THERE are few, if any, operations of modern warfare that present a more complex problem than do joint military-naval operations. The development of aviation now adds even further complications to those which have heretofore confronted the commander of a joint operation. Up to the present time no joint expedition has been undertaken in which aircraft have taken an important part. They played a minor role in the Japanese attack on Tsingtao in 1914, and again in the British attack at Gallipoli. These air operations, limited though they were, suggested the immense potential value of aircraft in joint operations.
Since the primary object of a joint military-naval operation is to place troops on shore where they may gain control of hostile territory, the aircraft, like the naval vessels involved, must perform an auxiliary and contributory task. It is their duty to provide security for the attacking forces from air attack, and to assist the attacking forces by reduction of the hostile resistance.