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The Strengthening of Air Force In-House Laboratories, 1961 - 1962

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Technical Report

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Air Force Historical Division Liaison Office Washington United States

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This brief historical account covers a series of events during 1961-1962 which produced a significant improvement in the position and condition of the Air Forces in-house research and development laboratories. In the years before 1961, while vast and increasing resources were being allocated to private contractors to perform USAF research and development, the in-house establishment remained stagnant or suffered a slow decline in competence. In light of the continuing accelerated march of science and technology, the Air Force laboratories faced a bleak future as their physical plant fell into obsolescence, and their scientists and engineers resigned in increasing numbers to accept higher paying, or more challenging, positions in industry, But then, in 1961, the picture brightened considerably as a result of congressional criticism and studies of the governments defense research policies and programs, followed by an intensive reexamination by the Administration. The important background events leading to this favorable change are briefly examined in Chapter 1. Succeeding chapters describe the specific actions taken by the Air Force to halt and reverse the decline of its in-house laboratories. A detailed chronological account of the key events of the period, which marked a new beginning in the life of the laboratories, is provided in the appendix.

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