Combat Search And Rescue Team

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                                                                                                                                                          ilitary and civilian lead-
                                                                Practicing tactical
                                                                recovery aboard
                                                                                                                                                          ers recognize the need to
                                                                USS Wasp.                                                                                 assign a greater priority
                                                                                                                                                          to combat search and
                                                                                                                                           rescue (CSAR). Today a combat rescue
                                                                                                                                           has political and military implications
                                                                                                                                           that range from the tactical to strategic
                                                                                                                                           level. Public concern over casualties
                                                                                                                                           can intensify a situation that involves
                                                                                                                                           even one American life into a major
                                                                                                                                           crisis. Current joint doctrine stresses
                                                                                                                                           individual service CSAR that allows a
                                                                                                                                           joint effort when service capabilities
                                                                                                                                           are exceeded. Although service capabil-
                                                                                                                                           ities are being maintained, the Armed
                                                                                                                                           Forces emphasize joint planning, coor-
                                                                                                                                           dination, and execution of such mis-
                                                                                                                                           sions as the norm, not the exception.
                                                                                                                                           Current doctrine should be revised to
                                                                                                                                           furnish reliable and flexible joint CSAR
                                                                                                                                           support to both CINCs and other joint
                                                                                                                                           force commanders (JFCs).
                                                                                                                                                 The military has conducted a
                                                                                                                                           range of operations—occasionally
                                                                                                                                           combat—in recent decades. Public sup-
                                                                                                                                           port for committing forces has been
                                                                                                                                           difficult to achieve and maintain. Air-
                                                                                                                                           power is often perceived as a low cost
                                                                                                                                           way of demonstrating national will
                                                                                                                                           with lower risk than deploying forces
                                                                                                                                           on the ground. While the real danger
                                                                                                                                           to airmen—who most commonly pre-
                                                                                                                                           cipitate CSAR—may appear low, man-

Joint Combat
                                                                                      26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Justin T. Watkins)

                                                                                                                                           portable and larger surface-to-air mis-
                                                                                                                                           siles have proliferated.
                                                                                                                                                 Combat search and rescue opera-

Search and                                                                                                                                 tions are dangerous and complicated.
                                                                                                                                           They normally take place in enemy
                                                                                                                                           territory or contested areas. Time is

                                                                                                                                           limited and knowledge of the situation
                                                                                                                                           is hard to obtain. The decision to con-
                                                                                                                                           duct a search and rescue operation in
                                                                                                                                           unfriendly territory and under uncer-

Operational Necessity                                                                                                                      tain conditions is difficult. There are
                                                                                                                                           many ways to minimize risks to CSAR
                                                                                                                                           forces, but key among them are tai-

or Afterthought?
                                                                                                                                           lored assets, detailed coordination, and
                                                                                                                                           timely execution. Moreover, it is criti-
                                                                                                                                           cal that such forces be immediately
                                                                                                                                           available, highly trained in search and
By J A M E S E. M O E N T M A N N,                                                                                                         rescue, and equipped with specialized
   E D W A R D E. H O L L A N D, and                                                                                                       and capable land, sea, and air systems.
   G A R Y A. W O L V E R                                                                                                                        CSAR efforts frequently failed
                                                                                                                                           early in the Vietnam War. Leaders did
                                                                                                                                           not apply the lessons of previous con-
Lieutenant Colonel James E. Moentmann, USA, is assigned to IFOR headquarters in
                                                                                                                                           flicts or prepare for the mission. Later
Sarajevo; Major Edward E. Holland, USAF, serves with the BALTAP staff; and Major
                                                                                                                                           attempts were more successful because
Gary A. Wolver, USAF, is a member of Air Force Element NATO, AIRSOUTH NS (EUR).
They collaborated on this article while attending the Armed Forces Staff College.

44     JFQ / Spring 1998
                                                                                                                                             Moentmann           et   al.

