Academic journal article Aerospace Power Journal

Just What Is Air Force?

Academic journal article Aerospace Power Journal

Just What Is Air Force?

Article excerpt

I'T IS INTERESTING to ponder the meaning of air force and what it will be in the future. As I recall from physics lessons at the Air Force Academy many years ago, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration (F = ma). This familiar equation, which reflects the physical elements of force, also applies nicely to air force-one with effective, integrated air and space assets in the form of leading-edge technologies, smoothly operating organizations, and professional people. Our Air Force involves the synergy of mass and acceleration.

Mass, in terms of an air force, logically means our assets and the ability to bring those assets together appropriately Mass is people, aircraft, missiles, and satellites. It is supporting infrastructure such as communications and transportation systems that quickly move information, equipment, and people worldwide. The article by Lt Gen Norton Schwartz and Col Robert Stephan proposes an air-minded perspective of how mass can be applied in an urban environment. Maj Gen Roger Brady's story of building expeditionary units in Kosovo pertains to the massing of forces where and when they are needed. The Air Force is currently studying mass, a time-honored principle of war, to rethink its specific application for modern aerospace power. Certainly, as the recent Balkans conflicts exhibited, mass or "concentrating combat power at a decisive time and place" (and, we might add, with near impunity) proved critical to NATO's success. …

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