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A Quarter Century of Air Power: Studies in the Employment of Air Power 1947-1972

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Technical Report

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USAF Flying is a phenomenon of the twentieth century. An American invention in 1903, the airplane developed slowly, both in technology and public acceptance. In the intervening years from the first flight by Orville Wright, the acceptance of the first military airplane in 1908, Lindberghs solo crossing of the Atlantic in 1927, and the development of commercial aviation, the world has become accustomed to a new mode of travel. The airplane joined the military services early in its existence and, in World War I, gave a sound, if somewhat glamorous, accounting of war in the third dimension. During the Second World War, the airplane came of age as a fighting weapon. The quantum jumps in weapon improvement, plus the awesome lethality of the atomic bomb, placed the airplane and its capabilities in the front line of national defense and made it a basic part of this nations diplomatic posture. Behind the striking power of the long-range bomber, the United States sought to contain communism with a policy of deterrence-a concept based upon the idea that America could inflict such unacceptable damage upon an enemy power as to make the initiating of war by that enemy too costly to attempt. Previously, it had been the task of the United States Navy to show the flag in foreign countries around the world it now fell to the United States Air Force to share some of the responsibility. This book describes some of the events in the past 25 years in which the Air Force has acquitted its responsibility. The National Security Act of 1947 became law on 26 July 1947. One of its primary provisions was the establishment of the Department of the Air Force on an equal basis with that of the Army and Navy and the transfer of the Army Air Corps of World War II fame to the United States Air Force. On 18 September 1947, W. Stuart Symington was sworn in as the first Secretary of the Air Force.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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