Airland Combat: An Organization for Joint Warfare by Thomas A. Cardwell

By Thomas A. Cardwell

A firm for joint war

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This was due in part to Chennault believed in the importance of both offensive and defensive air superiority . His thinking was not in terms of point air defense, and in the early mid-1930s he didn't really do much thinking about air support for ground operations other than in providing air superiority . 13 AIRLAND COMBAT the importance placed on strategic bombardment by airmen. Very little thought had been given to airland combat until the US-British combined invasion of North Africa in November of 1942.

4l This brief review of command structures shows that World War II provided the foundation for two important developments in the US command structure . It provided the doctrine for a unified command structure, and it laid the groundwork for a separate air force . "Naval aviation came under the command of the Navy fleet commander . HISTORICAL REVIEW The existence of airland combat, and specifically the role of tactical air in support of land operations, really came about during World War 1, which gave rise to tactical air roles and missions and employment concepts of today.

My task would have been easy had I headed a "Southeast Asia Command" (unified command) . Creating a unified command for all of Southeast Asia would have gone a long way toward mitigating the unprecedented centralization of authority in Washington . . Instead of five "commanders "-CINCPAC, COMUSMACV, and the American ambassadors to Thailand, Laos, and South Vietnam-there would have been one man directly answerable to the President on everything . . Such an arrangement would have eliminated the problem of coordination between the air and ground wars that was 103 inevitable with CINCPAC managing one, MACV the other.

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