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Direct air support center (DASC)

Definition The Direct Air Support Center (DASC) is a principal air control agency of the United States Marine Corps that’s tasked with the immediate control and direction of air operations. It directly supports ground forces that require aviation assistance such as coordination and direction of air traffic within its surrounding area. Additionally, the DASC provides […]

Definition

The Direct Air Support Center (DASC) is a principal air control agency of the United States Marine Corps that’s tasked with the immediate control and direction of air operations. It directly supports ground forces that require aviation assistance such as coordination and direction of air traffic within its surrounding area. Additionally, the DASC provides the necessary interface for the execution of close air support, tactical air reconnaissance, and other types of aerial missions.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Direct Air Support Center (DASC) is a principal air control agency responsible for the direction of air operations directly supporting ground forces. It processes and controls tactical air requests for immediate air support and coordinates aircraft support for operations.
  2. The DASC performs critical functions such as managing and allocating air support assets, monitoring and controlling aircraft, and relaying or coordinating relevant information between units and higher command structures.
  3. The DASC also serves as a coordination centre for various services including rescue, reconnaissance, logistical or airlift support and can shift or alter air resources in real-time in response to changing tactical situations or requirements.

Importance

The Direct Air Support Center (DASC) is a vital component of military operations, serving as a primary control agency responsible for the direction of air operations directly supporting ground forces.

It plays a critical role in coordinating and managing close air support (CAS), assault support, and other air missions in the immediate battlefield area.

It facilitates real-time information sharing for tactical decision-making, liaises with higher, lower, and adjacent units, processes immediate air support requests, and makes timely adjustments to planned missions in response to changing operational situations.

The DASC helps in ensuring the safety of friendly forces while maximizing the impact of air power against enemy forces, contributing significantly to the efficiency and effectiveness of combat operations.

Explanation

The Direct Air Support Center (DASC) serves a critical role in coordinating air support for military operations, with the primary purpose of efficiently managing and controlling aircraft and airspace within a designated area. DASC works in direct communication with ground forces, ensuring rapid response to aerial support requests. This unit acts as the principal air control agency of the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) for the processing and coordination of immediate requests for direct air support.

The DASC provides a valuable link between Air Force operations and ground troop activities, often operating within the combat zone to fully integrate air support into the tactical plan. In the heat of battle, the DASC’s ability to manage aircraft and specific air mission requests can be a game-changer. For instance, it may direct manned aircraft for troop support, unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance, or assigning assault missions.

These operations include air reconnaissance, airborne electronic countermeasures, assault support, and air support of ballistic missile defense. Besides, DASC also aids in the coordination of medical evacuations and overseeing aircraft emergencies. Whether handling urgent requests or organizing routine operations, the Direct Air Support Center’s primary goal is to ensure air capabilities are effectively utilized to aid ground troops in their mission.

Examples of Direct air support center (DASC)

Operation Desert Storm: During Operation Desert Storm, the DASC played a pivotal role in coordinating direct air support to the ground troops. The center helped manage immediate air support requests in the dynamic battlefield, ensuring troop safety and effectiveness of operations.

Intervention in Libya (2011): In the military intervention against Libya, NATO employed a DASC to effectively manage and coordinate air support missions. This way, they streamlined the communication between different branches of military services, achieving a fast and efficient reaction to events on the ground.

Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: Throughout Operation Enduring Freedom, the Direct Air Support Center regularly coordinated tactical air support for the various ground units deployed in the region. This helped ensure ground troops had necessary air cover to protect them from enemy attacks and provide support during reconnaissance missions.

FAQs about Direct Air Support Center (DASC)

What is a Direct Air Support Center (DASC)?

The Direct Air Support Center (DASC) is a principal air control agency responsible primarily for the direction of air operations directly supporting the ground combat element. It serves as the connection between the aviation combat element and the ground combat element.

What is the role of DASC in Military Operations?

DASC play a key role in the coordination and control of air support missions. They establish and maintain liaison with ground units, manage and track the status of immediate air support missions, and prioritize and redirect these missions as necessary to support operational needs.

Where is a DASC typically located?

A DASC is usually located within or near the main command post of the ground unit it supports, which allows for direct and speedy coordination of air support requests and updates.

Who operates the DASC?

The DASC is typically operated by a team that includes air support control officers, air support operations operators, and radar air intercept controllers. The exact team composition may vary depending on the specific operational requirements.

What types of missions does a DASC support?

A DASC supports a range of missions, including close air support, deep air support, reconnaissance, transport, and resupply missions. It assures that air support is properly coordinated with other elements of the overall operation to ensure mission success.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Air Control System
  • Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC)
  • Forward Air Controller (FAC)
  • Close Air Support (CAS)
  • Airborne Command and Control Center (ACCC)

Sources for More Information

  • Global Security: A resource with detailed information on various military operations including the Direct Air Support Center (DASC).
  • United States Marine Corps Official Website: The official website of the US Marine Corps may have detailed information on DASC, as it’s part of their operations.
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff Official Website: This is the official website of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, which may provide insight and official resources on DASC.
  • United States Air Force: Being part of the U.S Military, the Air Force’s official website may provide educational resources and insight into DASC.

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