American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century by Benjamin S. Lambert

By Benjamin S. Lambert

Contemporary campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have tested that American service air strength can behavior coordinated deep-strike missions well past coastal reaches, offering round the clock objective insurance, regularly exact aim assault, and a number of winning targer assaults according to sortie.

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Extra info for American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century

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Altogether through the spring of 2002, Navy and Marine Corps tactical aircraft flew more than 12,000 combat sorties (approximately 72 percent of all flown in Enduring Freedom), with maritime forces accounting for more than half of all precision munitions expended. Because of the need for an extended deployment due to newly discovered readiness problems in John F. Kennedy deployed elsewhere, Theodore Roosevelt broke a record after spending 153 days at sea without a port call, having conducted more than five months of nearly constant strike operations.

The longest post–World War II deployment record was set by USS Coral Sea (CV-43), which logged 329 days at sea during a 1964–1965 Western Pacific deployment. 7 Strike Sorties Through December 2001 by Service Air Force bombers (701 total) Air Force SOF aircraft (225 total) 10% 3% Navy and Marine Corps (4,900 total) Air Force fighters (720 total) 11% 75% SOURCE: Sea Power, March 2002. As many in the naval aviation community were among the first to acknowledge, without nonorganic Air Force and RAF tankers to provide inflight refueling support, the Navy’s carrier air wings could not have participated in Operation Enduring Freedom beyond the southernmost target areas in Afghanistan.

In addition, the two wars saw naval aviation more fully represented than ever before throughout CENTCOM’s CAOC at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, which was the nerve center for all air operations in both cases. They also saw naval aviation fully integrated into the joint and combined air operations that largely enabled the successful outcomes in each case. 8 American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century Unlike past naval air applications up to and including the 1991 Persian Gulf War a decade before, both wars saw an almost exclusive use of precision-guided munitions by Navy strike fighters, signaling the advent of a new era in which the principal measure of effectiveness is now no longer how many aircraft it might take to destroy a single target but rather how many target aim points can be successfully attacked by a single aircraft.

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American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century by Benjamin S. Lambert
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