The Limits of Air Control: The RAF Experience in Aden, 1926-1967
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The resurgence of the concepts of air control and air occupation has renewed debate on the efficacy of air power as a tool to achieve national objectives in situations short of conventional war. To better understand what air control is and what it has to offer for the future of air power, this study examines the British experience in colonial Aden from 1926 to 1967. Through examination of primarily secondary sources of the British political and military objectives in Aden, this paper provides the student of airpower with salient insights on the concept, development, and application of air control as a viable option to achieve national strategic objectives. The study examines the historiography of the air control debate by discussing the issues associated with the concept. Unlike other studies on air control, this paper examines the British air control experience in a particular region from beginning to end. Most studies on air control have limited their analysis by restricting their discussion of air control to pre-World War II examples. This studys intent was to examine air control not only during its heyday in the 1920s, but during the more trying days of the Cold War as well. The British experience in Aden provided an excellent example of air controls successes and limitations. By analyzing what worked with the British air control effort in Aden, what benefits it offers today, and what limitations influence air controls success, this study demonstrates the applicability and cost effectiveness of air control as a foreign policy instrument in certain political situations, particularly in military operations other than war MOOTW. The study concludes with a realistic scenario of how air control as a viable politicalmilitary option can be applied to future MOOTW situations.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics