Accession Number : AD1019399

Title :   Desert Storm and the New American Way of War: Implications for Air Force 2030

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : Air University School of Advanced Air and Space Studies Maxwell AFB United States

Personal Author(s) : Baker,Jesse M

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Jun 2012

Pagination or Media Count : 130

Abstract : Since Operation Desert Storm, the Air Force has experienced a reduction in the number of its aircraft, aircrew, and overall end strength. Intra-service choices and external influences have reduced production of replacement airframes, and will likely continue to reduce the number of future aircraft procured (F-22A, F-35A, KC-46A, and LRS-B). Though operating across the domains of air, space, and cyberspace, the US Air Force primarily employs airpower in the pursuit of national objectives. While reductions in size are not necessarily negative, the further reduction of aircraft and aircrews will likely have some effect on the culture and capability of the force. Anticipating and understanding these effects is crucial to future force planning to avoid not only a hollow force, but also a force that is confused as to its role in the defense of the nation. While future force projection is fraught with uncertainty, this thesis attempts to provide a wave-top look at Air Force 2030, informed by expected changes within the rated force structure. The hypothesis is relatively simple: the force structure of 2010 was smaller than 1990; the force structure in 2030 will be smaller still. The question, to large degree, is what does that mean? While future reductions in the size of the rated force are likely, leadership may ameliorate adverse effects to culture through early awareness and pro-active engagement. To that end, this thesis will identify potential issues that may be associated with the expected reduction in aircraft and aircrews to generate discussion that will lead to early awareness and, hopefully, consideration of the topic.

Descriptors :   fighter aircraft , aircraft industry , air force , airframes , air power , tanker aircraft , MILITARY FORCE LEVELS , aerial warfare , bomber aircraft , inventory

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE