Air Operations Must Be Joint,
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The advent of airpower in the twentieth century revolutionized warfare by adding a third dimension to the traditional battlefields on land and sea. Further, its capabilities have evolved significantly. Initially, for example, airpower functioned as a subordinate element to the Army, and in World War I its missions included little more than aerial artillery observation and communication. Todays independent Air Force and the smaller service-unique air components, however, operate in a wide variety of combat and support roles in the joint environment. The debate over airpowers role among the various armed services has been a recurring issue since the airplane demonstrated its utility as a weapon of war during the First World War. Interservice discussions have been widespread and intense, caused by the services parochial self-interests and differing viewpoints on how to wage joint warfare. Specifically, the sea and ground services want airpower to operate under their control in direct support of the tactical and operational levels of their respective campaigns, while the Air Force wants to focus its assets on an independent air campaign against strategic targets in support of the theater campaign.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics