The Hunt For Adequate Protection: Ground-Based Air
Defense In the USMC
SUBJECT AREA - Warfighting
TITLE: THE HUNT FOR ADEQUATE PROTECTION:
GROUND-BASED AIR DEFENSE IN THE USMC
AUTHOR: Major Mark A. King, USMC
PROBLEM: Based on the current threat and what USMC GBAD has been and
currently is--what should it be in the near term? How can the USMC provide adequate
protection to its forces as part of Joint and Combined operations?
DISCUSSION: This study reviews the neglected history of USMC ground-based
air defense, discusses the current threat, examines current USMC doctrine and that of its
sister services, outlines the options for the future, and ends with recommendations for the
future. Appendixes are used to describe the current US AD systems and their general
capabilities against the current threat. The focus is on doctrine and fighting Joint within
the realities of both the current threat and the current economic realities.
THESIS: The USMC should give GBAD the appropriate focus in its doctrine by
organizing it under the operational function of PROTECTION. The USMC should keep
its Ground-Based Air Defense firepower, and integrate that firepower better into a truly
Joint air defense system by reducing and streamlining its redundant command and control
I. INTRODUCTION 1
II. HISTORICAL REVIEW 4
III. THE THREAT-- 1995-2005 11
IV. CURRENT USMC DOCTRINE 17
V. CURRENT SISTER SERVICE DOCTRINE 19
VI. OPTIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMEDATIONS 27
A. THE BAILISTIC MISSILE THREAT 39
B. MAA 32 DEFICIENCIES 40
C. USMC MASTER PLAN-- ANTIAIR WARFARE 41
CURRENT US AD WEAPONS AND C3 SYSTEMS 42
E. US AD SYSTEMS VS THE THREAT 46
THE HUNT FOR ADEQUATE PROTECTION:
GROUND-BASED AIR DEFENSE IN THE USMC
"The use of aircraft in warfare will become of increasing importance as time goes on.
New developments and improvements will modify their tactical employment. Similarly,
the necessity for providing adequate protection against them becomes more and more
pressing."1 An officer wrote these words in 1933 as he was trying to ensure Marine
forces would have what they needed to defend advanced naval bases. How prophetic
those words proved to be eight years later at Pearl Harbor. The words are no less true
today than they were 62 years ago - let us make certain that we provide "adequate
protection against them."
Today the hunt for adequate protection against air attack continues. USMC fighter
aircraft and ground-based air defenders are both under review in the current examination
of the roles, missions and functions of the armed forces of the United States of America.
The 1993 report on roles and missions by the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff
General Colin Powell, stated that in the post Cold War world the US no longer needs the
redundancy of air defense capability which was necessary when the US faced the large and
sophisticated aircraft threat of the Soviet Union.2 The report went on to recommend that
a Joint commission analyze the entire spectrum of the current and near term Theater Air
Defense (TAD) requirements and develop a proposal.3
It has been almost fifty years since an enemy air force attacked Marines.4 During my
entire career in the Marine Corps, the debate has raged over how much and what type of
air defense capability the Corps needs. A particular system often singled out for
elimination by Marine forces are the Homing All the Way Killer (HAWK) missile units.
Within the past three years the scrutiny increased to the point that USMC HAWK was
only one decision away from elimination in its entirety.5 The USMC finally decided to
save one HAWK Light Antiaircraft Missile (LAAM) battalion for the active duty
structure. The only other USMC ground-based air defense asset, the Low Altitude Air
Defense (LAAD) units, have fared better in this debate because of their comparatively low
cost, great utility, and constant visibility with the Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU's).
How did the USMC get to this point and does the USMC need its own organic air
defense capability? The purpose of this study is to examine this question without the bias
of any preconceived agenda either to save or to get rid of anything. The goal is to develop
a course of action that will provide the "adequate protection" that Marines will need in the
In this study I will use the following process to arrive at that goal: historical
background, threat description, current doctrinal solutions, and options for the future with
conclusions and recommendations. I will first review the historical setting of
Ground-Based Air Defense (GBAD) in the USMC. I will then provide an overview of the
threat facing the USMC forces. I will go on to describe the current USMC doctrinal
solution to this threat and then outline the doctrinal solutions of our sister services. I
will provide a brief description of the weapon systems and command and control
mechanisms which each service is currently using to provide their solution. Lastly, I will
define and analyze the options for the future, and then provide a conclusion and
recommendations for the future of ground-based air defense in the Marine Corps.
Before starting the historical review, it is essential to understand the basic parameters
of this quest. First, I will focus the study on the next ten years--1995-2005. This is
important because the task becomes increasingly difficult and speculative beyond that
point. Beyond ten years it is very hard to clearly define how the threat will evolve and to
accurately predict how technological solutions will grow. Second, I will concentrate on a
study of concepts and missions rather than technology. Technology is certainly very
important, and the study will discuss its impact; but the process by which the USMC
chooses to solve the problem is my focus. Third, the USMC has limited resources to
provide the solution. The USMC does not have the resources of the Cold War era
available under the Reagan mandate; therefore, it must base the solutions on cost
effectiveness and hard nosed practicality. Consequently, USMC must eliminate
nice-to-have redundancy and potentially low risk capabilities. Finally, the study will
consciously try to focus on ground-based air defense, but we must realize that aircraft and
command and control are a large part of both the problem and the solution.
II. HISTORICAL REVIEW
There is no official history of ground-based air defense in the United States Marine
Corps. Written histories exist on other ground units, air units and most every type of unit,
but not on the overall history of ground-based air defense units. Specific ground-based air
defense unit histories and command chronologies exist, but there is no comprehensive
written work dealing with the entire topic. The most famous USMC ground-based air
defense units, the Defense Battalions of World War II, will soon have a history published.6
Probably the most famous historical book about ground-based air defense is Ack, Ack by
Sir Frederick Pile about the British antiaircraft efforts during the Battle of Britain.7 Most
surprising is the fact that there appears to be only one comprehensive work which deals
with the history of US ground-based air defense at all - a small book (183 pages)
published by a former Air Force officer, Dr. Werrell, in 1988; Archie, Flak, AAA and
SAM a Short Operational History of Ground-Based Air Defense.8
Why the USMC has never written a ground-based air defense history is an
interesting question - Dr. Werrell devotes a paragraph to why there is so little written
about US ground-based air defense in his preface.9 Dr. Werrell maintains this neglect is
for the following reasons: research is difficult and source material is fragmented; the topic
does not have "sea appeal" which aircraft or offensive weapons have. Offensive use of air
has been the focus of US experience, and the air offensive community has had the ear of
both Congress and industry. Many agree strongly with Dr. Werrell's observation that
because the US has had air superiority so much of the time that the US leadership takes air
superiority for granted.10 Whatever the reasons, the lack of a written history is still a poor
reflection on the community as a whole.
The Marine Corps' history of defending its forces against aircraft began during World
War I when the new technology called airplanes first attacked Marines. Like everyone
else, the Marines' first antiaircraft weapons were the same weapons they used against the
enemy on the ground - small arms and machine guns. Initially the gunners would simply
aim the weapons skyward. As the war continued, increased air attacks fostered early
forms of specific antiaircraft weapons: machine-guns on antiaircraft mounts, and artillery
set up specifically for antiaircraft defense.11
During the interwar period, as the technology of aircraft developed, so did the early
techniques of how to defend Marine Expeditionary Forces against such air attacks.12 The
services designed and developed antiaircraft machine-guns further and, most importantly,
antiaircraft artillery.13 The USMC also develop specific antiaircraft units during this
period known as Defense Battalions.14 Their mission was twofold: to defend the
advanced naval bases against ships and against air attack. The weapons used by the
defense battalion were twelve --90mm AA Guns, eight--4Omm Cannons, 20mm Guns, and
50 Cal antiaircraft machine guns. They had searchlights and the SCR 270 radar.15
During World War II these defense battalions saw extensive combat in the Pacific
theater. Wake Island, Guam and Guadalcanal were three of their most famous actions.
Their defense of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal played an important role in winning that
crucial battle.16 As the war went on, radar and sophisticated flak were to play increasingly
important roles, and by the end of the war antiaircraft artillery had become very effective
because of further development of these two technologies. A little known fact is that
during World War II ground-based air defense killed more aircraft than fighter aircraft.17
Although fratricide was a problem for all air defenders during World War II, the USMC
only lost three aircraft to friendly AA fire.18
In the Korean war USMC ground-based air defense units, including 1st Antiaircraft
Artillery Battalion from Camp Pendleton, California, served in support of the First Marine
Division and the First Marine Air Wing. The North Korean air force never challenged the
United Nations' air superiority in the south and the antiaircraft (AA) units used their
secondary role as effective direct fire weapons against enemy ground forces.19 These
antiaircraft artillery units consisted of 90 mm Anti Aircraft Artillery (AAA) gun
battalions, 75 mm AAA gun battalions, AAA Automatic Weapons (AW) self-propelled
battalions, and AAA Automatic Weapons (AW) battalions.20
Between Korea and Vietnam the development of surface-to-air missiles brought a
tremendous change in both the technology and organization of ground-based air defense in
the USMC. The USMC's first surface-to-air missile was the Terrier (operational in the
Navy in 1956), and the unit to which it belonged became known as the Medium
Antiaircraft Missile battalion.21 In 1958, this unit replaced the light antiaircraft artillery
battalion which consisted of quad 50 cal machine-guns mounted on half-tracks, and twin
40mm AA guns mounted on tank chassis.22
Before the Terrier was even three years old, the USMC replaced it with the HAWK
missile system which the Raytheon company develop in the late 1950's. The USMC
renamed the newly equipped units the Light Antiaircraft Missile Battalions.23 Since 1960
this HAWK weapon system has been the centerpiece of USMC integrated air defense.
Around 1960 air defense battalions began the transition from ground combat units to
Marine Aviation units.24 The USMC integrated them into the developing Marine Air
Command and Control System (MACCS) consisting of units tasked with the aviation
command and control mission: the Marine Aircraft Control Groups. The purpose of
moving ground-based air defense units under Marine aviation was to integrate the entire
air defense effort under the wing - fighters and surface-to-air missiles with the MACCS as
the agency in charge of the overall air defense effort. Prophetically, in 1957 an officer at
the Junior School had written a research paper which recommended this move of the
heavy antiaircraft artillery units to force aviation. 25 Another reason that this transfer took
place was the fact that USMC leadership saw defense of air bases as the primary mission
for these air defense units.
In 1962 the USMC deployed LAAM Battalion units to South Florida during the
Cuban missile crisis. After the crisis passed, 3d Light Antiaircraft Missile Battalion did not
return to Marine Corps Base at Twenty-nine Palms, California. Instead, it went to Cherry
Point, North Carolina, where it was to spend the next 34 years serving the USMC as part
of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing. 26
In 1965 Battery A, 1st LAAM Battalion deployed to South Vietnam to protect the
Da Nang air field.27 ft was the first USMC ground unit to deploy to South Vietnam.
North Vietnam never challenged US air superiority in the south and the LAAM units
re-deployed home in 1969-70. Although USMC ground-based air defense units never
fired in anger during their time in Vietnam, HAWK units did have a deterrent effect on the
North Vietnamese decision not to attack the US forces in South Vietnam with their
aircraft. Surface-to-air missiles did kill three North Vietnamese MIG's -- all credited to
ships of the US Navy. 28
During the Vietnam period a new weapon became operational. It was the heat
seeking, shoulder-fired, man portable Redeye missile.29 With the addition of this new
short range air defense weapon for forward areas and low altitude, the USMC had
established the basic pieces for integrated air defense: Fighters, HAWK, and shoulder-
fired missiles. This triad has remained the foundation of USMC ground-based air defense
to the present. From 1966 to 1995 this basic air defense system has remained: Light
Antiaircraft Missile Battalions with HAWK; Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD) units
w/Redeye missile systems and later Low Altitude Air Defense Battalions with Stinger; and
fighter squadrons with F-4's and now F/A-18's.
Since the Redeye Antiaircraft units moved from the Marine Division to the Marine
Aircraft Wing in 1969, the Marine Divisions have had no organic air defense weapons.30
Because of this and the fact that Marine Divisions have not come under air attack --
generations of Marines have not even thought about air attack. Air superiority has
become an assumption - one that I called a dangerous assumption in a 1989 article in the
U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings.31
The HAWK system has gone through four phases of improvement since its
fielding in 1960. During the late 1960's Raytheon fielded Improved HAWK (called
I-HAWK) with the primary improvement being the missile as a certified ammunition round
and a computer capability called the Automatic Data Processor (ADP). Raytheon then
went on to upgrade HAWK with the first of three Product Improvement Phases (PIP's).
The first (PIP I) came in 1979 and included improvements to the acquisition radars and,
for the first time, a data link capability called the Army Tactical Data Link (ATDL). In
1983 Raytheon fielded the PIP II which included major improvements to the illumination
radars, ADP capability and a new system which allowed for visual tracking of targets
called the Tracking Adjunct System (TAS). PIP III started its fielding immediately prior
to the Gulf War. It brought a complete digitalization of the system, significant
improvements in maintenance reliability and better tactical mobility.32
The USMC fielded the Redeye missile system in 1966 and later replaced it with
Stinger in 1982. The USMC adopted the Stinger RMP (Reprogrammable
Microprocessor) in 1989.33 In 1994 the USMC began fielding the AVENGER weapon
system which has eight ready to fire Stinger rounds, a .50 caliber machine gun, and a
Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR).
Since 1982 a Low Altitude Air Defense platoon (minus) has supported all Marine
Expeditionary Units (MEUs), earlier called Marine Amphibious Units. These are the most
forward deployed and visible of all the USMC ground-based air defense units and have
served in every MEU (SOC) operation from Beirut in 1983 to Somalia in 1994.
During the Gulf War the USMC deployed all active duty LAAM and LAAD
battalions as well as elements of both reserve battalions. They served in general and direct
support of I MEF units from Bahrain to Kuwait City and all amphibious forces from the
Mediterranean to the Arabian Gulf. As with the Korean and Vietnam wars, no enemy
aircraft attacked US ground forces, but unlike the Korean and Vietnam wars, the enemy
utilized a new threat to attack US ground forces: tactical ballistic missiles.
Since the Gulf War the USMC GBAD units have been the subject of continuing
deactivation and reductions. At present there is only one active duty LAAM Battalion,
located at Yuma, Arizona; two active duty LAAD Battalions, located at Camp Pendleton
and Cherry Point, and one Stinger Battery located in Okinawa, Japan. The reserves have
one LAAM Battalion and one LAAD Battalion located throughout the United States.
SUMMARY OF USMC GBAD HISTORY
All the USMC ground-based air defense aircraft kills came in the forty-five years
(1915-1960) while it was antiaircraft artillery organized with the ground combat units.
During the past thirty-five years (1960-1995) the USMC surface-to-air missile units have
killed no hostile aircraft while organized within Marine Corps aviation command and
control. This does not mean that the GBAD units of the past 35 years have been less
effective or professional than their predecessors; they have just had no enemy targets to
shoot. As stated earlier, the last enemy air attack, not including Ballistic Missiles (BMs),
was during the battle for Okinawa in 1945.
The experiences of the past 35 years, however, do help to explain why the current
generation of USMC GBAD units have had to constantly justify their necessity in the
USMC. The long period of history with no engagements explains why the current
generation of senior commanders does not put much emphasis on the role of
ground-based air defense, because during their entire experience the Marine Corps has not
had to use ground-based air defense.
III. THE THREAT--1995-2005
Now that we know what USMC ground-based air defense has been, what is the
current and near term threat to Marine forces and the vital areas that they defend? It is
necessary to define the problem properly before crafting a solution. Too often leaders
have tried to design a solution and then shape the problem to fit it in order to satisfy a
particular agenda. In today's environment of limited resources, the USMC can not afford
to do so even though the current world makes threat definitions much more difficult than
in the past.
The following is this author's assessment of the threat which the USMC is facing for
the next ten-years. It comes as a result of discussions with threat experts and reading
published sources currently written about this important subject. Chapter two of the new
FM 44-100, US Army Air Defence Operation Manual, contains a very good overview of
the current air threat. It maintains that with the demise of the Warsaw Pact forces, fixed
wing aircraft are no longer the principal threat to allied forces as they were during the days
of the Cold War.34
ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT
Few potential adversaries do not have a credible attack helicopter capability-there
are over 10,000 MI-8 Hips in the world.35 Hips are a good example of a capable, low cost
aircraft which a military force can use for many military functions: carrying combat
troops, providing rapid resupply, serving as anti-tank escort gunships, conducting
electronic warfare, conducting reconnaissance, or serving as medivac platforms. With
improving technology an enemy can easily modify most helicopters to fire sophisticated
air-to-air or air-to-surface weapons. Helicopters used by a dedicated, well-trained enemy
can clearly present a very serious threat to our forces. These helicopters can fly so low
and slow as to evade much of our current technology's capability to detect them soon
enough to engage them with our aircraft.
