Friday, November 28, 2014

Paper - Aviation and COIN in Afghanistan

The adapting of conventional aviation units to fight in a counterinsurgency environment is complex. Some aviation units are successful in this transition while others fail or do not contribute as much as they could have to the COIN effort. One aviation battalion that thinks it did it right is the Air Assault Battalion of the Third Infantry Division. In 2010 this battalion was ordered to deploy as part of the Third Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) to Afghanistan. The unit conducted a re-organization of personnel and equipment to prepare for the deployment. Officially named Task Force (TF) Brawler, the unit adapted its mind-set from a conventional, lethal, offensive approach to one required by the counterinsurgency environment of Afghanistan. the task force deployed to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank in Regional Command East supporting the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team that operated in Logar and Wardak provinces. Read a paper describing the train-up and deployment of TF Brawler to Afghanistan by the battalion commander, Colonel Robert T. Ault, in "Adapting Army Aviation for Irregular Warfare: Developing Leadership and Trust in a COIN Fight", Small Wars Journal, November 25, 2014.

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