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French Air Force operational & tactical learnings

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1 French Air Force operational & tactical learnings
Mali, SERVAL operation French Air Force operational & tactical learnings Paris, 14 octobre 2013

2 Crisis mgt, deployment, missions.
Keys for initial swiftness. 3. Air campaign. 4. The enemy and the theater. 5. Lessons Learned

3 1. Crisis management North-South:
different geography - economy, people… - historical tensions Military coup in Bamako (2012 march, 22th): disorganized Armed Forces - Northern nationalists, rebels got the opportunity and took control of northern Mali (Kidal march 30th – Gao march 31th – Tombouctou April 1st) AZAWAD - April 6th, Independent region of AZAWAD is proclaimed - Provides sanctuary for armed rebels groups. 3

4 1. Crisis management From crisis Rising…
2013 January 10th : rebels carried out a strong offensive southward and seized Konna town inbound Mopti. Malian Pdt wrote a letter to UNSG who transmitted it to UNSC and asked help of France. UNSC declares : The members of the Security Council reiterate their call to Member States to assist the settlement of the crisis in Mali and, in particular, to provide assistance to the Malian Defense and Security Forces in order to reduce the threat posed by terrorist organizations and associated groups. French Pdt decided to give direct military assistance to Mali. AZAWAD 4

5 … to immediate response
1. Crisis management … to immediate response 3 Jan. 11th (noon): political decision Jan th (night): 1st strike, pre deployed M2000D from N’Djamena. Preliminary orders for 2d strike/reinforce. Jan. 12th (PM): targets selected Jan. 13th (AM): Rafale raid takes-off from mother base (St Dizier), longest strike mission of FAF history :9h45 of flight. >30 targets destroyed after 3 days 4 5

6 reinforced capability
1. Deployed assets French air assets already present in western Africa, reinforcements and distances of APODs CSAR Harfang M2000D F1CR C135 Niamey DAKAR CN235 BAMAKO 1000 km N’DJAMENA 3000 km JFACC AFCO 1000 km Rafale ABIDJAN 3000 km C130 LIBREVILLE E3F ATL2 C160 reinforced capability

7 1. Missions Missions for French Air Force :
1. provide air strikes directly to help Malian forces and FR SOF to stop rebels running to the south before Mopti (which is a very important lock on the way to Bamako) and reinforce quickly the air component (>+800 FR pax) 2. deny and disorganize rebels’ supply chain just north of front line and far away (North of Mali) 3. provide CAS sorties to support Malian and FR troops and SCAR mission to give them freedom of movement 4. provide air mobility to give FR troops the ability to take quickly under control the most important airfields IOT take control of the two only bridges over Niger river and organize permanent air sustainment 5. settle an air C2 to plan and conduct an air joint and combined operation (up to 8 nations involved) / every components providing air assets 6. organize the air ISR campaign including all allied and joint assets 7. support the joint operation : plan permanent air transportation (water, food, ammunition, vehicles, troops…) including a/c from other nations, CSAR, air and space control, JTACs, Air tactical controllers …

8 2. Keys for initial swiftness
We are operating while the situation is worsening :  political tempo is often very high (emergency crisis situation)  less than 48h to deliver the first effects by air power (Libya, <Mali) Lyon (France) N’Djamena (Tchad) Permanent air C2 capability is needed. FAF chose a reachback /forward model : JFACC CAOC Air planning Air Ops Give ability to have no transition between peace time and crisis time Provide C2 structure with light footprint into the theater Reduce life support needed in the FOB Get the ability to have very large range of CIS with higher levels of command (Reachback is using infrastructure CISs) Easy to get any augmentees you need even for shorts periods Get some resilience for the air ops conduct (if CAOC is unops, JFACC can assume conduct from behind) Heavy CIS between JFACC and CAOC are needed with very high level of permanency and redundancy

9 2. Keys for initial swiftness
For initial entry in a semi-permissive environment : - Over Mali, as over Libya … - have a maximum flexibility with a real multirole combat system - survive Vs Air-to-Air & Ground-to-Air threats (MICA, SPECTRA, AASM in DEAD) - strike hard & deep into the theater and in a very short time to deny the enemy any time for tactical adaptation (AASM) - be part of the intelligence process which is key factor of success : AREOS pod is both a tactical & strategic tool. - have a very high interoperability level because operations are joint (all components) and combined (coalition) from C2 to the battlefield - be easy to handle/comfortable (permanency requests very long missions), and quick to learn - be safe (twin engine is needed) while easy to sustain - Have high readiness and good expeditionary ability to be deployed very quickly (<48h)