Our adversaries will not use helicopters as air superiority fighters. But many of our
enemies do have the capability to use their rotary winged assets as platforms for the new
sophisticated air-to-surface missiles, such as the Exocet, which have proven deadly even
to US warships. In addition to their important role in logistical support, helicopters have
proven effective platforms for surveillance, command and control, and troop transport.36
FIXED WING AIRCRAFT
The consensus is that the fixed wing aircraft threat has lessened because no enemy
air force in the world today can even consider challenging US fixed wing air superiority.37
This ability to provide US ground forces air superiority over any potential enemy's fixed
wing aircraft seems assured for the foreseeable future. One important aspect of the fixed
wing threat is that pilot training is so critical to employing this capability and all our
adversaries currently possess a very limited ability to train their pilots well.38 The trend
seems to be away from emphasis on this capability because of its high cost and significant
training requirement.39 A great air force is so very costly that few of our adversaries have
the time or resources to develop and maintain one.
This should not mean that our potential adversaries can not hurt our forces with their
fixed wing aircraft for limited periods of time. The fact that no possible adversary has a
capability to challenge our air assets directly does not mean that they do not have the
capability to use their fixed wing aircraft at a specific time and place to support their
ground maneuver, conduct reconnaissance, or operational level air interdiction missions.
As with helicopters, fixed wing aircraft will increasingly serve as the platform of choice for
the growing number of sophisticated air-to-surface weapons.
The ballistic missile threat is the threat that is currently most troubling to the US
intelligence community.40 This threat is real and available to a growing number of threat
countries. And quite honestly, the US currently has very limited abilities to defend against
it (Appendixes A and B). The growing accuracy of these weapons and their potential for
delivering chemical and nuclear warheads has made this threat the one with a clear
mandate for the US to solve. It will require a solution which is primarily ground-based, at
least for the near term.
There is debate within the intelligence community as to how great this threat really is
- some threat experts at the DIA say that this threat is more political than tactical.41 They
state that although this threat is growing and serious, it is not very capable on the tactical
level where it would most affect USMC forces. They maintain that Tactical Ballistic
Missiles (TBMs) are more of a weapon of terror and political blackmail than weapons
which deserve such a priority of effort and resources. They support their view by using as
an example the now famous "scud hunts" of the Gulf War which wasted so much time and
resources without much success in trying to find and destroy weapons which had virtually
no tactical significance. This view also maintains that our potential adversaries do not
have the ability to target well at the tactical level. Only by using chemical or nuclear
warheads could the systems prohibitively interfere with Marine tactical functions.
In 1992 LtCol Robert C. Dodt, Jr., wrote what many in the USMC consider the
fundamental study of this problem from the USMC perspective, "Tactical Ballistic Missile
Defense for the United States Marine Corps."42 His description of the serious and
growing threat to USMC expeditionary forces is very persuasive. If TBMs are the critical
threat which many maintain, then how realistic is it to provide total protection of our force
from them? What is an acceptable level of risk for our forces? What is adequate
protection? The Marine Corps must answer these questions.
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also called Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPV's),
are another growing threat. Currently the UAV threat is primarily that of reconnaissance
and Electronic Warfare (EW) and not of a lethal nature. Even the Iraqi's were able to use
UAVs during the Gulf War with some measure of success. The UAV's relatively low cost
and the difficulty of defending against them has made it one of the most popular weapons
on the current arms market.
This UAV capability is so vital to potential adversaries being able to target friendly
forces effectively that it is critical that the US develop its ability to counter this threat.
Another important reason to develop an effective defense against these systems is that
UAVs are developing the capability to be involved directly in lethal fire delivery.43
Cruise missiles are actually a type of ballistic missile but one which will have to be
countered differently because of the nature of its flight profile. According to DIA, Cruise
Missile (CM) technology is growing but is still a few years away from being a reality in
most potential adversaries.44 The Joint Chiefs of Staff; however, maintain that there is
already a viable cruise missile threat and that these weapons are available at increasingly
low prices which make their proliferation almost inevitable.45 Although the US may have
some time before having to worry much about this threat, it is important that the research
and acquisition agencies ensure that the US can defeat this threat in the very near future.
Once the threat nations develop this capability it could prove to be one of the most
difficult to defeat.
Joint Publication 3-01.2 provides a very good summary of the threat:
Air Threat. Enemy fixed-wing aircraft and cruise missiles pose a primary threat to
friendly forces and must be countered to gain control of the air and to protect US
forces. Additionally, enemy SOF, airborne forces, and attack helicopters pose a
threat both in their capability to attack friendly forces independently and in
conjunction with hostile ground forces. Tactical ballistic missiles employing
conventional, chemical, or nuclear warheads also pose a significant threat to the
joint force. Additionally, lethal unmanned, nonballistic systems, such as glide
bombs or remotely piloted vehicles, and nonlethal air vehicles with electronic or
psychological warfare capabilities also threaten the joint force. Satellite surveillance
systems could provide the enemy with warning, reconnaissance, and other
capabilities to increase friendly force vulnerability.46
USMC forces should expect air superiority against fixed wing aircraft in its area of
operations anywhere in the world. There is, however, a significant capability for potential
adversaries to hurt USMC forces with ballistic missiles, with UAVs, and the emerging
Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities providing them much needed targeting
information. The most serious threat is that these ballistic missiles can deliver chemical or
nuclear warheads. Helicopters at the tactical level will remain a significant threat to
USMC forces. Adversaries win increasingly use both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters
as platforms for sophisticated air-to-surface weapons which pose serious threats to USMC
IV. CURRENT USMC DOCTRINE
According to the USMC doctrinal publication on air defense, FMFM 5-50, Antiair
Warfare, antiair warfare (AAW) is one of the six functions of USMC aviation whose
mission is to, "gain and maintain the degree of air superiority required for the Marine Air
Ground Task Force (MAGTF) to conduct operations."47 This important document goes
on to describe the AAW assets to "include aircraft, air-launched weapons, Surface-to-Air
Weapons (SAWs), and the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS). The
MAGTF commander uses these assets as tools to gain and maintain the air superiority
needed for the successful prosecution of amphibious or expeditionary operations." 48 In
the USMC the term "air defense" is a subset of this AAW function and ground-based air
defense is a subset of the air defense function. Air defense is not given the status in the
USMC that it is in other services. In the Joint world, air defense is a major part of the
operational function: PROTECTION.49 USMC doctrine does not even mention this
As discussed in the historical section, the USMC Integrated Air Defense system
consists of a triad of weapon systems: FA-l8s, HAWK, and Stinger, integrated by USMC
MACCS.50o This triad has been consistent for the past 30 years -- in 1966 it was F-4's,
HAWK, and Redeye integrated by the USMC MACCS. The USMC has technically
improved the three weapons and the MACCS system many times, but the basic theory has
remained the same: Fighter Engagement Zone (FEZ), buffer or crossover zone, and
Missile Engagement Zone (MEZ)51 all coordinated through the Tactical Air Operations
Center (TAOC). Current USMC doctrine recognizes the TAOC as the agency which is
responsible for coordinating and allocating resources into the Joint and combined world. 52
The 1994 Mission Area Analysis 32, Mission Area Analysis for Antiair Warfare
(MAA 32), is a fundamental document in the current USMC system of asset acquisition
based on concept requirements. Its purpose is to accomplish a comprehensive analysis of
the Marine Corps' mission requirements for antiair warfare for the period FY 1993 to FY
2003. 53 MAA 32 lists thirty-three validated deficiencies (Appendix B). Number 12
states, "The MAGTF has an insufficient number and mix of AAW assets to provide
continuous air defense coverage to all desired MAGTF areas."54 This document defines
the current solution as trying to correct all the weapons and command and control
deficiencies which we currently have. MAA 32 emphasizes interoperability but appears to
give no real emphasis to eliminating redundancy or fighting Joint.
The USMC Master Plan (MCMP) 1994-2004 is the latest USMC vision for the
future.55 This document lays out the current USMC vision for the future of Antiair
Warfare -- Mission Area 32. It lists 20 tasks organized into three functional areas:
doctrine, training and education, and equipment (Appendix C). This document comes as
close to any the USMC has in defining what the current official solution is for the future of
ground-based air defense in the USMC. It, like MAA 32 which forms the basis of its
reasoning, appears to be a strategy of fixing what is wrong with a stand alone air defense
system in the USMC. It gives great emphasis to Joint interoperability but only in addition
to a complete stand alone system. It does not give enough emphasis to a Joint system
which would do away with unrequired redundancy in this period of very limited resources.