                                                                                                                              villagers, and Iraqi forces the entire
 June 1996—rescuing
 Scott O’Grady during
                                                                                                                              team was rescued without casualties.
 Deny Flight.                                                                                                                       There are several lessons from this
                                                                                                                              extraction. First is the value of habitual
                                                                                                                              relationships between the forces being
                                                                                                                              rescued and those who execute opera-
                                                                                                                              tions. Second, helicopter crews that ex-
                                                                                                                              filtrated the A-Team also took it in.
                                                                                                                              Third, the 160th SOAR worked closely
                                                                                                                              with Special Forces so that pilots and

                                                                                       U.S. Marine Corps ( Dave A. Garten )
                                                                                                                              soldiers were well acquainted. Fourth,
                                                                                                                              the aviation unit was an integral part
                                                                                                                              of the mission and knew the threat. Fi-
                                                                                                                              nally, unit members had studied the
                                                                                                                              situation and terrain before the need

                                                                                                                                                                            U.S. Marine Corps (Dave A. Garten)
of extensive on-the-job training and        miles inside Iraq by
commitment of assets by commanders          local children. 3 Like
who, unlike their leaders, recognized       combat pilots, such as-
the importance of CSAR.1                    sets are routinely de-
     There are barriers to developing       ployed beyond friendly
effective CSAR capabilities. Histori-       unit areas of operation.
cally, U.S. forces have put little empha-   They are also deployed
sis on it in peacetime and then ex-         prior to or early in a conflict. When a                                           for rescue arose. Any other force would
pended tremendous resources on it in        team is compromised the operation                                                 have required more time, and the
time of war. The Goldwater-Nichols          transitions to a combat search and res-                                           chance of success would have been re-
Act called on each military service to      cue known as a quick reaction force                                               duced. It is critical to have a dedicated
incorporate joint capabilities in all       (QRF) mission.                                                                    rescue force intimately familiar with
warfighting mission areas. However,              The A-Team came under fire and                                               the specifics of an operational area,
joint doctrine continues to stress ser-     evaded its pursuers until forced to                                               threat locations, system capabilities,
vice CSAR programs and operations at        choose a place to fight. Air Force F–16s                                          and mission. Speed can make the dif-
                                                                                                                              ference between life and death. Had
                                                                                                                              rescuers been even minutes slower the
joint doctrine continues to stress service CSAR programs
                                                                                                                              A-Team could have perished. Often the
and operations at the expense of interoperability                                                                             only opportunity for a rescue is imme-
                                                                                                                              diately after the need becomes known.
the expense of interoperability and         and helicopters from the 160th Special                                            Other wise an enemy has time to
standard procedures which waste re-         Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR)                                               mount its own search.
sources. 2 Recent efforts demonstrate       responded immediately to a call for                                                    Downed pilot. The highly publi-
the challenges of conducting joint          emergency close air support and ex-                                               cized shootdown of Captain Scott
CSAR missions under joint doctrine.         traction. The F–16s arrived in just over                                          O’Grady, USAF, during Operation Deny
                                            two hours, suppressed the advancing                                               Flight in Bosnia-Herzegovina is an ex-
Recent Efforts                              Iraqis, and saved the team from being                                             ample of how a downed aviator and a
    The A-Team Compromise. On Feb-          overrun. The UH–60s arrived shortly                                               CSAR effort can take on a significance
ruary 24, 1991, the first day of the        thereafter. Despite pursuit by bedouins,                                          beyond the tactical problem of recov-
ground war during Desert Storm, a                                                                                             ering the pilot. One can only speculate
Special Forces team was discovered 140                                                                                        on the public reaction had O’Grady

                                                                                                                                             Spring 1998 / JFQ        45
s   JFQ    FORUM

                                                                                        Assisting accident
                                                                                        victims aboard
                                                                                        USS Stennis in North

