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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.

  •  Opportunities and Implications of Brain-computer Interface Technology

    Opportunities and Implications of Brain-computer Interface Technology

    Maj Mark W. Vahle
    This paper examines the implications of a technological convergence of biotechnology and cyber technology and how best to prepare for the exponential change triggered by this emerging field. This convergence, specifically brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, is enabling bidirectional communication between the brain and a computer. Clinical applications are significant, offering treatments for epilepsy, dementia, nervous system disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, as well as advanced prosthetics. In some cases, BCIs may be able to not just restore functionality but also augment it. New noninvasive techniques are now showing benefits to the point where healthy individuals may opt to have BCIs installed to augment their abilities. This paper will explore the opportunities this technology creates for the United States Air Force (USAF) to enhance combat capability, particularly in high-workload career fields, and the policy choices needed to prepare for the next 20 years. It concludes that in order to seize these opportunities, the USAF needs to act now on currently available technologies to foster a culture of increased experimentation and calculated risk-taking. [Maj Mark W. Vahle / 2020 / 27 pages / ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-75]
  •  Proposed Core Competencies for Acquisition

    Proposed Core Competencies for Acquisition

    Robert S. Green
    The post-cold-war environment and its reduced budgets have forced the military to implement acquisition reform. While the Department of Defense (DOD) has achieved some success, the pace of reform is still relatively slow and some concern exists about the reform’s breadth and depth. This paper proposes core competencies for acquisition organizations undergoing change. These core competencies are derived from a comparison of theory with actual practice. A discussion of possible change strategies shows various methods to achieve Kurt Lewin’s framework of organizational change: unfreezing the system, movement towards a new orientation, and refreezing new behaviors and attitudes. These strategies are compared with the case study of successful acquisition reform implemented in the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) program office. Results show a selective and tailored use of the change strategies presented. The JDAM program office placed particular emphasis on creating a sense of urgency, communicating a vision, altering key management processes, and attempting to overcome defensive reasoning. This method of employment suggests strict adherence to a particular step-by-step set of strategies that may not work for other organizations. However, the results also suggest that there are overarching core competencies for successful organizational change: creating urgency, communicating a vision, setting and meeting high standards, rewarding teamwork, and encouraging constant innovation. [Robert S. Green / 1998 / 63 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-2]
  •  Punitive Discharge with Retirement Pay

    Punitive Discharge with Retirement Pay

    Maj Christopher C. Lozo, USAF
    When retirement-eligible military members are court-martialed for any offense and are punitively discharged, by operation of law they forfeit retirement pay—an amount sometimes more than one million dollars. This forfeiture is a collateral consequence of receiving a punitive dis-charge— it is not a specific punishment imposed by the court-martial sentencing authority or by the convening authority who approved the court-martial’s action. In some cases the loss of retirement pay is appropriate and reasonable; in other cases it is harsh and inappropriately severe. My thesis is that the court-martial members and the convening authority, not the operation of law, should deprive a member of retirement pay. This paper explores the implications of a new punishment, Punitive Discharge with Retirement Pay (PD&R). [Maj Christopher C. Lozo USAF / 1998 / 54 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-3]
  •  Rapid Dominance

    Rapid Dominance

    Maj Mark E. Harter, USAF
    Rapid dominance--the ability of forces to exploit information and quickly destroy critical targets--is the key in controlling the battle space of future warfare. The ability to rapidly gain information, analyze it, and use it to make sound military decisions is key to military domination and victory. Huge volumes of critical war-fighter information speed through the space medium to reach their destinations at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Information provided via space systems is crucial to military planning and executing aerospace operations through the entire spectrum of conflict and therefore a key to any future military operation. Unfortunately, potentially greater space power contributions are often limited due to a lack of "space mindedness" by military leaders, planners, and operations during theater campaigns. This paper identifies the importance and legitimacy of space as a center of gravity and military war-fighting medium, focusing on the realm of the joint air operations center (JAOC). It defines five key areas (with practical suggestions) that the Department of Defense needs to address in order to integrate space into military operations: space training, doctrine, equipment, personnel, and command and control. The research first documents current deficiencies of space awareness in the typical JAOC and then identifies and suggests methods to improve joint war fighting through space integration in the JAOC and the Expeditionary Aerospace Force (EAF) of the near future. The research presented here is particularly important for the United States Air Force to consider in preparation for the EAF--it provides a framework to educate JAOC and EAF personnel to more effectively employ joint aerospace power throughout the spectrum of military operations. [Maj Mark E. Harter, USAF / 2000 / 54 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-11]
  •  Reducing the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Alert Rate and the Impact on Maintenance Utilization

    Reducing the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Alert Rate and the Impact on Maintenance Utilization

    Maj Stephen M. Kravitsky, USAF
    We have been at war for four and one-half years. The financial burden of executing Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom caused military services to undergo extensive cost-cutting efforts. The intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) community is not exempt. Recently, the Air Force Nuclear General Officer Steering Group (AFNGOSG) requested an additional study of lower missile readiness rates, presumably to identify any potential cost savings from reduced maintenance and security footprints. This research offers an initial study by analyzing the impact of lowered ICBM alert rates caused by not repairing off-alert missiles until a lowered alert-rate threshold is reached and any correlation to a potential decrease in daily ICBM maintenance team utilization. The intent of this research is to provide an analysis of the ICBM maintenance team utilization at the current ICBM alert rate and at lowered alert rates. Quantitative research methodologies are used to model historical ICBM maintenance data from the 341st Maintenance Group (MG) and simulate future maintenance team utilization at both the current and decreased ICBM alert rates. [Maj Stephen M. Kravitsky, USAF / 2007 / 85 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-26]
  •  Remotely Piloted Aircraft

    Remotely Piloted Aircraft

    Maj Lindsay Totten
    Currently, remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) cannot fly outside certain restricted areas in the United States. As such, RPAs cannot participate in domestic catastrophic events due to restrictive Federal Aviation Administration regulations. This paper determines the feasibility of integration, identifies roadblocks, and suggests ways for the government to integrate RPAs to effectively participate in domestic disaster relief efforts. The RPA capabilities of unarmed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; incident assessment; and search and rescue with loiter times over 24 hours and the ability to provide real-time data to supported units with low overall risk would add to an already robust air response. The applications of such capabilities are endless: border patrol, counterterrorism, counterdrug operations, and disaster relief efforts. RPAs could provide dedicated and persistent incident awareness and assessment in emergency responses. [Maj Lindsay Totten / 2014 / 43 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-49]
  •  Revolutionizing Mental Health Care Delivery in the United States Air Force by Shifting the Access Point to Primary Care

    Revolutionizing Mental Health Care Delivery in the United States Air Force by Shifting the Access Point to Primary Care

    Maj Matthew Nielsen, USAF
    This paper received the 2016 USAF Surgeon General Award for best ACSC paper in the medical field. Mental health care demand continues to rise in the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS), and there are not enough mental health personnel to meet the needs of the population. While the US Air Force is shrinking in size and budget, no additional funding is being allocated to procure more mental health personnel. A one-year pilot study was launched in FY 15 at three USAF military treatment facilities to study the effects of shifting the access point for mental health care from the mental health clinic to the primary care behavioral health clinic (known in the USAF as the Behavioral Health Optimizaton Program or BHOP) and reallocating mental health clinic personnel to BHOP to support the increased demand. [Matthew Nielsen / 2016 / 64 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-59]
  •  Second World War Deception

    Second World War Deception

    Maj Donald J. Bacon, USAF
    Second World War history offers the military strategist a cornucopia of lessons learned on how to apply the art of military deception. This paper analyzed six Allied deception operations to identify the fundamental reasons why Allied deception efforts were the most successful in history. The six deception operations reviewed were Barclay, Cockade, and Bodyguard as well as the Soviet deception operations at Stalingrad, Kursk, and White Russia. A critical analysis of these six operations identified seven major factors that made Allied deception efforts extremely effective. These seven factors were that the Allies controlled all key channels of information, had great intelligence “feedback” on their deception operations, had high-level and centralized control over deception planning, practiced sound deception techniques, subordinated deception to strate-gic and operational objectives, maintained adequate secrecy, and provided sufficient time for deception execution. These factors are relevant for today’s operations and should be imbedded within US doctrine. This study then examined Joint Publication 3-58, Joint Doc-trine for Military Deception, and determined it could better in-corporate the lessons learned from World War II. Current joint doctrine could be improved by underscoring the contribution that deception provides to surprise, the importance of integrating deception within all three levels of war, and the importance of exploiting an adversary’s preexisting beliefs when creating a deception story. Applying these World War II lessons will bolster US deception capabilities. [Maj Donald J. Bacon, USAF / 1998 / 37 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-5]
  •  Slovakia 1944

    Slovakia 1944

    Maj Sean M. Judge, USAF
    In this paper, Major Judge attempts to fill some of the void in the history of the Slovak National Uprising of 1944. The political climate during World War II and the Cold War obscured and distorted the history and understanding of this revolt. The author suggests that even the Slovaks remain at odds among themselves about the importance and the meaning of the uprising. [Maj Sean M. Judge, USAF / 2008 / 41 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-34]
  •  Strategic Implications of Culture

    Strategic Implications of Culture

    Maj Kimberly A. Crider, USAF
    n today’s dynamic and multipolar strategic environment there is a heightened potential for greater conflict. One reason for this lies in the different ways in which state and nonstate actors interpret and respond to the myriad challenges and opportunities of a much more turbulent global context. These differences in interpretation and response are largely rooted in differences in culture, for it is culture that forms the subconscious set of shared meanings that guide group behaviors and perceptions. Understanding culture in terms of the deep, underlying assumptions and shared mind-sets held by both state and nonstate actors is critical for today’s strategic military planner in attempting to predict the potential for conflict and in planning for effective conflict resolution. In this paper, the author uses Mary Douglas’s group-grid typology model for framing culture to describe the strategic implications of culture and culture’s response to a changing global context. The author then applies these concepts to analyze the effect of cultural change in China and its implications for current and future US-China relations. Through this analysis, the author reveals important differences in cultural perspective between China and the United States. These cultural differences encourage different solutions to the common strategic problems of security and prosperity and, thus, potentially cause misperceptions and dangerous miscalculations in policy. Long-term strategic cooperation with China requires that US planners and policy makers understand these cultural differences and factor them into every realm of engagement with China. [Maj Kimberly A. Crider, USAF / 1999 / 36 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-8]
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