Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 67

AIR DEFENSE Money and Modernization Avenger multimission and embed them into the Common arguments for phasing out nonstatic-enBCT. According to Maj. Gen. Rossi, “Air and Missile gagement-AMD have been based on military budget defense needs to be better incorporated into the macuts and a lack of mission. The Army is downsizing in neuver scheme of warfighting.”40 This approach would response to a combination of political requirements further enhance the combat readiness, capability, and the near completion of two wars—no question.38 and lethality of BCTs while reducing costs. Historical Recent budget cuts have undoubtedly created some accounts of nonstatic-engagement-AMD units profriction between the travide a sound basis for ditional force structure projecting the full range and modernization of of increased combat the military. However, power that the Avenger history shows that the multimission would air defense began phasbring to the fight. ing out nonstatic-enImagine an air gagement-AMD assets defense component as early as 2005—long that could counter and before drastic reductions defeat advanced threats in military spending. such as UASs, cruise Ironically, regardless missiles, fixed-wing of the current fiscal aircraft, rotary-wing challenges, the AMD aircraft, rockets, artil(Photo by Spc. Brian Barbour, 123rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) strategy introduces the lery, and mortars, and Spc. Jamael O. Turner, Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, shows one of the first rockets his unit shot down with the production of the IFPC simultaneously employ counterrocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) 4 March 2009 at Joint Base Inc 2-I, which will be capabilities such as Balad, Iraq. Turner operates the C-RAM, which can identify, track, and far less cost-efficient shoot mortar rounds and rockets out of the sky before they detonate. FLIR optics, an autothan upgrading the mated .50 caliber gun, combat-proven Avenger. An upgraded Avenger would and an automated 25 mm gun—all on a 360-degree exceed the capabilities of the IFPC Inc 2-I, further turret—to contribute to a BCT’s ground maneuver enhance maneuver, maintain rapid deployability, and combat capabilities. The prospect of providing these become available to the force more quickly and at a enhanced capabilities makes the BCT-embedded fraction of the cost. Avenger multimission a next-level combat multiplier The mission of nonstatic-engagement-AMD rethat would be critical to the agility, readiness, and mains nested with the Army of the future. The force direction of the modernized Army. design of the Army beyond 2025 “will be fundamentally changed, uniquely enabled, and organized to conduct Conclusion expeditionary maneuver of operationally significant Maneuver is a fundamental priority of the Army. forces.”39 In the past, nonstatic-engagement-AMD However, air defense is not organized to facilitate formations simultaneously enhanced maneuver and aggressive maneuver tempo. With minimal active and diminished air threat exposure. The Army should balno upgraded Avenger units available, the aerial threat ance the execution of the AMD strategy by reversing may eventually restrict maneuver on the battlefield the tren d toward static-engagement-AMD developand constrain operating forces. Without a modernment at the expense of aggressive maneuver tempo. ized nonstatic-engagement-AMD capability in the BCT, the shrewd and opportunistic asymmetrically Air and Missile Defense Resolve inclined adversary that the Army anticipates would In order to establish balance in the AMD stratexpose combat forces unnecessarily to grave and lethal egy, the Army should develop a priority and timechallenges, which prudence and common-sense line to upgrade each Avenger formation into the planning now could preclude. MILITARY REVIEW  November-December 2015 61