The Gulf War (Chapter Four: Command, Control, Communications

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GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 245
Chapter Four: Command, Control,
Communications, Computers, And Battle
Management
Any discussion of the Gulf War that seeks to derive lessons about command,
control, communications, computers, and battle management (C4/BM) must be prefaced
with several important caveats. The choice of what to analyze, and how to analyze it, is not
a simple one. The Gulf War was one of the most complex conflicts in history, and involved
major innovations in command and control.1
o First, the question arises of "lessons for whom?" The Gulf War was fought between
a UN Coalition and Iraq, but the UN did not exercise practical command from either
UN headquarters or from the field. The US was not simply prima inter pares, it
exercised de facto command over most of the planning before the war, controlled
the way in which the war was fought, and made the most of the key decisions
regarding conflict termination. While there was a joint command in the field, the US
led this command in close cooperation with Saudi, British and French commanders.
While Egypt, Kuwait, Syria and the other members of the Coalition made national
decisions about the role of their forces, they did not play a major role in the overall
command system. As a result, command, control, communications, computers, and
battle management (C4/BM) during the Gulf War is not representative of a war
where the UN exercised direct command, or a multinational command existed in
which several nations had to play an equal role.
o Second, the US had a near monopoly of sophisticated national intelligence systems,
electronic warfare, targeting, command and control, and space systems. The US
deployed and exercised sole control over a wide range of theater command and
control systems such as the JSTARS, and the US and Saudi Arabia deployed and
operated other key command and control systems like the ground-based sensor net,
the Airborne Warning and Air Control System (AWACS), the central ground
communications system, and the mix of sensors and communications used to
control air defense and air attack operations. This technological asymmetry is likely
to be repeated in future conflicts between the US and Third World states, and the
lessons that stem from it have important implications for the future. At the same
time, it makes the command and control lessons that apply to the US different from
those that apply to most other members of the UN Coalition, and also different from
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 246
those that would apply to any coalition in which the US did not deploy such
systems.
o Third, most of the other nations that fought in the Gulf War have published
comparatively little on their command, control, communications, computers/battle
management experiences (C4/BM) during the war, and much of what has been
published on their C4/BM activities consists of anecdotal memoirs. Iraq has
published little on its experiences and lessons, and presents a special problem
because it is impossible to trace the true nature of many command and control
systems and decisions -- exerted by Saddam Hussein and his immediate coterie
outside the formal Iraqi chain of command.
o Fourth, the analysis of command, control, communications, computers, and battle
management (C4/BM) cannot be fully decoupled from the personal impact of key
decision makers and their personalities. As many histories and memoirs have
already made clear, command and control during the Gulf War was shaped by key
commanders in ways that had little to do with the particular command and control
systems, communications, and related technologies employ in the war. The human
element does not lend itself to simple judgments about the lessons of war, but it is a
dominant element at every level of command and control.
o Fifth, there is the problem of goals and standards of comparison. The Gulf War
represents the most successful effort to date to integrate command and control,
communications, battle management, reconnaissance, intelligence, targeting, and
battle damage assessment (C4/BM/RIT/BDA) into a unified and near real-time
effort. At the same time, there were many problems in this effort because the US
had only begun to the transition from a focus on East-West conflicts to one on
regional conflicts.
o Sixth, many key US command and control systems and technologies for the
AirLand battle were not yet deployable, or were in a state of transition. Although
computers were deployed throughout US and UN forces, the computational
capability, software, and interconnectivity or "netting" was often primitive by the
standards coming into service. One of the lessons that many experts drew from the
war is that command, control, and communications (C3) should be changed to
command, control, communications, and computers (C4). This is a useful lesson,
but it clearly implies that the operations, hardware, and capabilities of the future
will be different from those of the Gulf War.
o Finally, there is also the issue of whether standards of comparison should be
relative or absolute. The UN and the US had to improvise virtually every aspect of
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 247
its C4/ BM/RIT/BDA system over the five and one-half months before Desert
Storm. This period of preparation can scarcely be counted on in the future, and there
were still serious failures and inadequacies in spite of the time available during
Desert Shield. If the US and Coalition C4/BM/RIT/BDA systems are judged by Iraqi
standards, they were vastly superior. If they are judged by the standard of victory,
they were obviously successful. If, however, they are judged by the standard of
"perfect war," they were often failures. It is difficult to determine whether lessons
should be drawn on the basis of whether a given system was employed as
effectively as possible, or exhibited significant limitations.
This analysis approaches these issues by focusing on the US experience in
command and control, with the understanding that this focus understates the lessons of the
war for other members of the Coalition and Iraq. It deals with systems and technology
largely in terms of US systems and technology, again knowing that such an approach is
inadequate, and disguises important lessons about the war in terms of the capabilities and
needs of Third World forces. It deliberately avoids the issue of the impact of key command
personalities on the conduct of the war -- not because this impact was not of critical
importance, but because it involves uncertainties and value judgments that seem unlikely to
produce broad lessons for future conflicts.
The analysis of C4/BM/RIT/BDA is also divided so it can be linked to key aspects
of war fighting. This chapter provides an overview of key lessons and issues relating to
C4/BM. The following chapter deals with intelligence. The chapters on air, AirLand, naval,
and other specialized aspects of combat operations contain sections on the more specialized
aspects of "C4I/BM/RIT/BDA".
The Need for Joint Central Command and Specialized US
Support: Coalition Command, Control, Communications,
And Intelligence (C4I) Systems
The joint command structure of Coalition forces is shown in Figure 4.1. While this
table is comparatively simple, it disguises the fact that the political and military efforts to
create these command relationships were a key aspect of the diplomacy of the Gulf War,
and that such a command structure would never have been workable if there had really been
four equal commanders linked only by a process of coordination.
The Lesson of Joint Saudi-US Command
In practice, the Coalition Command structure built upon the joint Saudi-US
command structure, created in the National Defense Operations Center of the Saudi
Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA), which began operations on August 23, 1990.2
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 248
A combined operations center or "C3IC" was established that brought together the Saudi
high command with USCENTCOM headquarters, the USCINCENT war room, the
USCENTCOM joint operations center, the USCENTCOM Joint Intelligence Center and
representatives of the Saudi National Guard.3 This C3IC was jointly directed by the Vice
Deputy Commanding General of the US Army Central Command (ARCENT) and the
Saudi Joint Forces Commander. It had ground, air, naval, special operations, logistics, and
intelligence sections jointly manned by Saudi and US officers. There were liaison officers
from Britain, Canada, the French Force Daguet, the Saudi Arabian National Guard, and VII
Corps.
The creation of the C3IC minimized the impact of preserving separate national
chains of command because one point of coordination handled the coordination for both
Western and Arab forces, as well as day-to-day decisions like the coordination of planning,
training activities and areas, firing exercises, logistics, and radio frequency management. It
also centralized most aspects of intelligence and reconnaissance planning, assessment,
dissemination, the coordination of boundary changes, and fire support coordination during
Desert Storm.4
This type of joint -- but parallel -- command may have important implications for
future coalition warfare. It helped reduce the potential for misunderstanding between
nations with very different military cultures, and ensured close coordination. It avoided
creating a situation where the host country might find itself subordinated to a coalition or
foreign national command because that command had superior technology,
communications, and experience. It reduced the tendency to generate competing plans that
affected Anglo-American command efforts in World War II, and helped develop a common
day-to-day picture of the military situation. This success was reinforced by the fact that the
daily situation briefing was prepared by both Saudi and US officers, who alternated in
giving the daily brief.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 249
Figure 4.1
Command Structure for UN Coalition Forces in the Gulf War
Source: Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of Defense,
April, 1992, Annex K, p. K-22.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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October 15, 1994
Page 250
Drawing On Specialized US Command Expertise
Like most aspects of Coalition activity in Desert Storm, developing an adequate
C4I/BM system took months of effort. Creating this new command structure required a
radical shift in the staff activity within the Saudi MODA, which had never been organized
or trained for a high intensity war. It also required vast improvisation by the US. Although
power projection to the Gulf had been a major planning priority since the late 1970s, the
US lacked plans, organization, equipment, and training to deploy an effective C4I/BM
without months of crash effort and improvisation.
The US began by drawing on the command structure the it had created within the
US Central Command (USCENTCOM) headquarters at MacDill Air Force base in Florida,
as well as within the various service elements within this command.5 The Army component
of USCENTCOM -- ARCENT -- drew on a peacetime headquarters staff at Fort
McPherson, Georgia, under the Commander of the 3rd Army. It drew on elements of other
commands, including FORSCOM. It began to arrive in theater as early as August 8, and
had reached 266 personnel by August 23. This command was reinforced to the point where
it took over responsibility for much of the planning of Coalition logistics and support
activity, as well as most of the specialized joint war planning activity.6 The Air Force
Component -- CENTAF -- was headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina,
under the commander of the 9th Air Force. Deployment of this command took place during
August 6 to 26, and then built-up steadily over the months that followed. Like ARCENT,
CENTAF provided most of the specialized staff for the entire Coalition command.7
The Navy component (NAVCENT) was not placed under the commander of the US
Middle East Task Force, but rather under the Commander of the US 7th Fleet, who
deployed into the area by air on August 15, 1990. The Navy used staff from its peacetime
headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and was based at first on the command ship La Salle
and then on the 7th Fleet flagship, the Blue Ridge. This proved to be a problem as time
went on, since the senior Navy commander was located so far from Riyadh, and the senior
Navy officer located at the Coalition command lacked the rank and status of his
counterparts.8
The commanding general of the 1 (US) MEF who was also the commander of the
Marine component -- MARCENT. Its headquarters was located at Camp Pendelton,
California. He deployed to the US Marine units in Eastern Saudi Arabia, but sent a deputy
to Riyadh. The Marine command in the field initially played a major role in coordinating
the Arab, British, and US Army light forces in Desert Shield. In the process, it became
apparent that the USMC was not set up to fully staff and equip a commander with joint
functions. Personnel from the US Army and USAF were provided as liaison to 1 (US)
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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October 15, 1994
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MEF) to ensure suitable coordination, and the Army and Air Force had to provide added
communications equipment when the Marine Corps communications system proved
inadequate, and lacking full interoperability with that of the other services. As time went
on, additional Marine command elements had to be co-located with NAVCENT to provide
amphibious planning and coordination. Even so, some coordination problems continued
between the MARCENT headquarters and the amphibious planners and US commanders.9
The US Special Operations component -- SOCCENT -- began deployment in early
August, and drew on staffs normally headquartered at MacDill Air Force base in Florida. It
relocated to King Fahd Airport in mid-August, and established a forward headquarters at
King Khalid Military City, and a search and rescue component at Ar'Ar. Elements of the
SOCCENT forces were subordinated directly to other commanders. These include SEAL
units under the command of NAVCENT, AC-130 gunship and EC-130 Volant Solo units
under the operational command of MARCENT and AFCENT, A coordinating element of
British special forces was set up at SOCCENT headquarters. It is unclear whether all the
special forces units of other countries coordinated fully with SOCCENT, but British,
Egyptian, French, and Saudi liaison seem to have been present.10.
The initial manning and structure of these USCENTCOM, ARCENT, AFCENT,
NAVCENT, and SOCCENT commands were, at best, adequate for low intensity war. No
aspect of their pre-Gulf War structure and capacity proved adequate to meet the demands of
large scale theater warfare. All had to be steadily expanded and restructured with each
major increase in US and allied forces, as the Coalition shifted from defensive to offensive
operations. Massive transfers of hardware and functions had to take place from other
headquarters, and key aspects of communications systems and connectivity had to be
adapted to new roles and expanded in capacity. The Navy and Marine Corps experienced
additional problems because they were less prepared for large scale joint operations.
Fortunately, the problems that the US faced in restructuring and expanding its
4
C I/BM system were reduced by the level of cooperation that the US received from other
states. It would have been impossible to execute Desert Storm with anything approaching
its actual effectiveness without the creation of a joint Saudi-US C3IC command structure
discussed earlier, or the willingness of other nations to effectively subordinate many of
their planning and operational activities to the C3IC on a day-to-day basis, and without the
ability to make extensive use of US headquarters, planning, and specialized staff
elements.11
While national contingents remained under national command, it would have been
impossible to fight anything approaching a coordinated AirLand battle without the resulting
combination of centralized staff functions, and the specialized expertise provided by the US
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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October 15, 1994
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services. For example, it would have been very difficult to achieve effective coordination
between Western and Arab forces if Saudi Arabia had not allowed the US to set up
component commands near Riyadh, if the US and Saudi commanders had not co-located
and created an integrated staff, if Saudi command over all Arab forces had not meant that
the commanders of other Arab nations were co-located with Western forces, if Britain had
not integrated its command structure under the US command, and if France had not
collocated key personnel in the Coalition headquarters and placed its forces under the
tactical control of the ARCENT commanders in charge of XVIII Corps operations in midDecember.
Lessons For High Command.
At the same time, the ability of the UN Coalition members to agree on the C3IC ,
and to create a functioning C4I/BM system, is only one aspect of command in warfare. The
human dimension of high command was at least as important. Any review of the memoirs
of the senior commanders of UN Coalition forces reveals many areas of friction on a
national and personal level, in spite of the creation of a C3IC. It is easy to focus on this
friction, and choose sides between nationalities, individual commands, and personalities. If
Coalition commanders are judged by historical standards, however, the frictions between
them were remarkably minor, particularly given the differences in country, culture and the
fact that the US was not only employing a new concept of warfare for the first time, but was
asking other nations to adapt to that concept of warfare.12
Several factors played a key role in the ability of senior commanders to work
effectively and cooperate, which may serve as lessons for the future:
o Political leaders delegated military command functions, and rarely micromanaged:
Military commanders could not have cooperated as effectively if political leaders
had attempted to interfere in the details of command, cooperation, military planning,
and battle management. It is a tribute to both the political and military leaders of the
Coalition that the proper balance of political and military authority was preserved by
so many countries.
o Effective joint command: De facto unity of command under a US and Saudi
commander -- with all major functions collocated in one allied headquarters with a
joint Saudi-US staff -- helped to ensure effective joint command of the activity of
each nation and military service, and was essential to ensuring that national
contingents could fight in coordination with US concepts of joint warfare and the
AirLand battle. This joint command was reinforced by the fact one US military
service -- the USAF -- exercised a critical role in providing unified command over
many aspects of air operations, and by the fact that the air campaign could be
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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October 15, 1994
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conducted separately from the AirLand battle, which only took place once the air
campaign had achieved a decisive victory. This reduced potential command
conflicts over how to allocate different military resources and combat arms, and the
risk that a given national command would suddenly encounter sufficient trouble to
create a crisis over the allocation of coalition resources. The need for effective joint
command and delegation of command is as important a lesson as the need for
effective unity of command. Whether it can always be achieved is another issue.
o Military leaders were trained and willing to cooperate, and most of the forces in the
Coalition had prior training or experience in cooperation: Senior commanders
invariably operate under great pressure in war time, and military history is always
the history of personalities acting out under extreme stress. The Gulf War had its
share of personal clashes and incidents. At the same time, commanders showed an
unusual understanding of the realities of coalition warfare, avoided open conflicts
and rivalries, and actively sought to cooperate at virtually every level. This was
partly a matter of personality, but it was also a matter of experience. Unlike the
national commanders of many previous coalitions, senior commanders were used to
cooperating with other nations and most had extensive personal experience and
training in joint commands, exercises, or planning. The close military relationships
between the US and Britain, Saudi Arabia, France, and Egypt played a major role in
easing the strains of command and cooperation. This cooperation was enhanced by
joint exercises and training, the reliance of Saudi Arabia on Western arms and
advisors, and the creation of a generation of commanders who had cooperated in
NATO and in joint exercises in power projection.
o The US was tacitly given unity of command in key areas of planning, coordination,
and operations: None of the Coalition nations gave up sovereign control over their
military forces. At the same time, all of the southern Gulf countries had agreed to
provide access to US forces by August 16, and USCENTCOM had set up a joint
headquarters in the Saudi Ministry of Defense by mid-August. Saudi Arabia,
Britain, France, Egypt, and Kuwait gave the US extraordinary freedom in managing
the overall command structure, military planning, and battle management. While
each of these countries, and other nations like Syria, asserted national prerogatives
in shaping strategy, the role of their forces, and some aspects of battle management,
any historical comparisons with World War I and World War II indicate that the
Coalition fought with extraordinary unity.
o Ideas, innovation, and action: In theory, high command should make developing
and implementing innovative new approaches to war a key priority. In practice, it
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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October 15, 1994
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often becomes remarkably rigid, or paralyzes action with internal debate. Senior
Coalition commanders placed an exceptional emphasis on ideas and action had its
share of strong and contentious personalities, and national differences. At the same
time, debates between commanders were usually quickly and openly resolved.