                                                                                                                                   U.S. Navy (James E. Williams)
been captured and mistreated by the             Once the captain made radio con-        were the force of choice for daylight
Serbs. There may have been greater         tact with search aircraft, the comman-       operations. Waiting for dark was ruled
condemnation of the Serb role in the       der of Allied Forces Southern Europe         out because of the urgency of the situa-
civil war and more aggressive calls for    was faced with a series of decisions.        tion. SOF units were repositioned to as-
active U.S. military involvement. Both     Knowing that O’Grady had evaded cap-         sume a backup extraction role or to
courses would have had important           ture for six days, there was little doubt    perform a subsequent rescue mission.
diplomatic and political repercussions.    that action had to be taken without               The Marines succeeded in locating
In the event, the response was more        delay. The force that would go deep          O’Grady, securing the landing zone,
measured than it might have been in        into Bosnia to extract the pilot had two     and completing the extraction. The
the wake of an emotionally charged         options. First was the special operations    airspace above them and along the
situation such as the capture of a Spe-    aviation element in Italy that included      routes was host to various Navy and
cial Forces pilot in Somalia.              both Army and Air Force helicopters          Air Force aircraft in support of the op-
      O’Grady evaded capture by Ser-       and personnel. They were best suited         eration. In particular, there were air-
bian pursuers in rough, unpopulated        and trained for night operations. A sec-     craft for close air support (CAS), sup-
terrain after being shot down by a sur-    ond option was the Marine Corps in           pression of enemy air defense (SEAD),
face-to-air missile during a peacekeep-    the Adriatic Sea just off Croatia who        and airborne command, control, and
ing mission and landing in Serb-held       were trained for tactical recovery of air-   communications (ABCCC). The joint
territory far from friendly forces. Deny   craft and personnel. Their aircraft and      nature of this operation was demon-
Flight was a combined air operation        crews, along with security forces, got       strated when the rescued officer
with several allies providing aircraft,    the mission. That decision was reached       stepped from a Marine helicopter onto
including Air Force and carrier-based      because the Marines were close and           the deck of a Navy ship as Army and
Navy assets. The Combined Air Opera-                                                    Air Force helicopters serving as backup
tions Center in Vicenza, Italy, con-                                                    received word to return to their bases.
trolled the CSAR operation that began
immediately after O’Grady ejected.

46        JFQ / Spring 1998
                                                                                                                                Moentmann           et   al.

                                                                     Simulated TRAP
                                                                     mission at Camp

                                                                                                                                                               2d Marine Division (Cheresa D. Clark)
                         Search and rescue
U.S. Navy (Mark Kane)

                         Apra Harbor, Guam.

                        The Limits of Doctrine                           This limits and inhibits operations     other cases service components may
                             Although joint doctrine makes           by stating that components should           enter operations knowing that they
                        theater CINCs responsible for the res-       consider joint CSAR only if their own       cannot field the needed assets for
                        cue of downed airmen and other per-          capabilities are exceeded.                  CSAR. In both cases supporters may
                        sonnel, it does not sufficiently describe        Doctrine should acknowledge that        argue that joint doctrine now resolves
                        requisite joint capabilities. CINCs must     even if service capabilities are not ex-    such issues. They might conclude that
                        rely on the services for support. Cur-       ceeded, pre-planned joint CSAR efforts      if service components exceed their ca-
                        rent doctrine does not force—or pro-
                        vide the incentives for—the services to      even if service capabilities are not exceeded, pre-planned
                        upgrade and maintain an effective            joint CSAR efforts are practical and appropriate
                        joint capability.4 CSAR, as a service re-
                        sponsibility, potentially limits the abil-
                        ity of CINCs to employ rapid over-           are practical and appropriate and also      pabilities to conduct CSAR before oper-
                        whelming force.                              merit initial consideration. For exam-      ations begin, a pre-planned joint effort
                             Overarching guidance on joint           ple, service components may not send        is needed to support a mission. But this
                        CSAR doctrine is summarized in Joint         CSAR assets to support operations           approach still considers joint CSAR as a
                        Pub 3-50.2, Doctrine for Joint Combat        when it is impractical. If the Air Force    final option only after service compo-
                        Search and Rescue:                           were to provide strategic airlift to an     nent capabilities are exceeded.
                                                                     area of responsibility (AOR) or joint op-        In most instances service compo-
                        Joint SAR and CSAR operations are those      erations area (JOA) for use by another      nents plan to conduct their own mis-
                        that have exceeded the capabilities of the   component, deploying assets to con-         sions. Problems arise when operational
                        component commanders in their own op-        duct a rescue would be impractical. In      demands usurp assets needed for
                        erations and require the efforts of two or                                               CSAR. Shortfalls or requests for assis-
                        more components of the joint force to ac-                                                tance may not be identified until an
                        complish the operation.5                                                                 operation is initiated. This implies that

