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-171204-199-013.PDF

    Tracking Next-Generation Automatic Identification Technology into 2035

    Maj Richard N. Holifield Jr., USAF
    This paper discusses the current capabilities of automatic identification technology (AIT), primarily focusing on radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. The author projects trends in several areas (e.g., politics, economics, computing, and wireless networks) that will affect AIT and forecasts the AIT requirements for 2035. He identifies several challenges to implementing those requirements, while emphasizing the significance of AIT for end-to-end visibility in the DOD’s logistics system. [Maj Richard N. Holifield Jr., USAF / 2010 / 50 pages ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-47]
  •  AFD-171201-364-017.PDF

    Transformational Satellite (TSAT) Communications System

    Maj Maurice M. McKinney, USAF
    The Transformational Communications Office’s (TCO) 17 December 2003 report states, “The current SATCOM and data relay systems are unable to meet future bandwidth demands. They lack capacity, in both aggregate data rate and the number of users they can support. . . . Furthermore, the life expectancies of the existing space segments and much of their associated terminal and management segments do not extend beyond the 2010–2015 time frame.” These shortfalls and the military’s insatiable demand for bandwidth led to the creation of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) TSAT. TSAT’s five-satellite constellation will be capable of delivering advanced capabilities to the war fighter via 8,000 radio frequency (RF) links and between 20 and 50 laser communication (lasercom) links. These advanced capabilities will deliver significant communications bandwidth by incorporating advanced laser and RF technologies, softwareconfigurable terminals, packet switching, network management, and interface standards. All of these technologies will rely on Internet protocol (IP) interoperability as the enabling technology for connecting the war fighter. The thesis of this paper is that the advanced capabilities provided by TSAT are limited and will not be sufficient to serve the ground-based portion of the communications network supporting network-centric warfare (NCW). To validate this proposition, this study will start by identifying space-based systems that will enable NCW, discuss the requirements for ground-based NCW, and finally determine the combination of spaced-based systems sufficient to deliver advanced capabilities to the war fighter. [Maj Maurice M. McKinney, USAF / 2007 / 35 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-27]
  •  AFD-171201-028-026.PDF

    Transforming Air Force ISR for the Long War and Beyond

    Maj Michael, Jr. Grunwald, USAF
    Air Force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) is undergoing a tremendous transition—as a growing core competency and an operational entity in its own right. This paper draws on well-established close air support doctrine and organizational models to build new ISR organizational and execution constructs to bridge the gap between theater-level ISR assets and tactical operations. These models bind ISR asset, exploiter, CAOC, and the supported unit together through face-to-face interactions and standardized processes that apply across any theater of operations or combatant command. [Maj Michael, Jr. Grunwald, USAF / 2009 / 29 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-36]
  •  AFD-171130-147-329.PDF

    United States Marine Corps Air-ground Integration in the Pacific Theater

    Major Gary L. Thomas, USMC
    United States Marine Corps Air-Ground Integration in the Pacific Theater addresses how the United States Marine Corps dealt with the challenge of air support for the infantry in the Second World War. Sources for research included primary documents on doctrine and personal interviews from the United States Air Force Historical Research Agency. Periodicals written before and immediately after the war provided additional information. Finally, books on Marine Corps aviation from the Air University Library provided some material. The research indicated that the Marines developed an effective means for air-ground integration during the Second World War. A great deal of this success was due to the Marine Corps’ philosophy of airpower as well as to experience gained during the interwar years, particularly in Nicaragua. In addition, the unique environment in the Pacific influenced many of the procedures that were developed. Finally, the Marines learned a great deal during the course of the Pacific campaign itself. The battles of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Luzon illustrate the significant innovations and improvements that were made during the war. [Major Gary L. Thomas, USMC / 1999 / 29 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-9]
  •  AFD-171204-077-011.PDF

