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[] DN 7.2.02: U.S. Commander Identifies Early Lessons Learned From Afghan War,
February 7, 2002

U.S. Commander Identifies Early Lessons Learned From Afghan War

By Tom Canahuate, Staff Writer

WASHINGTON =97 While the U.S.-led military campaign continues in=
 Afghanistan, the campaign commander, Army Gen. Tommy Franks, identified=
 several early lessons from the Afghan campaign that are likely to shape the=
 technology and force structure of the U.S. military in the future.

In a Feb. 7 hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee here on=
 Operation Enduring Freedom, Franks said unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs);=
 precision-guided munitions; command, control, communications, computers,=
 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems; strategic=
 airlift; and a mix of aircraft types proved very effective in the course of=
 the campaign.

Franks, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base,=
 Fla., said the U.S. military needs to expand the missions and numbers of=
 UAVs found in the armed forces. "We need to increase the technological=
 capabilities of these platforms as we procure them," he said.

Similarly, precision-guided weapons and C4ISR systems proved to be strategic=
 tools that enabled the United States to fight a long-distance war in rugged=
 terrain and manage a force of 61,000 U.S. personnel and 14,000 coalition=
 allies supporting the campaign, said Franks. He said U.S. forces dropped or=
 fired more than 18,000 bombs and missiles, including approximately 10,000=
 precision-guided munitions, during the campaign.

"I think our technology and structure will be informed by the lessons from=
 Afghanistan," said Franks. In terms of force structure, "we need more=
 strength in strategic airlift," he said, noting, "C-17s, C-130s and C-5s=
 are going to be very important for us as we move forward." The C-17 and C-5=
 are strategic transport planes capable of global movements, while the C-130=
 is considered an intra-theater transport aircraft.

As for more heavy bombers in the U.S. inventory, Franks said the Afghan=
 experience demonstrates the need for a balance among bombers, shorter-range=
 fighter aircraft and naval aviation. He said U.S. aviation assets flew more=
 than 20,000 sorties so far during the campaign, with fighter aircraft from=
 U.S. Navy aircraft carriers accounting for half the sorties. Long-range=
 bombers, such as the B-52, B-2 and B-1, and shorter-range fighter aircraft,=
 like the F-15, made up the balance.

"I do see a need for a balance in this mix," said Franks.

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