Accession Number:

ADA523202

Title:

Increasing Airpower's Effectiveness: Applying the U.S. Army's Operational Design Methodology to Airpower in Warfare

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

66.0

Abstract:

This monograph examines whether or not the current U.S. Army Operational Design methodology could increase the effectiveness of airpower. Analysis of existing design literature provides a common understanding of the U.S. Armys design methodology for the application to two historical case studies. The studies selected for analysis resulted from the similarity of key components. Both involved operations in North Vietnam where major combatants shared the common political goal of trying to extricate themselves from the conflict. Although in each study major combatants could not have used the current conception of operational design, leveraging the framework provided by the U.S. Army reveals some interesting conclusions. The first study analyzed Operation CASTOR and the subsequent battle for Dien Bien Phu. CASTOR demonstrates that airpowers effectiveness could have increased had the French used the U.S. Armys Operational Design methodology. The lack of systems thinking, reflective thinking, environmental framing and the inability to reframe all reduced the effectiveness of airpower and ultimately led to CASTORs failure. The second study, Operation LINEBACKER II, suggests that using the U.S. Armys Operational Design methodology has a positive impact on airpower. The presence of systems thinking and reflective thinking by Strategic Air Command planners, the development of a mature environmental frame, the establishment of reframing criteria and the ability to reframe when required all increased airpowers effectiveness. This monograph demonstrates the value of operational design to air campaign planners and the potential for inclusion into existing Air Force doctrine.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE