16 September 2011

AFRICOM Lessons from Libya

AFRICOM is talking publicly about lessons learned from the Libya operations

Inside Africom, the general said, the greatest learning curve involved kinetic targeting.
“It was not something we had practiced; we didn’t have great capability honed and refined inside the organization, and Odyssey Dawn really caused us to work in that regard,” Ham said.
The command had to define what effects it needed, and what specific targets would contribute to achieving those effects – a precise endeavor, Ham said. If attacking a communications node, planners must ask themselves what does that particular node do? How does it connect to other nodes? What’s the right munition to use? What’s the likelihood of collateral damage? What’s the right time of day to hit it? What’s the right delivery platform? And finally, how to synchronize attacks.
“That level of detail and precision … was not something the command had practiced to the degree that we were required to do in Odyssey Dawn,” Ham said.
The expertise came very quickly, the general added.
“It’s unsurprising to you that most of the intelligence analysts, most of the targeteers across the United States military have done this in previous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and other places,” Ham said. “They know how to do it but, collectively, Africa Command had not previously done this.”
Ways to sustain this expertise is something the command must look at in the future, the general said The same is true, he added, in the maritime environment.

By: Brant

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geeeeee! Who would've thought that a HQ with a state department #2 in command chain would have trouble with targeting instead of touchy-feely stuff?!