These opportunities allow commanders to operate inside the enemy's decision cycle and force the enemy to make decisions that will disrupt its initial plan. The air cavalry provides crucial information by performing reconnaissance and security operations. By effectively using air cavalry, the maneuver commander takes the initiative away from the enemy and conducts combat operations on his own terms.
By knowing and integrating the essential characteristics of Army operations, air cavalry can enhance the commander's ability to capitalize on enemy vulnerabilities.
These essential characteristics are agility, initiative, depth, orchestration, and versatility. Read more Read less. Enabled Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.
Exploits of a Combat Helicopter Pilot. Product details File Size: October 17, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Six days later, they performed the first helicopter assault using U. Marine helicopters and ARVN troops. After April , as losses began to mount, U. Army UH-1 Huey gunships escorted the Marine transports. The VC again used effective counter landing techniques and in Operation Sure Wind on 27 April , 17 of 21 helicopters were hit and three shot down. The 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines made a night helicopter assault in the Elephant Valley south of Da Nang on 12 August shortly after Marine ground troops arrived in country.
The need for a new type of unit became apparent to the Tactical Mobility Requirements Board normally referred to as the Howze Board of the U. The Board met at a difficult time; the bulk of the military hierarchy were focused primary on the Soviet threat to Western Europe, primarily perceived as requiring heavy, conventional units. The creation of new, light airmobile units could only occur at the expense of heavier units. At the same time, the incoming Kennedy administration was placing a much greater emphasis on the need to fight 'small wars', or counter-insurgencies, and was strongly supportive of officers such as General Howze who were embracing new technologies.
Initially a new experimental unit was formed at Fort Benning , Georgia, the 11th Air Assault Division on 11 February , combining light infantry with integral helicopter transport and air support.
Opinions vary as to the level of support for the concept within the Army; some have argued that the initial tests against the context of conventional warfare did not prove promising, and, despite opposition from the Joint Chiefs of Staff , it was primarily the Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara who pushed through the changes in , drawing on support from within the Pentagon which had now begun to establish a counter-insurgency doctrine that would require just such a unit. Within several months it was sent to Vietnam and the concept of air mobility became bound up with the challenges of that campaign, especially its varied terrain — the jungles, mountains, and rivers which complicated ground movement.
The 7th Cavalry was the same regiment that Custer had commanded at the ill-fated Battle of the Little Bighorn. On November 14, , Moore led his troops in the first large unit engagement of the Vietnam War, which took place near the Chu Pong massif near the Vietnam- Cambodia border. It is known today as the Battle of Ia Drang Valley , and is considered to be the first large scale helicopter air assault. This battalion vice "squadron," which would have been its nomenclature had it actually been a cavalry organization gave common currency, albeit incorrectly, to the U.
Light infantry-centric organizations battalions, brigades, or divisions that are trained, organized, and equipped to operate with organic i. The Vietnam-era 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile was not an "air cavalry" division, per se, although it did contain air cavalry squadrons. The division was a new concept that probably was more akin to a modern version of "mounted rifles," owing to its helicopter "mounts," and, as did Cav discussed above, carried the "Cavalry" designation primarily for purposes of lineage and heraldry, and not because of its then current mission or organizational structure.
However, true "air assault" organizations are specialized light infantry, much like airborne troops , who are trained, organized, and equipped, specifically to perform the complex, rapid, and dynamic tasks inherent in air assault vice simply being transported by aircraft. Perhaps a rough comparison can be made between "motorized" and "mechanized" infantry.
Any light infantry unit can be transported by truck viz. The airmobile warfare was part of the counter-insurgency actions made by the forces of the three countries against guerrilla forces in Angola , Portuguese Guinea , Rhodesia , Mozambique and South-West Africa.
