A Concept for Directing Combat Air Operations
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST
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As early as 1946, Lieutenant General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, speaking of the capabilities which modern tactical air forces had demonstrated during the European air war, observed that flexibility in the application of air forces was necessary in order to achieve maximum results. Flexibility, he stated, enabled air forces to achieve maximum responsiveness and effectiveness in coordinated efforts with other military forces and permitted the diversion of tactical air power to meet critical situations on the ground rapidly. He further observed that, to achieve the degree of flexibility required, direct control of all available air power should be centralized under a single air force commander. The validity of the concept of centralized controlsingle management of air resources within tactical areas of responsibility was demonstrated in World War II and in the Korean conflict. Unfortunately, the concept and the organization developed to administer it lost substantial support at the conclusion of each of those wars, and significant time and effort were required to re-establish an adequate system during subsequent conflicts.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics