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Wright Flyers

Wright Flyers are occasional papers sponsored by the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). The ACSC prints and distributes a limited run of each paper. AU Press does not stock any titles in the Wright Flyers series and they are available in PDF only.

  •  A Game of Simon Says

    A Game of Simon Says

    LCDR J. Lee Bennett, USN
    A little over 200,000 votes in Mexico’s 2006 presidential election determined whether or not the United States might soon share a border with a potentially communist country. A closer look reveals Mexico was nearly another domino in a rash of leftism that is sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In fact, there are as many leftist countries in the LAC region today as there were in Eastern Europe at the height of the Cold War. This research will determine why leftism is on the rise and whether US national security is being threatened. The causes are a combination of extreme inequality with regards to income per capita, an increased awareness among the populace as to its unequal situation, a poor display of US foreign policy, and an increase in education levels throughout the region. In short, Latin Americans are smarter, poorer, and angrier with the United States for its inattentiveness since the end of the Cold War. [LCDR J. Lee Bennett, USN / 2008 / 37 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-31]
  •  A Joint Task Force Staff Structure for the New Millennium

    A Joint Task Force Staff Structure for the New Millennium

    MAJ Lisa A. Row, USMC
    Our military future will likely be radically different from our past. Consequently, military personnel can prepare for this future by investigating ways to adapt to novel challenges posed by new weapons, new theories, or new organizations. This study explores the problem of how joint task force staffs should reorganize to improve future command and control to meet demands of the most likely future environment. The research methodology consisted of a literature search from a broad body of evidence. Sources included business literature, studies by organizations such as the Center for Naval Analyses, and research papers produced by other students. Several key changes envisioned for the military provide a foundation for the project and introduce future operational and environmental complexities. These changes include emerging international and national trends such as increased military operations other than war and growing military pressures to shrink but remain effective. [MAJ Lisa A. Row, USMC / 1998 / 47 pages ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-4]
  •  A Rapid Global Effects Capability

    A Rapid Global Effects Capability

    Maj Daniel Baltrusaitus
    This paper is about how a Rapid Global Effects Capability will provide the Air Force with operational agility. This ability will enable the Air Force to achieve the core missions of Multi-Domain Command and Control, Adaptive Domain Control, Global Integrated Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Rapid Global Mobility, and Global Precision Strike by 2035. The ability to rapidly deliver global effects will have implications for both domestic and foreign policy. [Maj Daniel Baltrusaitus, USAF / 2019 / 60 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-62]
  •  Additive Manufacture of Propulsion Systems in Low Earth Orbit

    Additive Manufacture of Propulsion Systems in Low Earth Orbit

    Maj Kristen C. Castonguay, USAF
    Lifting mass to orbit is one of the most challenging concepts of space travel. This paper proposes a concept of a hub at low Earth orbit (LEO) that additively manufactures or more colloquially 3-D prints components of the boost and satellite systems to reduce weight to orbit. A hub at LEO with three component modules will accomplish this, and estimates put the cost for this effort around that of one government satellite launch. This concept proposes a receive/assemble/deploy module to capture a satellite as it boosts from Earth and then attaches additively manufactured parts to the satellite for redeployment, a print module to print RL-10-like boost phase engines and multimode propulsion systems, and a storage facility for materials and propellants. This hub will enable making parts through additive manufacturing in space and lead to the printing of more complex systems in the future, thereby promoting the development of space exploration. [Kristen C. Castonguay / 2018 / 29 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-69]
  •  Air Force Smart Operations for the Twenty-first Century

    Air Force Smart Operations for the Twenty-first Century

    Maj Harold W. Linnean, III, USAFR
    In this paper, Maj Harold Linnean explores how Air Force leadership may avoid potential failure points in its implementation of Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century (AFSO 21), the Air Force’s initiative to recapitalize funds by maximizing value and minimizing waste in operations. The author addresses three potential failure points: (1) focusing only on culture and thus creating an unbalanced system or organization, (2) the inflexibility of the Air Force structure, and (3) the Air Force’s human resource management systems. Major Linnean proposes that a culture of continuous process improvement will take root only when Air Force leadership fully commits to AFSO 21. [Maj Harold W. Linnean, III, USAFR / 2008 / 40 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-33]
  •  Armageddon's Lost Lessons