MAA 32 and the current Master Plan outline a current and future USMC doctrine which
is inconsistent with the resource realities which demand the elimination of stand alone
In current USMC doctrine, ground-based air defense is lost somewhere between
aviation and survivability. The doctrine does not even include air defense in the current
list of tactical battlefield activities!.56 The current USMC battlefield activities are:
Maneuver, Fires, Intelligence, Aviation, Combat Service Support,
Mobility-Countermobility- Survivability, and Command and Control. No other service,
either US or allied, views air defense with such an obvious lack of emphasis.
V. CURRENT SISTER SERVICE DOCTRINE
Since the USMC charter is to be JOINT, the Marine Corps must have a basic
knowledge of its sister services' capabilities and limitations in order to best craft the proper
Marine Corps slice of the Joint air defense system. As discussed earlier, General Powell
stated that the US military no longer needs nor can it afford all the redundancies among
FM 100-5, Operations, states the US Army mission and position very well:
Air defense operations are key when generating combat power. They provide
the force with protection from enemy air attack, preventing the enemy from
separating friendly forces while freeing the commander to fully synchronize
maneuver and firepower. Air defense operations are performed by all members
of the combined arms team; however, ground-based air defense artillery (ADA)
units execute the bulk of the force-protection mission. These units protect
deployed forces and critical assets within a theater area of responsibility (AOR)
by preventing enemy aircraft, missiles, and remotely piloted and unmanned
aerial vehicles (RPV/UAV) from locating, striking, and destroying them. The
threat to friendly forces and combat functions is significantly greater than in
the past due to weapons of mass destruction and the proliferation of missile
technology. The potential for catastrophic loss of soldiers, time, or initiative,
forcing a change to operational objectives, requires a greater role for theater
missile defense when generating combat power at the operational level. Air
defense operations represent the Army contribution to counterair operations.
The theater air commander is normally the area air defense commander (AADC).
He integrates the capabilities of different services and establishes counterair
ROE and procedures for the theater. A control and reporting center (CRC)
usually exercises control of theater counterair operations.57
The Army has been the lead service in ground-based air defense for many years.
FM 44-100, US Army Air Defense Operations, discusses the current Army doctrine on air
defense in detail and states that "The mission of US Army ADA is to protect the force
and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance. This
mission statement has been expanded over the previous versions to include all elements
which require protection and to include all types of aerial threats."58 The Army has based
its new doctrine on the new Joint doctrine and, of all the four services, is the most "Joint"
in its nature.
The key Army term is AIR DEFENSE (AD). The current system's foundation is the
Patriot missile system, augmented by HAWK from the National Guard, and the Short
Range Air Defense (SHORAD) weapon -- Stinger, both MANPAD (Man Portable Air
Defense) and Avenger.59 The Army ties into the Joint command and control system
through the US Air Force Combat Reporting Center (CRC) or the USMC Tactical Air
Operations Center (TAOC). The Army views its Air Defense Artillery as an important
supporting arm. Its historical background is from the artillery arm, specifically the coastal
Unlike the USMC, the US Army stresses the importance of air defense at all levels of
warfighting. At the strategic level part 1, national military, it provides protection for
strategic forces and means; at the strategic level part 2, theater force requirement and
readiness, it provides theater strategic air defense. At the operational level it provides
operational air defense. At the tactical level the Army gives air defense equal status with
the other Battlefield Operating Systems (BOS): Maneuver, Fire Support, Air Defense,
Command and Control, Intelligence, Mobility and Survivability, and Combat Service
The US Army is moving forward with a growing emphasis on Theater Missile
Defense (TMD) capability and has delayed fielding its next generation of Short Range Air
Defense (SHORAD) weapons in favor of the TMD focus. Army documents clearly
illustrate this theater missile defense focus. The Army's acquisition emphasis is presently
on a Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which is many years away,
and the new Patriot capability called the PAC 3 system.61
The Army has developed an exemplary concept of solving its short range air defense
of its armored units with the Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle. This concept provides a
very capable and economical solution by using a combination of presently available
systems: the Bradley armored fighting vehicle and the Stinger missile system. This
solution gives the important armor units the protection they need while saving a great
amount of money which the Army can use to focus on ballistic missile defense.
Some in the USMC have stated the USA can provide the USMC with AD capabilities
that eliminate the need for the USMC to have HAWK. I have never heard or read of any
Army air defender who has made such a claim. The Army leadership maintains that they
do not even have enough air defense assets to accomplish the Army's mission, much less
take on defending USMC forces.
US Navy doctrine stresses antiair warfare as an important part of battlespace
dominance which the Navy ensures by achieving and maintaining both maritime and air
superiority. United States Navy Doctrinal Publication 1, Naval Warfare (NDP 1), states
that "after achieving maritime and air superiority, naval forces can continue to operate as
an integrated part of a larger Joint organization or disengage to respond to another need
for their presence."63 Naval Warfare Publication 32, Antiair Warfare (NWP 32),64 and
Naval Warfare Publication 10-1-21, Commanders Guide to Antiair Warfare (NWP
10-1-21), detail the current Naval approach.65
The US Navy does give a priority to air defense. After all, unlike the USMC, the US
Navy has suffered from damaging air attacks since World War Two. The most recent
being the Iraqi Exocet missile attack on the USS Stark in 1987. The Navy lists Antiair
Warfare (AW) as one of its composite warfare functions.
The key word in Navy terminology is ANTIAIR WARFARE which the Navy
executes through its traditional base of guided missile frigates, AEGIS, and the emphasis
on carrier-based aircraft -- F-14's and F-18's. Their E2C Hawkeye carrier-based aircraft
and the designated composite warfare commander assigned the role as Antiair Warfare
Coordinator (AAWC), usually an AEGIS class ship, provide the Navy's air defense
command and control.66
Current Navy doctrine does not give much emphasis to Joint warfighting. The latest
NWP 32 is only a slight change from the past doctrine and still focuses on protecting the
fleet out in the deep blue water. The only section of NWP 32 which even mentions
integration with land based forces is the section on amphibious operations.
Some in the Navy would have them take over the AAW roles which HAWK has
provided for the USMC for many years. It is interesting that certain Navy leaders in
Washington have stated that the AEGIS can do this mission, but the AEGIS operators
with whom I have worked and discussed this issue claim that the AEGIS can NOT replace
HAWK capabilities for the USMC ashore. These operators maintain that AEGIS does
provide a tremendous capability which can and does extend over the littoral area, but it
should not be thought of as a stand alone answer for the USMC assault forces ashore.67
US AIR FORCE
Air Force Manual 1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force,
describes the current US Air Force doctrine.68 The US Air Force uses the term
AEROSPACE CONTROL, which consists of counterair and counterspace missions. 69
The US Air Force sees aerospace control as its fundamental role. The Air Force believes
it must establish and maintain aerospace control first and then, and only then, can they
perform their other functions (they call them "roles"): Force Application, Force
Enhancement, and Force Support.70 Although the US Air Force places great importance
on aerospace control, it gives little emphasis to defensive counterair and hardly mentions
ground-based air defense.
The Air Force bases its doctrine upon a reliance of massive numbers of fighter
aircraft coordinated by airborne AWACS and ground control units called Combat
Reporting Centers (CRC's).71 The Air Force places almost total reliance on offensive
counterair operations -- in other words, the conduct of deep air strikes. It is odd that the
USAF now wants to get into the ground-based air defense business (in their Deep Battle
concept) since it has never performed ground-based air defense except on the blackboards
of antiballistic missile defense and star wars.72 I can only surmise that it is because the
greatest current threat to US forces (TBMs) is one which the Air Force's airplanes will not
have any real capability against for a long time.
Joint Publication 3-01.2, Theater Counterair Operations, details the Joint position on
air defense.73 This doctrine is sound and all four services should incorporate it. Currently
they do not! Only the Army has written its new draft FM44-100 in clear support of this
important document.74 My experience in air defense can be informative on this issue.
Despite fourteen years of intense experience in USMC ground-based air defense, until I
began the research for this paper, I had never heard of this Joint document on air defense.
A little more than a year ago, 21 March-- 1 April 1994, the Office of the Secretary of
Defense (OSD) conducted a very important Joint Air Defense Test in Southern
Mississippi and the northern Gulf of Mexico called the Joint Air Defense Operations/Joint
Engagement Zone (JADO/JEZ) Nearland Test. It was the third and most comprehensive
of three tests/evaluations conducted by the OSD. It involved all four services and their
primary air defense weapons and command and control.
