[Skip to Content | Skip to Navigation | Skip to Lesson Index]

[ASPC Main Menu | Help | Back | Next]

Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Foundations of Doctrine | Air Corps Tactical School | WWII—Europe | WWII—Japan | WWII—Nuclear Weapons | Cold War Doctrine | Massive Retaliation | Cold War Technology | Flexible Response | The SIOP | Korea | Korean Command Structure | Korean War Aftermath | Prelude to Vietnam | Objectives in Vietnam | Vietnam War 1965–1973 | Rolling Thunder—Objectives | Rolling Thunder—Restrictions | Rolling Thunder—Outcome | Command Arrangements | Route Package System | Khe Sanh | Airpower at Khe Sanh | LINEBACKER II | Post-Vietnam Assessment | AirLand Battle | Impact of AirLand Battle | Operation EAGLE CLAW | Operation URGENT FURY | Goldwater-Nichols Act 1986 | Summary | Quiz ]


Voice: OPERATION LINEBACKER II is another example of the effective application of airpower during Vietnam. To force a settlement of the Vietnam War, President Nixon directed an all-out air campaign against North Vietnam’s heartland on December 18th 1972. The President’s objectives concentrated on using all forms of airpower to strike at vital power centers to cause maximum disruption in the economic, military, and political life of the country. The result was an intensive day/night air campaign known as LINEBACKER TWO. The air campaign included strikes using precision-guided weapons, neutralization of area targets by B-52 aircraft, and suppression of enemy air defenses by Seventh Air Force and the Navy’s Task Force Seventy-Seven aircraft. Coordination of these missions allowed LINEBACKER TWO to succeed against the world’s most extensive integrated air defense system. After eleven days of persistent and concentrated bombing, the North Vietnamese sought a cease-fire and returned to discussions of peace. While ultimately successful, the operation was not without its problems. The Navy and the Air Force achieved close coordination throughout the campaign, but true centralized control of airpower never existed. Nonetheless, LINEBACKER TWO’s persistent and massive application of airpower successfully supported the President’s political objectives.

Action: In the background is a faded collage of fighter and bomber planes. The first of the following bullet points is shown on the left side of the screen soon after the narration begins. The second bullet point is shown one-fourth of the way through the narration along with a picture of a bridge bombing below the second bullet point. A picture of Haiphong Harbor is shown midway through the narration slightly overlapping the bridge picture, in the upper right corner of the screen. Both pictures are removed when the third bullet point is shown as mentioned in the narration. A picture of a B-52 is shown in the upper right corner when the third bullet point is shown. The fourth bullet point is shown as mentioned:

[Back: Airpower at Khe Sanh | Next: Post-Vietnam Assessment]