The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual: U.S. Army Field Manual No. 3-24 : Marine Corps Warfighting Publication No. 3-33.5

By The United States Department of the Army | Go to book overview

Appendix E
AIRPOWER IN COUNTERINSURGENCY

Counterinsurgency operations are, by their nature, joint operations—and airpower and landpower are interdependent elements of such operations. As this appendix explains, airpower and spacepower are important force multipliers for U.S., multinational, and host-nation forces fighting an insurgency.


Overview

E-1. Airpower can contribute significant support to land forces conducting counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. Aircraft can, for example, strike insurgents, and that can be enormously important in many situations. However, given the nature of the COIN environment, airpower will most often transport troops, equipment, and supplies and perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Rough terrain and poor transportation networks can create serious obstacles for COIN forces while giving advantages to insurgents. Airpower helps counterinsurgents overcome these obstacles. Thus, airpower both serves as a significant force multiplier and enables counterinsurgents to operate more effectively.

E-2. Airpower provides considerable asymmetric advantages to counterinsurgents. If insurgents assemble a conventional force, air assets can respond quickly with precision fires. In a sudden crisis, air mobility can immediately move land forces where they are needed. In numerous COIN

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