                                                                                                                                Spring 1998 / JFQ        47
s   JFQ    FORUM

joint CSAR is a backup to service ef-
                                              F–8 pilot ejecting over
forts and that joint attempts are not         South China Sea, 1965.
pre-planned but are coordinated ad
hoc when the need arises. This will
mean joint missions must be quickly
coordinated and executed during the
initial phase of CSAR operations when
timing, decision, and response are crit-
ical. Such planning usually leads to
problems and possible failure.
      Joint doctrine and military plan-
ning in general have come to empha-
size joint operations in most areas, but
CSAR lags behind. JFCs must consider
search and rescue as joint at the onset
of planning rather than rely on com-
ponent CSAR. Components must plan
for cross-service support even if their
own capabilities have not been ex-
ceeded as specified in joint doctrine.
      The A-Team rescue was joint. U.S.
Special Operations Command during
the Gulf War was able to receive re-
quests for CAS and coordinate execu-
tion. CSAR operations involve aerial
search and extraction almost exclu-
sively. Navy, Marine Corps, and Air
Force aircraft are suited for combat air
patrols, air superiority, electronic war-
fare, SEAD, CAS, and search and rescue.
      Combined with helicopters for

                                                                                                                                  Light Photographic Squadron 63 (Roy A. Zink)
search and extraction and ground
forces to provide security, the plan-
ning, coordination, and control re-
quirements for such operations are
complex. All but the simplest CSAR
operations are joint. Although service
components may contribute capabili-
ties and forces, JFCs must prioritize as-
sets, planning, and execution. Ad hoc
arrangements and redundant struc-
tures just add confusion and risk to an
already challenging mission.                 with robust staffs and seasoned plan-     and other component RCCs as appro-
                                             ners and operators. In addition, rescue   priate.” JFCs may either elect to place
Nebulous Command and                         elements had six days—as the downed       JSRC on their staffs or assign compo-
Control                                      pilot evaded—to plan ingress and          nent RCCs. If JSRC is on a JFC staff,
     Coordination of joint CSAR dur-         egress routes and become familiar with    that commander designates a JSRC di-
ing operations is complicated by the         the situation.                            rector who is the direct representative
command and control guidance con-                 Joint Pub 3-50.2 states, “The JFC    on all SAR matters. The individual
tained in joint doctrine. Too many           should establish a [joint search and      units of the service components report
steps and unnecessary intermediaries         rescue center] to monitor recovery ef-    to their respective RCCs.
act as serious hindrances. One reason        forts; to plan, coordinate, and execute         During an operation, missions are
the O’Grady rescue went well is that         joint search and rescue (SAR) and         initiated when a member of the CSAR
Deny Flight had earlier established          CSAR operations.” 6 Also, “Component      hierarchy receives a distress indicator:
command and control mechanisms               commanders should establish a rescue      a mayday call, nonreturn from a mis-
and readily available air assets. It was a   coordination center (RCC) to coordi-      sion, overdue contact, emergency bea-
mature operation with two years of ex-       nate all component CSAR activities, in-   con contact, or sighting an aircraft or
perience. There were prescribed proce-       cluding coordination with the JSRC
dures and dedicated assets for CSAR,

48        JFQ / Spring 1998
                                                                                                                                                        Moentmann           et   al.