I was the senior Marine at the Camp Shelby, Mississippi, JADO/JEZ test site and
had under my supervision a USMC HAWK Battery, a USMC LAAD Platoon, and a
USMC Early Warning and Control Site (EW/C). The Army co-located a Patriot firing
platoon with us. The Camp Shelby air defense units were linked to the USMC Tactical
Air Operations Center (TAOC) at Gulfport, Mississippi, which served as the command
and control fusion center for all the AD players including: USAF fighters and
E3/AWACS, Navy fighters and E2C/HAWKEYE, Navy AEGIS missile cruiser, US
Army Patriot Battalion (-), plus the USMC ground-based air defenders -- HAWK and
Stinger. Aircraft and helicopters--F-16s, A-6s and a real MI-24 Hind and KA-25
Hormone--provided the threat force.
Joint Air Defense Operations/Joint Engagement Zone (JADO/JEZ) Joint Test
Force Nearland Test (NLT) Report documented the results of this important Joint
evaluation.75 I observed that all four services have much work to do to truly operate in a
Joint manner -- the four command and control systems are not easily interoperable. The
results of the test proved that the four services certainly can function well together, but
even after all these years it was clear that each of the four services had developed its own
air defense system in virtual isolation. Most systems' operators had very little experience
in operating in a truly Joint environment. As the report says, "tracking of aircraft by Joint
service organizations did not support maintaining correct IDs and positions on aircraft
throughout the IADS (Integrated Air Defense System)."75 The USMC Tactical Air
Operations Center (TAOC) proved to be the one agency which enabled the teat to be as
successful as it was.
The services' doctrines discussed are currently in a serious state of flux. In truth it is
difficult to define just what current "doctrine" is. Many times I would hear different
"words" from day to day and office to office, even in the same service, and even these
words would differ from the actual service's published directives. However, there are
some consistent concepts.
The Army has its view of defending its ground forces, the Air Force has its view of
aerospace control, the Navy has its composite warfare (AW) concept, and the Marine
Corps has its view of antiair warfare as a function of Marine aviation. All give lip service
to jointness, but few seem to really be "getting it." Only the US Army's doctrinal
publications stress the important operational term PROTECTION. All the services
currently have stand alone systems which give "eye wash" to interoperability and jointness.
The services must eliminate this "stovepipe" approach to this important doctrine, starting
with all four services agreeing to one set of Joint terms instead of the four sets we have
The USMC, in particular, is not consistent in regard to antiair warfare/air defense
doctrine. How can the USMC reconcile all the current focus on "jointness," "primacy of
the MEF," "single battle," and "battlespace" to its two dimensional view of warfighting?
Only the USMC does not give air defense/AAW equal status with the other battlespace
VI. OPTIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Now that we have laid a foundation describing where the USMC ground-based air
defense has been, what the current threat is, and what the current solutions are -- what
are the USMC options for the future? There appear to be only three: 1) continue the
current USMC policy, 2) eliminate all USMC air defense capabilities and let the Joint
world take care of it, or 3) reduce the USMC air defense redundancies and integrate better
into the Joint world.
COA # 1
Course of action #1 is to continue the current USMC policy. As already discussed it
is not easy to describe what the current policy/doctrine is, but for the purposes of this
study, we will use the definition provided by the current USMC policy in the USMC
Master Plan and FMFM 5-50. They would have the USMC fix all its current systems as if
it plans to go to war alone with its own completely Integrated Air Defense System
Some would have the USMC continue this policy of a total IADS but reduce
everyone across the board - save the structure to everything, just reduce assets and
manning. This is what the USMC has traditionally done in the past. This is a bad
approach. The USMC's recent experience in truly trying to integrate into a Joint air
defense structure has clearly demonstrated that the current system is broken. The results
of the JADO/JEZ series of tests/evaluations demonstrated dramatically that the current
systems and concepts are not Joint.77 Each service's air defense assets and mind sets
proved to be far less interoperable than originally anticipated. Each service had developed
its doctrine and systems with that service's particular slant on air defense as the
foundation. The USMC can not afford to have a capability which does not integrate into
the Joint system.
COA # 2
Course of action #2 would simply eliminate all USMC air defense units and assets
and give the mission to the Joint system. This seems to be what many leaders in the
USMC want to do. It is odd that they would agree with an Air Force general on
something as fundamental as this.78 Some in the US Air Force maintain that they are
responsible for aerospace control, so they should be in charge of all the air defense assets;
therefore, if a threat gets through it is the Air Force's fault. This sounds good to the
average layman most concerned with cost savings, but if one examines how this would
actually take place, it starts to breakdown. The USAF has never been in the ground-
based air defense business, so how the USMC could just hand over its weapons and
manpower to them is difficult to understand. That would be like the USMC taking over
the submarine business.
Others would have the USMC just do away with all air defense without any transfer
of responsibility to another service. Appendix E clearly shows that to eliminate all the
USMC air defense tools would leave quite a hole in our overall capability.
COA # 3
Course of action #3 is for the USMC to keep its shooters, reduce its air defense
system, particularly the redundant command and control structure, and integrate better
into the Joint system. The USMC must participate in the development of a truly Joint air
defense command, control and communications system. The USMC can begin to do this
with the assets it already has and will have by 1996. Software modifications can fix many
of the interoperability problems for the short term.
Course of action three (COA #3) is the course of action that I believe will be the best
solution for the Marines on the ground. Since the USMC will never go to war except in a
Joint environment, it does not need a stand alone AAW system -- nor does any other
service need such a system. What the USMC needs are Marine-like-weapons (agile,
mobile, hostile) and an appropriate slice of command and control to connect these
weapons into any potential Joint command and control system.
I have developed this final recommendation over a period of months. The more I
researched the topic the more I realized that some of my earlier judgments about the
subject were in error. Many ground-based air defense officers in the USMC have fought
so long to educate the senior leadership about GBAD that they are usually far from
objective and too emotional. I have put aside these emotions and make the following four
recommendations which will provide the adequate protection which we have been hunting.
1. JOINT DOCTRINE WHICH STRESSES PROTECTION
The USMC must revise its current doctrine. It must take the Joint approach that it
professes to have and rewrite its doctrine after the fashion which the US Army has in its
new FM 44-100. The USMC doctrine must reflect the Joint principle of protection. The
USMC can NOT continue to use the old "AAW is one of the functions of Marine
Aviation" answer. Protection of the MAGTF is the function, aviation assets are tools to
help us provide that function. This mission of air defense is a very important part of
protecting our forces and the reality of the modern battlefield is that ground-based air
defense must play an important part in that mission. Aircraft have never nor can they now
do it all.
Protection of the force is the operational commander's most important function. The
CINC and the MAGTF commanders have no more important function than to provide
their tactical forces protection from air and naval attacks --both lethal and nonlethal. The
USMC can no longer assume that the air forces' supremacy can prevent enemies from
hurting USMC forces from the air. Air defense is, in a real sense, a function which only
forces at the operational/theater level can accomplish. Therefore, it is inherently a JOINT
function which the services must integrate and coordinate at the operational/theater level.
Only a flexible and Joint interoperable command and control system can provide this
function to the CINC and MAGTF commanders.
In fact, all four services should revise their doctrine and training so that they really
have the JOINT system which they need to provide effective protection to the Joint
forces. Even with current emphasis on jointness, I found in my research and experience
that much of that emphasis is lip service. It is time that all four services grow up and quit
acting like it is a defeat to make a capability purple (Joint). Especially in the short term,
the services must put aside their parochial interests and do what is right for the United
States. Each of the services has its traditional strengths which it should maximize while
working to eliminate the cut throat attitude of the past.
2. KEEP THE FIREPOWER
The USMC must retain its firepower, its "shooters." There is not enough ground-
based air defense in the Joint US structure now (Appendixes D and E). Initially I believed
that the USMC had cut back its LAAM battalions and its HAWK missile system to the
point of no return; that it was trying to get global sourcing of ground-based air defense
capability from one small battalion - more and more with less and less. I believed that it
was time that someone stood up and said "NO." If the USMC wants an integrated air
defense system then have one. If not, then let us move on with just the Stinger system in
the LAAD battalion and pray that none of our enemies notice. I also thought that claiming
that the HAWK system can provide the USMC a TBM defense capability was just another
attempt to save HAWK by tying it to a good source of funding. I tried hard to be
objective and the research and months of thought have changed my mind about these
The real debate continues over the USMC HAWK capability. HAWK is currently
the most capable medium range/altitude mobile air defense weapon in the world. HAWK
is the only 24-hour-a-day, all weather, air defense system which the USMC has. In its
current form it is much more mobile than in the past and its mobility is constantly
improving. It recently demonstrated a TBM capability with upgrades in the TAOC's TPS
59 radar.79 What most people fail to understand is that the new HAWK's phase III
system is more modern than even the current Patriot system. It is expensive - one of the
most expensive ground units in the USMC. The Marine Corps without HAWK will have
no viable medium range/altitude air defense capability for at least the next ten years -- nor
will it have a system upon which to develop any future capability. Without HAWK the
USMC will have absolutely no ballistic missile or cruise missile defense capability and little
capability against UAV's.
