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Drew Papers

The Drew Papers are award-winning master’s theses selected for publication by the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), Maxwell AFB, Alabama. This series of papers commemorates the distinguished career of Col Dennis “Denny” Drew, USAF, retired. 

  •  Jimmy Doolittle

    Jimmy Doolittle

    Lt Col Benjamin W. Bishop, USAF
    As one of the most well-known Airmen of the twentieth century, Jimmy Doolittle is the subject of a significant number of books and articles. Despite their many virtues, these efforts have largely overlooked a very important portion of his life—his command of the Eighth Air Force. This study seeks to fill that gap. It draws upon multiple sources, including the mature body of biographical literature, archival documents, and Doolittle’s personal and military records. The overall conclusion is that behind Jimmy Doolittle’s daring and dashing façade was a measure of humility that fostered his growth as a general officer. Although his technical expertise forged trails in aviation history, it was Doolittle’s moral qualities that most significantly hastened the demise of the Luftwaffe. This finding suggests that while it is indeed prudent to foster the technical education of future senior leaders, it is even more important to nurture leaders of courage, boldness, and humility. [Lt Col Benjamin W. Bishop, USAF / 2015 / 123 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-245-6 / AU Press Code: P-106]
  •  Jungle Skippers: The 317th Troop Carrier Group in the Southwest Pacific and Their Legacy

    Jungle Skippers: The 317th Troop Carrier Group in the Southwest Pacific and Their Legacy

    Maj John D. Poole, USAF
    This study examines the 317th Troop Carrier Group’s experience in the southwest Pacific during World War II to identify its long-term effects. The work focuses on the 317th's role in two specific events, the Battle of Wau in January 1943, and the airborne assault at Nadzab the following September. Each event highlights the combat airlift dichotomy of airland and airdrop. In airland, troops are moved by aircraft and disembark from the aircraft on the ground. In airdrop, troops are moved by aircraft and landed using parachutes. [Maj John D. Poole, USAF / 2017, 107 pages / ISBN: 9781585662708/P-115]
  •  Learning to Leave

    Learning to Leave

    Maj R. Greg Brown, USAF
    Clausewitz posited centuries ago that “no one starts a war—or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so—without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it.” Centuries later Robert Mandel cautioned that “perhaps the least understood, and certainly the least studied, aspect of war is how they end.” Most recently, in Learning to Leave, however, R. Greg Brown has taken a historical and theoretical examination of US national military strategy and examined the two theses to cogently highlight how misconceptions about our outdated security framework hinder disengagement. For example, he finds especially outdated and appalling the nexus between the national security strategy and the national military strategy and outlines their role in extending military engagements. [Maj R. Greg Brown, USAF / 2008 / 152 pages ISBN: 978-1-58566-181-7 / AU Press Code: P-59]
  •  Risky Business

    Risky Business

    Lt Col Robert C. Bearden, USAF
    This study examines the role of moral hazard in airlift operations. The author turns to the world of economics and insurance to define moral hazard and then examines two historical case studies through this lens. By conducting a comparative case study of the airlift-dependent operations at Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh and examining these in terms of moral hazard, the author establishes that moral hazard plays a role in airlift operations, that this role is not predictive in nature, that this role illuminates risks that may otherwise go unnoticed, and that there is a positive relationship between airlift capacity and moral hazard. The author then examines US airlift operations in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2011 in light of the conclusions drawn from Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh. This comparison provides additional evidence for the case at hand and demonstrates the relevance to present-day events and concerns. The author postulates that a doctrinal solution best addresses moral hazard in airlift operations by informing the application of airlift in military operations while not arbitrarily curtailing or limiting those operations. The author concludes that such a doctrinal solution helps to inform military judgment and ensures risks associated with airlift-dependent operations are more fully accounted for than they would be otherwise. [Lt Col Robert C. Bearden, USAF / 2015 / 102 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-244-9 / AU Press Code: P-105]
  •  Slim Chance

    Slim Chance

    Derek M. Salmi, Lt Col, USAF
    This study applies lessons learned from air mobility’s pivotal role in Field Marshal Sir William Slim’s World War II Burma campaign to contemporary air mobility operations. Based on this analysis, the author suggests that modern air mobility practitioners must account for five key essentials: superiority across the air and space domains, proper organization that promotes relationship building at the operational level of war, normalization of the complete air mobility supply chain and its accompanying idea of “air mobility mindedness,” training focused on increased interoperability, and the vital role of leadership. [Derek M. Salmi, Lt Col, USAF / 2014 / 94 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-234-0 / AU Press Code: P-97]
  •  Sovereignty and Collaboration

    Sovereignty and Collaboration

    Sqn Ldr Gareth Davies, Royal Air Force
    In terms of military procurement, sovereignty is the ability to develop and operate equipment free from the external constraints of other nations. This paper questions whether sovereignty is an outdated strategy during times of austerity and if its apparent alternative—collaboration—delivers on its promise of affordability. The author examines Britain’s purchase of military equipment over the past 15 years to determine if the United Kingdom has increasingly favored collaboration over sovereignty. He concludes that sovereignty is a contested subject and that the question challenging nation-states in the future will not be whether to resist collaboration in favor of sovereignty but identifying when to collaborate and what sovereignty to invest in. [Sqn Ldr Gareth Davies, Royal Air Force / 2016 / 103 pages / ISBN: 9781585662630 / AU Press Code: DP-117]
  •  The Rise of Air Mobility and Its Generals

    The Rise of Air Mobility and Its Generals

    Lt Col Laura L. Lenderman, USAF
    During the rise of fighter generals to preeminence in the Air Force, mobility operations played a significant yet secondary role in airpower strategy. Since the end of the Cold War, however, airlift, air-refueling, and aeromedical-evacuation missions have become an indispensable and direct aspect of US grand strategy. The author examines a shift toward myriad, complex operations demanding mobility aircraft. She also shows that as the number and importance of mobility-centric operations have increased, so has the number of generals with mobility expertise, especially at the most senior levels of the Air Force—a phenomenon that reflects the Air Force’s adaptation to the changing geopolitical environment. [Lt Col Laura L. Lenderman, USAF / 2008 / 110 pages ISBN: 978-1-58566-175-6 / AU Press Code: P-53]
  •  The US Response to China’s ASAT Test [ONLINE ONLY]

    The US Response to China’s ASAT Test [ONLINE ONLY]

    Lt Col Anthony J. Mastalir, USAF
    Nearly three years have passed since China’s successful antisatellite (ASAT) test ushered in a new era of space competition. China still offers no answers to one of the most troubling strategic space questions of the twenty-first century: why is China building space weapons? Fundamental changes in the way the United States approaches national security space are long overdue. Poorly implemented policies and futile strategies have hitherto failed to ignite any sense of urgency or rationality in Washington. China’s test must serve to demark the end of failed American assumptions vis-à-vis its future competitive edge in space. Colonel Mastalir suggests that the best response for the United States is to prepare for a very different future in space, not with weapons in kind, but with enduring solutions to preserve the utility of space exploitation for all nations. He recommends that the United States take action to properly align the US instruments of national power to produce an enduring, coherent, multilateral approach toward space power. [Lt Col Anthony J. Mastalir, USAF / 2009 / 149 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-197-8 / AU Press Code: P-71]
  •  The Yom Kippur War and the Shaping of the United States Air Force

    The Yom Kippur War and the Shaping of the United States Air Force

    Joseph S. Doyle
    This study assesses the influence of the Yom Kippur War of October 1973 on the development of the United States Air Force. The author demonstrates how vicarious lessons based on Israeli combat experience interacted with American lessons from Vietnam. The study concludes that the Yom Kippur War reinforced a conventional paradigm of “war as battle” and also encouraged a long-term trend of American-Israeli parallelism. [Joseph S. Doyle, Squadron Leader, RAF/2019/97 pages/AU Press Code DP-0031]
  •  This Man’s Military

    This Man’s Military

    Lt Col Peter J. S. Lee, USAF
    Culture trumps strategy every time. The author proposes that the Department of Defense has mistakenly focused too much on a strategy to combat sexual assault without due recognition of military cultural factors. Colonel Lee concludes that while there is enough evidence to suggest that the military is demographically and culturally predisposed to a higher-than-average frequency of interpersonal violence and sexual assault, more research on who joins the military (and why) is needed. To reduce interpersonal violence and sexual assault, the military must confront its members’ beliefs—not just their behaviors. The author illustrates not only how organizational change theory can be used to empower those most at risk of sexual assault to avoid becoming victims but also how to make the military a less friendly environment to would-be offenders prior to them getting the chance. [Lt Col Peter J. S. Lee, USAF / 2016 / 89 pages / ISBN: 9781585662623 / AU Press Code: DP-113]
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