JED - December 2011 - (Page 58)

The Art of SEAD: Lessons from Libya “Run for it Marty…it’s the Libyans!” Twenty-six years after Doc Brown’s warning in the movie, Back to the Future, the US and its allies were back in Libya for the first time since Operation El Dorado Canyon. The aftermath of the 2011 Libyan revolution and Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector (OUP) gives Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) and EW players an excellent opportunity to debrief. For the first two months of OUP, I ran NATO’s SEAD Cell and the Electronic Warfare Coordination Cell (EWCC). The short nature of OUP offers the luxury to debrief an entire campaign from start to finish, unlike ongoing operations in CENTCOM. The three SEAD/EW debrief themes of OUP are: 1. Why hasn’t Joint SEAD doctrine effectively taught how to rollback and suppress an Integrated Air Defense System (IADS)? 2. Non-traditional IADS requires nontraditional analysis! 3. How do we break the trend of Lessons Identified instead of Lessons Learned? By Maj Jeff Kassebaum, USAF THE DOCTRINE GAP After 10 years of working in the Joint Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (J- SEAD) world flying the EA-6B Prowler and EC-130H Compass Call, and working in five Combined Air and Space Operations Centers (CAOC) and five EWCCs, the first time I ever read the J-SEAD pub was this past July. I had accepted an invitation from the LeMay Center for Doctrine to be a part of the J-SEAD working group after returning from CAOC-5 for OUP. When the working group convened, it turned out I was not alone in never having used the JSEAD doctrine publication. The primary reason is the substantial gap between doctrine and combat reality. The doctrine gap is a direct result of ineffective communication. As J-SEAD players, we’ve failed to effectively articulate how to suppress an IADS. In lieu of staffing adequately trained, tactical SEAD-experienced personnel at the strategic and operational levels of warfare, we turned the J-SEAD pub into an unwieldy, catchall encyclopedia of any possible weapon system that can enact any level of suppression of an IADS. For example, during the Yom Kippur War, Maj Gen Ariel Sharon destructively suppressed his enemy’s air defenses in October 1973 when he took his armor division across the Suez Canal. He destroyed newly operational SA-6s and enabled the Israeli Air Force (IAF) a permissive environment. However, armor division tactics do not belong in the J-SEAD just because a suppression effect was achieved. The goal of effective doctrine should be specific enough at the operational level to guide effects-driven decision-making for apportionment and allocation, yet generic enough to avoid tactical specifics that will trample the flexibility of tactical assets. Based on this premise, the J-SEAD publication was streamlined back to what it was designed for: a reference pub that crossreferences tactical publications. In all, Photo: Gàbor Làzslo Zòrd

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - December 2011

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
2012 EW/SIGINT Resource Guide
EW Antenna Challenges
SEAD in Libya
EW 101
AOC News
AOC Industry and Institute/ University Members
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - December 2011