Tough Tommy's Space Force: General Thomas S. Power and the Air Force Space Program
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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This study examines the career of General Thomas Sarsfield Power, third Commander-in-Chief of Strategic Air Command, and especially his forgotten contributions to the early Air Force space program. The author describes the modern search for an Alfred Thayer Mahan for space, or a space war-fighting icon for the Air Force. The study identifies three major contributions to the Air Force space program Power had, using I.B. Holleys three step organizational model to develop superior weapons from new technology. First, the study describes Powers role in establishing General Bernard Schrievers Western Development Division as a true space organization rather than merely a ballistic missile organization. Second, it details Powers efforts to develop concepts and early doctrine for military space activity under the Study Requirements SR system. Third, it catalogs Powers efforts to transform Strategic Air Command into a strategic aerospace command by championing advanced nuclear space programs, including a manned strategic space force based on Project Orion, an Air Force program to develop a nuclear pulse rocket. The study reviews todays Air Force space effort and assesses Powers space ideas modern relevance. Thomas Power should be considered the Air Forces space war-fighting icon, and the Air Force should reclaim Powers ideas to rejuvenate its space program.