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SAASS Theses

These SAASS theses were selected for publication from among those submitted to the faculty of SAASS, as one of the requirements for completion of a master’s degree in air and space power art and science. AU Press no longer publishes this series, but award-winning SAASS theses are now published in the Drew Papers series.

  •  Green and Blue in the Wild Blue

    Green and Blue in the Wild Blue

    Maj Robert J. Hamilton
    Major Hamilton examines the nature and degree of the convergence of the United States Army and Air Force airpower thinking and doctrine since the Vietnam War. His study is concerned with airpower and does not incorporate theories or doctrine that deal with the space medium. He excludes Navy and Marine airpower theories. Major Hamilton discusses thinking on airpower in Vietnam, Army airpower thinking from 1972 to 1992, and the USAF thinking on airpower from that same time frame. He concludes that the Army and Air Force have a long track record of cooperation, and that areas of conceptual agreement exist from which to build a comprehensive theory of airpower. [Maj Robert J. Hamilton / 1999 / 51 pages / ISBN: AU Press Code: T-41]
  •  Ground Maneuver and Air Interdiction

    Ground Maneuver and Air Interdiction

    Maj Jack B. Egginton, USAF
    Warfare is an ever evolving mixture of combinations: attack and defense, symmetry and asymmetry, maneuver and firepower, mass and economy of force, etc. True operational art manifests itself when the right balance of these combinations is applied to war fighting. This paper analyzes one such combination; ground maneuver and air interdiction. Indeed, this is a treatise on the synchronization of land power and air power, and how these two vital elements can better contribute to a successful operational campaign. The fundamental thesis is that the Joint Force Commander (JFC) must do more than merely balance this combination as separate entities, he must employ them as coequals in mutually complementary operations. The synergistic relationship between ground maneuver and air interdiction is explored and supporting historical precedents discussed. Next, Army, Air Force and joint doctrine is analyzed to determine the prevailing views on the subject. Finally, the author makes recommendations which enhance the orchestration of ground maneuver and air interdiction in achieving the JFC’s objectives. [Maj Jack B. Egginton, USAF / 1994 / 46 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Hale's Handful . . . Up from the Ashes

    Hale's Handful . . . Up from the Ashes

    Maj Peter S. H. Ellis, USAF
    Major Ellis analyzes the evolution of Seventh Air Force's joint command and control relationships as well as the development of joint operational procedures and doctrine in the Central Pacific during World War II. In approaching this subject, he proceeds chronologically, outlining the major campaigns of the drive through the Central Pacific. Within the campaigns, Major Ellis addresses joint planning, preparation and support issues, bombing and strike challenges, and developments in close air support of the amphibious operations. He focuses especially on joint leadership interactions—was it all about personalities? He argues that despite Navy dominance of the Central Pacific, this theater represents the only theater in which the Navy, the Army, the Army Air Corps, and the Marines all played major, vital roles in the combat that won the island-hopping campaign in World War II. Major Ellis shows how the challenges and lessons of the Seventh Air Force in World War II are clearly applicable to contemporary airmen. [Maj Peter S. H. Ellis, USAF 2002 / 94 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-18]
  •  Higher Eyes in the Sky

    Higher Eyes in the Sky

    Maj Kimberly M. Corcoran, USAF
    During the past few years, United States Air Force (USAF) leaders have begun to emphasize space operations. Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force states that we will eventually transition from an air and space force into a space and air force and various leaders have opined that that air and space are seamless. Gen Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF chief of staff, introduced the concept that in the future, we will be able to “find, fix, target, track, and engage (F2T2E)” any target, anywhere on the earth. In order to accomplish F2T2E, the functions performed by the E-3 airborne warning and control system (AWACS) and the E-8 joint surveillance, target attack radar system (JSTARS) will need to migrate to space-based platforms. This study explores how such a migration would occur. Before examining space operations, the historical military need for moving tar-get indicators (MTI) is examined, tracing the evolution from hot air balloons to our current AWACS and JSTARS aircraft. Because space systems operate differently from airborne systems, those differences are explored. The organizations involved in space operations are also examined, along with their potential to effect the development of a space-based MTI system. The radar systems of both the AWACS and the JSTARS are described, as well as a few of the most prominent of the proposed space-based systems. [Maj Kimberly M. Corcoran, USAF / 1999 / 59 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Improving the Management of an Air Campaign with Virtual Reality

    Improving the Management of an Air Campaign with Virtual Reality

    Maj James E. Haywood, USAF
    This thesis evaluates the near-term military utility of virtual reality (VR) and its component technologies to the battle management of an air campaign. It presumes a large-scale air campaign on the order to that in the Gulf War where air operations were continuous, prolonged, and intense. The author begins with a discussion of VR technology to lay a foundation for understanding its current capabilities, future potential, and limitations. An examination of the prevailing structure and process for air battle management follows. In particular, the flow of information throughout the air operations center (AOC) is revealed and analyzed. The remainder of this thesis looks to mesh the technology of VR with the process of air battle management. Several near-term improvement opportunities are described as a result. The research concludes by assessing the viability and implication of a military decision to invest in a VR-enhanced air battle management system. Recommendations are given for areas in need of further research and development. [Maj James E. Haywood, USAF / 1996 / 46 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Information as a Weapon

    Information as a Weapon

    Maj YuLin G. Whitehead, USAF
    The concept of information warfare (IW) continues to gain visibility within political and military arenas in the United States. Active discourse by individuals in the government and private circles regarding what constitutes the proper emphasis on and employment of IW indicates the subject is still shrouded in controversy. In the simplest terms, literature on the role of information war exists in two categories: as information in warfare and as information warfare. The former discusses information in the more traditional notion of a support for decision making and combat operations. The latter, however, uses information as a weapon in and of itself in warfare. This thesis addresses the second theme and questions whether information is a weapon. The author employs the theories and principles of Carl von Clausewitz as a theoretical underpinning for critical analysis. The study investigates whether information as a weapon can achieve the purposes of war. Specifically, can the use of the “information weapon” diminish an adversary’s will and capacity to fight. [Maj YuLin G. Whitehead, USAF / 1999 / 45 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Information Warfare

    Information Warfare

    Maj Robin K. Crumm, USAF
    This paper shows how the conduct of military operations in the Information Age demands new strategies, new tactics, and new ways of thinking. It raises moral and ethical issues regarding the relationship between the military, the media, and the American public; and it explores the relationship between Information Warfare (IW) and Public Affairs (PA). Three possible options emerge regarding the IW roles PA might adopt. Option One-a "Hands Off Policy"-seeks to avoid any association with IW and represents the current PA approach. Option Two upholds the primacy of truth and acknowledges the active role PA must take in IW. Option Three suggests PA abandon its policy to tell the truth and actively engage in all IW activities. [Maj Robin K. Crumm, USAF / 2001 / 58 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-37]
  •  John Boyd and John Warden

    John Boyd and John Warden

    Maj David S. Fadok, USAF
    Colonels John Boyd and John Warden have contributed to the evolution of airpower theory through their respective works on strategic paralysis. Boyd's thoughts on strategic paralysis are process-oriented and aim at psychological incapacitation. He speaks of folding an opponent back inside himself by operating inside his observation-orientation-decision-action (OODA) loop. His theory of conflict is Clausewitzian, emphasizing the mental and moral spheres of conflict, and he considers it important to teach the genius of war. Major Fadok describes Warden’s theory as form-oriented and aiming at physical paralysis. This theory is Jominian in the sense that it is important to teach warriors how to act—that is, to teach the principles of war. Major Fadok concludes that strategic paralysis theory has moved from an early emphasis on targeting war-supporting industry to a current emphasis on war-supporting command to a future emphasis on war-supporting information. [Maj David S. Fadok, USAF / 1995 / 56 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-29]
  •  Joint Operations in the Gulf War