An examination of Appendixes D and E clearly shows that the Joint commander is
long on fixed wing aircraft and short on ground-based air defense. It is very striking to
see that only the HAWK has capability against all the current threat systems; the chart
depicted in Appendix E really shows the issue well. The USMC should not give up its
All agree that the USMC should keep and continue development of its low altitude
air defense capability which the Stinger weapon system currently provides. It is agile,
mobile, and hostile. Even the Air Force does not argue with the USMC keeping air
defense weapons like Stinger/Avenger. These LAAD units have had the political
advantage of always being on the cutting edge - being assigned to all the Marine
Expeditionary Units. This has given them the visibility with the ground units which their
larger cousin has not had. LAAD gets all the direct support missions in support of the
ground combat units; they get the "sexy" adventure training and are generally the most
"grunt like" unit in the air wing.
The problem with all this love of LAAD is that too many are too quick to oversell
its capabilities. The Stinger missile is not magic -- it is currently limited to the gunner's
eyeball and without early warning has very limited ability against high performance attack
aircraft. Gunners currently must expose themselves to the environment to fire -- even in
the Avenger they have no protection against even small arms. The USMC must not
overstretch these very capable units with requirements for which they were never
intended. LAAD units are in many ways like reconnaissance units; everybody wants some
but few know how to use them properly.
The only weapon which I would recommend adding for the short term solution is a
simple antiaircraft machine-gun capability. All of the pilots with which I have ever
discussed this issue have stressed their fear of this capability, and yet, the USMC has not
had it for over thirty years. I recommend simple antiaircraft machine-guns in the structure
of all USMC ground forces as a part of their normal crew-served weapons. These
weapons have proven their great utility over the years. If the unit is deploying to a
situation which does not require the weapons, then do not take them. We should at least
have antiaircraft mounts for the crew served weapons which the units already have -
amazingly these mounts existed but the USMC eliminated them from the inventory some
years ago. It is interesting to note that fighter aircraft did away with all their guns when
they originally converted to missiles too, thinking that with missiles, guns were obsolete.
Fighter pilots put the guns back on their aircraft many years ago; it is long overdue that
the ground forces get their AA guns back!
3. REDUCE AND STREAMLINE COMMAND AND CONTROL
The USMC must reduce and streamline its command and control (C2) system. The
C2 system must be truly Joint (not just interoperable) with the one Joint overall command
and control-system within which the USMC will always operate in the real world. The
USMC cannot afford to give up any weapons, because the Joint world does not have
enough shooters now, but what the Joint world does have too much of is command and
control systems, Figure 1.
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The United States needs one Joint air defense command and control system which is
flexible and capable of incorporating any potential mix of the shooters against any
potential adversary, Figure 2.
The critical question is who will be in charge of this Command and Control (C2)
system? Why does the USMC need six Marine Air Control Squadrons (MACS) when it
only has one HAWK battalion? If we can "globally source" HAWK, why not MACS
capability, especially when you consider that in the Joint world chances are slim that the
USMC will provide the senior command and control agency to the overall air defense
effort. The Joint world wants firepower not more command and control systems to burn
up what few radio frequencies we have.
The main argument for keeping all the MACS units is that without them the USMC
will lose its ability to provide command and control to our fixed wing aviation and will,
thereby, weaken the USMC argument to keep its fixed wing aviation-- especially the
F/A-18s. The other argument is that the USMC needs all the MACS units so it can train
all the various fighter groups. This is totally against the Joint concept which the USMC
professes!. If the USMC truly plans on going to war in a Joint environment then it must
train to do so. Even USMC doctrine states that our warfighting MEF only rates two
TAOCs, and since everyone should know that the USMC can only fight one MEF at a
time, I recommend that the USMC have one TAOC on each coast and one in the reserves.
That would give the USMC half what it has now--quite a savings in money, manpower
4. TRAIN JOINT
Finally, after making USMC doctrine more Joint-keeping the USMC shooters, and
streamlining its C2--the Marine Corps must ensure that its preparations are always
consistent with fighting Joint. The USMC must practice the way it is going to "play" and
conduct all exercises and evaluations in a manner consistent with the USMC fighting Joint
doctrine. My personal experience at JADO/JEZ underlines this recommendation. Training
Joint should not be something Marine forces can do - training Joint must be the standard
that Marine forces adhere to!
As the USMC continues the hunt for adequate protection from air attack, the USMC
must make decisions that are conscious, well-informed, and JOINT. Who is responsible
for what specific part of the air defense mission is a Joint decision -- because it is a Joint
commitment. No matter what the decision, the only viable answer can be one that is Joint
in nature, because it is the resource reality of the modern world. No one US service is
going to do anything in isolation that will require air defense.
Finally, in the debate over what kind of ground-based air defense it will have, the
USMC must at all costs stay faithful to our traditional Marine Corps values. No matter
whose Military Occupational Specialty or weapon system gets saved or eliminated. The
Marine Corps really has only one weapon which is critical to its survival - the individual
MARINE! Whatever the USMC does, the ultimate litmus test is whether that action
enhances the Marine rifleman and his warfighting capabilities. He is the ultimate capability
and asset. The words of the officer who wrote the 1933 report are still true today -- in
the face of new threats from the air let the USMC ensure it maintains "adequate
protection." I believe that the four recommendations which I have submitted will not only
do that but they will do it at a considerable cost savings to the USMC.
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THE CURRENT US AIR DEFENSE WEAPONS AND C3 SYSTEMS
1. F-15 EAGLE. USAF all weather air superiority fighter, one man crew, two
engine, 2.5 mach, 250-600 mile, armament: one 20mm cannon, four Aim-9 and four
Aim-7's. Probably the US's best all round air superiority radar capable fighter. 894 F-15's
and 209 F-15E's total in USAF.
2. F-14 TOMCAT. USN all weather air superiority fighter, carrier based, two
crew, two engine, 2.34 mach, 250-700 mile, armament: one 20mm cannon, four Aim-9,
and four Aim-7's. 385 total.
3. F-16 FIGHTING FALCON. USAF multipurpose fighter/attack aircraft, one
man crew, one engine, 2.0 mach, 250-600 mile, armament: one 20mm cannon, six
Aim-9's. A very agile fighter which is very popular for its multipurpose capabilities.
2,203 total sold to USAF of which about 1000 are left in the active forces.
4. F/A-18 HORNET. USN/USMC multipurpose fighter/attack aircraft, carrier
based, one man, two engine, 1.8 mach, 200-600 mile, armament: one 20mm cannon, two
Aim-7, and two Aim-9's. 153 total USMC and 718 USN.
5. AV8-B HARRIER. USMC multipurpose vistol attack aircraft. one man crew,
one engine, .9 mach, 200-600 mile, armament: one 25mm cannon, four Aim-9's. 290
6. AH-1W SUPERCOBRA. USMC helicopter which can be used in a
secondary role of air-to-air.84 Armament: one 20mm cannon, two Aim-9's. 100 total
presently in USMC with plans to purchase 100 more.
7. OTHERS. Obviously there are many aircraft which can be adapted for a
limited air defense role - the aircraft above have been selected because they are the
principle counter air weapons in the US inventory.
1. PATRIOT (MIM-104). US Army's primary surface-to-air missile system.
There are nine (9) active duty Patriot battalions of the PAC 2, QRP 2 version of Patriot.
The new PAC 3 system will be fielded in 1996.
2. HAWK (MIM-23B). USMC's primary surface-to-air missile system since
1960. A radar guided surface-to-air missile with a range of up to 25 nautical miles and up
to 50,000 feet in altitude. USMC has one active duty battalion of three batterys and one
reserve battalion of three batterys. The Army National Guard has three battalions.