    Unmanned Intratheater Airlift

    Maj Kevin J. McGowan, USAF
    This paper investigates the DOD’s tactical logistical challenges and each service’s tactical lift requirements, especially with respect to the movement of supplies from forward supply hubs to forward forces. To address these challenges and requirements, the author suggests the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) as a potential solution. Focusing on existing and quickly emerging technologies as well as the joint operating requirements, the author proposes RPA performance and design characteristics along with a concept of employment that increases tactical lift capabilities and meets all current service requirements. [Maj Kevin J. McGowan, USAF / 2010 / 154 pages / ISBN: AU Press Code: WF-45 ]
  •  AFD-171201-292-015.PDF

    Using an Intratheater Regional Hub Heuristic in Iraq

    Maj Robert L. Charlesworth, USAF
    Ongoing casualties inflicted on convoys transgressing dangerous roads highlighted airlift’s important role in intratheater logistics operations within Iraq. While airlift can help decrease the number of convoys on the roads in combat zones, the finite number of airlifters must be managed effectively and efficiently to maximize its impact in supporting operations. This research proposes using a regional huband- spoke heuristic to design major-theater-war channel systems. The purpose of this research is to recommend a relaxation of the airlift operations’ doctrinal definition of the hub-and-spoke concept to allow for inclusion of a regional hub in-theater. To justify this recommendation, a case study methodology is used to compare performance of the intratheater airlift channel system as it existed in Iraq in February 2004 to a model channel system created using a regional hub heuristic. The two channel systems are compared using dependent variables designed to characterize efficiency, effectiveness, and adherence to the logistics principle of simplicity. The channel system created using a regional hub heuristic is more efficient by about 8 percent and more effective by 48 percent. Comparisons of adherence to the logistics principle of simplicity are inconclusive. [Maj Robert L. Charlesworth, USAF / 2007 / 45 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-25]
  •  AFD-171204-973-014.PDF

    Virtual Wingman

    Maj Galen K. Ojala, USAF
    In the twenty-first century the character of war is being changed through cyberspace. Recently, the Air Force added cyberspace to its mission statement, joining it with the traditional operating environments of air and space. In this paper, the author defines the “cyber domain.” Cyberspace is marked by its centrality to all Air Force missions—technological development is fast and not confined to “in house” development or friendly players. [Maj Galen K. Ojala, USAF / 2010 / 59 pages / ISBN: AU Press Code: WF-48]
  •  AFD-171204-095-003.PDF

    Waste to Watts and Water

    Maj Amanda Sue Birch, P. E., USAF
    Looking to the national security environment in 2030, Major Birch’s research explores one technology—the microbial fuel cell (MFC)—that gives life to self-contained facilities decoupled from vulnerable supply lines and infrastructure networks. MFCs could become a diplomatic and economic tool to pursue a better state of peace by building a foundation for democratic and economic development. [Maj Amanda Sue Birch, P. E., USAF 2009 / 84 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-37]
  •  AFD-171204-744-017.PDF

    When the Ice Melts

    Lt Col Jason A. Turner, USAF
    The meeting of environmental, energy, and economic issues associated with Arctic ice recession warrants proactive American strategy to account for increased human activity within the Eurasian Arctic region. This paper examines the timeframe associated with sea ice recession, the availability of oil and gas resources shared by Norway and Russia, the potential time and cost savings associated with utilization of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), and the hazards induced by Arctic operations. The paper considers Norwegian and Russian Arctic strategies and contrasts them with current American policy to recommend an American strategy for the Eurasian Arctic. [Lt Col Jason A. Turner, USAF / 2015 / 53 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-51]

    Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons? Proliferation Models as Concurrent Pressures on a State

    Maj Scott Curtice
    Major Curtice applies three theoretical models of nuclear proliferation and argues that they are more accurate when used in conjunction with each other than separately. Nuclear proliferation, Curtice states, occurs when Domestic Politics-Positive and Normative-Positive pressures are greater than their negative counterparts when a state is facing a security threat. By using India as a theoretical model, Major Curtice demonstrates how threats from neighboring countries, as well as internal political perspective shifts, changed the country from championing nuclear disarmament to conducting nuclear tests in just one decade. [Maj Scott Curtice / 2021 / 34 pages / ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-82]
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