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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Army—The Purpose | Early Army Aviation | Aviation Doctrine Evolves | Operations in the Battlespace | Types of Operations | Operations in the AO | Control Measures | Airpower—Army Perspective | Army—Summary | Navy—Purpose | Early Naval Aviation | Evolution of the Navy Mission | Evolution of Naval Doctrine | Naval Warfighting | Battlespace Dominance | Power Projection | The Expeditionary Navy | Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) | Amphibious Ready Group | Navy Perspective on Airpower | Navy Summary | USMC—Introduction | Early Marine Aviation | Marine Aviation Evolves | The MAGTF | Scalable MAGTF | USMC Doctrine | Maneuver Warfare | Marine Ethos and Combined Arms | Marine Airpower Perspective | USMC—Summary | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Early Marine Aviation

Action: On the right side of the screen, pictures representing the marines and airpower are shown in succession. The following bullet points are shown on the left side of the screen as mentioned in the narration:

Voice: Marine Corps aviation began in 1912, when Lt. A. A. Cunningham began flight training at Annapolis. He returned to duty with the Advanced Base Force, a recently formed cadre of expeditionary and amphibious warfare specialists, and created an aviation section. During WW I, Marine Corps pilots and planes flew anti-submarine warfare missions, bombing raids against German targets, and air combat against German fighter aircraft. Between the world wars, Marine pilots trained with the Navy on aircraft carriers and with the Army at the Air Corps Tactical School. The primary role of aviation during that time was aerial support of ground forces such as the Marine Advanced Base Forces. Marines had the opportunity to take advantage of expeditionary flying in support of their ground forces during operations in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guam, China, and Nicaragua. These early experiences in supporting ground troops engaged in combat were instrumental in making the Marine air-ground team a reality. Doctrine for airpower in amphibious operations was developed, practiced, and published in 1934. The text proclaimed that the “first priority is to gain air superiority over the objective and fleet operating areas. Then, under the fighters’ protection, other aircraft could reconnoiter, scout, direct naval gunfire, bomb and strafe shore targets, especially enemy defenses.” Attack aircraft would be used in close proximity to attacking infantry and against targets that naval guns and artillery could not hit. When WW II began, close air support to troops in contact was a new concept to all three services. However, Marines quickly gained a great respect and appreciation for airpower when they were left without air support for ten days during the Battle for Guadalcanal. Throughout the war, the necessity for air superiority and the value of aviation forces in close air support and interdiction roles were validated again and again.

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