3. STINGER/AVENGER. Army and USMC's primary short range
surface-to-air missile system. 3 mile/6km range, 10,000 ft altitude, IR/UV shoulder fired
missile. Limited nighttime capability. Avenger is a pedestal mounted Stinger/50 cal
machine-gun weapon system which is transported in a HMMWV. Avenger also a FLIR
system which makes it much more capable at night. It has shoot on the move capability
and has eight ready to fire missiles in its pods.
4. STANDARD MISSILE 1 (RIM-66A) and 2 (RIM-67A). US Navy's primary
surface-to-air missiles. Standard 1 has been in service since late 1960's and has a range of
18km and an altitude of 20,000 m. The latest USN surface-to-air missile is the Standard
2 which became operational in late 1970's and has a range of 55 km and an altitude of
20,000 m. Standard 2 is the primary weapon used by the AEGIS missile cruiser.
5. SEA SPARROW (RIM-7E-5). US Navy's close in surface-to-air missile. A
radar guided missile with a range of 25 KM. Is currently being used in conjunction with
the Close in Weapon System/Phalanx for defense against anti-ship missiles and aircraft.
6. CLOSE IN WEAPON SYSTEM (CIWS)/PHALANX. US Navy's final line
of defense against close in air attack. A 20 mm gattling gun (six barrels) of 2000 meters
range rate of fire of 3000 rounds per minute. This weapon system is found on almost
every US Navy warship.
7. CHAPARRAL (MIM-72). US Army surface-to-air short range IR missile
system which is now only in the National Guard and will soon be totally retired. A four
missile launcher usually mounted on a self propelled track vehicle (M48 version).
1. AADC. The Area Air Defense Commander will normally be assigned overall
responsibility for air defense by the Joint Force Commander. See Joint Publications 3-52
and 3-01 for more information.
2. CRC/CRP. USAF Control and Reporting Center/Control and Reporting
Point. USAF primary control point of overall Air Defense effort in a given area. It is the
entry point of the Army's ADA into the Joint effort.
3. E-3 SENTRY/AWACS. USAF 707 transport with a very large radome above
the fuselage and a complete air-defense operation center in the cabin. 17 man crew.
Primary coordinators of USAF fighters. 34 of these important aircraft still on active duty
since first being deployed in 1977.
4. AEGIS. The Navy's principle antiair warfare ship which is usually designated
by the Composite Warfare Commander (CWC) as the Antiair Warfare Coordinator
(AAWC) for a given area of responsibility. Operational since 1983 this state of the art
naval weapon system is built around the very capable multi-function phase array radar
5. E-2 HAWKEYE. USN turboprop carrierborne early warning aircraft.
Primary coordinators of US Navy fighters.
6. TAOC. USMC Tactical Air Operations Center used primarily for air defense
coordination and control. Similar to the USAF's CRC.
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1 USMC Division of Operations & Training, Report on Equipment for an
Antiaircraft Regiment, Base Defense Force (Washington, DC: Headquarters Marine
Corps, 20 Jan 1933), 1.
2 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Report on the Roles, Missions and
Functions of the Armed Forces of the United States (Washington, DC: CJCS, February
3 CJCS Report,III-41.
4 Major Charles S.Nichols, Jr., USMC and Henry I. Shaw, Jr., Okinawa: Victory in
the Pacific (Washington, DC: HQMC, 1965), 63.
5 HQMC Memorandum for the record. Minutes of the ESG meeting held 24 Jan
6 BGen. Simmons (ret), USMC Historical Department Director, telephone
interview by author on 27 Nov 1994.
7 Sir Frederick Pile, Ack, Ack (London: Harrap, 1949).
8 Kenneth P. Werrell, Archie, Flak, AAA, and SAM (Maxwell AFB: Air University
9 Werrell, xv.
10 Werrell, 177.
11 John F. Kreis, Air Warfare and Air Base Defense 1914-1973 (Washington, DC:
GPO, 1988), 220.
12 1933 HQMC Report.
13 Werrell, 2-4.
14 Kreis, 27.
15 Kreis, 233.
16 Kreis, 233.
17 Werrell, 177.
18 Werrell, 51.
19 Mr. Dale Dewitt, MSgt USMC (ret), telephone interview by author on 10 Jan
1995. (Hereafter: Dewitt interview).
20 Landing Force Manual (LFM) 23, Antiaircraft Artillery (Washington, DC:
HQMC, 1954), 1-2.
21 Mr. Oscar Wallace, GySgt USMC (ret), telephone interview by author on 20 Dec
1994. (Hereafter: Wallace interview).
22 Wallace interview.
23 Wallace interview.
24 Wallace and Dett interviews.
25 Major G. D. McPherson, USMC, The Transfer of Certain Marine Corps
Antiaircraft Units from Force Troops to Force Aviation (Quantico, VA: the Junior
School, Marine Corps Educational Center, Marine Crops Schools, 19 March 1957).
26 Dewitt interview.
27 The Marines in Vietnam 1954-1973: an Anthology and Annotated Bibliography
(Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, HQ USMC, 1985), 39.
28 Werrell, 136.
29 Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 5-52, Employment of the Low Altitude Air
Defense Battalion (Washington, DC: HQ USMC, 1990), 1-1.
30 FMFM 5-52, 1-1.
31 Captain Mark A. King, USMC, "Our Dangerous Assumption" U. S. Naval
Institute Proceedings, November 1989, 44-47.
32 Jane's Weapon Systems 1987-88 (London: Jane's Publishing Company), 181-184.
33 FMFM 5-52,1-1.
34 Field Manual (FM)44-100, US Army Air Defense Operations (Washington, DC:
Department of the Army, 1994), 2-7.
35 Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1993-94 (London: Jane's Publishing Company),
36 Mr. Al Catlett, helicopter analyst with Marine Corps Intelligence Agency (MCIA),
interviewed by author on 28 Feb 1995.
37 DIA analysts Mr. Bob Shaefer, Mr. John Bullach, and LCMDR Dave Depman
interviewed by author at DIAC on 19 Dec 1994. (Hereafter: DIA interview).
38 DIA interview.
39 DIA interview.
40 Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA), Threats in Transition, Marine Corps
Mid-Range Threat Estimate - 1995-2005 (Quantico,VA: MCIA, 1994), 21.
41 DIA interview.
42 LtCol Robert C. Dodt, USMC, Tactical Ballistic Missile Defense for the United
States Marine Corps (Washington, DC: Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 1992).
43 DIA interview.
44 DIA interview.
45 Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Theater Missile Defense CONOPS
(Draft)(Washington, DC: JCS, 15 November 1994), 7.
46 Joint Publication 3-01.2, Joint Doctrine for Theater Counterair Operations
(Washington, DC: The Joint Chiefs of Staff; 1986), III-1.
47 Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 5-50, Antiair Warfare (Washington, DC:
HQMC, 1994), 1-1.
48 FMFM 5-50, 2-1.
49 Armed Forces Staff College Publication 2; Part II Joint Synchronization
(Quantico,VA: MCCDC, 1994), ll-5-F-1.
50 FMFM 5-50, 2-1 to 2-6.
51 FMFM 5-50, 3-12 to 3-13.
52 Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 5-60, Control of Aircraft and Missiles
(Washington, DC: HQMC, 1993), 2-1.
53 Mission Area Analysis for Antiair Warfare: 1993-2003 (MAA 32)
(Quantico,VA: MCCDC, 1994), 1 and 2.
54 MAA 32,D-28.
55 Marine Corps Master Plan (MCMP) 1994 - 2004 (Washington, DC: HQMC,
1993), 11-25 to 11-27.
56 USMC Command and Staff College, Commander and Staff Planning Guide
(Quantico, VA: MCCDC, 1994), 1-7.
57 FM 100-5, 2-13.
58 FM 44-100, 1-2.
59 Headquarters, Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and
Plans, Force Development Air & Missile Defense Division, Washington, DC. Captain Joe
Fischetti (Patriot), Major Hart (SHORAD), and Capt Maestas (Army National Guard)
telephone interviews by author on 13 Jan 1995. (Hereafter: Army Air Defense Officers
60 US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet 11-9, Blueprint
of the Battlefield (Fort Monroe, VA: US Army TRADOC, 1994).
61 FM 44-100, 6-5.
62 Colonel A. P. Hasbrouck, Director of Combat Developments, Memorandum for
Assistant Commandant, US Army Air Defense Artillery School, Fort Bliss, Texas, 2O Sep
63 Naval Doctrine Publication (NDP) 1, Naval Warfare (Washington, DC: GPO,
64 Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 32, Antiair Warfare (Washington, DC: Dept of
Navy, CNO, Jul 1992).
