The 31 Initiatives: A Study in Air Force - Army Cooperation - Air Defense, Rear Area Operations, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, Special Forces, Joint Munitions Development, Combat Techniques by David N. Spires

The 31 Initiatives: A Study in Air Force - Army Cooperation - Air Defense, Rear Area Operations, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, Special Forces, Joint Munitions Development, Combat Techniques

By David N. Spires

  • Publication Date: 2015-08-17
  • Genre: Military

Book Synopsis

Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this U.S. Air Force (USAF) publication examines areas of cooperation between the Army and the Air Force. For the past eighty years the US military establishment has worked to integrate air power into its doctrine, strategy, force structure, and tactics in order to maximize the nation's security. This study by Dr. Richard Davis highlights one aspect of this process, that of providing the most potent mix of army and air forces to prosecute ground warfare. It also illustrates the impediments to joint action created by the services' separate organizations and distinctive doctrine. In addition, this monograph suggests that changes to improve interservice cooperation are often either forced by combat or imposed from the top down by the highest levels of the service or defense hierarchies. In World War II, Korea, and Vietnam the services developed weapons and systems that brought air power to bear on the battlefield in a relatively quick and overwhelmingly powerful manner. Without the impetus of war, however, the services seem often to fall back on their broader agenda of preparation for future war. In the case of the 1980s, intervention by the Chiefs of the Air Force and Army Staffs forced increased cooperation for battlefield synchronization and integration. In this instance the two Chiefs recognized the need and acted. Generals Gabriel and Wickham, aided by their deputies for plans and operations, Lieutenant Generals John T. Chain, Jr., and Fred K. Mahaffey, set up a small ad hoc group, bypassing their own services' formal staff structure, to fabricate a new method of mutual force development, including cross-service budgeting and programming procedures. The Chiefs adopted the group's recommendations as the foundation of a continuing joint force development process. Their purpose was to make this innovation permanent by carrying it to the lowest possible levels of the Air Staff and Army General Staff structures and by introducing it into the professional military education system. The result would be more affordable and more effective army and air forces. In short, this fine work documents both the development of closer service ties and the success of the efforts of the Chiefs toward that goal.

Foreword * Acknowledgments * Introduction * I: The Background of Air Force - Army Force Development * 1907-1947 * 1947-1973 * 1973-1983: The TAC-TRADOC Dialogue and the AirLand Battle * II: The 31 Initiatives and Their Formulation * The Process Behind the Initiatives * The 31 Initiatives * Air Defense * Rear Area Operations * Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses * Special Operations Forces * Joint Munitions Development * Joint Combat Techniques and Procedures * Fusion of Combat Information * III: The Impact of the 31 Initiatives * The Services' Initial Responses * The Services' Later Responses

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