Air University Press

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.

Wright Flyer Papers

  •  AFD-171130-282-343.PDF

    Feasibility of a Joint Engineering and Logistics Contract

    Maj Maria J. Dowling, USAF, and Maj Vincent J. Feck, USAF
    The Army, Air Force, and Navy currently manage their own separate engineering and logistics contracts for employing civilian contractors as a force multiplier during military operations. Civil augmentation contracts afford flexibility when the services are limited by the availability of manpower resources during contingency operations. Al-location of military forces is often constrained by other contingency commitments, inactivation of reserve components, and political considerations with a host nation. The Army first awarded the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract in 1992. The Navy awarded the Construction Capabilities Contract (CONCAP) in 1995 and the Air Force followed suit with the Air Force Contractor Augmentation Program (AFCAP) contract in 1997. [Maj Maria J. Dowling, USAF, and Maj Vincent J. Feck, USAF / 1999 / 52 pages / ISBN: AU Press Code: WF-7 ]
  •  AFD-171201-904-014.PDF

    Fighting the War above Iraq

    Maj James A. Oldenburg, USAF
    Can space forces be employed to help fight this and other insurgencies? To answer this question, this paper first validates that fighting insurrections is an enduring requirement and therefore worth expending the effort required to change. Next, a review of space (including near-space) forces’ capabilities is provided for background. Three areas of current need in Iraq are then introduced. In each of these, a discussion of historic attempts to solve similar problems ensues, showing the challenges in Iraq are not unique and providing lessons for future operations. Based upon requirements in Iraq and the historical examples, the capabilities space forces can bring to fight rebellions are then highlighted. [Maj James A. Oldenburg, USAF / 2007 / 49 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-24]
  •  AFD-171204-301-021.PDF

    Fiscal and Operational Impacts of Standardizing US Military Resiliency Programs to Minimize Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

    Lt Col James E. McDonald, ANG
    In recent years the military has implemented nearly a dozen separate programs aimed at decreasing the rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide. After evaluating current military resiliency training programs, the author concludes that the services could benefit from a universal program content and delivery framework. Organizations are independently managed and operated, with little or no collaboration among them. Standardized training scope, content, and delivery of resiliency programs would ensure proven subject matter and provide more consistent evaluation and metrics. Program consolidation could lower administrative costs while increasing communication and oversight of best practices. Standardizing and consolidating resiliency programs would result in saving lives and millions of dollars in treatment, disability, and retraining costs. [Lt Col James E. McDonald, ANG/ 2016 / 57 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-55]
  •  Flexible Employment of Multi-Role Assets

    Flexible Employment of Multi-Role Assets

    Trevor A. Gustafson
    This paper discusses how current doctrine is antiquated and does not align well with current mission requirements and equipment. The author argues that by combining assets into multirole platforms and updating doctrine and air operations, full utilization of assets can occur. [Trevor A. Gustafson / 2021 / 23 pages / ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-84]
  •  AFD-171204-112-022.PDF

    Guilt-Free War

    John G. Sackett, Major, USAF
    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects roughly 15 percent of all combat veterans. In a combat situation, when a warrior experiences a moral dilemma that violates a deeply held conviction, he or she suffers a moral injury. These moral injuries and the combat guilt that accompanies such injuries are a leading cause in the development of PTSD. Today’s warriors are even more vulnerable to moral injuries, given the ambivalence surrounding morality in general. Compounding this situation are increasingly restrictive rules of engagement against an unseen enemy who does not appear to follow any rules at all. These dynamics increase the vulnerability of US warriors to moral injuries. Given the connections between moral injury, guilt, and post-traumatic stress, this paper seeks to open a dialogue on the need for the development of an ethical framework that can guide warriors in making battlefield decisions, providing possible armor against moral injury and assisting warriors in their reflection on previous involvement. [John G. Sackett, Major, USAF / 2015 / 44 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-56]
  •  AFD-171201-343-019.PDF

    Hearts and Minds

    LCDR Joseph C. McAlexander IV, USN
    To address the potential terrorist threats to America, the National Security Strategy of the United States of America and the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism state that the United States will wage a “war of ideas.” The war of ideas seeks to change the minds of varying ideological populations. A war fought in the minds and among people—human terrain—requires human players to engage and communicate with indigenous populations in the context of the local culture. As the United States and its coalition partners in the global war on terror (GWOT) clear al-Qaeda from one location, terrorists will seek other locations. They target people to turn them against the United States and the coalition of the willing. A foreign or local government can win the war of ideas and defeat global terrorists only if it wins the hearts and minds of the people, which requires influencing their behavior by offering them a better solution than the solution al-Qaeda offers. A war of ideas is not new to the twenty-first century fight. While history cannot provide a panacea for global terrorism, today’s military can learn lessons from historical small wars and low intensity conflicts to train and employ forces effectively to wage and win a war of ideas to counter global insurgents and their ability to win popular support. This paper employs a review of two case studies, Malaya (1945–60) and Vietnam (1964–72), to illuminate my thesis. [LCDR Joseph C. McAlexander IV, USN / 2007 / 42 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-29]
  •  AFD-171204-614-007.PDF

    Holistic Debriefing

    Lt Col Rolf Folland, Royal Norwegian Air Force
    Folland examines the problem of the lack of proper leadership tools in the RNoAF’s operational units to understand and cope with the effects of increased stress. Based on theory and examples from operational practice, holistic debriefing is presented as a possible means for leaders to increase mission effectiveness through improved stress coping mechanisms. The secondary effects from people engaging with themselves and each other through holistic debriefing are increased self-knowledge, interpersonal trust, group confidence, and an improved working environment. [Lt Col Rolf Folland, Royal Norwegian Air Force / 2010 36 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-41]
  •  AFD-171204-982-012.PDF

    How Small Is Too Small?

    Maj Paul E. Kladitis, USAF
    The Department of Defense (DOD) anticipates the realization of biomimetic bird and two-inch, insect-sized systems within the 2015–47 period. Although robot systems of one millimeter or smaller are not explicitly specified in current DOD and Air Force technology road maps, the technological aims towards this size can be clearly inferred from official documents. This research assesses the likelihood of, and barriers to, the realization of true microrobots and nanorobots (defined as submillimeter-sized robots of micro-meter and nanometer proportions, respectively) that can perform in military applications by 2035. This research finds that the realization of true microrobots for military applications by 2035 is unlikely, except for a single case of microrobots. Furthermore, the realization of true nanorobots for military applications by 2035 is even more unlikely. Technological advancements accrued through striving towards the goals of true microrobots and nanorobots are critical if the United States is to achieve a technological edge in more realizable-sized miniature robots for military application. Additionally, these technological advancements are critical for reducing the size and payload of other military systems, including satellites, aircraft, weapons, C4ISR (C4ISR concept of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), and portable sensors. Thus, regardless of the feasibility of submillimetersized robots by 2035, the United States still should sponsor research and development of both true microrobots and nanorobots. [Maj Paul E. Kladitis, USAF / 2010 / 55 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-46]
  •  AFD-171130-796-334.PDF

    Identifying and Mitigating the Risks of Cockpit Automation

    Maj Wesley A. Olson, USAF
    Cockpit automation has delivered many promised benefits, such as improved system safety and efficiency; however, at the same time it has imposed system costs that are often manifest in the forms of mode confusion, errors of omission, and automation surprises. An understanding of the nature of these costs as well as associated influencing factors is necessary to design adequately the future automated systems that will be required for Air Mobility Command aircraft to operate in the future air traffic environment. This paper reviews and synthesizes human factors research on the costs of cockpit automation. These results are interpreted by modeling the automated cockpit as a supervisory control system in which the pilot works with, but is not replaced by, automated systems. From this viewpoint, pilot roles in the automated cockpit provide new opportunities for error in instructing, monitoring, and intervening in automated systems behavior. These opportunities for error are exacerbated by the limited machine coordination capabilities, limits on human coordination capabilities, and properties of machine systems that place new attention and knowledge demands on the human operator. In order to mitigate the risks posed by these known opportunities for error and associated influencing factors, a system of defenses in depth is required involving integrated innovations in design, procedures, and training. The issues raised in this paper are not specific to transport aircraft or the broader aviation domain but apply to all current and future highly automated military systems. [Maj Wesley A. Olson, USAF / 2001 / 44 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-14]
  •  AFD-171204-838-026.PDF

    Jemaah Islamiyah

    Col Matthew Strickler, USAF
    Despite the severity of the challenge from this radical ideology promoted through violence, Indonesia has experienced relative success in conducting a counterterrorism campaign against JI. The country employs both counterterrorism police work and effective messaging to exploit the key differences between Indonesian and Middle Eastern radical Islam. The Indonesian government’s fight against JI provides a model for a successful campaign to combat a terrorist group using police tactics, intelligence, and reeducation. However, the Indonesian government faces challenges exporting this resistance to radicalism model to the Middle East and North Africa because it requires supportive political conditions that remain absent in many other countries. [Col Matthew Strickler, USAF / 2017 / 33 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-58]
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