Accession Number:



Maneuver from the Air Domain

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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US Air Force doctrine stresses the maneuverability of air power, but gives little guidance on what it actually means to maneuver. Doctrinally, maneuver is the combination of movement and fires, but for the Air Force the emphasis has shifted to movement to merely deliver fires. This is evident in that doctrine regards the maneuver potential of air power as simply engagement at any time, anywhere. This study proposes that air forces do more than deliver fires that there is a latent form of maneuver warfare in the air domain, not laid out in doctrine and therefore not understood by airmen. To foster understanding, is to answer a fundamental question what is maneuver from the air domain The methodology applies the characteristics of air power to the physical and cognitive maneuver mechanisms developed in the 1980s as part of broader maneuver warfare theory. The result is a proposed definition of maneuver from the air as employment of air power to dislocate, disrupt or overload an enemy, ultimately providing freedom of movement to friendly forces. Ultimately, air power employment and results from two case studies - Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Iraqi Freedom - support that the proposed definition is a useful way to define maneuver from the air domain.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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