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Maxwell Papers

The Maxwell Papers are the Air War College’s (AWC) selection of the best professional studies papers from its graduates. These works, meant to highlight topics of importance to senior leaders and support discussion and further investigation, demonstrate the excellent research and analytical capabilities of AWC students. The Maxwell Papers are an outstanding example of the research work done at AWC as students hone their critical thinking skills while tackling real-world problems facing the Air Force in the twenty-first century. 

  •  2035 Air Dominance Requirements for State-On-State Conflict

    2035 Air Dominance Requirements for State-On-State Conflict

    PETER M. BILODEAU Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
    In 2035 some states' integrated air defense systems will be able to find, fix, track, target, and engage our current air dominance aircraft. US operations in this environment may prove costly and threaten heavy aircraft losses. Worse, decisive air operations, the hallmark of US military strategy for nearly 60 years, may not be possible in hyper-defended airspace.1 As one commentator put it, “the US is confronted with a strategic choice: to risk loss of military access to areas vital to its national security or to explore options for preserving access.”2 [PETER M. BILODEAU Lieutenant Colonel, USAF / 2012 / 40 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-60]
  •  A Cyberspace Command and Control Model

    A Cyberspace Command and Control Model

    Col Joseph H. Scherrer, USAF, Lt Col William C. Grund, USAF
    The authors assert that the lack of an effective cyberspace C2 structure critically reduces the responsiveness to combatant and joint task force commanders and increases the difficulty of integrating cyberspace capabilities into operational plans and execution. The traditional military hierarchies currently used for cyberspace C2 do not have the agility to deal with the high velocity of change that characterizes cyberspace. Instead, the authors argue for flexible organizational structures to match the complexity and pace of the cyberspace operational environment. [Col Joseph H. Scherrer, USAF, Lt Col William C. Grund, USAF 2009 / 64 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-47]
  •  A Separate Space Force

    A Separate Space Force

    Colonel Michael C. Whittington, USAF
    Since the end of the Gulf War, the debate over whether there should be a separate space service, equal with the Air Force, Army, and Navy, has grown in proportion to the indispensable value of space operations to our nation’s defense. Increasing dependency on space-systems is a fact of military life. In this well-documented essay, Col Michael C. Whittington compares the leading arguments for a separate space force to the cogent arguments for an independent air force made by airpower advocates during the interwar years of 1920–1940. The airpower issues in 1920 and the space power issues of today are strikingly similar, revolving around four key issues: leadership, doc-trine, technology, and funding. The irony, of course, is that these arguments, which helped create an independent air force in 1947, are challenged by many within today’s Air Force leadership, which leads Colonel Whittington to ask, “If they were cogent in 1920, would they not be relevant today?” [Colonel Michael C. Whittington, USAF/ 2000 / 25 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-20]
  •  Achieving Medical Currency via Selected Staff

    Achieving Medical Currency via Selected Staff

    Col Thomas W. Harrell, USAF, MC, SFS
    During Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom, the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) contributed to the lowest “died of wounds rate” in the history of warfare (less than 10 percent).1 Cutting-edge medical care on the battlefield and revolutionary methods of transporting critically wounded patients, once miraculous, are now considered routine.2 Simultaneously, while fielded medical forces are performing in a heroic manner, garrisoned AFMS providers, particularly surgeons and some medical specialists, are struggling to maintain their required wartime skills. Relying on just-in-time training and brief in-garrison dwell times coupled with multiple deployments, medical service personnel work to sustain skill sets needed for meeting both the active duty force’s health needs and the wartime mission. [Col Thomas W. Harrell, USAF, MC, SFS / 2012 / 33 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: P-68]
  •  Air Force Intelligence Role in Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Air Force Intelligence Role in Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Lt Col Cristina M. Stone, USAF
    In this paper, Colonel Stone argues that the Air Force does not adequately prepare its intelligence analysts; targeteers; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operators; and unit-level and air and space operations center (AOC) personnel with the knowledge and expertise required to fill these positions. To get to ground truth on the current status, the author conducted interviews with current and former WMD analysts and targeteers. Colonel Stone believes that in the areas of predictive analysis, targeting, and unit-level and AOC operations, Air Force intelligence training courses do not currently provide the requisite WMD expertise and recommends that the Air Force leverage its technical and scientific core and expert organizations across the government to improve training for intelligence personnel requiring WMD expertise. Regarding ISR operations, she proposes that the Air Force develop enhanced collection capabilities. [Lt Col Cristina M. Stone, USAF / 2006 / 38 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-39]
  •  Air National Guard Fighters in the Total Force

    Air National Guard Fighters in the Total Force

    Joseph E. Lucas and Stuart C. Johnson
    During the last few years, the United States Air Force has been involved in an unparalleled number of peacetime contingency operations. Air National Guard (ANG) tanker and airlift assets have been heavily engaged in these operations. However, the authors of this study point out that the same level of activity is not found in the ANG fighter force even though many of these units have demonstrated a willingness to participate. [Joseph E. Lucas and Stuart C. Johnson / 1996 / 28 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-1]
  •  Air National Guard Structure for the Twenty-first Century

    Air National Guard Structure for the Twenty-first Century

    Kevin S. Dailey
    For nearly three decades, the Air National Guard has served as a strategic reserve available to the Total Force only during a time of crisis. Today, the days of the “baseball cap flying club” are long gone, and Total Force Integration is firmly ensconced as the only way to fight the nation’s wars. With the added complications of reduced budgetary outlays and high operational tempo, Total Force considerations and organizational constructs become even more important to the mission’s bottom line for the United States Air Force. Given the myriad of Total Force organizational constructs, is there one “best” unit structure for optimum Total Force Integration? If so, what might that unit look like, and why? If not, what framework of common traits might ensure future success? Lt Col Kevin Dailey offers the Multimission Framework as an answer. His research for the framework originates with an extensive series of interviews with senior service leaders, multiple case studies of the different current constructs, an extensive literature review, and an examination of current challenges. By reviewing the constitutional mandate for the militia forces, the rationale for an Air National Guard, and the complex series of Guard missions, as well as organizational unit types, Colonel Dailey adds further depth to the strength of a new framework built on the common threads of successful models. This framework is built to maximize effectiveness in future integration efforts and is presented as “Multimission Integration.” [Kevin S. Dailey / 2008 / 50 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-43]
  •  Airpower in the Context of a Dysfunctional Joint Doctrine

    Airpower in the Context of a Dysfunctional Joint Doctrine

    Carl R. Pivarsky Jr. Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
    This important research deals with the intellectual foun -dation of the American profession of arms—our joint doctrine. The author, Lt Col Carl R. Pivarsky Jr., USAF, argues that the current doctrine development process has become a zero-sum game driven by the chair -man of the joint chiefs of staff (CJCS) declaring joint doctrine to be "authoritative." The resultant interserv-ice competition has produced a keystone joint doctrine publication, Joint Publication (Pub) 3-0, Doctrine for Joint Operations, that unfortunately has been corrupted to serve parochial service interests. This research focuses on that document and the impact it has on how we think about high-intensity, conventional combat operations. Specifically, it deals with the corrup -tion of the definitions of maneuver and interdiction to serve parochial land force interests. The author shows in detail how definitions and terms have destroyed the command authority of the joint force air component commander (JFACC) and relegated air component capabilities solely to the support of surface maneuver commanders. Lieutenant Colonel Pivarsky believes the lack of in tel-lectual integrity of Joint Pub 3-0 debases the entire joint doctrine process; it must be corrected. The author’s rec -ommended solution is to revise the joint definitions of maneuver and interdiction to preclude their ownership by a specific type of military organization and to give the Air Force its rightful and earned place at the doctrine table. A rewrite of Joint Pub 3-0 is required to reflect joint force capabilities for full-dimensional operations, not simply land force dominance of the entire battle-field. Sea, air, and space force dominance deserve equal discussion in this keystone joint operations doctrine. [Carl R. Pivarsky Jr. Lieutenant Colonel, USAF / 1997 33 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-7]
  •  Airpower, Chaos, and Infrastructure

    Airpower, Chaos, and Infrastructure

    Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Felker, USAF
    This interesting study by Lt Col Edward J. Felker, US Air Force, describes a methodology to exploit airpower’s capacities at the operational and strategic levels of war. It focuses on the third ring (infrastructure) of John A. Warden III’s theory of five strategic rings, which the author argues is often neglected in the debate over the importance of leadership (first ring) versus fielded forces (fifth ring). The author emphasizes that lines of communications transmit all of society’s military, economic, and political goods, services, and information. Infrastructure provides the framework that links the various elements of a nation’s power. This infrastructure contains critical nodes that are vulnerable to airpower. By understanding this infrastructure, we better understand an adversary as a complex, adaptive, and open system. Colonel Felker’s paper espouses a practical theory of air -power based on the synergistic relationship among societal structure and lines of communications that comprise infrastructure. Rather than isolating different elements of a society and their concomitant targets, the theory views targets in a more holistic way. Of note, the theory articulates a culturally based paradigm with airpower applied against the linkages within a society’s system processes, rather than a "one-size-fits-all" target list that attacks form. The theory describes a way to think about airpower, not a way to execute its missions. [Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Felker, USAF / 1998 / 45 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-14]
  •  Aviation Urban Operations

    Aviation Urban Operations

    LTCOL Todd G. Kemper, USMC
    Doctrine for joint urban operations, which include aviation urban operations, combined with revised tactics, techniques, and procedures for joint close air support, offers the combined/joint force air component commander a set of best practices for conducting counterland operations on urban terrain. Col Kemper, argues that aviation urban operations, particularly urban close air support, are no longer high-risk, low-probability missions left to academic discussions, but are proving to be high-risk, high-probability missions, as witnessed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Furthermore, the author contends that urban terrain has become the preferred battlespace of US adversaries in the early twenty-first century. This environment poses unique challenges, especially to air and space warfare. The difficulty of sorting friendlies from enemy combatants, the latter intermingled with large numbers of noncombatants in very confined spaces, creates serious dilemmas for maneuver and aviation forces. Col Kemper believes that this mission, though well documented, has received neither the priority nor the resources necessary to ensure operational excellence and success on the modern battlefield. Thus, he not only inquires about whether we are training like we fight, but also seeks to determine what makes aviation urban operations so complicated and unique that they require stand-alone doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures. [LTCOL Todd G. Kemper, USMC / 2004 / 49 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-33]
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