    Joint Operations in the Gulf War

    Maj P. Mason Carpenter, USAF
    To what extent was the effectiveness of joint operations in the Gulf War influenced by individual service perspectives? This study uses Graham Allison’s three models of bureaucratic behavior (Model I, Rational Actor; Model II, Organizational Process; and Model III, Bureaucratic Politics) to answer this question. The value of interservice integration has been recognized for a long time. The Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (Goldwater-Nichols) made significant strides integrating the services at the most senior levels, that is, the component commanders and above. The study concludes that, in general, at the component commander level and above during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, rational decisions were made and rational actions were implemented to prosecute the war (Model I behavior). The Goldwater-Nichols legislation did not make as much headway, however, in integrating the services below the level of component commander. Unlike the most senior levels of command, decisions made and actions taken were not always implemented for the most rational reason. For the most part, decisions and actions were Model I. But at times, decisions and actions were not optimal because the decisionmaker/actor lacked information, had a different service perspective, and/or inadequately understood and empathized with members of the other services (primarily Model II, but with traces of Model III as well). Based on these findings, the study suggests in order to continue to improve interservice integration, we need to teach concepts of service integration early in an officer’s career, expand joint interaction and provide some additional standardization among theaters. [Maj P. Mason Carpenter, USAF / 1995 / 96 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Keeping the Peace

    Keeping the Peace

    Maj John S. Clark Jr., USAF
    This study concludes that in order for peacekeepers to achieve their mandate, it is critical to possess strong political will and a minimum of operational support. Furthermore, regional organizations run the gamut in both political will and operational capability. Their performance indicates that when their national interests are at stake, the regionals demonstrate the required political will to persevere in a mission. Furthermore, they indicate an increasingly strong determination to participate in peacekeeping missions. They understand that a positive correlation exists between regional political stability and economic growth, and they appear ready to build an environment that fosters such growth. However, a gap exists between their political will and operational capability. This gap should be remedied by a United States (US) strategy that recognizes regional organizations as the second tier in an international community that may contribute to international peace. This study recommends that the DOD and other US agencies support and encourage regional organizations to bear more of the peacekeeping burden, either independently or as a partner with the UN. DOD should actively support the improvement of these organizations’ capabilities to conduct peacekeeping operations through a comprehensive strategy that builds on the activities taking place on the bilateral level and within the combatant commands. Strengthening regional organizations can ameliorate the burden of being the world’s remaining superpower, leverage the US leadership position, and further US national interests.[Maj John S. Clark Jr., USAF / 1997 / 62 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-35]
  •  Lifeline from the Sky

    Lifeline from the Sky

    John Steven Brunhaver
    Major Brunhaver seeks to answer the question, what are the doctrinal imperatives of providing effective airlift support to enclaves? He states that doctrinal imperatives are those necessary and sufficient propositions that describe the optimal way to employ airlift forces in support of an enclave. This paper attempts to determine the best way to conduct airlift operations to support enclaves. Major Brunhaver’s primary conclusion is that four fundamental factors influence airlift operations: requirement to capability ratio, threat, support infrastructure, and weather. [John Steven Brunhaver / 2002 / 69 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-2]
  •  Lt Gen Ned Almond, USA

    Lt Gen Ned Almond, USA

    Maj Michael Lewis, USAF
    The case study herein analyzes the CAS philosophy of Lt Gen Edward Mallory Almond, USA. The author reasoned that General Almond’s diverse background in Army, Navy, and Air Force theory and employment would make him a logical candidate for a study. The main focus is on CAS employment and issues during the Korean War. General Almond served in the two world wars and commanded the X Corps during the Korean War. His personal papers stored at the US Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, offer unique insights into a ground commander’s views on CAS. [Maj Michael Lewis, USAF / 1997 / 101 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
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