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Air Force Research Institute Papers

Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) Papers are written by Air Force researchers at large and military defense analysts assigned to the Air Force Research Institute, Air University, and beyond. The purpose of the AFRI Papers is to provide useful ideas and independent analysis of issues of current or potential importance to Air Force commanders and their staffs.

 A Giant in the Shadows: Major General Benjamin Foulois and the Rise of the Army Air Service in World War IThis paper examines the military career of Maj Gen Benjamin Foulois. It emphasizes the personal qualities and professional skill that enabled him to rapidly build up and lead the air arm of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) to victory in World War I. While previous academic works have focused on Foulois’s early aviation career from 1909 to 1916 and his tenure as chief of the Air Corps from 1931 to 1935, nothing details the vital role he played in the development of the American Air Service leading up to and during World War I. [Lt Col Karl R. Schrader, USAF/2013/125 pages/AP-1204]
 AF Symposium Series 2010-2, Future Operator Symposium ProceedingsIn July 2009 the Air Force Research Institute invited more than 270 active duty personnel, 14 general officers, and Department of Defense civilians to a “Future Operator Symposium” at Maxwell Air Force Base. The objective was to discuss what operators should look like in the future by exploring developmental, training, and educational issues the Air Force may face in the next 7–10 years. To address these issues, the symposium offered 14 working groups/seminars to define the term operator, determine future operator competencies, and specify operator developmental, educational, and training recommendations to the commander, Air Education and Training Command. [Col David “Scott” Johnson, USAF, and Brian Landry, PhD/2010/30 pages/AP-2010-2]
 Air Force Command and Control: The Need for Increased AdaptabilityThe study captures the results of a CSAF directed analysis on USAF command and control (C2). The study examined Air Force C2 in seven cases covering the spectrum of conflict to determine whether doctrine and organizational structures require change to fit uncertain and dynamic future scenarios. The study’s results showed that USAF C2 design must change in order to increase its adaptability. An overall goal for adaptive C2 is offered along with six questions to aid a commander in creating adaptable C2 structures. The goal of adaptive C2 is to achieve unity of effort through integration at the appropriate organizational level, enabling agility and speed of action in delivering effects. The six questions address the following issues: the nature of an operation, available resources, capabilities of subordinate units, degree of trust and confidence, political risk, and the need to exploit interaction among the speed, range, flexibility, versatility, and battlespace perspective of Air Force capabilities. [Jeffrey Hukill, Larry Carter, Scott Johnson, Jennifer Lizzol, Edward Redman, and Panayotis Yannakogeorgos/2012/49 pages/ AP-89]
 Air Force Leadership Study: The Need for Deliberate DevelopmentOn 23 November 2010, the Air Force chief of staff tasked the Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) to review current Air Force leader development, focusing on the preparation of Airmen for the evolving security challenges in the joint and service environments. This study identifies the characteristics desired for successful senior leaders over the next generation, reviews current Air Force officer development, and recommends changes as indicated to the current officer development process. [Dr. Karen Currie, Dr. Adam Lowther, Lt Col Brian Landry, Scott Johnson, and John Conway/2012/77 pages/AP-2012-1
 Basing Strategies for Air Refueling Forces in Antiaccess/Area-Denial EnvironmentsModern antiaccess/area-denial (A2/AD) systems threaten forward-based air refueling units. To mitigate those threats, various basing options are explored: hardening of aircraft shelters and support facilities, disaggregation of refueling units among prepared bases, and agile disaggregation among more austere base infrastructures. Also discussed is the potential value of introducing a midsized “tactical” tanker to the fleet able to operate from airfields substantially shorter and more weakly surfaced than those from which the current fleet of modified airliners must operate. The study concludes by recommending greater focus on agile disaggregation, acquisition of a fleet segment of tactical tankers, and directions for further analysis. [Robert C. Owen/2015/32 pages/ISBN 978-1-58566-258-6/$6/AP-111]
 Challenging Nuclear AbolitionTough choices regarding defense spending and national security strategy are likely to come in 2009 and 2010, and may significantly affect nuclear weapons policy. Although the president’s efforts to develop a “new New Deal” may overshadow shifts in nuclear weapons policy, the president may oversee an unprecedented change in the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons and the policy governing their use. “Modernizers” and “abolitionists” will attempt to influence President Obama’s nuclear weapons policy. Modernizers believe that the United States must develop a new warhead and advanced delivery platforms if the nation wishes to maintain the most advanced and secure nuclear arsenal in the world. Abolitionists see an opportunity to oversee substantial reductions in the number of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems. This paper takes a critical look at the fundamental arguments offered by abolitionists and conclude that the rationale offered, while admirable, is utopian and makes predictions about human behavior that are not supported by historical example or logic, which must be relied on when examining nuclear deterrence. [Adam Lowther, PhD/2009/54/AP-76]
 Communicating AirpowerThe Air Force Research Institute asked the knowledgeable Washington editor John Robinson to analyze Air Force communications and provide some lessons that might help the Air Force communicate with the nation. As the ground campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on, perceptions of the Air Force contribution to those efforts and the larger global war on terrorism will play an increasing role in how communication is understood by the American public as well as leaders in the Pentagon and Congress. Robinson concludes that the Air Force needs to abandon the vague theoretical construct of strategic communication, rebuild the public affairs community, and focus on better explaining the relevance of airpower in current and future wars. AFRI collected these thoughts from Robinson in order to distribute them to Air Force public affairs offices and those most affected by and interested in his observations. [John A. Robinson / 2008 / 48 pages / AU Press Code: AP-Robinson]
 Expansion or Marginalization: How Effects-Based Organization Could Determine the Future of Air Force Space CommandThe Air Force Space Command is currently a domain-based organization: the command “does things in and through space.” Tomme argues instead for an effects-based organization, whereby missions are grouped according to similar effects rather than platforms and locations. Separating combat effects producers from combat support effects producers would create synergies of training and organization to produce a more effective and potent force. Under Tomme’s recommendations, the Air Force Space Command would become the linchpin for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance effects delivery for the nation. Tomme’s analysis of Space Command also has implications for the organization of the recently announced Air Force Cyberspace Command. [Edward B. “Mel” Tomme, DPhil/57 Pages/AP-60]
 General McChrystal’s Strategic Assessment: Evaluating the Operating Environment in Afghanistan in the Summer of 2009This narrative focuses on General McChrystal and his strategic assessment team’s analysis. It describes the assessment team and covers some of the early friction between the members of the team who had arrived with the new commander and the existing headquarters staff. It then dissects the Initial Assessment Working Group that relied heavily on the expertise of a number of civilian scholars invited to take part in the analysis. This study breaks down each of the additional assessment subcomponents, all of which had their own separate working group. [Col Matthew Brand, USAF/2011/135 pages/$15/AP-86]
 Integrated Defense: Lessons Learned from Joint Base BaladBase defense—defending one’s air assets on the ground—is one of the least understood operational aspects of airpower. The current USAF strategy for defending air bases is integrated defense (ID). This study examines the first full implementation of ID in a combat environment in 2008 for Joint Base Balad to evaluate the effectiveness of the new strategy in actual operations. The lessons learned, as discussed by Colonel Milner, are instructive for future operations. [Col Joseph A. Milner, USAF/2013/59 pages/ISBN 978-1-58566-250-0/$9/AP-90]
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