Battlefield 101: Close Air Support

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Check out how close air support has developed since World War II, and get a look at some of the aircraft that are used to fulfill this tactical role.

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  1. 3110821
    3110821 Jul 24, 2015

    Please, let there be a warrior in the cockpit of the airplane covering my butt.

  2. mym1a1
    mym1a1 Jul 27, 2015

    As a testament to all flyers from WWI on I feel that drones are OK but nothing can fly a fixed wing or rotor aircraft like a human being. Although drones are a capable force to be reckoned with and the people who fly them from a sheltered place, They cannot fly and fight in an air to air combat situation. Even though it's been a while I fear that it will be something that is going to come again.

  3. ontosmarsurf
    ontosmarsurf Jul 27, 2015

    As usual Military.com gets it wrong and like so many they confuse "Battlefield Air Interdiction" (BAI) with "Close Air Support." (CAS) CAS was first used by U.S. Marines during the Banana Wars. German military attaches observing the Marines signaling Marine pilots above using signal flags would incorporate BAI/CAS into Blitzkrieg. The fast majority of the USAAF fighters were used for Battlefield Air Interdiction not CAS. It was U.S. Marines who used CAS and would perfect it during WW ll and Korea. Close Air Support [CAS] is air action in operations against hostile targets of ground that are in close proximity to friendly forces and that require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of these forces. Close proximity means that friendly forces and/or noncombatants are close enough to the target that care must be taken to avoid casualties from air-delivered weapons effects. Battlefield Air Interdiction [BAI] is an Air Force task within the framework of the AI mission. The AI attacks conducted against hostile land forces that are not in close proximity to friendly forces are referred to as battlefield air interdiction if the hostile forces could hav

  4. 5939618
    5939618 Jan 08, 2016

    ONTOS, you got most of the history spot on. I am a former FAC, two tours 3rdMarDiv 67/68/69. The Germans were so impressed by the US Marine applications of Close Air Support (cas) in the Banana Wars, that they built an aircraft dedicated to the mission, the dive bomber, JU-87 STUKA. Unlike the US Army the Germans quickly grasped the advantage of dive bombing (accuracy) at this time, luckily the Navy at least committed half its attack aircraft to Dive bombers too. Torpedo planes were phased out shortly after the war. The A-10 is the continuation of the STUKA. By the end of WWII the STUKA was regulated almost exclusively to low angle anti-tank tactics using relatively heavy caliber automatic cannon. Just what the gun in the Warthog is designed for, just much much better. You fellows still in the trenches, do not let them mothball the A-10 unless there is an adequate replacement. The F35 ain't it. Classic result designed by committee. Good luck and God speed.

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