There were significant frictions between national commanders, service
commanders, and different echelons of command, but the kinds of personal tension
or debates that often seemed to be a fault in the smooth process of military
diplomacy were actually vital to ensuring that ideas would be acted upon. There is
an important lesson here that is easy to ignore: Command conflict is not desirable,
but command tension can be vital to the effective generation of ideas, innovation,
and action. So is open debate, and rapid and decisive resolution of that debate once
it occurs. Polite command may be soothing, but it is not effective.
o Command could take advantage of time and a lack of resource constraints: Once
again, the UN was given five critical months in which to set up a coalition
command structure, adjust deployments and national roles and missions, and reach
agreement at both the political and military level. The US was able to take
advantage of a specialized regional command in the form of USCENTCOM, which
it had created in 1983, after several decades of close cooperation with Saudi
Arabia.13 The Coalition as a whole was able to take advantage of the British and
French experience in Saudi Arabia and large-scale basing and infrastructure
facilities that reduced many of the usual national tensions over resources. The value
of time, however, is scarcely a lesson of war, since it is impossible to guarantee.
What this experience demonstrates is the need to create an effective C4I/BM system
in peacetime, and to train for coalition warfare and major regional conflicts before a
crisis begins.
o A clear mission and objective: As the previous chapter has shown, it took some
time for the Coalition partners to agree on the deployment of major forces, and take
the offensive to liberate Kuwait. One major Coalition partner -- Syria -- never
reached full agreement as to the objective and mission of US forces. In broad
terms, however, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and threat to Saudi Arabia clearly defined
the mission and objective, and created a unique degree of political consensus. As
Somalia and Bosnia have shown, the lesson is that few contingencies creating the
risk of a major regional conflict are likely to involve a similar consensus, and that
most coalition command activity will lack a similar degree of unity.
o A relatively apolitical battlefield: Iraq's blatant aggression, and treatment of Kuwait
after the invasion,, and possession of weapons of mass destruction and use of long
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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October 15, 1994
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range missiles on civilian targets, gave Coalition commanders considerable freedom
of action in shaping the strategic bombing and interdiction aspects of the air
campaign, the depth of the battlefield, and the intensity of operations. The fact that
most of Iraq's forces were deployed in the open desert or in Kuwait, and that the UN
air component was able to use so many smart weapons, also reduced the political
problems created by collateral damage and the loss of civilian life, inevitable in
urban and guerrilla warfare. The deliberate manipulation of report on the battle to
avoid reporting on Iraqi casualties also limited political complications. While the
Coalition and US command has since been criticized for its use of force and
manipulation of reporting on the battle, the fact remains that these are vital to
successful operations in a major regional contingency and to the effective use of
force in a highly complex global environment. The need to give commanders
maximum freedom of action in using military force is a key lesson of the Gulf War.
o Functional deployment and subordination of national forces: As Chapters Two and
Three have shown, command problems were reduced by creating clear roles and
missions for each of the major national contingents, and deploying them
accordingly. The split between Western and Arab forces, placing Arab forces under
Saudi command, and giving the Arab forces a supporting role that they could clearly
execute in comparative isolation from Western forces played an important role in
command and control. So did the fact that this command and deployment structure
minimized the impact of Syria's political differences with the rest of the Coalition,
and its decision to only commit its combat forces in the supporting role. Similarly,
the deployment of French forces to the West, and the decision to resubordinate the
British land forces to the major armored thrust, simplified the command and control
problem within the Western forces, while central air defense management through
the E-3A, and central attack mission planning by the USAF -- coupled to allocating
clearly defined mission roles to allied air forces, further reducing these problems.
o Central control of the media: While it was not popular with the media at the time
and is scarcely likely to popular in the future, the ability to limit media access to the
region, and to centralize control of briefings and information, greatly reduced the
kind of reporting on command frictions and national issues that can complicate the
practical implementation of coalition warfare. There is no practical way to resolve
the inherent conflict between freedom of information and effective military action,
and between the different needs of the media and the military in protecting a free
society. In broad terms, however, effective control of the media is critical to
effective command, as well as to secrecy and increasing freedom of action, and the
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October 15, 1994
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recognition of this fact -- and an emphasis on giving the media full access to
information after a campaign as a control on any abuse of military capability -- is
one of the lessons of the Gulf conflict.
The most critical of these lessons is the need to develop combat ready C4/BM
capabilities for major regional contingencies in peacetime. Only Iraq's passiveness allowed
the US to develop an adequate C4I/BM system during Desert Shield. US peacetime
planning before the Gulf War produced the illusion of capability without the reality, and the
US was often forced into deploying vast amounts of C4I/BM personnel and equipment to
compensate for an adequate architecture and method of properly allocating resources and
delegating functions. The US required months to create its own internal structure for
managing the air campaign and the AirLand battle, that the US should have spent years
refining its C4I/BM capabilities before Desert Storm. Even then, the structure that the US
was able to improvise had many avoidable weaknesses.
It is easy to bog down in debates over whether the US improvised the right
command structure at any given level during Desert Shield. Such debates, however, are of
minor importance compared to the fact that the US should not have had to improvise such
capabilities at all. The Gulf War is a lesson that the US needs to organize its C4I/BM
structure to be fully ready for large scale regional conflicts in peacetime, to tailor its system
to support coalition warfare, to discuss detailed wartime contingency arrangements with
major regional allies like South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and to subject the resulting system
to the most demanding possible exercise tests. Effective power projection capability
requires rapidly deployable C4I/BM capability for high intensity warfare.
High Technology Central Air Battle Management: C4I/BM
in the Air War
The value of central control of air war is another important lesson of the Gulf War.
While the formal organization of Coalition forces shown in Figure 4.1 reflects divisions
between national -- and Arab and Western -- forces, the reality was that the US exercised
control of air warfare planning and operations and related command, control,
communications, computers, and intelligence capabilities. It also managed most AirLand
communications, weather analysis, and the provision of navigation data.14 This centralized
command of the air operation has important implications for command and control in
future conflicts. It also helped to create a centralized and integrated command system cable
of unified AirLand operations. The success of many aspects of such centralized battle
management sets an important precedent for both multinational and multi-service force
coordination.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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October 15, 1994
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The Role of the Joint Forces Air Command (JFACC)
One key to this success was the appointment of a single joint commander. On
August 10, 1990, Lt. General Charles A. Horner, the Commander of US Central Command
Air Forces (CENTAF) was designated as the Joint Forces Air Commander (JFACC). This
was an important step for several reasons. It created a central command point that grew to
provide C4I/BM for virtually every aspect of planning the build-up of UN air forces during
Desert Shield, planning the air war, commanding allied forces as well as all US services,
integrating the C4I/BM systems of different forces, and managing daily air operations
during Desert Storm.
This system was an innovation in terms of US command systems, as well as in
large-scale coalition warfare. Desert Storm was the first regional contingency in American
military history where a single commander was designated as the commander of all joint
and multi-national air operations, and given responsibility for planning the air campaign,
and coordinating, allocating, and tasking apportioned Coalition air sorties to meet the
theater objectives.15 This took on special importance because air power played so dominant
a role during most of the war, and because General Schwarzkopf did not attempt a day-today management of the air war. Schwarzkopf did make important decisions about
apportioning resources, the weight of air effort in support of the land battle, and the priority
of attacks on Iraqi military forces over strategic bombing, but it was the JFACC that
allocated and tasked a force of over 2,700 fixed wing military aircraft, 25% of which were
non-US aircraft, and which were normally commanded by 14 different countries or
services.
Making the JFACC effective, however, was anything but easy. It meant creating a
doctrine and plan for theater air war that could compensate for the prewar failure to develop
an effective theater air war C4I/BM system.16 It also meant developing a joint command
that included Saudi Arabia, with the problem of planning the many details of moving US
aircraft into Saudi Arabia. In practice, US and Saudi cooperation quickly reached the point
of joint planning, with the JFACC doing most of the detailed planning for air defense.
Nevertheless, the JFACC was able to issue the first major operations order for the defense
of Saudi Arabia (Operations Order 003) on August 20, 1990.17
The key to the multinational success of the JFACC was close US and Saudi
cooperation. This cooperation was enhanced by the fact that General Horner had worked
closely with the Saudi Chief of Staff, General Mohammed al-Hammad, and the
Commander of the Saudi Air Force, Lt. General Ahmad Ibrahim Behery, before the war,
and received cooperation from both General Khalid and Brigadier General Ahamid bin
Musaid As-Sudayri, the Chief of Operations of the RSAF. This cooperation broadened as
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October 15, 1994
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the JFACC came to coordinate planning for the employment of the RAF and French Air
Force. The JFACC defined basic operational rules like air-to-air and air-to-ground rules of
engagement, and coordinated these within the alliance in mid-August, although many
aspects of tactics and force allocation remained a national responsibility.18
The Tactical Air Control Centers (TACC)
The JFACC was supported by the Tactical Air Control Center or TACC, which
provided the central command center for the JFACC, coordination of key data and
communications, and near real time planning and overall battle management. The TACC
acted as the fusion center for the complex mix of US and Saudi airborne command and
control and sensor platforms used in the air war. It allowed the JFACC to control aircraft in
the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations (KTO) to ensure a minimum risk of mid-air collision,
identify and track Iraqi aircraft activity, retask aircraft enroute, provide central review of
airborne control of where strike aircraft and tanker aircraft met for refueling.
The fact that some of these capabilities were functioning in theater by September is
a considerable tribute to the US personnel involved and to the support they received from
the RSAF. Additional ABCCC assets deployed on August 26, to support the TACC,
although they had limited combat capability until September 20. The basic system, which
allowed the TACC to use a wide range of AWACS orbits during the rest of Desert Shield
and during Desert Storm -- based in part on Saudi experience -- was only tested by late
October. The addition of the JSTARS was a last minute decision: The two developmental
J-8 JSTARS aircraft deployed on January 11, 1991.19
The deployment of effective communications for the TACC and related air units
lagged badly behind schedule, and this is another a warning of the need for better peacetime
preparation for future conflicts. The basic TACC communications architecture could not be
tested until late October, and communications capabilities had to be layered and made
redundant because no pre-war planning had prepared a usable plan or architecture.20 The
TACC also encountered important technical problems -- including a lack of interactive
software -- because the US had never really planned and tested the control and
communications systems needed for such an intense and high tempo air war before Desert
Storm.
An immense volume of air communications activity took during the air war. While
specific data are not available for the TACC, CENTAF logged a total of 1,293,775
incoming messages, 132,012 out going messages, and 29,542,121 phone calls during the
Gulf War. Only 135 of the required 1,128 USAF communicators were in theater by late
August, and a total of 2,300 communicators were eventually deployed. The secure phone
system still had serious problems in late September, and a total of 350 STU-III phones were
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eventually required. Switching and message allocation had serious problems. Moderate
satellite link capability had to be rapidly brought in, and was not fully deployed until late
November. By the time this build-up was complete, CENTAF had 36 telephone switches,
26 ground mobile force terminals, 39 tropospheric radio links, three ground-to-air
transmitter/receiver sites, 55 computer assisted force management system terminals, and
was dealing with 7,665 frequencies.21
Although the resulting system became highly complex, it is important to note that
the resulting "fusion" of communications and sensor data was only a fraction of the
potential capability for "information warfare" that many planner now seek for future wars.
This makes it even more important to deploy and test a full scale battle management system
in peacetime, and to keep it ready for major regional conflicts without extended periods of
warning.22
The Special Planning Group or "Black Hole"
There were many other activities and systems that were essential to the US-led
"fusion" of different Coalition air warfare, AirLand battle, and C4I activities. One was of
particular importance. Lt. General Charles A. Horner, the commander of CENTAF, created
a secret Special Planning Group under Brigadier General Buster C. Glosson.23 This Special
Planning Group, which came to be called the "Black Hole", was charged with the creation
of the offensive air war plan. This group was located in the Saudi Air Force Headquarters.
It included RAF and RSAF officers, and eventually became both the planner and central
manager of the air war, coordinating targeting intelligence as well as strike planning.24
This activity became even more important as the original AirLand battle
management concept expanded and as a strategic bombing effort was combined with a
massive theater-wide effort to attack Iraqi military forces. Throughout Desert Shield and
the actual air campaign, constant adjustments had to be made the scale of the offensive air
effort, the relative emphasis given to strategic and theater targets, the weight of effort given
to attacking given sets of targets, and the tactics involved.25
Considerable tension sometimes developed over how much weight should be given
to strategic and Iraqi military targets. There were some air planners that believed strategic
bombing could be decisive. As is discussed in Chapter Seven, this focus on strategic
bombing effort had its origins in a plan called "Instant Thunder." This plan was proposed in
early August by a team led by which Col. John A. Warden III, and was the first attempt at
an offensive air plan in response to the Iraqi invasion. It called for a massive sudden and
precise air attack on key Iraqi political, industrial, economic, social, and military
institutions.26 As is discussed in Chapter Seven, however, the initial draft failed to address
the need to defeat Iraqi ground forces and tactical air forces and CENTAF soon focused on
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its on planning effort which emphasized destruction of the Iraqi ground forces as well as
strategic bombing.27
The creation of a Special Planning Group did not prevent some air planners from
emphasizing strategic bombing and the role of air power, or solve the problems inherent in
interservice and Coalition coordination. It did, however, create a mechanism through which
the resulting debates over the allocation of air power could be resolved in the creation of
one integrated air battle plan. It provided a command and planning mechanism for a more
comprehensive approach to offensive air war, and the Special Planning Group came to
combine planning for both the strategic and tactical air campaign.
As the Coalition moved towards the start of Desert Storm, the Special Planning
Group was also combined with the Combat Plans Division of CENTAF to form the
Campaign Plans Division. This reorganization took place on December 17, 1990 and gave
the "Black Hole" a more orthodox position in the chain of command. It scarcely solved all
the problems created by central management of the offensive air campaign, but it did allow
central control to work more effectively.
