Air to Air Critique

Additional questions to help answer critique:There is a difference between an observation and an assumption.  For example, Stillion observed that USAF pilots fall into 2 groups in terms of their bombing skills.  It’s an observation, not an assumption.Regarding your 3d assignment as analysts:-The problem assigned is more one of sifting operational objectives than of seeing what difference higher technology makes to squadron performance.-If the squadron were going up against an opponent of comparable skill, husbanding air-air missiles would be a primary consideration because firing most/all you carry could yield a disastrous outcome if the enemy turned back for more dogfighting.  But if the opponent is disinclined to fight head-on, being freer with AIM usage is more permissible since the enemy rarely shows up and doesn’t stick when showing.-The $ cost of AIMs isn’t a major concern.  The marginal cost for firing an extra missile is small compared to the total cost of the bombing-campaign operation.-Your squadron’s aircraft (12-15 per squadron) don’t all fly on the same mission.  Those that do are multi-role-capable.  That is, any aircraft can carry all air-to-air ordnance, all air-to-surface ordnance, or mixtures.-The inflexible time-over-targets displayed in Vietnam wouldn’t be matched today.  Night-capable flying by NATO frees up the flying schedule, and Serbia would take advantage of fixed times as North Vietnam did.Part of the assumptions for what type of missiles the pilots should carry will delve into the terrain (mountainous) and the targets that NATO is after in Kosovo/Serbia,correct? NATO is aiming to push Serbia back so are the targets primarily Serbian military routes and installations (but not their Air force base?) YESAre we recommending how many of the planes in the squadron should have surface to surface and air to air to both complete their mission objective and eliminate serbian forces that aim to harass NATO forces?  THE MAIN GOAL OF THE CAMPAIGN IS TAKING OUT GROUND TARGETS.  AIR-AIR COMBAT IS A DIVERSION FROM THAT.  BUT YOU CAN’T KNOW WHEN SETTING OUT FROM BASE WHETHER THE SERB AF WILL RISE TO CHALLENGE.  HOW MUCH OF YOUR AIR-TO-GROUND WEAPONS LOAD DO YOU DIVERT TO AIR-AIR, AND HOW DO YOU USE IT WHEN SERBS DO RISE?In the recommendation are we prescribing time of day to increase effectiveness of the attack? IF YOU WANT, BUT IT’S NOT CRITICALNATO’s goals are to move the Serbian troops back, does it fall on us as the analysts to set what the targets are and thus that determines what weapons the planes carry? NO, YOUR ISSUE HERE IS DIVERSION FROM FULL WEAPON LOADING FOR AIR-TO-GROUND

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