Global Attack MAP 



Overview: The Fall 1996 CORONA conference established Global Attack (GA) as one of the Air Force’s Core Competencies. GA highlights a unique characteristic of the Air Force... its ability to rapidly attack any point on the globe in a matter of hours. The GA Mission Area Plan (MAP) documents the modernization roadmaps of weapon systems supporting Strategic Attack/Interdiction and Close Air Support mission areas. This document identifies the tasks the Combat Air Forces (CAF) may be assigned in support of National Military Strategy. The GA MAP outlines an investment strategy influencing the programming, requirements, laboratory, and independent research and development processes to support GA missions over the next 25 years. While GA focuses on the air-to-ground missions, the following MAPs play an important role in support of GA:

 1) Air Superiority, 2) Counterinformation, 3) Agile Combat Support, 4) Surveillance & Reconnaissance, 5) Combat Search and Rescue

 Strategic Attack (SA): SA is defined as those operations intended to directly achieve strategic effects. It is the intent of these operations to achieve their objectives without first having to engage the adversary's fielded military forces in extended operations at the operational and tactical levels of war. SA objectives often include producing effects to demoralize the enemy’s leadership, military forces, and population, thus affecting an adversary's capability to continue the conflict. SA assets are composed of fighter (F-15E, F-16, F-117) and bomber (B-1, B-2, B-52) aircraft and their associated air-to-ground weapons.

 Interdiction: Interdiction consists of operations to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy's surface military potential before it can be used effectively against friendly forces. Interdiction attacks enemy C2 systems, personnel, materiel, logistics, and their supporting systems to weaken and disrupt the enemy's efforts and may have tactical, operational, or strategic effect. Both fighter, bomber, surveillance, and battle management aircraft are employed to accomplish this mission.

 Close Air Support (CAS): CAS consists of air operations against hostile targets in close proximity or engaged with friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces. CAS provides direct support to help friendly surface forces carry out their assigned tasks. The A-10 and F-16 are the primary attack aircraft used to accomplish the CAS mission. ABCCC, Joint STARS, AWACS are the primary battle management and surveillance aircraft used to accomplish the CAS mission.

 Mission Area Assessment (MAA): The Strategy-to-Task process is used to conduct a MAA to identify GA tasks. National Military Strategy dictates projection and sustainment of US power to credibly deter, and if required, decisively defeat aggression. To support national strategy, the Joint Force Air Component Commander employs aerospace forces to establish aerospace supremacy of the combat environment, thereby permitting aerospace and surface forces to operate more effectively and denying these advantages to the enemy, and to counter Weapons of Mass Destruction. Aerospace forces can be employed to support either a conventional conflict or Operations Other Than War. Four of the five Campaign Objectives are primary to the GA mission and include:

  1) Establish maritime supremacy, 2) Establish ground supremacy, 3) Counter weapons of mass destruction,

4) Eliminate war making will/ability

 GA is also responsible for nine Operational Objectives and 18 Operational Tasks described in this MAP.

 Mission Needs Analysis (MNA): Task-to-Need review was used to conduct a MNA--a comparison of mission needs with current doctrine and tactics, coupled with weapon system performance against the current and future threats to determine capability shortfalls. The MNA highlighted numerous shortfalls impacting GA operations. It is increasingly difficult to logistically support the fighter and bomber force without upgrades to some of the primary systems, e.g., engines, avionics, countermeasure and the basic airframes. Major aircraft systems and subsystems are experiencing poor reliability and low Mean Time Between Failure. The numbers of spare parts are diminishing and are difficult to replace due to cost and obsolesces. There is a lack of standardization across weapon systems and subsystems resulting in significant airlift support being required for deployment. Extensive support equipment is required to support diverse systems and subsystems. The day to day cost (cost of ownership) of operating the CAF’s bomber, fighter, C2, and surveillance fleets are steadily increasing. The lack of a secure data link and dependable identification systems degrade combat capability of both fighter and bomber aircraft. There is a need for surveillance sensor upgrades to provide updated precision target and threat data information to the attacking bombers and fighters prior target execution. The need for improved weapon lethality, precision, and the ability to destroy deeply buried, hardened targets are essential for future conflicts. Current training systems are also inadequate. Training range threat systems can not replicate a realistic threat environment, not all participants in RED/GREEN FLAG exercises are fully instrumented to gain the most benefit from training. Aircrew simulators in most platforms are old, expensive to maintain, and need to be either upgraded or replaced to take advantage of networking for multi-ship training scenarios. Operationally, pilots need an improved missile warning system to increase situational awareness and increase survivability against current undetected missile engagements. Improved night capability such as the fielding of night vision goggles (NVG) and upgrading aircraft lighting to be NVG compatible will enhance success during night combat.

 Mission Solution Analysis (MSA): The MSA evaluates the ability of potential solutions, their costs, and their cost of ownership to meet the CAFs’ needs. The MSA results provide an investment strategy for the programming, requirements, laboratory technology planning, execution, and independent research and development process supporting the acquisition and modification of weapons systems used to conduct the GA missions.

 Long Range Plan (LRP): Global Attack is not solely responsible for any Long Range Plan end state. However, the HQ ACC Global Attack Division (DRP) manages programs that help to achieve several end states. The Deployed Forces and Expeditionary Operations end state are supported by B-1 conventional upgrade. This end state helps ensure the US sustains a strong engagement role by maintaining a regionally balanced, robust overseas mixture of forward based and rotationally deployed forces. Upgrades to dual capable aircraft (DCA) and our nuclear capable bombers with associated weapons support the end state of nuclear forces.

 Bottom Line Impact: Planned aircraft and weapons improvements will correct many existing needs, but we must continue to push technology to ensure GA weapon systems can strike assigned targets in any situation in the future. Additionally, weapons of mass destruction will continue to proliferate and will need to be countered prior to being employed. Furthermore, the Air Force must pursue technologies to increase weapon accuracies and lethality.

Last Updated: 25 September 1998