Like the JFACC, the Special Planning Group and Campaign Plans Division
acquired a great deal of central authority and autonomy. Like the JFACC, they have
sometimes been criticized for these qualities and for bypassing the normal chain of
command. The Special Planning Group has also been criticized for creating a duplicate
staff to many CENTAF functions, for compartmentalizing the planning process to the point
where proper coordination did not occur, for bypassing the normal intelligence and
targeting process, and for creating a new targeting process that degraded the quality of
targeting data provided to air units.
Some of these criticisms seem legitimate, and some are recognized as such by those
who participated in the SPG. At the same time, the US simply had not prepared realistically
to fight a major theater level air campaign before Desert Storm, and no improvised central
staff could deal effectively with all of the resulting problems in the time available. A lack
of pre-war contingency planning virtually ensured that some body like the Special Planning
Group had to perform a "forcing function" under conditions that made problems and
friction inevitable.
More broadly, it is far from clear that less centralization, a more orthodox approach
to bureaucracy, and more sensitivity to peacetime lines of authority would have been as
effective. The Special Planning Group provided a centralized and cohesive offensive war
plan, and a staff to refine and execute it, at a time when CENTAF and the JFACC were
focused on creating an effective air defense as part of Desert Shield. It overcame delays and
problems in the intelligence process that might otherwise have not been corrected. It
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provided a staff that was secure enough to plan the effective use of sensitive systems like
the F-117 Stealth fighter, and it forced the systematic resolution of a number of turf
battles.28 The benefits of more open coordination and planning might have been
counterbalanced by encouraging the kind of debates between Coalition air forces and
military services that affected virtually every aspect of war planning in World War II.
The challenge for future wars is to find a way to preserve the benefits of a
centralized battle management staff while making its operations more open, and finding
ways to create a better balanced between the priorities of air and land commanders. One
solution may be to include a larger ground component, and to use such a staffs as a test bed
in peacetime exercises to determine how to be define its role and integrate it into control
and communications and intelligence systems. The problems discussed in Chapter Seven
indicate, however, an effort at effective air battle management requires a clearer
understanding of the relative effectiveness of strategic and theater air campaigns, and
central management of tactical air operations versus responsiveness to ground commanders.
Many of the problems in air command and control and battle management stemmed far
more from a lack of comprehensive air warfare doctrine, integrated into the overall need to
find an AirLand battle, than from the way C4I/BM was organized during the Gulf War.
The Master Attack Plan (MAP).
The US used two key management tools to provide centralized command and
control, and battle management, of most aspects of the offensive air war. These were the
Master Attack Plan (MAP), and the Air Tasking Order (ATO).29 The MAP was assembled
before the ATO, and was shaped by the daily intelligence, assessment, and planning
processes that shaped the air battle. The ATO was the "administrative vehicle" used to
transfer the daily plan to major air combat units, and provide the call signs, time on target,
and other detailed information that combat unit commanders needed to execute the MAP. It
reflected the work of a Joint Target Coordination Board (JTCB) and command review, by
both Horner and Schwarzkopf, although planners and intelligence cell within the new
Campaign Plans Division often made key targeting and force allocation decisions, and
altered the MAP according to its own assessment of battle damage.30
This system had serious limitations. Chapters Five and Seven describe some
serious problems in the way the MAP and ATO functioned, in the way offensive air war
was managed and in the targeting process. Many aspects of C4I/battle management of
offensive air operations during Desert Storm were too complex and time consuming, and
depended heavily on months of targeting effort before Desert Storm. For example, in June,
1990, the USCENTCOM and CENTAF target lists had between 218 and 293 applicable
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targets. This list had expanded to 2,239 by early August, 1990, and 3,194-4,543 by January
15, 1991. This was more than a 40% growth between the invasion and Desert Storm.
The targeting system came under extreme stress during Desert Storm, as new targets
like mobile Scud sites, new Iraqi C4 facilities, and more railroads and bridges were added,
and was only able to react because of the months of prior preparation. The number of
potential targets grew to a total of 3,813-5,153 by the end of Desert Storm. More important,
the number of key target sets grew from 481 on January 16, 1991 to 772 on February 26,
1991 -- a growth of 60%. 31
The targeting system used to support C4I/BM for air warfare either needed far more
automation at every level from communications to analysis, or will be unwieldy and overcentralized in many future wars. The limits of the system were not fully exposed because
the Coalition won and sustained nearly total air superiority, could execute the air campaign
in isolation from the AirLand battle, and land forces were never threatened by effective
Iraqi counter-attacks in a way that might have required a massive shift in the offensive air
battle.32
Chapter Seven also shows that management of air attack assets over-centralized at
the tactical level. By February 6, 1991, CENTAF was forced to adopt a system that used
aircraft like the F-15E, F-111E and F-111B flying over 30 by 30 mile "kill boxes", where
US strike aircraft could use data from forward air control aircraft and T-2 reconnaissance
aircraft to strike at key Iraqi Republican Guard and armored formations on a target of
opportunity basis. Attack aircraft were also assigned directly to Corps commanders once
the land offensive began using what came to be called the "CAS flow" system. These
aircraft only flew ATO derived sorties if the ground commander did not need them.33
The system also suffered from the fact the combination of US and allied
communications could not handle the data handling burden, which presented problems in
handling imagery and intelligence data. US Navy INMARSAT capabilities had to be used
to link USN and CINCCENT capabilities. It did not prove capable of managing the sudden
diversion of air assets to hunt for Scuds in the sense of providing a realistic assessment of
kill capabilities, although it did adopt to the use of kill boxes, shifts to stand-off attack
tactics, and a number of changes in the target mix.
The management of future air campaigns clearly needs more flexible command and
control systems, and more advanced supporting technology. Near real time targeting and
battle damage management capabilities must either be vastly improved to handle the
problem of rapid theater-wide warfare, or the US must carry out most of the targeting effort
against potential enemies in peace time that it carried out against Iraq during the period
between August 2, 1990 and January 16, 1991. Less sophisticated, rapidly deployable,
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systems need to be created, to support power projection and coalition warfare, in "no
warning" low to mid intensity conflicts. Finally, close study is needed of the trade-offs
between centralized offensive air battle management and the allocation of specific air assets
to land/sector commanders to determine when other methods of command and control will
be more suitable.
However, all these problems and requirements must be kept in perspective. As
Chapters Five and Seven also discuss, the Master Attack Plan (MAP) succeeded in many
ways. The creation of an MAP capable of coordinating an air war as large as Desert Storm
was a major achievement, and was only made possible by the fact that the Coalition had
five critical months in which to integrate its air components into a central attack plan, and
develop targeting list and procedures for strategic, interdiction, and air support activities.
The MAP/ATO system allowed USCENTCOM to steadily revise and expand US
and allied targeting efforts before the invasion, to survey thousands of potential new targets,
group them into a common target reference system and 12 target categories, and link
targeting for the air campaign to targeting for the AirLand battle. Like so many of the
lessons in Desert Storm, the issue is one of whether one wants to focus on whether the glass
is one-fifth empty or four fifths full.
The JFACC was able to develop a dynamic process for changing target planning
and altering the MAP and ATO to reflect new intelligence, weather factors, changes in the
military situation, experience, and the results of battle damage assessment.34 The JFACC
was able to develop force packages based on the assessment of the best way to attack given
targets, and provide a relatively compact 25-50 page daily overview of air operations,
including the time on target, target number, target description, and supporting systems for
each attack package. This not only could be done with an unprecedented coherence and
speed, it could be done with an unprecedented fusion of the intelligence and battle damage
assessment data that were available.
The Air Tasking Order (ATO):
The Air Tasking Order or ATO was the daily schedule that provided the detailed
guidance to air crews necessary to implement the MAP. The ATO integrated a centralized
implementation of the MAP with a centralized air refueling plan, and provided integrated
special instructions for communications, reconnaissance support, land based control and
communications support, and support from the E-3A AWACS, E-130 Airborne Battlefield
Command and Control Center (ABCCC) and E-2Cs. It included long range B-52 attacks,
and US Navy flights into Kuwait and Iraq, although not USN flights over water.35
This plan came to control more than 3,000 sorties per day over the KTO. The
Coalition sometimes flew 600 aircraft over the area at the same time, and scheduled
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movements into and out of the KTO at one minute intervals. It succeeded in these tasks
although previous US planning had never attempted to control more than 2,400 sorties a
day, and was, at best, adequate for the sustained control of 1,500-2,000 sorties per day over
a much larger theater. No aspect of US communications, data processing, procedures, or
training before Desert Shield proved adequate to handle, even the USAF portion of daily
planning for the air war, much less allied forces and the other US services. As Chapter Five
describes, these problems were made worse during Desert Storm by serious problems in
estimating and characterizing the Iraqi threat, and the failure of the battle damage
assessment (BDA) process.
The ATO did have important defects.. It became cumbersome and often reached
more than 300 pages in length. It did not always perfectly coordinate missions. It did not
fully integrate US Navy operations. It had inevitable delays, and lacked adequate
responsiveness to ground commanders. At the same time, it allowed US, RAF, RSAF, and
other Coalition planners to coordinate the details of target assignments, route plans,
altitudes, refueling tracks, fuel off-loads, call signs, and identification of friend or foe
data.36
It is also important to point out that the MAP and ATO system was successful
enough in initiating the air campaign so that the UN started Desert Storm by flying 2,759
sorties on the first day without changing the timing, target, or decision to fly a single sortie.
The UN flew 2,900 sorties on the second day, changed the timing and targeting of 16
sorties, and changed the number by 69 sorties. Further, the ATO did adapt to changes in the
conditions of war. The UN flew 2,441 sorties on the third day, changed the timing and
target of 112 sorties, and changed the number by 449 sorties. It adapted to deal with
problems in the availability of tankers, weather, the need to launch a massive "Scud hunt,"
and also adopted to changes in tactics like "tank plinking" and "kill boxes."
What was lacking in the JFACC/SPG/MAP/ATO process was a feedback system
from the unit level that could make the central battle managers aware of the fact that they
often made too many changes in the ATO too late for effective mission planning of
complex strike sorties by aircraft like the F-15E and F-117. Some 23,000 ATO changes
were processed during the war, 3,500 were timing changes, and 5,800 were target changes.
The mission planning process often lacked the near real time processing and fusion systems
necessary to do this efficiently.
Further, the MAP and ATO processes were degraded by the fact the Battle Damage
Assessment (BDA) process was inadequate far too time consuming, and the intelligence
effort to carry out BDA was largely decoupled from the operational needs of the air war. As
a result, the planners developing the MAP and ATO had no way to change plans
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dynamically on the basis of accurate near real time BDA. in ways that assured a high degree
of effectiveness. This problem was compounded by major problems in the BDA effort at
the national and theater level, and by the belief of those developing the MAP and ATO that
they had far more accurate BDA than was the case.37
Major problems also occurred in allocating air assets at the unit level. No wing or
air unit commander, or division or corps commander, had access to the national and theater
intelligence and analytic capabilities to target and assess damage. One aspect of air
operations had not changed since World War I, World II, Korea, or Vietnam: Neither pilots
or air combat unit commanders can judge their effectiveness in combat, and that pilot and
unit reports of "kills" were generally highly untrustworthy. This was true even of video data
for precision strike aircraft like the F-15E, F-117, and F-111F operating in clear weather.
The fact that missiles and bombs appeared to track to the target and explode simply did not
confirm a kill. Purely visual data from A-10, F/A-18, and F-16 pilots had almost no
reliability, although some analysis after the war indicated that much depended on the
specific pilots and that some pilots are far more accurate than others.38 Yet, wing and
squadron commanders, and pilots, received only limited feedback, analysis, and guidance
from the BDA effort that did occur. Although air units were employing many systems and
technologies that had never previously been used in combat, and most pilots and air
commanders had no prior combat experience, the MAP and ATO system had no element
that effectively used BDA data to support unit level operations.
Air Space Management System.
A major new Coalition command structure also had to be created to manage air
space management and detailed aspects of air operations, such as the identification of friend
or foe (IFF) system. Once again, much of this system had to be planned and created from
scratch. Although a computer system for air space management was improvised and
integrated into the TACC system during Desert Shield, no such system existed before the
Gulf War.
Although up to 3,000 aircraft per day had to fly in a small air space, the US and its
allies did not have even have the minimal capability to provide this kind of air space
control until October, and it was only made possible by the creation of a central TACC, and
the AWACS and ABCCC. By the time of Desert Storm, however, air operations required
the management of 660 restricted operation zones, 122 airborne refueling orbits, 92 combat
air patrol orbits, 78 strike corridors, 50 air transit routes, 36 training areas, 60 Patriot
engagement zones, 312 missile engagement zones, 11 high-density air traffic control zones,
195 Army aviation flight routes, 38 major air corridors, 60 restricted fire areas, 60 no fire
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areas, 40 minimum risk routes, 17 air base defense zones, and numerous Aegis engagement
zones.39
The final air space management system required the deployment or augmentation of
not only the TACC, but of three host nation air control centers, seven radar approach
control facilities, seventeen air base towers, and the deployment of 161 US controllers to
US facilities, 85 US controller to allied facilities, 60 controllers in the liaison function, and
14 controllers on the CENTAF staff.
The success of system is one of the great successes of Desert Storm, and one of the
great achievements of military history. It controlled over 110,000 sorties without a single
aircraft collision, without any friendly fire by one aircraft on another, and with only
minimal incidents of friendly fire by aircraft on ground forces -- none of which were
traceable to the Coalition air control system.
At the same time, it is important to note that much of this success was due to the
quality of the operator, and the use of strict flight rules, rules of engagement, and mission
planning, rather than the proper exploitation of advanced C4/BM technology, and the
creation of the kind of flexible and adaptive system needed for a "revolution in military
affairs." As will be discussed throughout the rest of this book, the system also only worked
because many national air components were given restricted areas of operation and
restricted missions. It did not solve the problem of integrating fixed and rotary wing
operations. It worked around serious interoperability problems in the IFF and air control
equipment used by different nations and military services, and it limited the flexibility of
offensive air and AirLand operations. Air space management was a triumph, given the time
available and the state of the art, but it was far from the system needed to take maximum
advantage of air power and the AirLand battle, or the system needed for "perfect war".
Key Tools Supporting Command and Control of the Air War: The
ABCCC, AWACS, Rivet Joint, and E-2C
The scale of Coalition airborne command and control activity during Desert Storm
is illustrated in Table 4.1. It is clear from this table that the US flew over 90% of all such
missions, although Royal Saudi Air Force AWACS also played a major role. This use of
highly sophisticated airborne C4I/BM assets was critical to every aspect of the air campaign
described in Chapters Six and Seven. They allowed far more effective management of
offensive, defensive, electronic warfare and intelligence, refueling, intra-theater airlift and
heliborne operations. It provided a means of delegating key aspects of command and
control to all-weather aircraft whose radars could look far deeper into the battlefield than
land-based systems, which often had on-board electronic intelligence capability, secure
communications and data handling capability, and the ability to manage a large number of
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aircraft at the same time. It was also essential to the JFACC command activity, and to
managing so dense environment of air operations. The UN Coalition used these assets to
play a giant game of four dimensional chess in which the movements reached peaks of over
600 aircraft flying over the KTO at one time.40
It is important to note, however, that such airborne command and control activities
were only possible because of Coalition-wide air defense efforts that rapidly won and
maintained the air superiority necessary to ensure the survivability of US command and
control aircraft, and their freedom of action.41 Further, the effectiveness of all airborne
command and control capabilities depended heavily on prior British, French, and the RSAF
exercises with US forces, on the lessons the Western members of the Coalition had learned
in NATO, and on a long history of joint E-3B/C operations between the RSAF and USAF.
