Thursday, September 9, 2010

Attack Helicopter Units - Maneuver or Fire Support Units?

In an scenario from Decisive Action, a single US Division faces 3 Iraqi counterparts that are attempting to take control of Kuwait's capital and oil fields. The situation is dire for the US troops. Outnumbered, the only option for the US appears to be an operational defense.

I will post more details about this scenario at a later time. It's a lot of fun to scramble for every single nugget of firepower to stop the Iraqi tide.

Last night and for the first time I could use attack helicopters with moderate success. Please click the figure below to see a composite graphic of the attack that A/1-44 AHB brought into an Iraqi reconnaissance battalion.

Click the figure for a better view. The region inside the blue circle has been expanded for a better view. 
 In a typical Cold War scenario, this is exactly what AHBs would be doing: maneuvering independently and whacking the hell out of Soviet armored formations. However, it looks that in some US Army circles, the role of attack helicopters is being reconsidered from maneuver units to fire support units. Click the figure below to read an article that appeared in the Air Force Magazine. To fight an insurgency, it makes sense to have attack helicopters as fire support units. But in a high intensity conflict like Korea, China or Iran?

Click the figure to read the article.



stephen said...

More about a mix of forces to do the job. Helicopters alone can be vulnerable. Task organize your forces for the mission. Then reorganize for the next mission. Dont be bound by doctrine, show imagination. Try to surprise the enemy by being unconventional :-)

Anonymous said...

Good advice. Military units can be split up into smaller units that support other troops. My battalion detached a third or more of it's full strength into several smaller units designed for different purposes: Reinforcements, plugging holes, training, and special projects or assignments. If you can divide up your attack helicopters, I'd say do it.

JC said...

Hi Gents,

Good points. Easy said than done, though. Helo units require some serious logistics and cooperation with ground troops requires thorough training. :)