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11 December 1984 USAF Tactical Reconnaissance - Grenada
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United States Air Force tactical reconnaissance is, by design, a highly mobile and flex-ible force that can be applied in a variety of roles to produce time-sensitive information for the tactical user. The roles of conventional reconnaissance, tactical surveillance and integrated strike/reconnaissance have matured over the years in response to the needs of the tactical commander. The operation in Grenada provided a real test of those capabilities. It was to be a demonstration of those unique qualities of tactical reconnaissance that are not present in any other reconnaissance system. The Grenada operation was planned and executed swiftly and required all the supporting players to respond with equal speed. Planning and deployment by the tac recce forces occurred in less than 24 hours and, in fact, included a period of some 10-12 hours when the deployment had been scrubbed. Once alerted, aircraft were airborne within five hours and by 0900 the following day, had launched on their first operational sorties. The direct contribution of any one system in a complex scenario is often difficult to pin down since the information tends to lose its identify as it's passed along. Command, control and communication (C3) difficulties can mask the success of the operational mission itself but Grenada proved, or should we say reproved, several valuable lessons about tactical reconnaissance. Tac recce is quick, flexible and versatile in execution and provides a product individually unique to the tactical commander.
© (1984) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Richard E. Reamer "USAF Tactical Reconnaissance - Grenada", Proc. SPIE 0496, Airborne Reconnaissance VIII, (11 December 1984);


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