The changed strategic landscape of the 21st century has driven a shift to more flexible, adaptable capabilities across the spectrum of conflict. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated the validity of team warfare between air and land forces during open hostilities with an enemy. The time has come for innovative counter-air and counter-land concepts focused on medium- to large-scale conventional combat operations that will merge air and ground forces even more effectively into a single potent fighting force. Such is the focus of AirLandBattle21. A basic assumption in this study is that, during major combat operations, a relevant number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) will conduct distributed operations in a non-linear, non-contiguous and geographically separated fashion. The study introduces a flexible counter-air framework that allows for the most efficient use of limited air assets and advocates only the necessary levels of air control in different areas across the theatre. The study also offers alternative views of strategic attack and explores the critical role tactical airlift will play in employing and sustaining the brigade combat team.
'Non-linear, non-contiguous, non-establishment. A fresh take on 21st century warfare where the Army and Air Force are urged to become more Marine-like to close the seams in joint operations.' Stephen Chiabotti, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, USA 'Finally! Transformation must be more than a change in technology. Forward thinking, yet practical, AirLandBattle21 proposes much needed credible solutions to the question of how land and air forces can and should be mutually supportive, even interdependent to maximize their capabilities on the 21st century battlespace. The Army and Air Force need to take notice of the revolutionary concepts in this important work.' Robert Mahoney, Marine Corps War College, USA
Contents: Laying the foundation; The brigade combat team construct; Battlespace transformation; The concept of air as a maneuver force; Expanding AirLandBattle21 counterland concepts; Counterair concepts; Alternatives to strategic attack; From strategic attack to strategic cordon; Tactical airlift concepts; Engaging the debate and completing the transformation; Appendix: Airlift calculations and assumptions; Selected bibliography; Index.