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Volume 31 Issue 2, Summer 2017

  • Published
  • Air & Space Power Journal, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

Improving Resource Management in the Afghan Air Force
Improving Resource Management in the Afghan Air Force

Lt Col Jonathan D. Ritschel, USAF / Ms. Tamiko L. Ritschel
The nascent Afghan Air Force (AAF) is rapidly changing with new platforms programmed and existing platforms expanding. As US and coalition forces draw down, the transition of financial responsibility from American to Afghan processes is on the horizon.

The Coming Close Air Support Fly-Off
The Coming Close Air Support Fly-Off: Lessons from AIMVAL–ACEVAL

Lt Col Steven Fino, PhD, USAF
In the summer of 2016, Congress introduced legislation directing the Pentagon to conduct an A-10/F-35 close air support (CAS) fly-off. For several years, the Air Force has tried to retire its fleet of A-10s, arguing that its other platforms, including its newly-acquired F-35s, could perform the CAS mission. Without wading into the rancorous A-10 versus F-35 debate, it’s still worth evaluating the potential merits and pitfalls of the forthcoming CAS fly-off.

Break the Paradigm
Break the Paradigm: Prepare Airpower for Enemies’ “Most Likely Course of Action”

H. Mark Clawson
This article argues USAF leadership remains too focused on developing the force based on an outdated paradigm of advanced state actors fighting force-on-force on uncluttered battlefields. It postulates that the USAF “next generation” fighter proponents ignore their own, combat-hardened force warnings of the complexity of asymmetric warfare.

Critical Thinking Skills in USAF Developmental Education
Critical Thinking Skills in USAF Developmental Education

Col Adam J. Stone, USAF
To address the Air Force’s repeated call for stronger critical thinkers, this article uses quantitative research to establish a baseline of current critical thinking (CT) skills among active duty Air Force officers attending professional military education in-residence at Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) and Air War College (AWC). T-tests indicated there was no statistically significant difference in the CT skills of the two populations. Article Summary


Toward a US Air Force Arctic Strategy
Toward a US Air Force Arctic Strategy

Col John L. Conway III, USAF, Retired
The US Air Force is no newcomer to the Arctic. It has a long history of aerial operations in the “High North” from fighting the “thousand mile war” in the Aleutians during World War II to expanding its Arctic operations throughout the Cold War and beyond.

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The Last Prop Fighter: Sandys, Hobos, Fireflies, Zorros, and Spads

Maj Gen Randy Jayne, USAF, Retired
In the long US war in Southeast Asia, many combat aircraft were utilized during more than a decade of fighting. While most of the fighter aircraft were modern jets, a special aircraft, obtained from the US Navy and flying a variety of highly demanding missions, was not a jet, but a propeller-driven single engine fighter—the Douglas A-1 Skyraider.

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Data You Can Trust: Blockchain Technology

Col Vincent Alcazar, USAF, Retired
This article introduces blockchain technology, a novel data encryption and distribution method that protects data from corruption and destruction. In and of itself, blockchain can do little to enhance US warfare, but its value added is best glimpsed in its ability to secure vital documents, enable swarm autonomy, and support a battlefield network of objects construct. Since blockchain technology was pioneered a decade ago and publicly released in 2008, its data encryption scheme has matured and shows abundant promise in various US defense applications.

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Defeating Small Civilian Unmanned Aerial Systems to Maintain Air Superiority

Lt Col Thomas S. Palmer, USAF / Dr. John P. Geis II, Colonel, USAF, Retired
The year is 20XX, and after breakdowns in diplomatic and economic efforts to solve an international crisis, the US Air Force (USAF) has been tasked to lead major combat operations to destroy a hostile country’s strategic targets. After weeks of nonstop preparations, planning, and coordination at a hometown USAF base, the first wave of 12 F-22 stealth fighters and two KC-10 aerial refueling tankers are just two hours from starting engines to begin their transoceanic flight.


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Social Media and the DOD: Benefits, Risks, and Mitigation

Lt Col Dieter A. Waldvogel, USAF, PhD
Social media and networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google Apps, and many other Internet-based capabilities such as video sharing, weblogs, message boards, etc., offer a unique forum for discussion and collaboration across the Department of Defense (DOD) community and with the general public. However, this medium comes with risks and vulnerabilities—both technical and behavioral.

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