The E-3 AWACS (Airborne Warning and Air Control System) served as the
Coalition's primary tool in managing the air campaign and air operations during the
AirLand battle. The Gulf War marked the first use of the E-3 in a major air war, but it was a
proven system which acted as both an airborne warning and surveillance platform, and as a
control center for managing and tracking UN aircraft in their area of operation, and
providing an airborne command element (ACE) to support the JFACC.
A mix of USAF and RSAF E-3s flew continuous command and control orbits about
110-125 miles south of Saudi Arabia's border with Iraq and Kuwait, and north of Iraq's
border with Turkey. This force used 11 USAF E-3Cs based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; three
USAF E-3Cs based in Incirlik, Turkey; and five Saudi E-3Bs. The USAF aircraft flew 448
sorties during the war for a total of 5,546 flight hours.42 They maintained four aircraft
airborne over Saudi Arabia (three to cover the border in front and one to manage refueling
in the rear) and one aircraft airborne over Turkey. The Saudi E-3Bs flew an additional 303
sorties.43 These aircraft provided airborne control for an average of 2,240 sorties per day,
and of over 90,000 sorties during the war: About 85% of all sorties flown.44
The E-3s integrated data provided by RSAF, USAF, US Army, USN, and USMC air
units, and used voice and digital data links to provide the bulk of the air battle status data
given to the ground-based C2 stations. At the same time they were part of an information
sharing net with the USAF RC-135 Rivet Joint Airborne Battle Command and Control
Center (ABCCC) aircraft, USN E-2Cs, and the TACC. The TACC relayed air data to the
Saudi-led Arab ground forces, the USMC ground forces, and to the US Army-led Coalition
of US, British, and French land forces.45
The EC-130 ABCCC (Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center) was
used in Desert Storm for the first time. The ABCCC aircraft is an EC-130s carrying a
20,000 pound, 47-foot long, pod of equipment designed for battle management, rather than
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for radars or sensors. It was used to manage both strike and close support sorties,
coordinate them with the advanced planning in the ATO, and to meet urgent tactical needs.
The equipment on ABCCC aircraft can handle a battle plan covering an area of 2,048 by
2,048 nautical miles, and can receive real time data from the AWACS and other sources
for all of the air tracks in the ABCCC's area of coverage. Twin computers provided this
data to 15 workstations equipped with 19" monitors which showed vector and raster maps.
These work stations could be used to track the position of up to 1,000 friendly and
unfriendly aircraft in the area and/or threats like anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missile
batteries. These tracks can also be compared to the tracks in mission plans which are
preloaded into the ABCCC's computer in the form of optical disks.
Each ABCCC had four HF, four UHF, and four satellite radios, providing a total of
23 secure voice and two secure teletype circuits. Aircraft and weapons controllers on the
ABCCC directed forward air control aircraft, airlift flights into the area under their control,
reconnaissance and related electronic warfare aircraft, strike missions, and maintained
constant contact with the AWACS and ground control and planning centers.
The USAF flew a total of 450 EC-130 sorties, of which 159 were primarily C3
sorties, 284 were electronic warfare sorties, and 7 were for other purposes.46 The ABCCC
aircraft functioned well, but it became clear that air battle management control activities
required better software and displays, very precise navigation and location data, and high
volumes of digital data traffic. The ABCCCs are now being equipped with GPS global
positioning systems and improved Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS)
terminals as a result of the lessons of the Gulf War.47
US Navy E-2Cs also played a useful role in air control missions -- and flew 1,183
sorties and 4,790 flight hours, At the same time, they illustrated some of the limitations of
less sophisticated airborne warning and aircraft. They could only fly 4.5 hour missions
versus missions in excess of 11 hours for some E-3As. They lacked the over-the-horizon
communications capability and in-flight refueling capability, they had substantially less
capability to manage complex air battles, and had less radar range over land. Their sensors
lacked a high level of tracking capability for low altitude targets over land, and operators
had to be highly skilled to make use of the data available. Many of these limitations are
being corrected in upgrades of the E-2Cs, but they are likely to be far more severe in most
of the "mini-AWACS" aircraft now being proposed for sale, and often may make the
aircraft inadequate for mid-to-high intensity air operations -- particularly where air cover
cannot be assured.
This airborne command and control activity was heavily dependent on the
availability and centralized control of US special purpose and high technology
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reconnaissance and electronic warfare systems that could not be provided by any other
nation. For example, the RC-135V Rivet Joint aircraft were electronic intelligence
collection platforms that flew a total of 197 sorties (43 reconnaissance and 148 electronic
warfare) at stand-off ranges behind the perimeter posed by Iraq fighters. Their operations
are discussed in more depth in the next chapter, but the RC-135s provided real-time data on
the activity, location, and character of radar emissions by Iraqi fighters, air defense radars,
and other emitters.48 The role of the J-8A JSTARS is also described in Chapter Five.49
While allied forces played an important role in such missions, Table 4.1 shows that US air
assets flew 89-97% of all such missions, and played a dominant role in providing
centralized high technology management of electronic warfare, airborne targeting and
intelligence, and airborne damage assessment assets.
Dealing With Inter-Service Command Problems
The US, however, had a number of internal problems in using such assets. Bringing
the US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Navy, and US Army air assets under a single
theater command created as many difficulties as US cooperation with the Saudis or RAF.50
Debates arose between the Joint Chiefs, US Army, and US Air Force over the relative
priority to be given to strategic bombing. These problems were compounded by a lack of
integrated data processing and command and control systems that could substitute for
physical co-location. Virtually every aspect of C4I/BM for air operations during the Gulf -such as the creation of bodies like the JFACC and Special Planning Group -- had an ad hoc
character and this meant that related communications, data processing, displays, command
support systems, and battle manage aids had an ad hoc character as well. Virtually every
aspect of the related hardware and software reflected the pre-war failure to organize and
equip a realistic C4I/BM capability for a theater war more than half the size of the air
campaign in Desert Storm.
The problems that developed between the US Navy and the US Air Force involved
debates over air strategy, and control of forces. The US Navy and US Marine Corps did not
have a well defined strategy for using air power in mid and high intensity regional conflicts
before the Gulf War, but opposed the emphasis the USAF put on strategic bombing. The
US Navy also argued that separate "route packages" for the allocation of combat aircraft
should be developed under the control of each service, as had been the case in Vietnam.
This inter-service rivalry was increased as time went on because the Navy felt that the
JFACC was giving priority to the deployment of Air Force assets. This, however, may have
been as much the result of the need to simply battle management by focusing on one force
elements, and the fact that there was nothing approaching an adequate secure data-link and
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computer interface to handle ATO information between the JFACC and US carriers as any
USAF parochialism.51
Some of the coordination problems between the US Navy and US Air Force also
developed because Vice Admiral Stanley Arthur, the CINC of CENTCOM Navy forces
remained at sea on the command ship "Blue Ridge," where he could not directly participate
in planning the air battle because his dual responsibilities as Commander of the Seventh
Fleet limited the time that he could spend on JFACC issues. While US Navy personnel
were assigned to the JFACC in August, the key US Navy personnel planning the Naval
portion of the air battle were not collocated with the JFACC. This seems to have helped
create problems in structuring the detailed air tasking orders that also limited the efficient
allocation of USN air assets.52
Coordination with the US Marine Corps and US Army should have been somewhat
simpler because the JFACC was located near the C3IC, and because Schwarzkopf's deputy,
Lt. General Calvin Waller, and the Commander of US ground forces, General Yeosock,
worked closely with General Horner on a day-to-day basis. In practice, however, there were
also serious problems in AirLand coordination.
Senior US Marine Corps personnel were not included in the planning of the air
campaign. As a result, the MARCENT commander found that the USAF had planned to
allocate Marine air assets centrally in ways that conflicted with the integration of Marine air
and land assets in the Marine expeditionary forces. A major debate arose between the
USAF and USMC over the independence that should be given to the Marine Corps in
allocating its fighters to support USMC ground troops, and the Marine Commander argued
that centralized planning under the JFACC was too inflexible and time consuming.53 As
Chapter Seven describes, this debate was eventually resolved by creating a special air
control zone over the 1 MEF area during the land battle.
Serious problems emerged in coordinating the planning of the air and land
campaigns because the air planning efforts within the JFACC were not integrated with the
planning efforts for the land battle. This was partly the result of the fact that the planning of
the land battle lagged behind the planning of the air campaign and partly the result of the
fact that land and air planning were compartmented from each other until at least early
November.54 It was also partly the result of the fact that air planners focused on strategic
bombing, while land planners focused on armored operations, and partly the result of the
fact that many aspects of the air planning effort concentrated on fixed wing aircraft to the
exclusion of rotary wing aircraft -- which were regarded as land assets. The lack of
continuing high level interservice coordination in the JFACC and within the planning cell
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that General Schwarzkopf set up to plan the land battle probably contributed as much to
these problems as of differences over strategy.
These problems during Desert Shield helped lead to additional problems between
the air and ground commanders during Desert Storm. Marine and Army corps ground
commanders wanted additional air strikes on Iraqi forward positions and artillery in the
areas they were to attack, while air planners allocated strikes against the Iraqi rear and
targets like the Republican Guards.
It is not clear in retrospect, that air planners were always setting different priorities
from land planners. The air staff often seems to have been responding to General
Schwarzkopf's emphasis on destroying the Republican Guard and preparing for a double
envelopment, rather than pursuing a service oriented concept of operations. At the same
time, USAF studies of the air operation during the Gulf War recognize that some form of
joint air-ground board or review group should have been created to improve joint planning
of air attacks in preparation for, and during the ground offensive.55
Almost inevitably, this complex mix of problems and differences led to a number of
major disagreements between senior commanders. Admiral Arthur appealed several of the
JFACC's decisions regarding the use of naval aircraft to USCINCENT, and Schwarzkopf
resolved most in favor of central control by the JFACC. General Schwarzkopf also
generally supported the JFACC during the war, when the Marine Corps and Army sought
additional or more timely sorties.56 At the same time, General Boomer succeeded in
preserving a considerable amount of independence for Marine air units, and air attacks on
Iraqi military forces were given priority over attacks on strategic targets.
These differences and debates illustrate the need for much closer cooperation
between all four services in integrating AirLand planning, in developing common concepts
for using the JFACC system, and for true the joint planning of air operations in mid to high
intensity and theater level conflicts. This is a lesson that has since been adopted by the US
Navy and US Air Force, which have conducted a number of joint exercises of a revised
JFACC system using improved C4I/BM systems and data links, as well as the transition
from initial reliance on a sea-based JFACC to a land-based JFACC as reinforcements are
deployed.
It is less clear that an effective joint planning system has been developed that fully
integrates US Army and US Marine Corps planning of the land campaign with the planning
of the air campaign and JFACC operations, or that effective solutions have been found for
fully integrating fixed wing operations (including close support), rotary wing operations,
and land maneuver warfare. The US did issue new joint doctrine in 1992, but it is unclear
just how well this call for true jointness in JFACC operations will be put into practice.57
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Further, no system will ever deal with all of the criticism made during and after the
war about over-centralization. Complex air battles are not capable of being managed by a
committee or by fiefdoms, and no C4I/BM system will ever be able to made every need or
avoid trade-offs that favor one legitimate war fighting need over another.58
Lessons from C4I/BM During the Air War:
Once again, the primary lesson to be drawn from this experience is the need to
create and maintain a true C4I/BM capability to fight major air campaigns that can be
quickly deployed to fight major regional contingencies anywhere in the world. There are,
however, five other lessons that can be drawn from the Coalition's experience in C4I/BM
during the air war:
o First, that Coalition air warfare would be been radically different without US
C4I/BM systems, and without an effective monopoly in such systems relative to Iraq.
These capabilities not only revolutionized command and control in the management
of the air battle, they also revolutionized the management of the AirLand battle, the
tempo of warfare, and combined operations.
o Second, the US military and civilian bureaucracy failed to extend the "revolution in
military affairs" discussed in Chapter Three to provide a realistic C4I/BM
capability for theater warfare which could not even be improvised in the five and
one-half months before Desert Storm. This lesson is repeated in many other areas
in the chapters which follow.
o Third, it is not possible to compartment strategic attack, theater air , fixed and
rotary wing, or land and amphibious battle planning and management without
creating major command problems and operational debates. The US emphasis on
jointness failed to bring the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force together
into true joint planning and exercise efforts for large scale AirLand battles, and
even the US Army and US Air Force focused far too much on NATO-Warsaw Pact
conflicts to the exclusion of regional conflicts.
o Fourth, true jointness requires fully interoperable -- if not integrated -- C4I/BM
systems that are rapidly deployable and which are fully tested through extensive
joint exercises in peacetime. The existence of an office of the Assistant Secretary of
Defense for C3I within the Office of the Secretary of Defense before the Gulf War
did little to achieve this integration, and it was never given meaningful priority by
the Joint Chiefs. No change in joint doctrine or the organization and procedures of
the JFACC can, however, eliminate the need for effective hardware and software
systems. Further, the "revolution in military affairs" will be dependent on such
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systems for many aspects of the effort to increase the tempo, lethality, maneuver
speed, and depth of joint operations.
o Fifth, the more the US develops such integrated operations and C4I/BM systems ,
the more it will have to plan careful for coalition operations with far less integrated
and sophisticated allied forces. This will be most important in terms of air
operations -- which involve the most technically complex and high tempo battle
management activities -- but will be a key priority in land and naval operations as
well.
These lessons are likely to be of critical importance in any future major regional
contingency -- particularly one involving coalition warfare. The advanced C4I/BM
capabilities that the US provided created problems as well as solutions. In spite of the time
that the Coalition had to prepare for combat, many non-US air forces found it difficult to
deal with the MAP/ATF system of air operations, and had to cancel missions because they
could not rapidly adapt to changes in the ATO. A number of allied air units operated under
significant mission restrictions because they could not adapt to US tactics and a USdominated C4I/BM system. Coalition and cooperative warfare requires fully interoperable
systems which are designed to control both US and less sophisticated forces.
The US is already making many changes in its C4I/BM capabilities as a result of
Desert Storm. At the same time, force cuts and readiness cuts mean that much of the
experience and capability that the US developed during Desert Storm has been lost or is
being disbanded. There are some indications that the US preparation for air warfare in
major regional contingencies has been underfunded, and that the US would still experience
many of the build-up and equipment problems in fighting a future air war in Korea or in the
Gulf that it did at the time of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. It is one thing to plan and train for
major regional contingencies, it is another thing to be ready to fight them.
Further, there is a real question as to how much progress can be made in these areas
unless the US solve the Battle Damage Assessment problems discussed in the next chapter.
High technology battle management requires much better near real time capability to
measure the effectiveness of air systems, missiles, armored warfare systems, and indirect
fire systems like artillery. These problems were scarcely critical during the Gulf War, given
the Coalition's overall superiority relative to Iraq. Future wars, however, may take place
against enemies with parity or near parity in "information warfare" capability and air and
maneuver technology. They may take place against opponents which are capable of rapid
innovation and adaptation. In such cases, the margin of victory may be determine by which
side has the best ability to provide real time assessment of the effectiveness of its, and its
opponent's, new tactics and technology. Targeting is only part of "closing the loop" in
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creating a C4/BM system that can dominate the action-reaction cycle in warfare. Providing
accurate near real time damage assessment and effectiveness measures is at least as
important.
