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  • A HOUSE BUILT ON SAND: Air Supremacy in US Air Force History, Theory, and Doctrine

    The US armed forces today acknowledge the necessity of air superiority, at a minimum, before operations can begin. The ultimate goal is to achieve air supremacy to facilitate freedom of maneuver for US ground and naval forces. Given the importance of the control of the air, this author’s research goal was to determine the degree to which the history, theory, and doctrine of the US Air Force prepare it to obtain air supremacy against a peer or near-peer adversary in a present or near-future conflict. Research results suggest that air supremacy, in this case, should not be anticipated or expected. The Air Force is highly proficient at the tactical level but lacks the historical, theoretical, and doctrinal foundation on which to construct a campaign that guarantees success. [Maj E. Taylor Francis, USAF / 47 pages / ISSN: 2575-7539 / AU Press Code: LP-6]
  • The Harmon Memorial Lectures in Military History, 1988–2017

    The Harmon Lecture Series is the oldest and longest-running lecture series at the United States Air Force Academy. This second volume builds the collection initiated in volume I (featuring lectures from 1959 to 1987). Volume II showcases 29 lectures featuring authoritative scholarship and acumen on topics ranging from airpower and strategy to leadership and civic engagement. [Mark E. Grotelueschen, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Retired / 2020 / 656 pages / ISBN 9781585663026 / AU Press Code: B-165A]

  • Combat Search and Rescue: Restoring Promise to a Sacred Assurance

    This research paper analyzes historical data from Southeast Asia, Operation Desert Storm, and Operation Allied Force to identify combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter shortfalls that endanger viable personnel recovery in a major theater war. It identifies still-relevant survivability requirements and suggests a helicopter fleet size based on historical asset density ratios. A comparative mission planning analysis reframes the benefit of increased helicopter speed in terms of reduced fighter and tanker requirements for long-range CSAR. This analysis of historical and contemporary issues informs a four-phase proposal to equip and organize the CSAR helicopter force for future relevance. [Maj Brandon T. Losacker / 2019 / 116 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-68]
  • The Command of the Air

    Twentieth-century Italian general Giulio Douhet has influenced generations with his theories on airpower and air force development. The book, long-established as essential reading for Air University students, collects separate writings The Command of the Air, The Probable Aspects of the War of the Future, Recapitulation, and The War of 19– into one volume. This 2019 edition builds on a 1942 Italian-to-English translation and includes an index. [Giulio Douhet / 2019 / 362 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-296-8 / AU Press Code: B-0160]
  • Bolts from Orion: Destroying Mobile Surface-to-Air Missile Systems with Lethal Autonomous Aircraft

    Modern mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) capabilities are far more lethal and sophisticated than the Iraqi integrated air defense system the US demolished in 2003, and are being used by potential adversaries as one component of anti-access/area denial (A2/D) strategy. This research explored the possible advantages autonomous unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) could offer for the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) mission. The research was conducted by surveying existing literature on advanced surface-to-air missile systems, SEAD, remotely piloted aircraft, and artificial intelligence. This was used to create four future scenarios envisioning how autonomous aircraft could be used for SEAD. Lethal autonomous UAS are controversial and the concept of machines making lethal targeting decisions is not to be taken lightly. Arguments abound about the legality and morality of lethal autonomous engagement and the United Nations is actively debating the issue. Artificial intelligence needs to advance before machines can make lethal engagement decisions. Fully autonomous UAS that execute SEAD without man-in-the-loop control is too much technological and political risk, but the US should pursue developing flexible levels of autonomy to enable human-machine teaming followed by developing swarms to provide an advantage for SEAD. Increased investment in autonomous UAS is necessary to ensure the US maintains an edge over potential adversaries advanced SAMs in future A2/AD conflicts. [Donald Brown / 2019 / 84 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-64]
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