Leadership: July 24, 2005

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The U.S. Army and Air Force are taking a lesson from current combat operations, and trying to institutionalize it. During the last few years, air force and army units, working together in combat, have developed new tactics and techniques. This only happened because warplanes, ground controllers and combat troops operated together recently in combat, far more than they do in peace time. Someone back at the Pentagon got the idea of formally linking air force fighter squadrons with army combat brigades. The air force and army units would regularly train together in peace time. This means that the commanders and staffs from the two services would frequently meet to plan these exercises. That would give everyone an opportunity to bring each other up to date on new equipment, weapons and ideas in each service. The first units will consist of several F-16 squadrons and a Stryker brigade. One reason for using the Stryker brigade is these units have the latest communications and computer gear, which is designed to easily communicate with similarly equipped warplanes overhead. The new combinations will be called a Joint Mission Capability Package (Joint MCAP), the combo would ship off to Iraq in the next year, after training together in the United States. If this experiment works, reserve and active duty warplane squadrons would be linked, via a Joint MCAP arrangement, with army brigades, with the idea that, if the army unit had to ship out to a combat zone overseas, its MCAP air force squadrons would go with it. 

 


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