65 Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 10-1-21, Commander's Guide to Antiair
Warfare (Washington, DC: Dept of Navy, CNO, Aug 1990).
66 NWP 10-1-21, 5-3.
67 A source, an AEGIS senior operator interviewed by author during JADO/JEZ
Near Land Test. This AEGIS officer is currently in command and did not give permission
to be quoted.
68 Air Force Manual 1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force
(Washington, DC: Dept of the Air Force, 1992).
69 AF Manual 1-1,7.
70 AF Manual 1-1, 10.
71 AF Manual 1-1, 11.
72 General Merrill A. McPeak, "The Roles and Missions Opportunity," Armed Forces
Journal International (Washington, DC: AFJ, March 1995), 34.
73 Joint Pub 3-01.2.
74 FM 44-100.
75 Joint Air Defense Operations/Joint Engagement Zone (JADO/JEZ) Joint Test
Force Nearland Test (NLT) Report (Eglin AFB, 1994).
76 JADO/JEZ NLT final report, ii.
77 JADO/JEZ NLT final report.
78 General McPeak, 32-34.
79 Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), Theater Missile Defense (TMD)
System Description Document (Washington, DC: DOD/BMDO, Dec 30 1994), 2-25.
80 Joint Theater Missile Defense CONOPS, 8.
81 MAA 32, D-28.
82 MCMP, II-25 to II-27.
83 Jane`s All the World's Aircraft, 1993-94.
84 Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 55-3-AH1 Volume 1 (Rev. E), AH-1 Tactical
Manual, NAVAIR 01-1110HC-1T(Washington, DC: CNO, Dec 1993).
85 Jane`s All the World's Weapon Systems, 1987-88; Jane's Fighting Ships 1993-94
and Army Air Defense Officers interview were used to construct this overview of these
air defense systems.
86 Jane`s All the World's Aircraft, 1993-94,Jane's Fighting Ships 1993-94, Army
Air Defense Officers interviews and interviews with USMC Air Defense systems experts
were used during the construction of this capabilities overview. It must be noted here that
this chart is intended to provide an overview of the core capabilities of these systems
against the current threat systems. A "no" does not mean that there is not some
theoretical capability; what it means is that according to all the sources I have used, the
system is not practical to be used for such a mission.
Air Force Magazine. Vol. 75, no 5. Arlington, Va: Air Force Association. May 1992.
Air Force Manual 1-1. Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force.
Washington, DC: Headquarters US Air Force. March 1992.
Armed Forces Staff College Pub 2. Joint Synchronization. Quantico, VA: MCCDC,
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). 1994 Report to the Congress on:
Ballistic Missile Defense. Washington, DC: BMDO. July 1994.
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). Theater Missile Defense (TMD) System
Description Document (SDD). Washington, DC: BMDO. Dec 1994.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Report on the Roles, Missions, and Functions of
the Armed Forces of the United States. Washington, DC: The Pentagon, 1993.
Dodt, Robert C., LtCol USMC. Tactical Ballistic Missile Defense for the United States
Marine Corps. The Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 1992.
Field Manual (FM)1OO-5. Operations. Washington, DC: Department of the Army. June
Field Manual (FM) 44-lOO. US Army Air Defense Operations. Washington, DC:
Department of the Army. June 1994. Final Draft.
Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 5-50. Antiair Warfare. Washington, DC:
Headquarters United States Marine Corps. June 1994.
Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 5-52. Employment of the Low Altitude Air Defense
Battalion. Washington, DC: United States Marine Corps. October 1990.
Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 5-60. Control of Aircraft and Missiles. Washington,
DC: United States Marine Corps. 22 June 1993.
Hasbrouck, A. P., Colonel USA, Director of Combat Developments. Memorandum for
Assistant Commandant, US Army Air Defense Artillery School. Subject:
"Proposed Elimination of USMC SAM Battalions." Fort Bliss, Texas. 2O Sep
Headquarters Marine Corps. Report on Equipment for an Antiaircraft Regiment, Base
Defense Force. Washington, DC: HQMC. 20 Jan 1933.
Headquarters Marine Corps approved memorandum for the record. The minutes of the
Executive Steering Group (ESG) meeting held 24 January 1994.
Joint Air Defense Operations/Joint Engagement Zone (JADO/JEZ) Joint Test Force
Nearland Test (NLT) Report. Eglin AFB: JADO/JEZ, 1994.
Jane's All the Worlds' Aircraft 1993-94. London: Jane's Publishing Company. 1993.
Jane's Fighting Ships 1993-94. London: Jane's Publishing Company. 1993.
Jane's Weapon Systems 1987-88. Eighteenth edition by Bernard Blake. London: Jane's
Publishing Company. 1987.
Joint Chiefs of Staff. Joint Theater Missile Defense CONOPS (Draft). Washington, DC:
Joint Chiefs of Staff November 1994.
Joint Publication 1. Joint Warfare of the United States Armed Forces. Washington, DC:
National Defense University Press. November 1991.
Joint Publication 3-01.2 Joint Doctrine for Theater Counterair Operations. Washington,
DC: Joint Chiefs of Staff. April 1986.
Joint Publication 3-01.5 Joint Doctrine for Theater Missile Defense. Washington, DC:
Joint Chiefs of Staff. March 1994.
King, Mark A., Capt USMC. "Our Dangerous Assumption." U. S. Naval Institute
Proceedings, November 1989, 44-47.
Kreis, John F. Air Warfare and Air Base Defense 1914 - 1973. Washington, DC: GPO,
Landing Force Manual (LM) 23. Antiaircraft Artillery. United States Marine Corps.
Washington, DC: HQMC. 1954.
Marine Corps Intelligence Activity. Threats in Transition, Marine Corps Mid-Range
Threat Estimate - 1995-2005. Quantico, VA: MCIA. 1994.
Marine Corps Master Plan (MCMP) 1994-2004. Washington, DC: Headquarters United
States Marine Corps. July 1993.
McPeak, Merrill A., General USAF (Ret). "The Roles and Missions Opportunity."
Armed Forces Journal International. Washington, DC: AFJ. March 1995.
Mission Area Analysis for Antiair Warfare (1993 - 2003) Study, final report. Quantico,
Va: United States Marine Corps Combat Development Command. 1994.
Naval Doctrine Publication (NDP) 1. Naval Warfare. Washington, DC: GPO, March
Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 10-1-21. Antiair Warfare Commanders Manual. (C).
Washington, DC: Dept of the Navy, CNO. Aug 1990.
Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 32. Antiair Warfare (C). Washington, DC: Dept of
the Navy, CNO. Jul 1992.
Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 55-3-AH1 Volume 1 (Rev. E). AH-1 Tactical Manual.
Nichols, Charles S., Major USMC and Henry I. Shaw, Jr. Okinawa: Victory in the
Pacific. Washington, DC: HQMC. 1965.
Pile, Sir Frederick A. Ack-Ack. London: Harrap, 1949.
The Marines in Vietnam 1954-1973: am Anthology and Annotated Bibliography.
Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine
Werrell, Kenneth P. Archie, Flak, AAA, and Sam: a Short Operational History of
Ground-based Air Defense. Maxwell Air Force Base: Air University Press, 1988.
Catlett, Al. Marine Corps Intelligence Agency analyst. Interview by author on l March
Dewitt, Dale. A retired USMC MSgt who served in USMC ground-based air defense
from 1952-1972. Telephone interview by author on 10 Jan 1995.
Fischetti, Joe, Cpt USA, Maj Hart and Cpt Maestas. US Army air defense officers who
work at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for
Operations and Plans, Force Development Air & Missile Defense Division,
Washington, DC. Telephone interviews by author on 13 Jan 1995.
Simmons, E. H. A retired BGen USMC who is now the Director of Marine Corps
History and Museums. Telephone interview by author on 27 Nov 1994.
Shaefer, Bob, John Bullach, Dave Depman. DIA threat air analysts. Interview by author
at Defense Intelligence Agency Center on 19 Dec 1994.
A source, an AEGIS senior operator interview by author during JADO/JEZ Nearland
Test. This AEGIS officer is currently in command and did not give permission to
Wallace, Oscar. A retired USMC GySgt who served in USMC ground-based air defense
from 1955 - 1975. Telephone interview by author on 20 Dec 1994.
Wilkinson, Greg and Keith Wilkes. Both Majors in the USMC with extensive
ground-based air defense experience in both operations and procurement.
Interviewed by the author throughout the school year of 1994-95. Major
Wilkinson is currently serving at MARCORSYSCOM and Major Wilkes is student
at the USMC Command and Staff College