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Airpower Through the Cold War

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Presentation on theme: "Airpower Through the Cold War"— Presentation transcript:

1 Airpower Through the Cold War
Part II

2 Overview Vietnam Rebuilding the Air and Space Force

3 Intro to Vietnam

4 General Causes of the War in Southeast Asia
Regional power vacuum existed in Southeast Asia after WW II South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia politically unstable North Vietnam wanted to reunite North and South Vietnam under communist rule America wanted to prevent the spread of communism, by force if necessary

5 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution: August 1964
Passed by Congress 5 August 1964 Radically altered War in Southeast Asia Empowered President Johnson to… “take all necessary steps to repel armed attack against US forces” “take all necessary steps, including force, to assist S Vietnam and any member of SEATO” Committed US to fight for S. Vietnam President Lyndon B. Johnson firmly believed in the use of military force to help achieve the country's foreign policy objectives and escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War.

6 Gulf of Tonkin to Vietnamization

7 US Build-Up: 1965 to 1968 March 1965—US Marines and Army arrive
Rolling Thunder bombing campaign began By 1969, US troop strength reached 543,000 (500,000 supported the war from other Asian countries and Pacific bases) US became heavily involved in fighting a guerrilla war for which we were not prepared 30 Jan 1968—North Vietnam launched Tet Offensive

8 Horner 1

9 Events Surrounding the Paris Peace Talks
Talks began in 1968; achieved nothing North Vietnam knew time was on its side US units continued to withdraw from Vietnam By 1972, 200,000 US troops had left March 1972—North Vietnam launched Easter Offensive against South Vietnam Attack repelled by US airpower (Linebacker I)

10 Events Surrounding the Paris Peace Talks (cont’d)
Talks resumed following Easter Offensive; again, little movement occurred Late 1972—Nixon ordered massive bombing of North Vietnam (Linebacker II) Linebacker II forced the North to negotiate in earnest 27 Jan 1973—Peace Accords signed Called for US to withdraw all units by Mar 1973

11 Linebacker II and Beyond

12 The Fall of South Vietnam
Between 1973 and 1975, North Vietnam continued to build strength in violation of Peace Accords Nixon was preoccupied with the Watergate scandal US Congress tired of Vietnam and refused to help Feb 1975—North Vietnam launched the Ho Chi Minh campaign against South Vietnam South Vietnam was easily defeated without US air support Laos and Cambodia fell quickly thereafter

13 Uses of Airpower: Background
Vietnam War was primarily a land war Most air power was used in conjunction with ground ops North stayed above DMZ, so air superiority over the South was never a concern In-country operations centered around Interdiction Close Air Support (CAS) Airlift Reconnaissance Search and Rescue (SAR) Air-to-Air Refueling Command and Control (C2)

14 In-Country Air Operations: 1964-73
After Gulf of Tonkin, air units built up rapidly USAF occupied 10 major air bases All built and defended by the Air Force Huge logistical effort USAF also flew from six bases in Thailand Navy flew from carriers in Gulf of Tonkin B-52s flew from Guam; at times even from the United States

15 Uses of Airpower during Vietnamization
Train South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) Support South Vietnamese Army Prevent enemy attacks against withdrawing American units

16 Uses of Airpower: Interdiction
Major mission during SEA war Aircraft used: F Phantom, F-100 Super Sabre, F-105 Thunderchief (Thud), AC-130 Gunships B-52—nuclear bomber modified to carry conventional weapons—was best known interdiction aircraft Arc Light: Name for B-52 interdiction missions F-100 Supersabre

17 Uses of Airpower: Close Air Support (CAS)
Missions to support forces on the ground Aircraft used Gunships—cargo aircraft armed with rapid-fire machine guns—were very effective Forward Air Controllers (FACs) were used to locate the enemy and mark targets for faster flying jets A-4 Skyhawk A-37 Dragonfly AC-47 Gunships F-4 A-1 Skyraider F-100 A-4 Skyhawk A-1 Skyraider

18 Uses of Airpower: Close Air Support (cont’d)
B-52 Arc Light aircraft were occasionally used for close air support Used extensively in close air support at Khe Sanh Flew 2,548 sorties Dropped bombs within 300 yards of US Marine perimeter Credited with saving Khe Sanh and repelling the Tet and Easter Offensives

19 Uses of Airpower: Tactical Airlift
Vital to successful US operations because of poor security on roads Aircraft used—UH-1 Hueys, C-7 Caribous, C-123 Providers, and C-130 Hercules Missions often flown while under attack Supplies often air-dropped because of enemy fire and poor landing facilities A major factor in keeping Khe Sanh alive C-123 Provider C-7 Caribou

20 Uses of Airpower: Reconnaissance
Aircraft used—RF-4C, RB-57 Canberra, and RB-66 Destroyers Aircraft were equipped with variety of cameras and sensing devices Missions—Locating lucrative targets and assessing battle damage Valuable player in repelling Tet and protecting Khe Sanh RB 57 Canberra RB 66 Destroyer

21 Uses of Airpower: Search and Rescue (SAR)
Extremely important part of air support mission throughout Southeast Asia Strengthened aircrew morale; fliers knew every effort would be made to save them if shot down Aircraft used—HH-3 Jolly Green Giants and HH-53 Super Jolly Greens By 1973, USAF had rescued 3,883 Americans

22 Uses of Airpower: Air-to-Air Refueling
Indispensable! Extended range of combat aircraft and enabled many to return safely C-130s refueled helicopters; KC-135s refueled fixed- wing aircraft Strategic Air Command tankers flew 195,000 sorties, unloaded 9 billion pounds of fuel, and took part in 814,000 individual refuelings

23 Major Campaigns: Rolling Thunder
Officially began 2 March 1965 Objectives Interdict flow of supplies from the North Force the North to stop supporting Vietcong and quit the war Raise South Vietnamese morale RF 4 Phantom

24 Rolling Thunder (cont’d)
Strategic bombing and interdiction campaign Strategic because it was aimed at the North’s will to wage war Interdiction because the North had few large industries and got most of their material from China and the Soviet Union Employed mostly tactical aircraft: F-105s, F-4s, and F-111s. In 1966, B-52s were used in southern part of North Vietnam F-105 F-111

25 Rolling Thunder: Restrictions
Johnson administration controlled campaign tightly Targets declared off limits by civilians included… Targets in Hanoi, Haiphong, China border area MiG bases and nonfiring SAM sites Dams, dikes, hydroelectric plants White House selected targets, weapons, and flying routes with little military input

26 Rolling Thunder: Effect of Restrictions
Graduated increases in bombing intensity worked to advantage of N. Vietnamese Gave them time to recover from damage Enabled them to establish world’s most intense antiaircraft defense system Provided them will to fight on and a sense they could survive By 1965, it was clear that Rolling Thunder did not work!

27 Rolling Thunder: Conclusions
Impacts South’s morale improved as the North suffered under bombing North used frequent halts and restrictions to repair damage and resupply forces in South Criticism grew at home and internationally Johnson ended Rolling Thunder prior to 1968 elections Rolling Thunder campaign, America’s longest, was a failure

28 Major Campaigns: Linebacker I
Easter Offensive (Mar 1972) made it apparent the North was not willing to negotiate Objectives of Linebacker I Initially—Close air support effort to aid retreating South Vietnamese forces Later—Changed to interdiction campaign against North Vietnam Unlike Rolling Thunder, a systematic campaign with little civilian control B 52 Stratofortress

29 Linebacker I (cont’d) Civilian casualties a consideration, but not the determiner of how missions were flown Haiphong harbor mined for first time to restrict delivery of supplies to the North Strikes flown over Hanoi and Haiphong B-52 strikes on Haiphong began in April 1972 “Smart bombs” used extensively

30 Linebacker I: Successes
Linebacker I was the most successful US bombing campaign of the war Had more impact on the North in 9 months than Rolling Thunder did in 4 years Successful largely because Easter Offensive was a conventional, mechanized attack Peace Talks resumed in July 1972 Nixon restricted Linebacker I attacks to below the 20th parallel

31 Major Campaigns: Linebacker II
Peace Talks stalled again in Dec 1972 Nixon ordered Linebacker II to run concurrently with Linebacker I Purpose of Linebacker II—Force the North Vietnamese to negotiate and sign peace treaty Ran from 18 Dec to 30 Dec 1972; referred to as “The Christmas Campaign”

32 Linebacker II (cont’d)
Very intense and logistically complex Specific targets in Hanoi and Haiphong B-52s used for first time over Hanoi By end of Linebacker II, N. Vietnam was defenseless 1,200 SAMs were fired 80% of the North’s electrical systems and 25% of their POL facilities were destroyed

33 Linebacker II: Results
North Vietnam returned to the bargaining table on 30 Dec 1972 All bombing ceased on 15 Jan 1973 Peace treaty was signed on 27 Jan (http://www.davka.org/what/theleft/peoplespeacetre atyvietnam.html) Linebacker II was a success Some believe that if Rolling Thunder had been conducted like Linebacker II, the war would have ended in 1965—unlikely

34 Interim Summary Uses of Airpower Rolling Thunder Linebacker I
Linebacker II Vietnam Service Medal

35 Post Vietnam

36 Vietnam War Results US reluctance to enter military conflicts that don’t directly threaten national interests Congressional restriction on President’s ability to commit US military forces Lowered public opinion of government and military The all-volunteer military force Increased emphasis on military resources, training, and weapons

37 Results for Southeast Asia
North Vietnam and South Vietnam joined into one country dominated by North Vietnamese communists Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City Exodus of boat people, many to America Hundreds of thousands of US supporters sent to "reeducation" camps Over 6.5 million displaced Vietnamese war refugees Expected postwar blood bath never materialized

38 The Vietnam War: Lessons Learned
US can’t win a counterinsurgency war in another country; only people of that country can Force and technology of limited value in a “people’s war” Realistic assessments by national leaders required before forces are committed “Know your enemy and know yourself” “Graduated Response” is an ineffective way to employ airpower 2

39 Lessons Learned (cont’d)
In a democracy, congressional and public support are critical and difficult to get Modern war is open to public scrutiny Let those who understand war conduct it Need for revolutionary not evolutionary technology Need for precision munitions 3

40 Review of CFD Model Distinctive Capabilities: Air and space expertise, capabilities, and technological know-how that produces superior military capabilities Functions: Broad, fundamental, and continuing activities of air and space power Doctrine: Fundamental principles that military forces use to guide their actions in support of national objectives

41 Review of Distinctive Capabilities
Air and Space Superiority—With it, joint forces can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions of land, sea, air, and space. Global Attack—Because of technological advances, the USAF can attack anywhere, anytime and do so quickly and with greater precision than ever before. Rapid Global Mobility—Being able to respond quickly and decisively anywhere we're needed is key to maintaining rapid global mobility. Precision Engagement—The ability to apply selective force against specific targets because the nature and variety of future contingencies demand both precise and reliable use of military power with minimal risk and collateral damage. Information Superiority—The ability of joint force commanders to keep pace with information and incorporate it into a campaign plan is crucial. Agile Combat Support—Deployment and sustainment are keys to successful operations and cannot be separated; agile combat support applies to all forces, from those permanently based to contingency buildups to expeditionary forces.

42 Review of Air and Space Functions
Strategic Attack Air-to-Air Refueling Counterair Spacelift Counterspace Special Ops Counterland Intelligence Countersea Surveillance and Reconnaissance Information Operations (IO) Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Combat Support Navigation and Positioning Command & Control Weather Services Airlift

43 CFD Model Time Period Distinctive Capabilities Functions (missions)
Doctrinal Emphasis Berlin Airlift Rapid Global Mobility Airlift Strategic Airlift Theater Airlift Korean Conflict Air and Space Superiority Precision Engagement Agile Combat Support Counterland Close Air Support Interdiction Reconnaissance Search and Rescue Air-to-Air Refueling Strategic Attack Theater attack of military targets Vietnam Air Superiority Global Attack Strategic attack and nuclear deterrence prior to Vietnam Shift towards deterrence through strength and global attack

44 Rebuilding the Air and Space Force

45 Rebuilding for Air and Space Video

46 Weapon Systems Two key fighters developed
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon Close Air Support led to A-10 Thunderbolt Rockwell B-1B Lancer Boeing E-3 Sentry (AWACS) Peacekeeper Missile

47 Second Generation Weapons
Stealth aircraft Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk Northrop B-2 Spirit New airlifter McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster Boeing/Grumman E-8 Joint STARS New advanced fighter Lockheed Martin F-22

48 Boyd 1

49 Military Operations in the 1980s
7 7

50 Grenada Prime Minister killed in coup in 1983; increased Russian/Cuban influence US Objectives Protect US citizens—1000 medical students Neutralize hostile Grenadian/Cuban elements Restore legitimate government Operation URGENT FURY Army Rangers and 82d Airborne Division Supported by USAF resources

51 Grenada (cont’d) Lessons Learned
All services must plan and coordinate jointly before operation occurs Applying overwhelming force quickly is key to victory

52 James Video

53 Libya Muammar Qaddafi linked to terrorism; specifically, bombing of disco in Berlin Libyan targets struck in April 1986 Operation EL DORADO CANYON Air Force F-111s Navy and Marine aircraft Four of five main targets severely damaged

54 Libya (cont’d) Lessons Learned Superb joint coordination
United States able to strike terrorists when targets identified United States willing to strike terrorist targets

55 Panama General Noriega
Indicted on drug trafficking charges US forces harassed in the Canal Zone Implied threats to security of the Canal Marine Lieutenant killed in an incident President George H.W Bush ordered Operation JUST CAUSE

56 Panama (cont’d) Objectives of Operation JUST CAUSE
Remove Noriega from power Safeguard Panama Canal Restore democratic government in Panama JUST CAUSE began 20 December 1989 AC-130 Spectre gunships used First use of F-117 Noriega surrenders after seeking refuge in Vatican embassy

57 Panama (cont’d) Lessons Learned
Strike quickly with overwhelming force using mobility, surprise, and precision Army and Marines recognized need for light deployable forces Joint coordination had vastly improved since Grenada

58 Summary Vietnam Rebuilding the Air and Space Force


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