Vanguard Magazine

Oct/Nov 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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B BOOkSHelf 38 octoBer/noVeMBer 2014 in his foreword to Air Power in UN Operations: Wings for Peace, lGen (ret'd) roméo Dallaire notes that air ca- pability "remains an under- used and under-studied tool for peace operations." there is a mistaken view, he writes, of peacekeeping as only an army activity. But just as modern militaries stress the importance of joint operations, "achieving 'jointness' is also important for the United nations." The opportunity for air power in peace operations P eacekeeping has evolved consid- erably beyond the two surface dimensions of space to cover the third as well: airspace. The peacekeepers of the air also have a story worth telling. As in conventional warfare, the air campaign is a vital adjunct to the ground campaign; the two are intrinsically bound together. But the air power story in peacekeeping has hardly been told. To students and practitioners of UN operations, it appears as a major gap in the public, professional and aca- demic literature – one that needs to be filled so all can benefit. As in all military operations generally, the core capabilities provided by air power are: transpor- tation, observation, and firepower. Simply put, aircraft provide means to carry, see, and shoot. Almost all air power functions derive from the three basic capabilities, which are sometimes combined during a single flight. For instance, an armed helicopter might carry troops to a conflict zone, observe the movements of opponents, and fire missiles against those who attack the UN forces. Each of these functions is vital, intrigu- ing, and worth studying in detail. The first, transportation, involves more than deploy- ing peacekeepers into the host country and inserting/extracting them into precise con- flict zones (maybe called the "battle space" or even the "peace space"). It also means moving vast quantities of equipment and supplies to sustain not only the peacekeep- ers but also the "peacekept" – the local population and displaced persons whom the United Nations seeks to save and help. In addition, aircraft can transport and drop the book, launched in September at an event in toronto, is edited by Walter Dorn, a professor of defence studies at the canadian Forces college and the royal Military college of canada. Below is an excerpt from his preface.

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