10 Rafale over Mali Mali : First ops mission is also deployment…
During three days : daily 2 ops missions (4 sorties) with air to ground engagements with only 1,5t of initial deployment and 17 technicians then 7/H24 operation including 37% of night ops for the first two months Serviceability rate : 93% Logistics & footprint : RAFALE Vs M2000 : less tons, less m3 Beginning of June : >3000FH in more than 600 sorties (average duration 6h) / 52% of all targets engaged by the Air Force struck by RAFALE first stand-alone deployment of AREOS ground shelter with a very good efficiency in short-loop intelligence process. retour

11 2. Keys for initial swiftness
Both for Libya or Mali operations, need to strike in first, far from homeland & deploy quickly. Independent ISR capability to be able to support a political decision Multirole aircrafts to get versatility and be ready to face any unexpected situation in combat area Multirole aircraft to downsize the volume of deployed forces while maintaining a very high readiness level for any mission  deploy quicker & maintain same ops level Tankers are key systems to get the appropriate reach and necessary playtime for fighters above the theater AWACS is a key system to control tactical assets, retask them as necessary and get the appropriate level of reversibility (key advantage of air power at crisis beginning). Focus Rafale

12 3. The air campaign AI Phase 2 AI Phase 1 ISR ISR
Tombouctou ISR Gao CAS ISR CAS Phase 1 Phase 2 (Jan. 16 – Fev. 8): Control river Niger loop area. Seize the initiative in the North. AAR ISR CAS CAS Diabali AAR AAR Phase 1 (Jan.: 11-15) Stop the raiders. GCAS SOF

13 Airborne operation during phase 2
3. The air campaign Airborne operation during phase 2 Speed up ground manoeuver GAO (26 Jan.) SoF support Air Landing (Niger troops) hold the airstrip. Deliberate CAS Deliberate Show of Force ISR CAS CAS TBU (27 Jan.) Airdrop: 250 troopers FRENCH LAND FORCES SGTIA1 Next: TBU (29 Jan.) Heavy vehicle drop FRENCH LAND FORCES Diabali AFR TROOPS SOF KDL & GAO (30 Jan.) Reinforcements TSL (10-12 Fev.) Seize and hold the airstrip PARATROOPERS FROM ABIDJAN

14 3. The air campaign Phase 3 Phase 2 AI African Forces
ISR SCAR CAS Phase 2 AAR SOF ISR AI ISR Phase 3 (09 Fev.- Apr 15) : Neutralize, deny sanctuaries Adrar, Timetrine CAS CAS AAR AAR Diabali African Forces GCAS

15 Phase 4 (Apr 16- … ) : Monitor (ISR) & permanent Show of presence
3. The air campaign ISR Phase 4 (Apr 16- … ) : Monitor (ISR) & permanent Show of presence ISR ISR GCAS

16 3. The air campaign Air transportation (from France to APODs):
3800 pax (100 % FAF) t freight (80% FR) Air to air refueling 1 TKR for 1 jet (almost)! Combat missions: up to 12 sorties/day FAF means deployed: fighters CSAR C2 ATT UAVs AAR MALE UAVs: 80 sorties, 1400 fh 1000 targets HELOS: 80 missions >150 pax evacuated Total* (FAF) 1st month Total* (FAF) Highly optimized: split-ops 3 retasks/missions (ISR/CAS/SCAR) Full spectrum: same assets … same sorties … 3 levels of action Mean * (FAF) During the first month 50% more weapons fired than during Libyan crisis first month. March (FAF) Détail camp. Coalition: 9 ATT, 8 ISR, 6 TKR * 1st part (intensive) :3 months (Jan.-Mar.)

17 3. The enemy and the theater
Asymmetric enemy Several groups, different strategies Quickly vanishing Low signature Maximum imbrication Looks for STRAT success despite TAC setback Very dynamic battle space 3 different fronts at least Rapidly shifting ground maneuver No ground picture building at tac level Application of air power : High political tempo Extreme elongations Permanency (asym. adv) Use of APODs & pre-deployed forces Every conventional mission played French C2, but still a multinational operation (eg: 8 nations having assets on the FR-CAOC ATO) ! … NOT the enemy! Air Force focus on: Stop the southward raiding; then Deep strike Logistics Support of ground troops and always … ISR

18 Safety and swiftness PID ROE TEA CDE
The right asset at the right place and time with the right level of fire power… Flexible ordnances, as for reach / guiding (MTO, …), effects Cockpit fusing, airburst, … retour … and a safe but swift engagement process PID Positive Identification (is this a legitimate target ?) Rules of Engagement (Have I the right to strike it ?) ROE CDE Collateral Damage Estimate (any risks for civilians goods/persons ?) TEA Target Engagement Authority (Who decide ?) Centralized (safe) vs Decentralised (swift)

19 3. First Lessons Identified
5. Learnings 3. First Lessons Identified C2: Swiftness & discrimination => permanency + instant sharing Reachback model is combat proven; Global need for SATCOM (elongations/retasking), or at least C2 relays having SATCOM; Networking IS important (collaborative building and sharing of SA, retasking) : key role of joint tactical datalinks (sharing air and ground recognized pictures); Tchats have become central tools for C2 (what doctrine?); Shorten the loop « sensor to shooter » (low lifetime targets): short-looped ISR (15’ between first sight and broadcasting) must be formalized (products/proc); Need for a good pool of C2 specialists, educated and trained because the shortest the loop the more people you need (+ high retasking rate, >50%); High level of jointness (short lifetime targets: nearest/most appropriate asset must be used) ; key role of Los at very level, in any component: ALOs/FAC are cultural nodes. Focus TEA

20 INTEL short loop with AREOS
RECO-NG / AEROS Pinpoint high sensitive target Timing between T0 = aircraft shooting picture T1 = SRD emitting target folder with level 1 analysis up to 20 tgts with 2 Rafale 1h 30 min Datalink SatCom CAOC

21 UAVs MALE: Permanency: they can play as COM-relay, even C2 nodes (better SA). Having a multi-sensor capability onboard makes sense… (color, SAR/GMTI, ELINT) Airspeed must be sufficient (weather, frequent retasks, different POI 50 Nm away) FMV: Broadcasted to different “clients” at the same time (Strat/Op/Tac + SOF); shared SA and capability to immediately adapt TEA level. / Offensive actions Operations preparation / Force Protection Reconnaissance Area surveillance : Situation understanding Find activity Convoy escort Force protection Battle Damage Assess. Laser designation Pattern of life Pre-strike HVI 21

22 UAVs: dynamic targeting

23 3. First Lessons Identified
5. Learnings 3. First Lessons Identified C2 ISR Key factor => short loop (action-aimed INTEL) & discrimination Strong need for a very short loop air and ground) bringing INTEL for immediate action; Thinking INTEL according to “age of usefulness” rather than solely according to origin (ROIM vs ROEM vs ROHUM); Need for sensors maneuvering (global), centralized at the SIDO level (CAOC) and based on common (joint) tools for sharing & fusing in order to: preset (via SAR/GMTI, ELINT, ..) tactical sensors ensure robust discrimination through crosscueing; UAVs are unrivalled (permanency: 1flight = 27h) for time analysis (pattern of life) enabling discrimination, as well as for swiftness (already on scene); Any asset must act as a sensor, and be able to share (NCW using tactical datalinks). Focus SRD Focus UAV

24 3. First Lessons Identified
5. Learnings 3. First Lessons Identified C2 ISR PROJECTION Swift, far, in a rough environment => AAR & Direct delivery Swift engagement => strategic airlift (61% total volume), massive (1st month SERVAL = same volume as full HARMATTAN operation); Government assets overwhelmed (5% total): contractors mandatory, as well as allies => need for more mutual knowledge & standardization as far as military airlift is concerned (loadmasters, procedures…); Critical traffic jam at Bamako APOD (flights from Istres to GAO, Niamey…): need for direct delivery (1 A400M on IST-GAO = 5 C160 on BKO-GAO) Air to air refuelling: mandatory for power projection (3 C135 / 4 Rafale 13/01) (2 MRTT would have done the job + carrying the whole technical staff) and set the level of fighter activity (critical help from allies).

25 3. First Lessons Identified
5. Learnings 3. First Lessons Identified C2 ISR PROJECTION EDUCATION / TRAINING Initial entry, broad spectrum of missions with a light footprint: need for a permanent pool of combat-ready broadly qualified fighters; C2 domain is critical, both in quantity & quality: then again having a combat-ready pool is mandatory; Education & training « at home » crisis-time can be maintained using former experienced pilots (both retired or in activity at HQ…)

26 QUESTIONS ? Merci pour votre attention…

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