Accession Number : AD1039985

Title :   Managing Competing Influences: Risk Acceptance in Operation Rolling Thunder

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,01 Jun 2016,31 May 2017

Corporate Author : US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s) : Williams,Benjamin C

Full Text :

Report Date : 12 Mar 2017

Pagination or Media Count : 50

Abstract : What had the largest influence on General Momyers decisions regarding the acceptance of risk-to-mission for Seventh Air Force during Operation Rolling Thunder?During his time as Seventh Air Force Commander, General William Momyer oversaw US Air Force operations over North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Laos. However, he operated within tight restraints placed upon Seventh Air Force by his political and military superiors. These restrictions were one of many influences he balanced while commanding operations. The primary influence was political: specifically, how to prevent his forces from causing the Vietnam War to escalate beyond what was politically acceptable. This paper examines various definitions of risk and a few military frameworks for risk mitigation. The resources used to uncover the influences on General Momyer include annual Air Force after-action reports, and primary source and scholarly works about the history of the air war over North Vietnam. In light of General Momyers experiences and the lack of doctrinal recommendations regarding times to accept risk, Joint doctrine should define and explain the concepts of risk-to-mission, risk-to-force, and risk judgment, and tactical level training missions should consider the impact of individual losses inside the theoretical scenario or notional air campaign.

Descriptors :   air force operations , Vietnam war , risk management , doctrine , risk analysis , military history , air power , bomber aircraft , prisoners of war , tanker aircraft , aerial warfare , aircraft equipment , fighter aircraft , air force personnel , military commanders , leadership

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE