Accession Number:

ADA440395

Title:

The United States Air Force and the Culture of Innovation, 1945-1965

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE HISTORY SUPPORT OFFICE BOLLING AFB DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2002-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

300.0

Abstract:

This monograph shows how the application of systems management by the U.S. Air Force to its ballistic missiles and computer programs not only produced critical new weapons, but also benefited U.S. industry. Systems management harmonized the disparate goals of four interest groups. For the military it brought rapid technological progress for scientists, new products for engineers, dependability and for managers, predictable cost. The process evolved, beginning shortly after the end of World War II, when Gen. Henry H. Hap Arnold directed that the Army Air Forces continue its wartime collaboration with the scientific community. This started as a voluntary association, with the establishment of the Scientific Advisory Board and Project RAND. In the early 1950s, the Air Force reorganized its research and development function with the creation of Air Research and Development Command ARDC and the Air Staffs office of deputy chief of staff for development DCSD, which were both aimed at controlling the scientists. The systems management approach evolved out of a jurisdictional conflict between ARDC and its rival, Air Materiel Command AMC. The latter controlled RD finances and was determined not to relinquish its prerogatives. But Gen. Bernard A. Schrievers Western Development Division WDD, located at Inglewood, California, made its case, based upon the Soviet Unions nuclear threat, to engage in the race to develop long-range ballistic missiles. Ultimately, Schrievers new project management and weapons systems procedures produced a family of missile and space vehicles. Closely related to the missiles program was the air defense effort, centered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT in Boston. Dr. Jay Forresters Project Whirlwind evolved into large-scale, real-time computers. When Schriever assumed command of ARDC, he transplanted his successful Inglewood model to all major weapons systems acquisition. An extensive bibliography is included.7

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Humanities and History
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Computer Systems
  • Surface-Launched Guided Missiles

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE