By Benjamin S. Lambert

Fresh campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have verified that American service air strength can behavior coordinated deep-strike missions well past coastal reaches, offering round the clock aim insurance, regularly exact goal assault, and a number of winning targer assaults consistent with sortie.

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Until that occurred, landbased Air Force heavy bombers operated concurrently with carrier aviation and, as noted above, dropped the vast majority of precision JDAMs. 34 ____________ 32 Major General John L. Barry, USAF, and James Blaker, “After the Storm: The Growing Convergence of the Air Force and Navy,” Naval War College Review, Autumn 2001, p. 130. ” Proceedings, July 2002, p. 30. S. SOF teams on the ground but also by the dedicated support that was provided to those SOF teams by USS Kitty Hawk.

From the commencement of the campaign on October 7 through December 16, 2001, when Carl Vinson was relieved by John C. Stennis and the first phase of the war was over, the Navy’s Task Force 50 had Carrier Air over Afghanistan 31 flown nearly 4,000 strike sorties in Enduring Freedom altogether. As impressive as that number may appear to be in the abstract, it should be noted that the participating carriers and air wings could have generated considerably more had additional sea-based sorties been required to meet the CFACC’s target-coverage needs.

26 Vice Admiral John B. S. Naval Institute, March 2002, pp. 94–96. S. Innovation,” Washington Post, March 26, 2002. 28 An arrangement was worked out during Enduring Freedom whereby allied SOF units were also able to provide fine-resolution target imagery to the F-14s. The FTI system uses a two-hour tape recorder and transceiver enabling the RIO to capture and store any video imagery acquired by the aircraft’s systems, including the TARPS pod, the pilot’s head-up display (HUD), the Television Camera System (TCS, essentially a daytime zoom lens), and the LANTIRN pod.

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