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Wellington Society

Wellington Society: Flight Lieutenant Gareth Burdett on Air and Land Integration

The Wellington Society was proud to welcome Flight Lieutenant Burdett of the Royal Air Force who spoke about Air and Land Integration (ALI). Also present, and taking questions at the end, were Wing Commander Wilson and Group Captain Neville.

ALI is the integration of air power with land power to create maximum efficiency in battle. The most well known and most successful example of this is the attack of the German Junker 87 Dive Bombers (or Stuka) in France during the Second World War. The fact that in the Second Gulf War only 1500 ground troops were able to dominate the entire Iraqi desert with ALI shows how effective it is. This ranged from the transport of equipment, ammunition and rations to heavy aerial bombardment.

The three levels of planning for ALI are Strategic, Operational and Tactical levels. These were carefully considered when planning for ALI operations during Op Herrick in Afghanistan, for example when a section was cut off and needed supplies and extraction. ALI advisory teams are being assigned in all parts of the Armed Forces as it is becoming an increasingly popular method of fighting.
The talk finished by all three officers taking questions in which matters such as the Americans’ use of ALI in Vietnam, recent examples of its use in the Middle East and the reasons why it has been underused. On behalf of the Society we would like to thank Flight Lieutenant Burdett, Wing Commander Wilson and Group Captain Neville for taking the time to come and give us such an interesting and informative talk.

William Hillgarth (NJR)


DATE POSTED: 03 February 2009

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