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Wild Blue Yonder Articles

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  • “Fight’s on. Commit. You’re Dead.” Why the United States’ Largest Training Ranges Are Too Small and How LVC Can Provide the Answer

    Executive SummaryThe United States is running out of room.Eielson AFB, Alaska, boasts claim to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) premier training venue, a range spanning over 1.5 million acres of maneuver land and 65,000 square miles of airspace known as the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC). It is the largest block of contiguous airspace
  • Satellite Servicing: A History, the Impact to the Space Force, and the Logistics Behind It

    IntroductionSatellite servicing is an important emerging technology not only to industry and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), but also to national security. Servicing technology should be of key interest for the United States Space Force (USSF) to research, and serviceability should be an even greater requirement pushed by the
  • AI-Enabled War-in-the-Air

    It is a time of rapid disruptive technological change and none more so than in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). While developed by and for the commercial sector, AI’s apparent potential for military use is now pushing armed forces globally to begin experimenting with embryonic AI-enabled defense systems. There may be a considerable
  • China in Search of AI Supremacy

    In order to totally understand the need of the United States to maintain and compete for artificial intelligence (AI) supremacy over our near peer threat, China, we must first look at the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) militarily goals and what makes them unique in their pursuit. According to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) 2000’s Annual Report
  • Better Models for Specialized Career Fields

    It’s no secret the Air Force is currently unable to fill cockpits for its aircraft due to a pilot shortage.1 Even with COVID-19 increasing retention from 46 percent of pilots to 51 percent, the service is still 2,000 pilots short, with no end in sight.2 The Air Force is attempting to fill the shortage by increasing pilot production and
  • Contingency Basing for Great Powers Competition

    This Air University Advanced Research paper focuses on applying the new context created from Great Powers Competition to military contingency basing.  The broad scope of this paper relates the emerging concepts of adaptive operations and Agile Combat Employment (ACE) to the challenge of basing in a contested environment. 

  • Public Servant and Marine Corps Pioneer: Ruth Cheney Streeter

    Among the pioneering members of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is Ruth Cheney Streeter (1895-1990). As the first female major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel in the Marine Corps, she built the foundation for the postwar role of women Marines.

  • Hansai or the Cleansing Fire: How the Interplay of Fog, Friction, and Faith Resulted in the Unintended Atomic Annihilation of Nagasaki’s Christian Community

    This article tells the story of the lesser-known second of the two atomic missions in the final days of World War II, which delivered a uniquely powerful and complex explosive device known as “Fat Man”—the first plutonium-implosion device ever deployed in war. It was detonated above the predominantly Christian Urakami valley, just up the river and across a range of mountains from the Nagasaki waterfront and well over two miles from the intended ground zero for the blast. Examined here is this tragic, unprecedented, and fateful collision of members of the Christian communities of two nations at war, America and Japan.
  • Moving the “Big Rock”: Inculcating Critical Thinking in the Air Force’s Project Warrior

    When Gen David L. Goldfein became the chief of staff of the Air Force (CSAF) in 2016, he sought to revitalize the Air Force. He also narrowed in on the squadron as the “core fighting unit” by which Airmen most strongly identified with the service’s “culture and traditions.” At this point, it is difficult to assess General Goldfein’s success in imparting lasting cultural change, but it is hoped that new CSAF Gen Charles Q. Brown will consider for one of his “big rocks” how to achieve the “intellectual overmatch” that the Joint Chiefs of Staff enjoin by attacking the Air Force’s reputation for anti-intellectualism in some corners. It is worth taking note of the successes and failures of a similar movement that occurred at the beginning of the 1980s—Project Warrior—that has received virtually no scholarly attention.

  • Chasing the Chimera of the Indigenous Jet Fighter: China’s Stealth Fighters and the Lessons of Recent Aviation History

    China has demonstrated an apparent capability to develop stealth fighters. While Chinese aviation technology should not be underestimated, this essay strikes a cautionary note. Using historical examples from Argentina, Egypt, and India, the author contends that Chinese stealth fighters are being unveiled in part to highlight China’s arrival as a global power; however, future Chinese jet fighter development will be hindered by technical challenges such as the development of indigenous engines—not to mention advanced weapons and sensors.

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