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Adaptive Airpower: Arming America for the Future Through 4D Printing

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Technical Report

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Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The author poses Seven Postulations of the future security environment in the coming decades. These Postulations give rise to the conclusion that to retain American airpower dominance into the future, the United States must lead the world in developing military operational 4D Printing capability and capacity. 4D Printing is an additive manufacturing technology that allows designer nanoscale manipulation during production to create products capable of on-demand adaptation. The Seven Postulations consider the potential strategic ramifications of globalization and technology advances over the next twenty-five years. These postulations describe a future strategic setting where uncertainty, instability, and information ubiquity fuses with technology breakthroughs to create an environment where a nations military must continually adapt amidst a growing number of threats. In this future, strategic airpower dominance will be attained by the air force with a robust military-industrial infrastructure that can create tailored weapons to attack fleeting enemy vulnerabilities, while also protecting friendly force vulnerabilities. The USAF and the US military must invest in 4D Printing to bolster infrastructure and posture American airpower for continued dominance into the future.

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