROUND SUPPORT, TACTICAL AIR SUPPORT
Abstract: As the U.S. Air Force attempts to resolve force structure requirements with decreasing military budgets, multi-role aircraft are gaining acceptance as economical solutions. Unfortunately, close air support (CAS) has few mission requirements that are compatible with more traditional air combat roles. Despite this fact, current and future force planning is attempting to force the CAS mission on already saturated multi-role forces. The U.S. Air Force must view CAS as a specialized mission that requires specifically designed aircraft and specially trained pilots. Recognition of this fact is crucial to ensuring that the U.S. Air Force is prepared to meet the challenges of CAS in the future.