EUROCORPS held its Air Land Integration (ALI) Seminar at Strasbourg during 24-25 September 2019. Transatlantic and European Subject Matter Experts joined the seminar to share advice and best practices amongst EUROCORPS specialists. Hence, the seminar is part of EUROCORPS’ last preparations for its NATO Response Force role in 2020.
The Air Force and the Army often have pursued separate and sometimes competing visions of how air and ground power should be employed to win wars, especially when the two services grew more capable. In todays’ All Domain Battle doctrine, understanding, close cooperation and coordination between the two services are paramount to counter an overmatch in potential adversary capabilities.
A Force always wants more (Joint) Fire Support, (Close) Air Support, types of rotary wings (Helicopters), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones and Air Defense. All of these capacities are airspace users and in order to avoid collisions and fratricide, the use of the battlespace (air- and ground-space) and the scheduling of different types of missions have to be managed properly. Hence, a Medical Evacuation operation by Heli cannot be definitively halted because the artillery is firing for a certain period of time. Thus, de-confliction, either in time or space, will be required. The entire coordination and the management will be executed by EUROCORPS’ dedicated professionals.
Nowadays, modern equipment is highly complex and allows Forward Air Controllers of the land units to direct airborne fires with precise effect. The requirement for suitably qualified personnel and appropriate joint training endures. These qualified personnel will also take the necessary steps and preparations to avoid fratricide and collateral damage. Current operations, planning and coordination structures in EUROCORPS are robust and greatly assisted by embedded air staff.
Another tick in the box for the NATO Response Force 2020 preparation: EUROCORPS conducted joint and combined ALI training which is key for success. Finally, EUROCORPS as a multinational, fully deployable and highly autonomous headquarters is well prepared, ready and capable.
Author: Major S. DEBUSSCHERE
Photographer: Bastian KOOB