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Airpower in Three Wars (WWII, Korea, Vietnam)

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When I received the request to update my 1978 foreword to this book, I thought it might be useful to give my perspective of some aspects on the employment of airpower in the Persian Gulf War, the Air War over Serbia Operation Allied Force, and the war in Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom. It is not my intent to analyze air operations in these wars but to see if there are trends that might be appropriate for another war. I was particularly interested in the application of established airpower doctrine since I was deeply involved with it throughout my career. The Gulf War, in many respects, had many features of World War II. The first requirement in World War II was to gain and maintain air superiority to have freedom of action to carry out the destruction of Germanys ability to wage war and to create the most favorable conditions for the invasion of Europe Operation Overlord. It was mandatory to establish air superiority so that the German air force wouldnt be able to attack the highly vulnerable landing force and the subsequent breakout. A vigorous interdiction campaign was initiated 60 days prior to the invasion to seal off the landing areas. Just prior to the assault, all airpower was turned to direct support of the landing force. As history records, air superiority was established and maintained the area was successfully sealed off from German forces trying to get at the landing force and all Allied airpower was directed to close air support until the main force had landed and operations were underway to engage the main forces of the Germans. It is of special interest that the German air force was able to fly only a few sorties, and those had no significant effect.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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