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Table 4.1
The Impact of US Air Capabilities on UN Coalition Air Command, Control,
Electronic Warfare and Reconnaissance Capabilities
Electronic Warfare and C4 Missions
C4____ ____
ABCCC Early C4 Total
Warning
US
Air Force
201
Navy
1,143
Marine Corps
157
Special Forces
0
Army
0
Subtotal
1,501
Saudi Arabia
UK
France
Canada
Kuwait
Bahrain
Italy
UAE
Qatar
Subtotal
Total
US as a Percent
of Total 100
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
379
0
0
0
0
379
85*
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
85
24
0
0
0
0
24
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Recce
604
1,143
157
0
0
1,904
85*
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
85
Reconnaissance
Electronic Warfare
SLAR Observ. Total ECM ESM EW
869
1,190
3
2
0
2,064
0
0
0
0
147
147
118
156
62
0
0
0
0
6
0
336
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1,501
464
24
1,989
2,406
147
82
100
96
86
100
100
442 1,311
241 1,431
0
3
0
2
0
147
683 2,894
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
118
156
62
0
0
0
0
6
0
336
683 3,236
89
100
Total
0
190 1,388
5
260
0
0
17
326
0
0
84
6
547
15
11 1,014 1,813
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
80
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
80
11 1,094 1,813
2,918
93
0
80
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
80
1,578
265
343
84
568
2,838
100
97
Note: The data cover the period from January 16, 1991 to February 28, 1991. There are significant national
differences in definition, and some countries do not report special forces and support sorties. ABCCC =
airborne battlefield command and control center. ECM = electronic countermeasures. ESM = electronic
support measures or intelligence. C2 = command and control, C3 = command, control, and communications,
and C4 = command, control, communications, and computers. CAP = combat air patrol SLAR = side looking
airborne radar.
* These figures understate the role of the Saudi E-3s. Saudi Arabia reported 218 E-3 refueling missions and
85 C3 missions. The Saudi refueling missions were largely C3 missions. If the US E-3 missions are counted at
379 missions, this indicates that Saudi Arabia flew 44% of all E-3 missions.
Source: Adapted by the author from the data in Cohen, Dr. Eliot A, Director, Gulf War Air Power Survey,
Volume V, Washington, US Air Force/Government Printing Office, 1993. The data are generally selected
from the tables on pages 232-233, although some data and categories are modified to reflect different data in
pages 235-386, and the detailed tables on pages 144-146 and 148-152.
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Other Lessons for Joint Warfare
The lessons the Gulf War teaches about the need for "jointness" are limited to the
Coalition's experience with air C4/BM. They are equally important in terms of intelligence,
air operations, and the AirLand battle. At the same time, the Coalition's experience with
C4/BM highlighted the fact that even the US had a long way to go from a policy-level
emphasis on integrating the operations of its military services and developing an effective
joint war fighting capability. Although the US had increasingly stressed joint operations
since the end of the Vietnam conflict, it encountered many problems in C4/BM that had
nothing to do with service policy or rivalry.
One key example of this problem was the fact that the US Army and US Marine
Corps had not really planned to fight mid to high intensity major regional conflicts, and did
not have the planning staffs, experience command structures, and C4I/BM systems to
prepare properly for Desert Storm. General Schwarzkopf attempted to solve this system by
creating his own cell of planners, or "Jedi" for the land battle, but this staff inevitably
lacked experience in planning even a large scale US Army land campaign, much less
integrating the US Army plan with USAF, US Marine, and US Navy operations. As is
discussed in Chapters Two and Nine, this helped lead to initial land warfare plans that
failed to emphasize deception and maneuver, that called for a frontal assault on Iraqi
defensive positions in the KTO, and which emphasize a one US Corps campaign, rather
than decisive force. It also led to many delays in preparing the land portion of the battle
plan.59
This inexperience also led to the compartmentation of the land planning effort from
the air planning effort discussed earlier, and to a focus on US Army planning without
proper coordination with the commander of the I MEF. Further, it may have contributed to
the problems in battle management involving VII Corps discussed in Chapter Nine because
Schwarzkopf's war planners were recruited long before VII Corps was added to the pool of
US forces, and it is not clear that they had the level of experience and depth to fully
appreciate the difficulties of planning sustain long distance armored thrusts.
Another key problem in jointness occurred at the technical level. As has been
touched upon previously, US Navy communications and computer system lacked SHF
communications. As a result, USN carrier forces could not execute on-line integration with
the USAF computer-aided force management system. This meant that courier aircraft had
to bring the ATO to the carrier which deprived the Navy strike/attack aircraft of mission
flexibility.60
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These problems -- and a host of related smaller -- were serious enough so that the
USN has fundamentally restructured its resource allocation to focus on joint operations.
These changes were driven by the end of the Cold War, as well as by the lessons of the Gulf
conflict, but they were enough of a lesson of the Gulf War for the officer in charge of acting
on the lessons of the conflict to state that,61
"We have reformed our resource allocation process...In order to improve the
Navy's ability to integrate seamlessly with the AirLand Battle and to emphasize
the importance of joint operations, we have created the Naval Doctrine
Command in Norfolk, Virginia. We have already seen positive results in the
areas of tactics, techniques, and procedures, and have incorporated these into
recent predeployment workshops. Also of note are recent joint exercises where
Naval Commanders have served as Joint Force Commander (JFC) and/or Joint
Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC) afloat. We believe that this
capability is critical if we are to serve effectively as the joint force enabler
during the early days of the conflict....In sum, we have changed our strategy, our
force structure, our organization and our budget process since Desert Storm."
The Navy has dealt with the problems of integrating US Navy and USAF ATO
activity by developing and deploying an SHF Quicksat to provide the needed joint
connectivity. This interim fix allows future JFACC commanders ashore to pass the ATO
electronically to carriers at sea, and allows embarked commanders to serve as a shipboard
JFACC in small operations. The USN is also developing a more permanent solution called
the Contingency Theater Automated Planning System (CTAPS), which will provide a fully
automated and interoperable air and strike missile C4I/BM, and which will be installed on
all of its carriers and fleet flagships.62
There were, however, many similar problems. The US Navy and USMC had not
fully solved the C4I/BM of cooperating with each other, and had tended to evolve a C4I/BM
system oriented towards power projection for low to mid-intensity amphibious warfare
while the US Army and USAF had emphasized the AirLand battle in Europe. The US Navy
had not emphasized cooperation with the US Army.63 Many C4I/BM systems within US
forces were not truly interoperable -- with problems in range, frequency compatibility,
standardization of geographic coordinates, traffic volume, compatible automation, use of
digital versus voice systems, and a host of other technical and connectivity problems. Few
of these problems were major individual barriers to war fighting, but cumulatively, they
presented problems that greatly increased the problems that the US faced in creating an
effective C4I/BM system during Desert Shield, and which affected many aspects of the air
campaign and AirLand battle.
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These examples help explain why one of the key lessons that the US has drawn
from the Gulf War is that it failed to properly anticipate the full requirements of joint
warfare at virtually every level of military planning and operations and that joint warfare
and combined operations must be further developed to new levels. The US had 51 new
joint publications as a result of the Gulf War by mid-1994, and more than 50 additional
publications still in process. The US army was working to make further major revisions in
its field manual on operations (FM-100-5), and many key areas of joint operations were
undergoing comprehensive review, and being tested in war games and exercises.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense reporting to Congress on the lessons of the Gulf
War stated that work accomplished as of 1994, " will (only) complete the initial stage of
joint doctrine development. The next phase of our efforts will be to refine and fully
integrate this joint doctrine into our training and exercises." He also went on to tie these
changes directly to the C4/BM problems in the Gulf War,64
"To give you a clearer picture of the lessons learned regarding joint doctrine, let
me address one of the most challenging doctrinal problems that we experienced
during Desert Storm: planning and carrying out joint air operations. While our
services worked exceedingly well together in the execution of air operations,
two issues emerged in the preparation stages: (1) whether the planning cycle for
developing the daily air tasking order (ATO) is capable of keeping up with the
accelerating pace of modern warfare, and (2) whether the Joint Force Air
Component Commander (JFACC) should be a commander or only the
coordinator of aviation assets in the theater. The Gulf War validated the
compatibility of the ATO process with maneuver warfare and with the need for
the JFACC to provide central direction under the oversight of the Joint Force
Commander for theater air operations. Joint doctrine now clearly supports this
role for the JFACC, and the services as well as the unified commanders have
begun refining and exercising this role. Exercise Tandem Thrust 93, conducted
in July 1993 by the US Pacific Command, successfully executed a service
transfer of JFACC command as operations moved from sea to land."
Whether the US will be as successful in achieving its ends as this statement implies
is an open question. It has made joint C4I/BM a major thrust in its training, technology
programs, as well as its doctrine and exercises.65 However, every advance in other aspects
of joint operations ultimately imposes new strains on joint C4I/BM. The US Defense
Science Board (DSB) noted in its 1992 study of the lessons of the war that it is far easier to
see the need to support joint warfare that it is to provide it. The Defense Science Board
found that the US C4I/BM system it examined still, 66
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Page 279
"produced the lack of readiness which characterized our posture on August 1, 1990,
the lack of interoperability of the force deployed, the failure to anticipate sensor and
weapons interactions, which became so obviously necessary during Desert Shield,
the failure to realistically exercise this contingency scenario and learn from it when
it was recognized as the most probable use of military forces. It is the same structure
that has consistently failed to address the identification process in a comprehensive
way, failed to create and practice concepts for BDA for the weapons and sensors
which were clearly evident, and failed to anticipate the roles that space sensors,
communications, and navigation systems would be required to play in this, the most
likely application, of US forces...The basic institutional processes have not changed.
Jointness, however, is scarcely an American problem. Other nations have smaller
force structures, and may not encounter the same problems to the same degree. However,
Britain was the only other Coalition power to demonstrate a significant capability for
combined and joint operations during the Gulf War, while the RAF exhibited a number of
problems in its C4I/BM and weapons systems that limited its ability to provide support to
the land battle. The RSAF lacked effective C4I/BM and training to support the Saudi Army.
French forces lacked the night vision systems and C4I/BM for high tempo AirLand battle
operations. While other nations may not have to plan for independent power projection in
mid to high intensity conflict, their jointness problems will be even more severe if they then
have to try to improvise joint C4I/BM systems with other countries.
The Need for a New Structure of C4/BM for the AirLand
Battle in High Tempo mid and High Intensity Conflict
The following chapters are filled with examples of the fact that the Gulf War shows
that any nation that fights mid or high intensity wars in a coalition with the US will have
either to adapt to the evolving American concepts of jointness and to American C4I/BM
systems, or will be unable to play a fully effective role in combat. This lesson is illustrated
by the problems that the Coalition encountered in creating C4I/BM capabilities for the
AirLand battle. This was a Coalition-wide effort, and one of the most demanding in
military history. By mid January, 1991, the Coalition's communications systems, and the
connectivity between the various elements of Coalition forces and their military services,
was more advanced than that of NATO. In fact, by November, 1990, US experts estimated
that, "there was more strategic connectivity (circuits, telephone trunks and radio links) in
the area of operations than in Europe." 67
At the peak of Desert Storm, a wide mix of different types and generations of
command and communications equipment had been coordinated into an architecture that
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October 15, 1994
Page 280
could handle a peak of 700,000 telephone calls, and 152,000 messages per day, and a mix
of communications and other emitters involving over 35,000 frequencies. The sheer scale
of the C4I operation is also indicated by the fact there were more than 2,500 joint circuits,
and more than 7,500 high frequency, 1,200 VHF, and 7,000 UHF different radio nets. 68
This effort involved a massive effort by every national contingent, as well as the
Saudi telephone service. Every nation was forced to improvise and then work around the
inevitable limitations of equipment and systems designed for a different intensity and type
of operations. France, for example, had to make some modifications in its RITA system to
make it more compatible with the US Army MSE communications system. While there
were many individual failures, and every country experienced serious equipment problems
of some kind, each was able to develop enough capability and "work around" over a period
of months to avoid critical or catastrophic failures.69
The Key Role of Satellite Communications
At the same time, virtually all high density Coalition-wide command,
communications, data handling, intelligence, and reconnaissance systems had to be
deployed by the US. The US near-monopoly of space-based communications and
intelligence systems played a key centralizing role in every aspect of C4I, and in providing a
unity of command that cut across the formal lines of command. The space order of battle
used in Desert Storm is shown in Table 4.2. This table cannot accurately describe the wide
range of US intelligence satellites that played a critical role during the conflict, or show the
importance of some of the military capabilities provided by other US satellites, but it does
provide a clear picture of the number and complexity of the space systems that were used to
support Coalition C4/BM activity.
US space warfare capabilities affected both air and AirLand operations, and were
particularly important in ensuring that the Coalition could achieve surprise and execute
high tempo and joint operations during the AirLand phase of the campaign. High density
satellite communications were critical to coordinating Coalition operations during Desert
Shield, as well as to managing the projection of US forces and movement of supplies from
the US, Europe, and other parts of the world.
The US had to provide most of the communications links between the theater and
Europe, most of the Coalition's in-theater secure communications and intelligence
dissemination assets, and the heavy tropospheric communications support and line-of-sight
communications equipment used for intra-theater connectivity. It provided a major
augmentation of Saudi command and control (C2) assets, including US liaison teams with
Saudi forces, C2 systems for the Saudi Northern and Eastern commands, and 100 secure
high frequency radios and add-on encryption equipment for other Saudi systems. It also
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provided the secure phones, personal computers, and secure FAX machines lacking in
many Coalition forces and national headquarters.
While the provision secure telephones and FAX systems may seem mundane, they
were critical to permitting the free flow of secure command and control information, and
the Gulf War was the first time in history that such communications were widely available
to commanders. The US deployed over 350 secure STU-III telephones and related secure
FAX capabilities in the theater. Although these systems exhibited a number of important
limitations, they still proved critical to improving the speed of targeting and tactical
communications with technical and supply centers.70
The US provided virtually all of the satellite systems used for inter-operable
Coalition-wide communications.71 At the peak of Desert Storm, the US deployed 118
GMF communications satellite terminals in the theater, 12 commercial satellite terminals,
61 TRI-TAC joint tactical communications program, voice and 20 TRI-TAC message
switches. The US provided five ground mobile force/defense satellite communications
systems to British forces as they assumed a major role in VII Corps operations -- although
the US, in turn, made extensive use of British SKYNET satellite capabilities.
The Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) was particularly important,
although the new MILSTAR communications system was not deployed, and had not yet
been restructured from a focus on the Cold War to conventional theater war fighting
capability.72 This system consists of satellite, control, and terminal segments. At the time of
Desert Storm, it had five satellites in orbit and three in reserve, although demand reached
the point where an additional satellite had to be provided. The use of the system grew
rapidly during Desert Shield, and the number of terminals grew from 4 at the time of the
invasion to 120 by January 5, 1991.