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The airmobile warfare tactics used by Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa had many similar characteristics. The air forces of the three countries also used the same types of helicopters mainly Alouette III and later, regarding Portugal and South Africa, SA Puma , and there were military cooperation agreements and sharing of experience between the three powers, including the secret Alcora Exercise. Portuguese, Rhodesian and South African airmobile tactics often involved air assaults done by small units of special forces or light infantry , transported in four or five Alouette III helicopters.
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Variants of the air mobile warfare tactics used in Africa included the Rhodesian Fireforce and the Portuguese heliborne-horseborne forces cooperation. In addition, all U. Marine Corps divisions are capable of, and routinely train for and perform, air assault operations. These MEUs and MEBs are capable of embarking aboard amphibious warships and include air assault as one of several means of conducting amphibious landing operations, supported by embarked Marine Corps tilt-rotor, helicopter, and STOVL fixed-wing strike aircraft.
The 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry has a limited capability to perform air assault operations. Eisenhower , as part of Operation Uphold Democracy. Effective orchestration requires anticipation, agility, mastery of time-space relationships, and a complete understanding of how friendly and enemy capabilities interact. Air cavalry elements must effectively integrate into the brigade, regiment, division, or corps commander's scheme of maneuver to achieve forceful and rapid operations. Air cavalry commanders, like their superiors, must make specific provisions in advance to exploit the opportunities that tactical success creates.
Versatility is the pivot point from which the cavalry commander will accomplish the other tenets. Versatility is the ability of units to conduct different kinds of operations either sequentially or simultaneously and is synonymous with flexibility. It allows for a smooth transition between varying mission combinations and deploying from one area or region to another without degrading performance.
Versatility requires competence in a variety of skills. The commander that plans and executes his missions from this perspective will be guaranteed success on the battlefield and in the units ability to react smoothly and accurately to changing mission requirements. When appropriately task organized, the unit may participate in other security missions. The air cavalry performs air combat as part of the counter-reconnaissance effort, or to protect the overall force or organic units by providing local security.
Through these missions, they provide timely intelligence concerning the enemy, terrain, and weather throughout the AO and early warning against enemy observation or attack. Today's cavalry regiments and squadrons must be able to conduct operations across a wide range peace, conflict, and war against threats ranging in size from major regional powers, lesser powers, and terrorist groups to insurgents.
Cavalry regiments and squadrons may be among the first units to initially deploy into an area to conduct stability operations, support operations or operations as part of the postconflict phase of some other contingency operation. The primary mission of the air troop is to conduct reconnaissance and screening operations. The air troop extends the aerial reconnaissance and screening capabilities of their squadron and supports the squadron's economy of force role during offensive, defensive, rear, and retrograde operations.
Through these missions they provide timely combat information concerning the enemy, terrain, and weather throughout the AO and early warning against enemy observation or attack. Air troops augment ground forces when conducting guard and cover operations.
Air assault - Wikipedia
The air cavalry possesses strengths and limitations that must be clearly understood for their effects to be maximized see Table The organization of air cavalry will be reviewed under the following headings: The squadron adds a very responsive, terrain-independent combat power to the regiment. The maneuverability and flexibility of the RAS enhances the flexibility of the regiment. The RAS can also expect ground elements for specific missions. When integrated with the regimental artillery the RAS provides the commander with a tremendously flexible capability to shape the battlespace and set the conditions for the regiment's ground maneuver operations.
The DCS provides the division with reconnaissance, surveillance, and security assets.
The ACS is an extremely responsive and rapidly deployable force that is part of the air assault division. The squadron is structured light to possess the same strategic mobility as the parent division. When deployed, the squadron possesses a significant mobility advantage over the light infantry battalions of the division. In the division cavalry, combat electronic warfare and intelligence support is available upon request. The troop headquarters consists of the commander, the first sergeant, the safety officer, and a vehicle driver crew chief from one of the aeroscout platoons.
The troop commander is overall responsible for the command, control, employment, and maintenance of the ACT. He is assigned an aircraft from one of the aeroscout platoons.