Accession Number:



The Air Force's True Expeditionary Roots: Historical Context and Lessons for the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) Concept

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



In the two decades that the United States has been at war against terrorism, the operational environment has changed. China and Russia have modernized their conventional militaries with long-range precision weapons that place the United States large air bases once considered sanctuary at risk. Thus, the Air Force is developing the Agile Combat Employment ACE concept to move away from the large airbase model and move towards a model where variable-sized air forces operate from multiple small, dispersed airfields across the theater to complicate enemy targeting and increase survivability. Seventy-seven years previous, the Ninth Air Force in World War II operated similarly to the ACE concept when they built, rehabilitated, supplied, and operated on 241 airfields across the European continent. This monograph seeks to demonstrate that the Ninth Air Forces expeditionary experiences during World War II in the ETO offer important historical context and many lessons that the Air Force could learn from as they develop and implement the ACE concept.

Subject Categories:

  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Humanities and History

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]