The DSCS furnished about 75% of intra-theater connectivity during Desert Storm,
and handled functions like intelligence exchanges with the US, disseminating the ATO, and
mobile satellite communications during the AirLand battle. A total of 33 ground mobile
terminals went forward with commanders into Kuwait and Iraq during the AirLand phase of
Desert Storm, many with their antennas mobile on flat-bed trailers. These terminals were
often critical to allowing disperse units to communicate, and experimental lighter satellite
receiver units proved equally valuable at the lower echelons where they were deployed on
an experimental basis.73 While many aspects of the DSCS were limited in volume and
capability by the age of the system, and the mobile terminals were too heavy, difficult to
maintain, and vulnerable to jamming and spoofing, the system was critical to ensuring
integrated command of maneuver during the land operations.74
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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US UHF satellite communications played a major role in logistics communications
and intelligence dissemination, and the UHF TACSAT was extensively employed when
military FM radios could not provide the necessary range. This overburdened US global
UHF satellite capabilities, even though a US research satellite was modified to provide
increased coverage. The US also had to lease commercial communications satellites, and
mix three different generations of older analog and digital communications systems in the
theater.75
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Table 4.2
The Space Order of Battle in Desert Storm
Function
Communications
`
Meteorology
Multi-Spectral
Imagery
Navigation
Early Warning
Surveillance &
Intelligence
Satellite System
Number of Satellites Deployed
Type______
August 2, 1990 January 16, 1991
Military Civilian
Defense Satellite
Communications
System
DSCS II
DSCS III
FLTSATCOM
LEASAT
GAPFILLER
Skynet (UK)
NATO 3
INTELSAT
INMARSAT
LES-9
DARPA MACSAT
2
4
2
2
1
2
1
4
1
1
1
2
4
2
2
1
2
1
4
1
1
1
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Defense Meteorological
Satellite Program
(DMSP)
NOAA TIROS
METEOSAT (Europe)
2
2
1
3
2
1
X
2
2
2
2
13
7
16
7
X
X
2
3
X
1
1
X
5
3
3
7
3
3
X
X
X
LANDSAT
SPOT (French)
NAVSTAR Global
Positioning System (GPS)
TRANSIT
Defense Support
Program
(DSP) Missile Detection
Lacrosse Radar
Keyhole (KH) Imagery/
SIGINT/ELINT
Vortex SIGINT/ELINT
Magnum SIGINT/ELINT
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Note: Key systems are shown in bold. A reserve DSCS II satellite was repositioned from the Pacific to the
Indian Ocean in December, 1990. The launch of a third DMSP satellite had to be accelerated to December,
1990 to supplement existing DMSP and NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration)
and TIROS (Television and Infra-red Observation Satellites). The LANDSAT and SPOT were used for
mapping, but this part of the table excluded important intelligence capabilities. A third DSP satellite was
deployed in December, 1990 to improve coverage of Iraqi Scud launches.
Source: Adapted from: Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Washington, GPO, 1993,
pp. 126-132, testimony by General Donald J. Kutyna, CINC US Space Command before the Senate Armed
Services Committee on April 23, 1991, pp. 23-25, and Desmond Ball, The Intelligence War in the Gulf, pp. 515.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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The Need for Improved Tactical Communications
The need for improved tactical communications is another critical lesson of the Gulf
War. The fact that various elements of British, French, and US Army forces had relatively
modern digital C4 systems reduced some of the burden on the Coalition-wide systems, and
allowed a more effective interface between theater-wide and national systems. These
systems, however, often required modification and contractor support to adapt them to the
special needs of Coalition warfare and Desert Storm. The US, for example, found that US
Army and USMC tactical communications were not fully interoperable, and had to make
software modifications on Marine ULCS communications. Such problems led the US to
create a far more intensive test and evaluation effort to examine the interoperability of its
systems at the Joint Interoperability Test Center of its Joint Tactical Command, Control,
and Communications Agency.
The US again found, however, that the older family of VRC-12 radios in its land forces
lacked the reliability, effective and predictable range, ability to operate in poor weather,
secure communications capability, and reparability to meet the needs of modern warfare at
any intensity of combat.76 It had better experience with its new digital Single Channel
Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS) radios. These are relatively lightweight
systems weighing 19.6 to 22.5 pounds. They have a frequency range of 30,000-87,895
MHz; a choice of 2,320 channels, and a range of 8-35 kilometers. Their 1,250 hours MTBF
specification is far superior to AN/VRC-12 and AN/PRC-77, and it has improved ECCM
capability, and communications security through an integrated device or through the
external VINSON system.
The US employed roughly 1,050 SINCGARS radios, 700 with the Army, 350 with
the Marines, and additional units with Special Forces.77SINCGARS was an improvement,
but drew mixed reviews in the field. Reports indicated that the system experienced
approximately 7,000 hours mean-time between failure, compared to the 200-300 hours
demonstrated by the VRC-l2. The 1st Cavalry Division used SINCGARS at retransmission
sites, and experienced about a 30 percent increased range capability. Special operations
forces also complimented the radio's light weight, which provided better rough terrain
reliability, and better all-weather capability.
As Chapter Eight discusses, however, the range improvement that SINCGARS
provided was not sufficient for the needs of XVIII and VII Corps, and it did not have
adequate data throughput and data transmission speed within and between nets. A number
of those who used SINCGARS felt that the Army over-praised the system, and
underestimated the need for highly portable satellite communications. They also felt that
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October 15, 1994
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there is an urgent need for a zero-based review of the tactical communications capability in
US Army and USMC forces.
Although there is no way to confirm the validity of such criticisms, they were
common enough to indicate that even a fully deployed SINCGARS system could present
serious problems in high intensity AirLand operations, and particularly in complex,
medium to long range maneuver operations under the pressure of significant enemy
pressure. These problems have led tro an upgrade program to improve SINCGARS since
the war that will provide a GPS link, four times the data throughput, better digital data
handling capability, and a new internet controller.78
It is not clear how well every aspect of the British Ptarmigan-oriented and French
RITA-oriented tactical communications systems functioned. They clearly met critical
tactical needs, but British and French forces did not maneuver on the scale of US forces,
and were supported by US theater communications systems. Interviews with Arab
commanders indicate a number of communications problems, but so many were linked to a
lack of corps or task-force level battle management systems that technology rarely seemed
to have been a key factor. In the case of Egyptian and Saudi forces, the failure to conduct
adequate pre-war training for large scale combined arms operations, and to evolve a
suitable battle management system based on such training, was almost certainly the prime
cause of many of the problems that Arab commanders encountered.
Tactical Communications and C4I/BM: The Potential For "Fusion"
US planners believe that the Gulf War demonstrates the need to develop a fully
integrated theater and tactical communications system that can be rapidly deployed for the
AirLand battle. Their efforts to develop such a system are still evolving, but one approach
includes a tri-band satellite communication system that would combine advanced voice and
data links with light weight hardware. If it is fully funded and deployed, this system will
break away from the past reliance on dedicated military communications and allow the
Army and Air Force to operate over a wide range of both commercial and military
frequencies. The Army and Air Force agree that satellite links are essential to avoid the
traditional distance, terrain, and weather problems that affect point-to-point theater C4/BM,
and that use of a very wide range of frequencies is essential to avoid the problems in
combining voice and data communications, and prevent the clogging of military
frequencies that took place in the Gulf conflict.
The tri-band terminals will use both DSCS satellites and commercial satellites like
the Intelsat, and portable terminals derived from the US Air Force portable multi-band
satellite terminal program. Instead of the large terminal used during the Gulf War, each of
which filled a C-130, the services are seeking a system that will not only be more capable,
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October 15, 1994
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but whose terminals will be about one-third the size of the Gulf War system. These units
are planned to be trailer mounted and weigh about 6,500 pounds. The US Navy is
beginning to explore a similar approach.79
Such a system, however, is more an answer to the connectivity problems
encountered in the Gulf War than to the battle management problem. As Chapter Nine
discusses, the US is also examining options for a far more sophisticated battle management
system than the one it used in the Gulf War., The US Army is already experimenting in
simulations and exercises with a "digitized battlefield" that potentially could "net" every
aspect of theater and tactical C4/BM from individual major weapons like tanks and artillery
to the theater command. This system would create a complex hierarchy of real and near
real time communications and information management that could integrate data from an
imagery satellite, from a theater platform like the JSTARS, and a tactical RPV with
command and control data. Deployment of such systems is at least 10 years in the future,
but the US Army very clearly sees the need for such a system as a lesson of the Gulf War.80
Lessons for Future Medium/High Intensity and Coalition Warfare
The tactical importance of the network of US-dominated control, communications,
and intelligence systems that the Coalition used during the Gulf War is sometimes
understated in discussions of the future role of UN commands or international
peacekeeping efforts. So is the importance of the other elements that are essential to the
effective ability to command high tempo operations; effective integration of maneuver,
firepower and sustainability, and night and all weather operations. In practice, however, the
impact of US control, communications, and intelligence systems on the outcome of the
Gulf War offers several important lessons for the future:
o High tempo AirLand and armored operations of the kind fought in Desert Storm
will be dependent on spaced-based communications support, just as they will be
dependent on airborne command and control facilities.
o The creation of an effective communications system for Coalition warfare was as
time dependent as logistics and power projection, and was not in place until midNovember. There is a clear need to be able to rapidly project global C4I capabilities
suited for high intensity warfare.
o No UN or international C4I organization will be as remotely effective as a USdominated command structure, or as able to execute high tempo joint operations
with the same effectiveness. The US will not transfer its assets to the UN, the UN
cannot afford to re-create them, and the assets can only be effective if a core group
of forces is constantly trained to use them.
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o Coalitions without the US will face major operational limits relative to the UN
forces in Desert Storm. High volume, long distance, secure, and intelligence related
C4I systems are likely to be critical operational problems in mid to high intensity
conflicts, and could prove critical in many multi-national peacekeeping and low
intensity operations.
o The shift to satellite communications created a demand that rapidly exceeded
supply. This affected virtually every aspect of communications and intelligence
activity, and potential demand continued to growth throughout every day of Desert
Shield and Desert Storm. The upgrading of many systems, especially the DSCS, is
clearly needed and is underway.
o In spite of its satellite capabilities, the US had inadequate Army and Marine Corps
tactical communications. Desert Storm demonstrated the need for rapid conversion
to modern long-range secure digital communications systems to support AirLand
and high-tempo military operations. It also demonstrated the need for more
demanding tests of interoperability and capability for joint power projection in midintensity and high-intensity conflicts, and for the further examination of problems in
the range and poor weather performance of tactical communications systems.
These lessons do not imply, however, that the solution is always more equipment,
more sophistication of C4I/BM systems, or more centralization. Some aspects of the growth
of C4I/BM systems during Desert Shield and Desert Storm revealed a tendency to
overburden various echelons with communications, and layer systems without proper
regard to the delegation of authority and the practical limits of the ability to use information
at given levels of command. Because C4I/BM systems were improvised under the pressure
of a continuing crisis, the answer to virtually every problem tended to be to rush in more
equipment or layer more complexity. This, in turn, placed more strain on equipment and
systems capabilities and might have led to considerably more serious problems if UN
Coalition had faced a more capable opponent or had had to exercise C4I/BM in more
complex ways -- such as adding a major amphibious operation to AirLand operations, or
fighting a more intensive naval battle.
Similarly, it is far from clear that trying to meet all the potential demand for added
satellite communications capability is cost-effective, or that unconstrained growth of space
communications systems is a lesson of the Gulf War. Some analyses of the lessons of the
war do focus on the need for larger satellite systems, a reactive satellite capability for major
contingencies, and the modernization of older satellites. The may well be a need for a
comprehensive and ongoing US effort to create an improved satellite and communications
architecture for major regional contingencies. However, creating ever more complex and
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October 15, 1994
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expensive solution to the C4I/BM problems of the Gulf War is clearly not an affordable
answer for nations other than the US, and may be unaffordable for the US as well.
The Gulf War may be a warning that the US also needs to fundamentally rethink its
C4I/BM architecture to the need for some kind of satellite and high cost system, rather than
continuing to provide increased equipment and capability. In practice, the answer to "how
much is enough?" cannot always be "more!" It also cannot be improvisation, where the
alternative to "more" is often "failure". The Gulf War is also a lesson that the search for
simplicity, independence of operations, and the proper delegation of command authority,
remains just as important an answer to the C4I/BM problem of the Gulf War as more
equipment and higher technology.
The Value of Critical New Elements of Command and
Control: The Impact of Global Weather and Navigation
Systems
Many members of the Coalition had greatly improved their night vision and allweather warfare capabilities for both air and land operations. As will be discussed
throughout the following chapters, these improvements played a major role in the UN
Coalition's success in strike/attack operations and in the encounters between Coalition and
Iraqi armor. There were, however, two US systems that played an important role in
providing the Coalition with additional C4I/BM capability, and in ensuring the coordination
of operations at high tempos of combat.
o Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP): The Gulf War was the first war
to be fought with support from advanced weather satellites.81 The UN Coalition
made use of three Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites, for
both air land operations, with the central dissemination of most data to the UN
ground forces from the USAF ground station in Riyadh. The US Army used
commercial terminals in the field, because the larger military Mark IV van lacked
mobility, and placed a high air load requirement.
Weather data is important in all conflicts, but was of special importance in Desert
Storm because the weather was bad from G-Day to the end of the conflict, and
because of record rains, sandstorms, and smoke from the oil fires of nearly 700
wells. Cloud ceilings at 10,000 feet over Baghdad and Kuwait were twice as
frequent as was predicted before the war, and possibly the worst in 14 years; Nearly
half of the attack sorties that aborted or failed to hit their targets early in the weather
were due to weather. The DMSP was important in predicting the windows in the
weather when UN strike/attack aircraft could see their targets, and in planning the
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right munitions loads and strike profiles to deal with poor weather conditions. It
also played a major role in allowing UN land forces to take maximum advantage of
their all-weather and night vision systems., in countering fogs and bog areas.82
One of the lessons of Desert Storm is the need for smaller and more portable
military terminals that can receive and disseminate high resolution weather data.
Another lesson is that expanding the depth of the battlefield and the tempo of
operations requires excellent theater-wide weather data, and the ability to
accurately predict transient weather conditions over both the expanded battlefield
and interdiction targets.
o The NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS): The ability to target and kill at
long ranges, to fight at night and in poor weather, to move rapidly across rough and
sandy terrain, and to navigate precisely are all critical aspects of Desert warfare, and
"owning the desert". It is one of the anomalies of Desert Storm that Iraq was sharply
inferior to the UN in all four areas, and that it was forces trained and organized to
fight in Western Europe -- not in Iraq -- that "owned the desert." Many of the
reasons for Iraq's failures have already been discussed, but the NAVSTAR Global
Positioning System (GPS) played a key role in allowing Coalition forces to
precisely locate themselves in real time and use a common reference, regardless of
the visibility and terrain features.
Early deployments of the GPS immediately demonstrated the value of the system,
and created a demand far greater than US planners had anticipated. The GPS came
to be used for aircraft and helicopter navigation, for precisely locating forward air
controllers and electronic intelligence systems, guiding maneuver units, individual
tanks and LAV's, reducing fratricide, locating artillery and mines, fixing positions
during mine clearing operations, and for providing launch coordinates for ships
firing cruise and SLAM missiles.83
Exercises quickly showed that the GPS system helped free Coalition land units from
being road bound, and greatly improved the tempo of land operations. They also
proved to be of great value in allowing helicopters to navigate over an often
featureless desert and water.84 Demand rose steadily and the official US count of
authorized GPS receivers rose to 842 military receivers (16 meter best accuracy)
and 4,490 commercial receivers (25 meter best accuracy), and there may well have
several hundred more unofficial commercial units. The number of authorized
receivers in the Saudi and European Coalition forces rose from 24 to 2,000-2,500.85
The GPS became so popular that it raises several lessons about future warfare: First,
military forces need to be fully equipped with GPS receivers and adequate coverage
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October 15, 1994
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needs to ensure their ability to provide accurate latitude, longitude, and altitude
data. Second, all US and friendly forces need to be equipped with ample numbers of
secure military units with cryptographic capabilities, and be trained to use them.
Third, regardless of pressures from civilian users, more advanced methods are
needed to ensure that potential enemies cannot use the system or get misleading
results, and the US needs to make extensive use of the ability to intentionally
corrupt the data being provided to non-secure units, and develop deception
techniques to surprise and disrupt enemy forces using commercial units. Fourth,
friendly forces need to be instructed not to use commercial units in wartime, when
misleading results could present operational and fratricide problems. Finally, there
are some indications that the current corruption technique only degrades accuracy
and does not support major deception operations. This needs careful evaluation,
particularly in view of the potential use of such systems in cruise missile guidance.86
Lessons for Countervailing Strategy: Iraqi Command,
Control, Communications, and Battle Management (C4/BM)
There is little point in going into great detail about the Iraqi C4I/battle management
system. Its major problems have been summarized in the previous chapter, and insufficient
data are available to assess the detailed impact of its organizational and technical
weaknesses, or to separate out the problems caused by authoritarian over-centralization,
weaknesses in doctrine and tactics, and problems inherent in the system.
The Iraqi system did have strengths as well as weaknesses. It used optical fibers,
and made extensive use of modern radio communications, and land lines -- including some
that were hardened. There were coaxial land lines running next to the Tigris and Euphrates
from Baghdad to Basra, westward towards Jordan, and north to Mosul. There were fixed
and mobile microwave relays that duplicated these land lines, and there were fiber optic
lines running along the strategic pipeline from Baghdad to Basra and into Kuwait. There
were at least four massive bunkers to protect the leadership (under the new Presidential
Palace, and in North Taji, Al Firdos, and Abu Ghurayb), and Saddam Hussein had a group
of 24 Bluebird trailers that he used as mobile leadership site.87
Table 4.3 provides a rough picture of the sheer scale and complexity of the Iraqi C4
system -- although it ignores thousands of smaller command and communications node.
The Iraqi system also had many different centers, include several massive underground
sheltered facilities. Coalition targeting data list a total of over 690 major C4 sites, and 270
military leadership and support sites, plus well over 1,000 other sites with some sort of
major C4 facility.88
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These features allowed the Iraqi system to retain considerable capability and
connectivity in spite of the Coalition bombing effort. Although the Coalition flew nearly
600 strike sorties against Iraqi C4 sites, and nearly 300 against leadership targets, -including over 400 F-117 stealth strikes, some cruise missile strikes, and a limited number
of F-111 strikes -- it did not prove possible to effectively "decapitate" the Iraqi leadership
or even shut down many major telecommunications capabilities. The Coalition faced too
large a target base, it was too well protected, and effective UN air and missile strikes meant
massive strikes on civilian buildings, facilities which were also used as civil defense
centers, and urban bridges (which were used to protected fiber optics in river crossings). 89
In practice, however, it was the weaknesses in the Iraqi system that prevailed, and
the following list of weaknesses may well be an important lesson in the kind of weaknesses
that can be expected in other Third World forces:
o Authoritarian over-centralization and intervention: Far too much of the Iraqi
C4I/BM system reported to Baghdad or could be bypassed by Saddam and the
Ba'ath elite. At the same time, it was organized and accustomed to micromanagement at the political level.
o Compartmentation: The system was divided into many separate sub-systems that
had severe difficulty in "talking" to each other. These occurred at the inter-service,
branch, and regional level. They also affected some aspects of communications
between the Revolutionary Guards and regular army.
o Lack of secure communications: While extensive secure communications did exist,
the Iraqi system was at best capable of commercial levels of security, and was
vulnerable to Coalition COMINT and SIGINT capabilities. Iraq tried to deal with
vulnerability this by radio and emitter silence, but this -- in turn -- severely limited
operational capabilities.90
o Hierarchical non-redundant centers and nodes: In some cases, the system could
not effectively recover from the loss of a major headquarters of facility at the top. It
could not reconnect around a missing node.
o Rigidity: Far too many procedures were too rigid. Little or no training existed in
rapidly adapting C4I/BM systems to new functions or adapt to changes in the nature
of battle.
o Lack of automation, inadequate software, use of partially incompatible foreign
systems, over-reliance on voice or low rates of communication: The Iraqi system
was tailored to the much slower pace of the Iran-Iraq War and peacetime needs. It
lacked adequate automation, and doctrine and training for anything approaching the
UN air campaign and AirLand battle.
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o Ground controlled intercept (GCI) system: Iraq's air defense capabilities were
crippled by the adoption of some of the worst aspects of Soviet C4 capabilities.
Fighter combat was heavily dependent on being successfully vectored to targets by
secure survivable ground centers using survivable radars under conditions largely
immune to enemy electronic warfare -- a problem compounded by poor fighter pilot
training and limited on-board radar and avionics capability. This was a lesson that
also struck some Russian observers.91
o Design defects and over-centralized control of surface-to-air missile defenses: The
problems created by a reliance on GCI intercepts was compounded by a groundbased C4/BM system to control heavy surface-to-air missile units that attempted
over-centralized control from regional and national centers that had problems in
compensating for the loss of a given center. The French built KARI (Iraq spelled
backwards in French) system was designed to cover Baghdad, Basra, the northern
oil fields, and Scud launching sites in the west, but left most of the country open,
including the KTO. It also left Baghdad open to attacks that flew directly north from
Saudi Arabia.92
o Lack of armored maneuver warfare C4: Iraq had developed the ability to execute
effective pre-planned armored attacks and counter-attacks during the Iran-Iraq War,
and exploit them independently at the divisional level. It created a massive system
of land lines and microwave communications in the KTO. It did not, however, have
a mobile system capable of theater or corps level management of fluid armored
battles, particularly in dealing with an enemy with equal or superior armored or air
capability. Its land force C4 systems could only manage maneuver warfare
effectively in a climate of success.
o Lack of war fighting training and doctrine: In case after case, Iraq had never
attempted to develop a pre-war doctrine and training capability to test the
limitations of its system, to develop a doctrine for fighting an enemy with modern
air and armored forces, and to training its officers at mid and high levels of
command. Command post and field training exercises were infrequent,
compartmented, and unrealistic.
o Over reliance on physical security: Iraq had many well sheltered facilities that were
well protected with air defenses. It does not, however, seem to have had any
realistic picture of their real world vulnerability to complex attacks. UN restraint in
attacking civilian targets was often the only reason some major targets retained
significant capability. It other, more exposed, cases the "protected" target was
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October 15, 1994
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destroyed by systems like the F-111A "stealth" attack fighter using laser guided
bombs.93
The problem that Iraq faced was not that its system did not work in peacetime, or
that it had not met the needs of the Iran-Iraq War. It was that the Iraqi system was totally
unsuited to defending against the kind of AirLand battle that the UN Coalition forced it to
fight.
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Table 4.3
Iraqi Command and Control Centers and Related Facilities
Involved in the Gulf War
Type
In Iraq
In Kuwait
Total______
July, 1990 Jan, 1991 June, 1991 Jan, 1991 June 1991 Jan, 1991 June 1991
Command, Control and
Communications
Telecommunications
Offensive Air C2 19
Air Defense HQ
Electronic Warfare
Surface-to-Surface
Missile HQ
National, Combined,
Joint Commands 1
Ground Force HQ
Naval HQ and Staff
Sub-total
201
20
24
26
604
19
152
37
582
1
127
36
38
1
2
11
38
21
0
10
642
20
154
48
127
46
6
47
3
321
6
104
3
926
10
102
2
874
2
13
1
76
16
11
1
63
8
117
4
1,002
113
3
937
15
13
2
52
17
4
50
17
4
1
5
1
5
53
22
4
51
22
4
4
4
4
4
1
31
2
79
2
77
6
6
2
85
2
83
Non-Communications Electronic
Installations
Radar installations
Radar collocated with SAM sites
ATC/Navigational aids
Meteorological radars
Sub-total
450
502
489
61
2
563
491
1,507
1,440
143
71
1,650
1,511
Government Control
Government Control Centers
Government Bodies
Non-military Ministries
and Bodies
Unidentified
Government Trade/Commerce
Civil Defense (Military)
Sub-total
Total Command and Control
Related
802
620
Note: This table does reflect a legitimate build-up in Iraq facilities, but it also represents the results of a
massive US defense intelligence effort to find new targets. It is illustrative, and precise numbers cannot be
derived from the available data. Blank spaces indicate either zero or data unknown. The source material does
not permit a distinction.
Source: Adapted from the DIA automated files summarized in Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume V
Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 217-219.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
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Lessons For Coalition Warfare And International Peace
Making: Desert Storm Versus Future Wars
There are obvious risks in generalizations about the lessons of the Gulf War for
future coalition warfare and international peace making. Bosnia and Somalia have already
provided grim lessons in the fact that the UN and member states will treat different
conflicts very different, and that specific contingencies have specific needs. In fact, military
history shows that victory is generally the result of adapting command and control to
specific contingencies, rather than trying to impose existing or preplanned systems on
reality.
As the previous analysis has shown, however, the success of the UN in Coalition in
the Gulf War was critically dependent on a fundamental shift in the tempo and intensity of
conflict, and the integration of maneuver, attrition, and support. These changes in warfare,
in turn, were dependent upon:
o Having time in which to solve C4 problems which no member of the Coalition
could have dealt with without months of effort
o Resolving national roles and missions and clearly defining them in every aspect of
command and operations
o Creating a unified co-located joint command
o Finding ways to establish de facto unity of command and control in key functions
o US ability to deploy a wide range of high technology command and control systems
o Providing friendly forces with the required range of equipment to use US systems
and be interoperable with US forces
These factors are both lessons and a warning. There is often a tendency at the
political level to assume military capability, rather than ensure it. As is true of virtually
every aspect of Desert Storm, the fact that Iraq granted the Coalition more than five critical
months in which to ensure military capability it did not have at the time of Iraq's invasion
of Kuwait is a lesson that enemies can learn as well as friends.
The US is already changing many aspects of its C4/BM systems to reflect the
lessons of the Gulf War. A major effort is underway to make all aspects of the USAF, US
Navy, and US Marine Corps air C4I/BM system fully interoperable. The basic structure of
the JFACC and ATO are being preserved, but the ATO process is being greatly accelerated
and simplified for joint and coalition warfare, producing supporting communications,
computer, and intelligence systems that will be more sophisticated, interoperable, and quick
reacting.94
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 296
However, resource problems are limiting the pace of these improvements, and the
US still seems to lack any clear doctrine for providing packages of the necessary equipment
to friendly forces, to help them develop an independent level of capability in terms of
training, doctrine, and the acquisition of less capable equipment. Such resource,
modernization, and organization problems are also far more serious in European forces, and
in most of the major regional power the West might have to cooperate with in a new major
regional conflict. This includes South Korea, Japan, and the Southern Gulf states.
One lesson is certain: Cooperative and coalition warfare cannot be fought using
rhetoric and doctrine as substitutes for adequate C4I/BM warfighting capability. At present,
most forms of coalition warfare would mean at least several months of preparation to create
interoperable and effective C4I/BM systems for mid and high intensity coalition operations
outside the areas where the core of such capabilities already exist. Further, creating such
capabilities could be just as critical in low intensity contingencies where such capabilities
would be critical to reducing coalition casualties and collateral damage, and executing
complex politically-dominated battles or peace keeping efforts.
1
The primary sources for the data in this chapter are interviews, official US histories of the
Gulf War, and the memoirs of wartime commanders. Additional references are footnoted.
Some other interesting summary publications include Larry Grossman, "Beyond Rivalry,"
Government Executive, June, 1991, pp. 10-14; James W. Canan, "How to Command in
War," Air Force Magazine, April, 1991, pp. 14-21; Bruce Watson, et al, Military Lessons
of the Gulf War, London, Greenhill Books, 1991; US News and World Report, Triumph
Without Victory: The Unreported History of the Gulf War, New York, Times Books, 1992,
Sterling Sessions and Carl R. Jones, Interoperability: A Desert Storm Case Study, McNair
Paper 18; Fort McNair, National Defense University, July, 1993, and Shaun Gregory,
Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence in the Gulf War, Working Paper
238, Canberra, Strategic and Defense Studies Center, Australian National University,
September, 1991; Bob Woodward's The Commanders; and Rick Atkinson's Crusade.
2
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, p. K-24.
3
The US. Army history of the war credits General Yeosock with this initiative. See
Brigadier General Robert H. Scales, Certain Victory, Washington, US Army Chief of Staff,
1993, pp. 122, 381.
4
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-4 to K-9, K-25.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
5
Page 297
For a summary some of these developments, see Peter Grier, "The Data Weapon,"
Government Executive, June, 1992, pp. 20-24.
6
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-9 to K-11.
7
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-11 to K-13.
8
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-13 to K-16.
9
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-16 to K-18.
10
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-18 to K-20.
11
For additional details about the creation and function of the C3IC, see Eliot Cohen, ed.,
Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 45-48.
12
A wide range of reports on the impact of command personalities, and national and
service rivalries were examined during the writing of this report. There is no question that
many incidents and tensions took place. At the same time, the reader is invited to examine
the volumes on high command activity in the official war histories of World War II and
Korea, or the memoirs of those involve in allied headquarters in Europe in World War II.
Several useful sources that are sometimes cited for the level of tension they report are
actually most interesting for the level of tension that they do not report -- although they
often conflict in detail. Bob Woodward's The Commanders, and Rick Atkinson's Crusade,
are particularly useful in this regard. The reader should also examine the relevant chapters
of Lt. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, and General Sir Peter
Billiere's Storm Command . A detailed description of the causes of some aspects of
command friction, and one that indicates that many impressions of interservice and national
rivalry had different causes is provided in Eliot Cohen, Gulf War Air Power Survey,
Volume I, Part II. It is unfortunate that General Schwarzkopf's book seems to exaggerate
problems with the Saudis and General Khalid Bin Sultan. General Khalid Bin Sultan's
memoirs are still in draft, but for his comment on the Schwarzkopf book see General
Khalid Bin Sultan, "Share the Credit General Schwarzkopf," Chicago Tribune, November
2, 1992, p. 1-23. Additional data on the personalities and role of Army commanders is
summaries in "The Army Commanders," Army, March, 1991, pp. 49-54, and Brigadier
General Robert H. Scales, Jr., Director, Certain Victory, pp. 58 and 222.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 298
13
The US Central Command (USCENTCOM) grew out of the Southwest Asia area
command in the US Readiness Command, which was formed in 1971, and the operation
command created for the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force in 1981-1983. Its
headquarters was at MacDill Air Force base in Florida. The Army Component (ARCENT)
headquarters was at Fort McPherson, Georgia. The Air Force Component (CENTAF)
headquarters was at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, the Navy Component
(NAVCENT) headquarters was at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Marine Component
(MARCENT) headquarters was at Camp Pendelton, California, and the Special Operations
Component (SOCCENT) was at MacDill Air Force base in Florida.