                                                                                                                                         vessel going down. Experience indi-
 Figure 1. Joint CSRC Relationships (Service Components)
                                                                                                                                         cates that action during the first 15
                                                                                                                                         minutes contributes significantly to a
                                                                                                                                         successful recovery. If units have or-
                                                             Joint Force Commander                                                       ganic capabilities to conduct CSAR the
                                                                                                                                         process merely requires keeping RCCs
                                                                                                                                         advised on mission conduct. If the
                 COMARFOR                COMNAVFOR                 COMMARFOR                 COMAFFOR                  COMSOC            units call for additional assistance, co-
                       (1)                       (1,2)                    (1)                      (1)                      (1)
                                                                                                                                         ordination becomes more complex.
                                                                                                                                              Units requesting support should
                    RCC                       RCC                      RCC                      RCC                      JOC             notify the component RCCs, which
                       (3,4)                     (3,4)                    (3,4)                    (3,4)                    (3,4,5)      should notify JSRCs. RCCs then as-
                   Units                      Units                    Units                    Units                   Units
                                                                                                                                         sume duties as coordinators and task
                                                                                                                                         subordinate units. If component re-
                       (6)                       (6)                      (6)                      (6)                      (6)
                                                                                                                                         sources are inadequate, RCCs will re-
                                                                                                                                         quest assistance through JSRCs whose
                    operational control / tactical control                   (1) May be assigned joint force CSAR responsibilities
                                                                                                                                         directors may elect to designate new
                    coordination                                             (2) Includes Coast Guard forces assigned to joint force
                                                                                                                                         mission coordinators who could be the
     COMARFOR       Commander, Army Forces                                   (3) Designated as joint search and rescue center (JSRC)     initial component coordinators, other
     COMNAVFOR      Commander, Navy Forces                                       when component commander is assigned joint              component RCC coordinators, or the
                                                                                 force CSAR responsibilities
     COMMARFOR      Commander, Marine Forces                                                                                             JSRC directors.
                                                                             (4) Also performs component RCC duties as required
     COMAFFOR       Commander, Air Force forces                                                                                               Coordinators could change fre-
                                                                             (5) JOC coordinates special operations forces CSAR
     COMSOC         Commander, Special Operations Command
                                                                                 with the JSRC                                           quently over a shor t period. This
     JOC            joint operations center                                                                                              amounts to a possible switch in tacti-
                                                                             (6) Organic search and rescue units (operational control)
     RCC            rescue coordination center                                   or other CSAR-capable units performing a                cal control during a critical phase of a
                                                                                 joint CSAR mission (tactical control)
                                                                                                                                         demanding mission. Even given the
                                                                                                                                         best communications possible, this
                                                                                                                                         would still be confusing to the execut-
Source: Joint Pub 3-50.2, Doctrine for Joint Combat Search and Rescue.
                                                                                                                                         ing units. One moment they would an-
                                                                                                                                         swer to the unit CSAR coordinator, the
 Figure 2. Joint CSRC Relationships (Functional Components)                                                                              next to the RCC coordinator, and the
                                                                                                                                         next to the JSRC-designated coordina-
                                                                                                                                         tor. Different units could be working
                                                       Joint Force Commander                                                             under different mission coordinators if
                                                                                                                                         a change in control were not ade-
                                                                                                                                         quately transmitted and r eceived
                                                                                                                                         amongst the various participants.
                             JFLCC                     JFMCC                    JFACC                    JFSOCC
                                                                                                                                              In addition, the organizational
                                 (1,2)                     (1,3)                     (1)                     (1)
                                                                                                                                         charts in figures III-1 through III-3 in
                               RCC                       RCC                      RCC                      JOC                           Joint Pub 3-50.2 show no clear chain
                                 (4,5)                     (4,5)                     (4,5)                   (4,5,6)                     of command from the units through
                                                                                                                                         the components to JFC. Nor do they
                             Units                     Units                      Units                   Units
                                                                                                                                         clearly indicate how JSRC fits into the
                                 (7)                       (7)                       (7)                     (7)
                                                                                                                                         organization or whether RCC is re-
                                                                                                                                         sponsible to the JSRC director or the
                                                                                                                                         service component commander. They
                    operational control / tactical control                   (1) May be assigned joint force CSAR responsibilities
                                                                                                                                         merely imply that RCC is responsible
                    coordination                                             (2) Includes Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF)
     JFACC    joint force air component commander                                (land operations)                                       to the component commander. How-
     JFLCC    joint force land component commander                           (3) Includes Coast Guard forces assigned to joint force     ever, the pub states that the JSRC direc-
     JFMCC    joint force maritime component commander
                                                                                 and MAGTF (maritime operations)                         tor is the JFC representative for CSAR
                                                                             (4) Designated as joint search and rescue center (JSRC)     and can thus “task component com-
     JFSOCC   joint force special operations component commander
                                                                                 when component commander is assigned joint
     JOC      joint operations center (special operations component)             force CSAR responsibilities                             mands to support CSAR missions.” The
     RCC      rescue coordination center                                     (5) Also performs component RCC duties as required          RCC coordinator could well receive
                                                                             (6) JOC coordinates special operations forces CSAR          conflicting guidance from the com-
                                                                                 with the JSRC                                           mander and director. Which should he
                                                                             (7) Organic search and rescue units (operational control)
                                                                                 or other CSAR-capable units performing a
                                                                                                                                         answer to?
                                                                                 joint CSAR mission (tactical control)

Source: Joint Pub 3-50.2, Doctrine for Joint Combat Search and Rescue.

                                                                                                                                                        Spring 1998 / JFQ        49
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                                                                                                                                                In many cases JFC will call for es-
 Figure 3. Typical JSRC Relationships (Service Components)
                                                                                                                                           tablishment of a JSRC in a crisis. The
                                                                                                                                           individuals needed to operate it (de-
                                                                                                                                           scribed above) will likely be the same
                                                           Joint Force Commander                                                           trained personnel the service compo-
                                                                                                                                           nents would have used in their RCCs.
                                                                                                                                           Many responsibilities assigned to JSRC
                COMARFOR               COMNAVFOR                COMMARFOR                 COMAFFOR                 COMSOC                  must be accomplished on the compo-
                                               (1)                                              (2)                      (3)
                                                                                                                                           nent level by RCC. For example, both
                                                                                                                                           centers are tasked with maintaining “a
                  RCC                       RCC                     RCC                      RCC                      JOC                  database and file on each isolated per-
                                                                                                                         (4,5)             son until recovery is complete.”
                                                                                                                                                Not only is manpower wasted
                                                                                                                    CSARTF                 when several organizations produce
                                                                                                                                           similar products, but multiple efforts
                                                                                                                                           mean multiple products. Units in the
                  operational control / tactical control                  (1) Includes Coast Guard forces assigned to joint force
                                                                                                                                           field must then commit time to learn-
                  coordination                                            (2) Has been designated as joint force air component commander   ing different procedures. The problem
    COMARFOR      Commander, Army Forces                                  (3) Has been assigned joint search and rescue responsibilities   caused by the duplication of effort
    COMNAVFOR     Commander, Navy Forces                                  (4) Has been designated as joint search and rescue commander     comes across loud and clear in the
    COMMARFOR     Commander, Marine Forces                                (5) Also performs component RCC duties as required               joint pub itself:
    COMAFFOR      Commander, Air Force Forces                             (6) CSARTF performing a joint combat search and rescue
                                                                              mission (tactical control)                                   Unit commanders should ensure that as-
    COMSOC        Commander, Special Operations Command
    CSARTF        combat search and rescue task force
                                                                                                                                           signed and attached personnel are famil-
    JOC           joint operations center                                                                                                  iar with this publication, joint force CSAR
    RCC           rescue coordination center                                                                                               SOPs [standard operating procedures],
                                                                                                                                           and any specific component CSAR TTP
                                                                                                                                           [tactics, techniques, and procedures]
Source: Joint Pub 3-50.2, Doctrine for Joint Combat Search and Rescue.                                                                     that have been developed.
                                                                                                                                                 Just how many procedures do we
                                                                                                                                           want our aircrews to learn? In most
                                                                                                                                           cases CSAR is not a mission of the indi-
     The chart in figure III-3 shows the                                        The JSRC director, as JFC’s direct
                                                                                                                                           vidual unit.
commander of the special operations                                        voice, should have tactical control of
                                                                                                                                                 The same section of the joint pub
component having been “assigned                                            all CSAR resources during missions.
                                                                                                                                           tells unit commanders that “CSAR re-
joint force CSAR responsibilities” but                                     Should JSRC and component comman-
                                                                                                                                           quirements exceeding available capa-
does not explain the implications of                                       der guidance conflict regarding the use
                                                                                                                                           bilities should be forwarded to the
this structure. It implies that services                                   of assets, JSRC need only resolve it
                                                                                                                                           component RCC.” The majority of
are not responsible for their own                                          with JFC or his representative for the
                                                                                                                                           units—certainly Air Force fighter or
CSAR, contradicting the rest of the                                        overall operation.
                                                                                                                                           bomber squadrons—lack the indige-
document. Furthermore, both the
                                                                           Duplication of Effort                                           nous assets to conduct CSAR. The Air
chart and document fail to explain the
                                                                                                                                           Force RCC would be flooded with re-
relationship between RCC, JSRC, and                                            Coordination between JSRC and
                                                                                                                                           quirements if unit commanders fol-
the CSAR task force.                                                       component RCCs is the most critical
                                                                                                                                           lowed this guidance. Each unit will
     A joint force commander must es-                                      flaw in the current arrangement. It
                                                                                                                                           produce a very similar list that could
tablish a single point of contact for                                      can cause delays and confusion that
                                                                                                                                           be prepared at RCC or a pr operly
                                                                                                                                           manned JSRC, reducing the duplica-
a joint force commander must establish a single point of                                                                                   tion of effort among units.
contact for command and control—a sort of CSAR 911                                                                                               The joint pub establishes a loose
                                                                                                                                           framework to implement joint CSAR.
                                                                                                                                           Unfortunately, to execute it under this
command and control—a sort of CSAR                                         lead to mission failure, personnel cap-
                                                                                                                                           framework all players must coordinate
911. JSRC should be the primary focal                                      tured or killed, and loss of CSAR as-
                                                                                                                                           throughout the process and make
point for planning, controlling, and co-                                   sets. Lesser problems must also be
                                                                                                                                           CSAR a top priority at the expense of
ordinating all such missions for the                                       solved. The present duplication of ef-
                                                                                                                                           other missions. History shows that this
joint force. The components could still                                    fort among services wastes assets,
                                                                                                                                           is unlikely without strong direction.
be tasked to conduct their own CSAR,                                       training, and manpower.
but JSRC would determine the best mix
of assets and coordinate all joint SAR.

