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Volume 35 Issue 3, Fall 2021

  • Published
  • Special Feature: The B-52 Stratofortress

    Seventy-five years ago in June 1946, the US Army Air Forces awarded Boeing a contract to build the XB-52, the world’s first intercontinental bomber. After several modifications, the Air Force, satisfied with the design, ordered 13 B-52As in 1952.

  • Piloting Unmanned Aircraft with a Computer Mouse: Challenges to Point-and-Click Flying

    Brigadier General Houston R. Cantwell, USAF

    Flying unmanned aircraft presents multiple challenges to safe and effective flight operations, including relying on a vulnerable data link. As militaries expand applications of unmanned technologies, several lessons learned at the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force may prove instructive as the Air Force works to improve data-link assurance and consider cost-effective system automation. 

  • National Security and the Third-Road Threat: Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Information Warfare

    Daniel Morabito

    The United States must define information warfare in a way that empowers a doctrinal framework for thinking, communicating, planning, and acting within the information environment while organizing to meet the threat. This article provides a new theory for conceptualizing information warfare, informing how the United States defends itself while pursuing national interests within the information environment.

  • Combatting Russian Influence through Improved Security Assistance

    Walter Richter

    Countries transitioning from Russian-produced to US-produced defense systems often fall under even greater Russian influence during this period of transition. The United States can counter this influence through security assistance mechanisms such as leveraging existing Allied and partner maintenance capabilities, working with existing US partnership efforts, and improving the FMS Total Package Approach.

  • Shifting Satellite Control Paradigms: Operational Cybersecurity in the Age of Megaconstellations

    Carl Poole
    Robert Bettinger
    Mark Reith

    The introduction of automated satellite control systems into a space-mission environment historically dominated by human-in-the-loop operations will require a more focused understanding of cybersecurity measures to ensure space system safety and security. It is no longer a matter of whether automation will be introduced to satellite operations, but how quickly satellite operators can adapt to the onset of control automation and promote cybersecurity in an increasingly competitive, contested, and congested space domain. 

  • Directed-Energy Weapons: An Option for Strategic De-Escalation

    Alfred Cannin

    Emerging technological advances have provided multiple nonlethal options to deter, deny, and incapacitate threats posed by new adversaries and changing strategic implications. Directed-energy-weapon (DEW) options demonstrate, via an escalation of force from nonlethal to lethal, a direct targeting capability with a high likelihood of low collateral damage and reduced risk of civilian casualties.

  • Mobilizing Uniformed Scientists and Engineers

    Brian J. Fry

    The union of technical and operational expertise within an officer is a role for which uniformed scientists and engineers are educated and professionally developed. Empowering these officers will ensure they identify and exploit technical opportunities much earlier, infuse an operational mindset in acquisition organizations, lead with a war-fighting perspective, and perpetuate and accelerate the change necessary to keep the Air Force at the forefront of technology. 

  • Photo of Jörg F-35

    F-35 O-Ring Production Functions versus Mosaic Warfare: Some Simple Mathematics

    Jörg Schimmelpfennig
    This article concentrates on the likely magnitude of the mosaic warfare effect on mission success. Using a not-exactly rocket-science mathematical argument, the article suggests that this approach can, more often than not, substantially improve the chances of mission success in scenarios where traditional approaches are bound to fail.

  • Book cover of All the Factors of Victory

    All the Factors of Victory: Adm. Joseph Mason Reeves and the Origins of Carrier Airpower

    by Thomas Wildenberg
    Reviewed by Col William J. Ott, USAF, Retired

    Thomas Wildenberg, an independent historian specializing in the development of naval aviation and technological innovation in the US Navy, argues Adm Joseph Mason Reeves as an unsung hero by offering Reeves’s progenitor role in the development of carrier aviation operations, tactics, and employment during the interwar years as evidence.

  • Book cover of Bombs Without Boots

    Bombs Without Boots: The Limits of Airpower

    by Anthony M. Schinella
    Reviewed by Maj Ian S. Bertram, USAF

    Bombs Without Boots is a timely study of modern airpower, its ability to coerce, and its uses and shortfalls. Anthony M. Schinella, a national intelligence officer with the National Intelligence Council, brings 25 years of experience to bear while examining five post-Cold War conflicts that saw Western militaries rely heavily on airpower to achieve various objectives.

  • Book cover of Middle East 101

    Middle East 101: A Beginner’s Guide for Deployers, Travelers, and Concerned Citizens

    by Youssef H. Adoul-Enein and Joseph T. Stanik
    Reviewed by Senior Airman Kyle K. Stiff, USAF

    While Middle East 101 is touted as a beginner’s guide, it actually provides an engaging, comprehensive overview of Middle Eastern political and religious history. Beginning in southern Mesopotamia in 5,000 BC, Youssef H. Aboul-Enein and Joseph T. Stanik recount the formation of Islam, the internal and external conflicts plaguing many areas of the Middle East throughout history, and the subsequent perversion of sharia law by small groups of extremist, militant jihadis.

  • Book cover of Beyond Blue Skies

    Beyond Blue Skies: The Rocket Plane Programs That Led to the Space Age

    by Chris Petty
    Reviewed by Col Jamie Sculerati, USAF, Retired

    Chris Petty is a space and aviation enthusiast and author of The High Frontier blog. Beyond Blue Skies is his first major book, focused on the high-speed research aircraft programs conducted by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, later the NASA), the Air Force, and the Navy from the end of World War II and extending through the mid-1970s.

  • Book cover of Save Your Ammo

    Save Your Ammo: Working Across Cultures for National Security

    by Louise Rasmussen and Winston Sieck
    Reviewed by Col Walter H. Ward Jr., USAF, Retired

    Why is culture education important for everyone? Save Your Ammo is a book that provides the answer. Dr. Louise Rasmussen and Dr. Winston Sieck, founders of Global Cognition, compile an engaging, entertaining, and instructive collection of vignettes that highlight the importance of cultural savvy in global military missions.

  • Book cover of Defense Engagement since 1900

    Defense Engagement since 1900: Global Lessons in Soft Power

    by Greg Kennedy
    Reviewed by Capt Matthew H. Ormsbee, USAF

    In the midst of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) shift from wars in the Middle East with extremist groups to power struggles with near-peer adversaries, new strategic centers of gravity come into focus—chief among them, soft power. In no other way can the US retain allies and keep intact its sphere of influence over nations near to China and Russia. In this context, Defense Engagement since 1900 is an ambitious work of applied military history meant for all readers, but particularly those focusing on military and political affairs.

  • Book cover of Handprints on Hubble

    Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut’s Story of Innovation

    by Kathryn D. Sullivan
    Reviewed by Kenneth P. Katz

    At first glance, a spacewalk (called an extravehicular activity or EVA in the acronym-laden jargon of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA]) seems cool, fun, and—after hundreds of them carried out during the past 55 years—routine. In reality, they are anything but a lark. Space is an exceptionally dangerous and harsh environment; several astronauts and cosmonauts have come much closer to perishing on EVAs than is commonly known.

  • Book cover of Chinese Communist Espionage

    Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer

    by Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil
    Reviewed by LCDR James M. Landreth, USN

    Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer lifts the veil of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) intelligence apparatus. Richly sourced from Chinese language texts, Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil detail an unprecedented number of historical intelligence figures and foundational myths.

  • Book cover of Spying from the Sky

    Spying from the Sky: At the Controls of US Cold War Aerial Intelligence

    by Robert L. Richardson
    Reviewed by LCDR Joseph A. Derie, USCG, Retired

    Spying from the Sky is the story of the military career of Col William Gregory, USAF, with much of it told in his own words. It is also the story of the post-Korean War USAF and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) development of the national high-altitude strategic reconnaissance program.

  • Book cover of Taking Flight

    Taking Flight: The Nadine Ramsey Story

    by Raquel Ramsey and Tricia Aurand
    Reviewed by Steven M. Guiliani

    Taking Flight is the story of a young woman from Wichita, Kansas who became a part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The authors lay the foundation for her story by describing her family and their roots, a family life that played a large role in shaping her into the strong woman that she was and how this woman then embraced the growing aviation environment and went on to serve in World War II (WWII).




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