14
Discussion of the RC-135V/W Rivet Joint aircraft is deliberately minimized in this
analysis.
15
For a detailed description of the JFACC see Thomas A. Keaney and Eliot A. Cohen, Gulf
War Air Power Survey: Summary Report, Washington, Department of the Air Force, 1993,
pp. 145-161, Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington,
GPO, 1993, pp. 17-54, 143-233; and Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf
War: Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. 123-125, 136-140, 228-231,
244-246, 253.
16
For a more discussion of some of the strengths and weaknesses of the JFACC, including
allied attitudes regarding its influence on unity of command, see Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War
Air Power Survey, , Washington, GPO, 1993, draft summary of April 20, 1993, pp. 3-15,
and the references in the footnote above.
17
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 45.
18
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 49.
19
See Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 77-126 (especially pp. 102-106), 132-144; and Department of Defense, Conduct
of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. 137, 139,
146, 228.
20
See Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 109, 111, 113, 118-119, 122-125.
21
See Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Part I, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 132-135, and Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 61-72, 74, 77-83, 87, 89-90, 97, 99, 101, 106, 117-120, 131-150.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 299
22
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, p. 74-75, 86-88; and examine the quality of doctrine provided in Tactical Air
Command Regulation 55-45, Tactical Air Force Headquarters and TACC, April 8, 1988.
23
Thomas A. Keaney and Eliot A. Cohen, Gulf War Air Power Survey: Summary Report,
Washington, Department of the Air Force, 1993, pp. 128-132.
24
There are a number of anecdotal discussions of the Special Planning Group. For a
detailed analysis see Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II,
Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 77-126, 157-191. Also see Department of Defense, Conduct
of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. 123-124,
137-138, Richard P. Hallion, Storm Over Iraq, Washington, Smithsonian, 1992, pp. 143,
169-170; and Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor, The General's War: The
Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf, Boston, Little Brown, 1994, pp. 94-99.
25
The most detailed "inside" discussion of these differences over the priority given to
strategic bombing is contained in Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor, The
General's War: The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf, Boston, Little Brown, 1994.
The discussion in this book, however, differs in some detail with other discussions of this
issue, and with the author's interviews with several personalities involved.
26
See Lt. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero, p. 313; Eliot Cohen,
ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 163.
27
There are many conflicting appraisals of the role of Colonel Warden and the impact of
"Instant Thunder". For a good sympathetic discussion of his role, and the resulting debates
among senior commanders, see Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor, The
General's War: The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf, Boston, Little Brown, 1994, pp.
77-94. For an excellent neutral history of the effort, see Dianne T. Putney, "From Instant
Thunder to Desert Storm," Air Power History, Fall, 1994, pp. 39-50, and the "Planing"
section of Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Washington, GPO,
1993
28
See Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 170-186; and Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final
Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. 123-124 and 137-138.
29
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993,
pp. 170-186; and Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report,
Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. 136-141, 147, 180, 200, 228-233, 238, 246.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 300
30
For additional details, including actual ATO plans, see Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air
Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, especially pp. 144-154 and 191205.
31
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 191-201, 212, 216-217
32
For a detailed discussion of these issues, see Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power
Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 17-54, 143-233.
33
Brigadier General Robert H. Scales, Certain Victory, p.188.
34
For additional details, see Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part
II, Washington, GPO, 1993, especially pp. 41-42, 46-53, 55-60, 62-65, 69-75, 105-106,
131-132, 154-155, 184-186, 330-335, 358-363; Department of Defense, Conduct of the
Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. 123, 136-141,
169, 185, 228-231, 244-246, 253, 297, and Richard P. Hallion, Storm Over Iraq,
Washington, Smithsonian, 1992, pp. 109-110, 136, 141-142.
35
For additional details on the ATO, including actual ATO plans, see Eliot Cohen, ed.,
Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 69-71, 95-96,
100-101, 115-117, 144-154, 163-168, and 191-205.(especially pp. 144-154 and 191-205);
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, pp. 136-141, 147, 180, 200, 228-233, 238, 246, and Richard P.
Hallion, Storm Over Iraq, Washington, Smithsonian, 1992, pp. 143, 155, 256, 258.
36
Inside the Navy, July 12, 1993, p. 6.
37
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 209-227, 230-234.
38
Based on interviews with US Air Force and US Navy analysts, and Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf
War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 257-260.
39
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp.
133-135.
40
Colonel Randy Witt (ed.), Air Force Tactical Communications in War: The Desert
Shield/Desert Storm Communications Story, HQ, USCENTCOM Air Forces, Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia, March, 1991, pp. 1-12. Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey,
Volume V, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 133-135.
41
Desert Storm started with 2,430 fixed wing aircraft and grew to over 2,700. About 60%
of these aircraft were "shooters". For key sources on this section see Department of
Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of Defense, April,
1992, pp. 136-140 and Annex K; Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I,
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 301
Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 46-53, 55-60, 62-67, 154-155, 184-195, 330-335, 362368.
42
Data bases differ. USAF briefing papers report 448 sorties, and Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf
War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Part I, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 370 reports 379.
43
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Part I, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 317 and 370. A total of 218 of the Saudi sorties are reported as refueling sorties
and 85 C3 sorties, but most of the Saudi sorties had a C3 function.
44
For a detailed description of Saudi AWACS activity see Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air
Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 92-95.
45
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, pp. 148, T-36-43;
46
Available data bases do not clearly distinguish between those sorties clearly related to
ABCCC functions, but these only include USAF EC-130s. Special forces units flew
another 68 sorties in special forces missions, 84 in electronic warfare missions, and 3 in
other missions. Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Part I,
Washington, GPO, 1993, p. 374.
47
Federal Computer Week, March 7, 1994, p. 14.
48
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, p. 84; Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Part I, Washington,
GPO, 1993, p. 364.
49
For additional details see Peter Grier, Joint Stars Does Its Stuff," Air Force Magazine,
June, 1991, pp. 38-42, and Aviation Week, March 11, 1991, p. 20.
50
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 49-60.
51
Inside the Navy, July 12, 1993, p. 6.
52
Inside the Navy, July 12, 1993, p. 6.
53
See the arguments for this position in Lt. General Royal N. Moore, "Marine Air: There
When Needed," Proceedings, November, 1991, pp. 63, and Major W. R. Cronin, "C3I
During the Air War in South Kuwait," Marine Corps Gazette, March, 1992, p. 35.
54
Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor, The General's War: The Inside Story
of the Conflict in the Gulf, Boston, Little Brown, 1994, pp. 73-74, 77-94, 143-147, 160,
165-169, 174-176, 299-309, 318-322, 395-397.
55
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO,
1993, pp. 59-60, 64, and interviews with US Army officers.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 302
56
Lt. General Royal N. Moore, "Marine Air: There When Needed," Proceedings,
November, 1991, pp. 64
57
For detailed background and discussion of these issues, see Jeffrey E. Stambaugh,
"JFACC: Key to Organizing Your Air Assets for Victory," Parameters, Summer, 1994, pp.
98-110; Dwight R. Motz, "The JFACC: The Joint Air Control Cold War Continues,"
Marine Corps Gazette, January, 1993; Price T. Bingham, Ground Maneuver and Air
Interdiction in the Operational Art, Maxwell Air Force Base, Air University Press, 1992;
Duane A. Wills, "Break Some Rice Bowls," Proceedings, November, 1991; John E.
Valliere, "Stop Quibbling and Win the War," Proceedings, December, 1990; Richard P.
Hallion, Storm Over Iraq, pp. 189-90, 206-208; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Publication 356, Command and Control for Joint Operations, September, 1992, Section IV; USAF,
Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, JFACC Primer, August, 1992.
58
For a discussion of how air command in the Gulf has changed since the Gulf War, see
Michael A. Nelson and Douglas Katz, "Unity of Control: Joint Air Operations in the Gulf,"
Joint Forces Quarterly, Summer, 1994, pp. 59-70.
59
There are a number of "insider" discussions of these issues, all of which are controversial
and uncertain. The best to date seems to be Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E.
Trainor, The General's War: The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf, Boston, Little
Brown, 1994, pp. .
60
Richard P. Hallion, Storm Over Iraq, pp. 143, 155, 256, 258; General Sir Peter Billiere,
Storm Command, pp. 205-206; Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War:
Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. 148, K-49; Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf
War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 17-54, 143-233.
61
Rear Admiral John Scott Reid, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policies, and
Operations, "Statement Before the Senate Army Services Committee on Lessons of the
Gulf War," April 18, 1994, p 4.
62
Raoul Henry Alcala, "Guiding Principles for Revolution, Evolution, and Continuity in
Military Affairs, Carlisle Barracks, US Army War College, April, 1994, pp. 15-16; Rear
Admiral John Scott Reid, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policies, and
Operations, "Statement Before the Senate Army Services Committee on Lessons of the
Gulf War," April 18, 1994, p 7; Bernard E. Trainor, "Jointness, Service Culture, and the
Gulf War," Joint Force Quarterly, Winter 1993-1994, p. 71; Inside the Navy, July 12, 1993,
p. 6.
63
For background, see the comments by Admiral William Owens, Vice Chairman of the US
Joint Chiefs, in Defense News, June 6, 1994, p. 1
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 303
64
Dr. Edward L. Warner, III, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Strategy and Requirements),
"Statement Before the Senate Army Services Committee on Lessons of the Gulf War,"
April 18, 1994, p 6.
65
For a good overview of current US concepts regarding jointness, see Joint Doctrine:
Capstone and Keystone Primer, Washington, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 15,
1994.
66
US Defense Science Board, Lessons Learned During Operation Desert Storm, p. 61 as
quoted in Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I, Part II, Washington,
GPO, 1993, p. 263.
67
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, p. K-26, K-28.
68
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, p. K-26, K-28.
69
A reading of unit histories and command memoirs reveals constant problems with some
aspect of communications, command systems, or intelligence dissemination. Such
problems were particularly common, for example, in some aspects of communications
between VII Corps and C3IC, and within the 1 (US) MEF. These problems helped
contribute to the IFF problem that caused a number of Coalition casualties. What is
generally missing is the kind of critical command system or communications breakdown
common in previous wars, even in Vietnam, that often produced high casualties in a given
battle or encounter.
70
Thomas A. Keaney and Eliot A. Cohen, Gulf War Air Power Survey: Summary Report,
Washington, Department of the Air Force, 1993, pp. 231-232.
71
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. T-221 to T-225; Colonel Randy Witt (ed.), Air Force
Tactical Communications in War: The Desert Shield/Desert Storm Communications Story,
HQ, USCENTCOM Air Forces, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March, 1991; Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf
War Air Power Survey, Volume V, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 133-134.
72
Testimony by General Donald J. Kutyna, CINC US Space Command before the Senate
Armed Services Committee on April 23, 1991, p. 34.
73
See the description of the impact of such systems in Space News, October 14, 1991, p. 1.
74
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-28, K-30, K-45.
75
See Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department
of Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. KK-28-47.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
October 15, 1994
Page 304
76
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of
Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-37-38.
77
The VRC-12 system has failed to meet US tactical needs, even in minor low intensity
warfare training exercises, for more than a decade. The author has seen repeated problems
with this system. Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report,
Department of Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp. K-37-38.
78
Amphibious Warfare Review, Summer/Fall, 1994, p. 49.
79
Defense News, April 18-24, 1994.
80
For a good summary of views on this issue see Major General Wesley K. Clark,
"Digitization: Key to Landpower Dominance," Army, November, 1993, pp. 28-33; General
Jimmy D. Ross, "Winning the Information War," Army, February 1994, pp. 27-32; Lt.
General Paul E. Funk, "The Army's Digital; Revolution," Army, February, 1994, p. 33; and
Major General William H. Campbell, "NTC to Test Digitization, Army, February, 1994, p.
34, and Lt. Colonel Thomas W. Mastaglio and Lt. Colonel Thomas R. Rozman,
"Expanding Training Horizons," Army, February, 1994, pp. 39. Also see Aviation Week,
February 21, 1994, p. 90. Initial tests of these concepts had had mixed results, but there is
little doubt regarding their potential value.
81
Richard P. Hallion, Storm Over Iraq, p. 314; Department of Defense, Conduct of the
Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, pp. T-219-221.
82
For discussions of the importance of weather see General Sir Peter Billiere, Storm
Command, pp. 216-217,224-225, 236,268, 288; Richard P. Hallion, Storm Over Iraq, pp.
176-177, 231, 234-235, 237; Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War:
Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, p. 196; Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air
Power Survey, Volume IV, Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 14, 19, 42-45, 62-65, 117-121,
148-156, 161-162, 226-228, 266-274, and draft summary of March 27, 1993, pp. 7-9.
83
See Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume IV Washington, GPO, 1993,
pp. 47-48, 78, 80, 118-120, 160, 203-204, 225, 248, 286; Department of Defense, Conduct
of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report, Department of Defense, April, 1992, Annex K, pp.
T-225-227; testimony by General Donald J. Kutyna, CINC US Space Command before the
Senate Armed Services Committee on April 23, 1991, pp. 20-23.
84
See George Marsh, "Wishing on a NAVSTAR," Defense Helicopter, August-September,
1991, pp. 37-38.
85
Satellite accuracy and user dynamics often cause far lower accuracies, and can cause the
potential loss of altitude data in some areas. Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey,
Volume V, Washington, GPO, 1993, p. 131.
Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved
GW-4 Command, Control, Communications, And Battle Management
86
October 15, 1994
Page 305
For civil arguments against such degradation of the GPS, see Space News, April 29,
1991, p. 3.
87
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume II Washington, GPO, 1993, pp.
240-241, 277-278.
88
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume I Washington, GPO, 1993, p.
216.
89
Some of the early reporting on the war greatly exaggerated the effectiveness of UN
efforts. For an accurate post-action analysis, see Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power
Survey, Volume II Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 240-247, 274-290.
90
Rick Atkinson, Crusade, pp. 438-439.
91
Russian observations of the war do not, however, reflect any consensus, and often seem
more the product of special pleading to influence internal Russian debates than objective
analysis. See Mary C. Fitzgerald, "The Soviet Image of Future War: 'Through the Prism of
the Persian Gulf'," Comparative Strategy, October-December, 1991, pp. 393-424; Captain
Brian Collins, "Soviet View of the Storm," Air Force, July, 1992, pp. 70-74; Captain David
P. Dilegge, "Soviet Lessons Learned: Operation Desert Storm, Marine Corps Gazette,
February, 1992, pp. 38-40.
92
Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume II Washington, GPO, 1993, p.
81.
93
The much publicized GBU-28 hard target penetrator was used against bunker type
targets, but only two were ever used and then on the last night of the war. One missed, but
the other did penetrate the bunker. Eliot Cohen, ed., Gulf War Air Power Survey, Volume
II Washington, GPO, 1993, pp. 240-241.
94
This discussion draws on Dr. Edward L. Warner, "Statement Before the Subcommittee
on Military Readiness and Defense Infrastructure of the Senate Armed Services
Committee," Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Strategy and Requirements,
April 18, 1994, p. 4; Major General Larry L. Henry, "Statement Before the Subcommittee
on Military Readiness and Defense Infrastructure of the Senate Armed Services
Committee," US Air Force, Staff for Plans and Operations, April 18, 1994; Lt. General
Norman E. Ehlert, "Statement Before the Subcommittee on Military Readiness and Defense
Infrastructure of the Senate Armed Services Committee," US Marine Corps, Staff for Plans,
Policies, and Operations, April 18, 1994.
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