50           JFQ / Spring 1998
                                                                                                                                          Moentmann            et   al.

                                                                            the Office for Missing Personnel, James      rely more on joint efforts to optimize
                                                                            Wold, stated that “personnel recovery        the use of available assets. And JFCs
                                                                            [is] a very important issue to the Secre-    must consider CSAR a joint undertak-
                                                                            tary of Defense.” The Secretary initi-       ing at the onset of planning while
                                                                            ated the tasking to establish a CSAR ex-     each component must plan for cross-
                                                                            ecutive agent. Though the Vice Chief         service support.
                                                                            of Staff of the Air Force initially de-            While current joint doctrine and
                                                                            layed the executive agent’s standup,         DOD initiatives stress the necessary
                                                                            the Secretary appointed commander of         joint nature of CSAR operations, they
                                                                            Air Combat Command (COMACC) to               do not forcefully ensure that organiza-
                                                                            that post. The command then directed         tions and procedures are indeed joint.
                                                                            formation of an integrated product           They do not guarantee that the lessons
                                                                            team to address the task. A team lead        learned from recent successes are in-
                                                                            was named and built an organization.         corporated on the combatant com-
                                                                            The team worked with ACC and Air             mand and joint task force level. Joint
                                                                            Force staffs to resolve issues raised by     Pub 3-50.2 should be updated to pro-
                                                                            the Vice Chief. During mid-1996 the          vide CINCs with capable assets, com-
                                                                            executive agent still required man-          mand structures, and the authority to
                                                                            power, operations and maintenance            execute critical missions. The differ-
                                                                            funds, and a responsible staff organiza-     ence between forcefully stating joint
                                                                            tion at ACC headquarters.7                   doctrine, as proposed here, and the
                                                                                  The Air Force, specifically ACC,       tacit acceptance of less stringent stan-
                                                                            has been tasked to develop standards         dards embodied in current doctrine
                                                                            for equipment, training, and proce-          may appear insignificant. But the real-
                                                                            dures to be coordinated with all the         ity is that the nature of CSAR makes it
                                                                            services. ACC Director of Operations         essential to have unambiguous doc-
                                                                            has updated the combat air forces con-       trine, highly trained and specialized
                                           U.S. Navy (Roger W. Dellinger)

