Accession Number : AD1020263


Title :   Tactical Airlift and Direct Support: The Keys to USAF Relevance in Modern Counterinsurgency and Their Struggle Against Air Force Culture


Descriptive Note : Technical Report


Corporate Author : AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE United States


Personal Author(s) : Westby,Eric L


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1020263.pdf


Report Date : 01 Apr 2011


Pagination or Media Count : 51


Abstract : Throughout the history of manned flight, there have been counterinsurgency operations involving tactical airlift aircraft. Countless cases from Iraq in the 1920s to modern-day Afghanistan have proven that tactical airlift is not only useful, but critical to the success of the counterinsurgent commander. Tactical airlift provides an asymmetric advantage to the commander who has it versus the insurgent who does not. Rugged terrain and ambush-laden roads can be overflown. Rapid mobility and resupply via airland or airdrop allow the counterinsurgent to maintain the initiative or respond to crisis situations. Wounded troops can be quickly evacuated to appropriate medical care and thus troop morale is improved. Despite its undeniable value, the mission of tactical airlift is one that has been marginalized by Air Force culture. That culture, which evolved from the birth of the Air Force as a strategic bombing organization to a fighter-dominated one, has resisted the rise of support missions. General Hap Arnold shaped the culture as one that should not ever be subservient to the other services. His protgs took his vision and promulgated it forward.


Descriptors :   airlift operations , counterinsurgency , Iraq , Afghanistan , unconventional warfare , air power , transport aircraft , aeromedical evacuation , afghanistan conflict , department of defense , army aircraft , fixed wing aircraft , fighter aircraft , air force personnel , culture , military history


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE