America’s Wildest Chase Videos

The Air Force’s imaginary grid on Baghdad, developed to improve the speed and accuracy of air support to troops in contact with the enemy, is helping ground troops in other ways, Central Air Forces chief Lt. Gen. Walter Buchanan said last week. The “keyhole” concept manages the application of US aircraft waiting over the outskirts of the city, deconflicting the manned and unmanned aircraft that swarm in the five-mile-wide airspace and pointing pilots to very specific targets in the urban tangle below. However, looking at the ground in such detail allows pilots to steer ground troops in hot pursuit of insurgents fleeing on foot or in vehicles. Pilots and unmanned aerial system operators can talk to a pursuing Army vehicle, for example, and tell the troops how the bad guys can be “cut off” at the next intersection or what building they’re hiding in, Buchanan said. The keyhole concept is helping to “coordinate” the ground battle in real-time, he added. USAF is working to turn the ad-hoc process into urban combat doctrine.