                      Downed CH–46 crew                                     cept of operations for CSAR, signed by       forces in all services, an uncompromis-
                      arriving on board                                     the ACC director for Plans and Pro-          ing dedication to organizing joint
                      USS Constellation.                                    grams in April 1995. Establishment of        staffs, and joint command authority
                                                                            an executive agent and lead organiza-        for planning and execution.          JFQ
                                                                            tion is clearly a positive step towards
                                                                            effective joint capabilities. It should be    NOTES
                                                                            followed by publication of an updated            1 John R. Bone, in “Combat Search and
                                                                            Joint Pub 3-50.2 that will not only de-      Rescue—Military Stepchild,” research report
      Joint Pub 3-50.2 properly estab-                                      tail CINC CSAR responsibilities but          for Air War College (April 1988), reviews
lishes that “JFCs have primary author-                                      give them capable assets and the au-         CSAR efforts from Vietnam through the late
ity and responsibility for CSAR in sup-                                     thority and command structure to ef-         1980s.
port of U.S. forces within their AORs or                                    fectively execute this critical mission.         2 Russell M. Ziegler, “Combat Search and

JOAs.” But the next paragraph returns                                             An ad hoc organization or hastily      Rescue (CSAR): Time to Find a Real Fix,”
to business as usual: “JFCs normally                                        prepared force would not have been up        paper for Naval War College, February 1993.
delegate responsibility to recover per-                                     to the challenges posed by the CSAR ex-      Ziegler asserts that, despite DOD reorganiza-
sonnel to the joint force component                                                                                      tion, the services still fall short of an effec-
                                                                            amples described above. Key decisions
commanders.” Similarly, the publica-                                                                                     tive joint capability.
                                                                            guiding high-stakes missions were nec-           3 George C. Wilson, “Death Trap in Iraq,”
tion calls for the establishment of a                                       essarily raised to the attention of the-
JSRC and then (as discussed above)                                                                                       Army Times, February 5, 1996, pp. 11–14.
                                                                            ater commanders. Tailored assets drawn           4 Russell D. Carmody, “Theater Combat
turns it into an additional coordination                                    from three or four services were united      Search and Rescue,” thesis, Command and
node in what should be a streamlined                                        in joint operations whose success was        General Staff College, May 1993.
process. The joint pub is an excellent                                      largely determined by the command’s              5 Joint Pub 3-50.2, Doctrine for Joint Com-

starting point, but without clear direc-                                    ability to synchronize actions across tra-   bat Search and Rescue, p. I-1. Joint Pub 1-02,
tion (teeth) it cannot fix the continu-                                     ditional service boundaries.                 DOD Dictionary, defines joint CSAR in es-
ing problems in the CSAR mission.                                                 As previously stated, JSRC should      sentially the same terms.
                                                                                                                             6 Ibid., p. viii.
                                                                            be established as a focal point for all
DOD Initiatives                                                                                                              7 ACC Director of Operations staff mem-
                                                                            CSAR. Dedicated rescue forces with ex-       orandum, COMACC update, July 16, 1996.
     The lack of CSAR coordination                                          pertise and training in joint operations
has been acknowledged at the highest                                        should be available to CINCs and
levels within DOD. There are initia-                                        other JFCs. The Armed Forces should
tives underway to improve doctrine
and capabilities. A former Director of

                                                                                                                                           Spring 1998 / JFQ         51

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