    Armageddon's Lost Lessons

    MAJ Gregory A. Daddis, USA
    In September 1918, the EEF concluded its campaign in Palestine by routing the Turkish forces at the battle of Megiddo. Under command of British general Allenby, the EEF successfully executed one of the most decisive engagements in any theater of World War I. Ably employing and synchronizing infantry, cavalry, and air forces, Allenby provided future military professionals and historians with a shining illustration of the efficacy of combined arms operations. In terms of surprise, concentration, and operational balance of forces, the culmination of the Palestine campaign was a foreshadowing of the German blitzkrieg used in World War II. Unfortunately, the true lessons of Allenby’s campaign were lost for future generations of military officers. Focusing on the culture and romanticism of the horse cavalry, students of the Palestine battles garnered little instruction on the emerging trends of combined arms operations that integrated air and ground mobility into a decisive operational level weapon. This paper analyzes the reasons those in the profession of arms missed the lessons of airpower and its role in combined arms operations. It examines the context of the Middle Eastern theater of World War I, describing how “western front myopia” added to the overshadowing of operations conducted in Palestine. The paper also delves into the role of airpower in the Middle East and how Allenby integrated a relatively new weapon system into his force structure and operational planning and execution. Though largely unexplored by military professionals and historians, Allenby’s final campaign in Palestine proved to be a momentous step in the evolution of combined arms operations. [MAJ Gregory A. Daddis, USA/ 2005 / 54 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-20]
  •  Artificial Intelligence for Command and Control of Air Power

    Artificial Intelligence for Command and Control of Air Power

    Maj Matthew R. Voke
    Computational power, data collection, and algorithm capabilities are increasing at an exponential rate. Artificial Intelligence (AI) advances demonstrate the ability to augment human thoughts and actions in countless areas, among which include the Command and Control (C2) of joint airpower. To triumph in future wars, the United States requires the capability to create multiple dilemmas across multiple domains at an overwhelming speed while preventing the enemy from doing the same. AI will provide the cognitive agility required to C2 forces in providing this capability overmatch. The side with an information advantage and ability to react with high-velocity decision-making will decide the outcome of future wars. This paper attempts to familiarize the reader with some common types and functions of AI, explores specific application areas, and recommends solutions assisting joint targeting using airpower. The development of a weapon to target a pairing system reveals specifics using an example AI creation process. Along with explaining the construction of AI models, this paper also proposes a process for preparing and validating AI for operational use and discusses essential implementation considerations. The desired end state for AI employment in the C2 of joint airpower is efficient human-machine teaming and increased cognitive agility. [Maj Matthew R. Voke / 2019 / 63 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-72]
  •  Autonomous Warplanes

    Autonomous Warplanes

    Maj Michael R. Schroer, ANG
    Military use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) has grown dramatically. RPAs are quickly becoming indispensable parts of military operations and assets greatly valued by commanders. These systems offer many benefits, including a reduced risk to human life, increased efficiency, improved time on station, and reduced cost. Current systems are limited by the need for direct human control due to the inherent slowness of human decision making and the physical delay of satellite communications. This paper identifies aspects of NASA’s rover autonomy research that may apply to military RPA development. Using NASA’s research could allow the United States to take advantage of decades of development effort and maintain the technological advantage it currently enjoys in this rapidly evolving area of competition. [Maj Michael R. Schroer, ANG / 2016 / 51 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-54]
  •  Back to the Basics

    Back to the Basics

    Maj Arthur D. Davis, USAF
    This study focuses on the current global war on terrorism as a conflict against insurgents who attack US power through asymmetric means. Of late, these individuals have selected as a primary target the military and civilian convoy operations in Iraq and, to some extent, Afghanistan. By examining past examples of the use of airpower in counterinsurgent warfare, this study sheds light on the United States’ current failings in both equipment and doctrine as it wages this type of war. The French used low-technology aircraft—World War II–vintage A-1 and T-6 fighters—in Algeria to attack insurgent forces and defend ground troops. Well adapted to the environment as well as effectively deployed and employed, these aircraft helped contain and defeat the insurgents. In Vietnam, the United States employed A-1s and T-28s—aircraft with a proven track record in this type of war and ideally suited to training the South Vietnamese air force. The United States should rethink its inventory of aircraft devoted to counterinsurgent war by considering possible replacements for the A-1. It should also reevaluate the manner of employing these assets by locating them with the ground forces they support. [Maj Arthur D. Davis, USAF / 2005 / 34 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-23]
  •  Bolts from Orion:  Destroying Mobile Surface-to-Air Missile Systems with Lethal Autonomous Aircraft

    Bolts from Orion: Destroying Mobile Surface-to-Air Missile Systems with Lethal Autonomous Aircraft

    Mr. Donald Brown
    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. [Mr. Donald Brown / 2019 / 84 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-64]
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