February 28, 2021

Episode 12 Summary:

The Mitchell Institute is proud to release episode 12 of its Aerospace Advantage podcast: Securing Tomorrow’s Skies: A Conversation with ACC Commander General Mark Kelly. One of the Air Force’s key mission areas is gaining control of the sky—a crucial objective given that no military function can succeed if subject to attack from hostile airpower. While the service is in the midst of modernization with types like the F-35, it must also think about the capabilities it seeks to procure in future decades. General Kelly provides insights into this process and how he expects the mission to evolve given the future threat environment.

February 19, 2021

Episode 11 Summary:

The Mitchell institute is pleased to release Episode 11 of the Aerospace Advantage Podcast: Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots’ Perspective. Join us as we speak with F-35 pilots Major Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe to better understand how the F-35's stealth and information dominance capabilities are changing combat aviation. Back in the day, we used to say speed is life, but today, that mantra is evolving. It is all about understanding the battle space better than your opponent—how to best position yourself to net your mission goals, while avoiding points of danger thanks to stealth and situational awareness. That’s why the F-35 is such a capable combat aircraft.

February 15, 2021

Episode 10 Summary:

Mitchell Institute's Aerospace Advantage takes you to the flight line and beyond in Episode 10: Hanging out with Unexploded Ordnance, Saddam’s Bunkers and Me: Experiences of a Fighter Pilot. 

When we think about military pilots, we almost always envision them in the cockpit. However, whether helping establish requirements for new aircraft, designing fresh operational concepts, or developing attack plans, the Air Force needs folks who are first-hand operational experts. Thus, pilots find themselves rotating through the Pentagon and other associated functions in-between their flying assignments. This podcast explores one such experience through the eyes of Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker, currently serving as the Vice Commander of 12th Air Force. A fighter pilot by trade and having just finished a tour as a Weapons School Instructor, General Baker found himself helping to build the Operation Iraqi Freedom air campaign. Subsequently, he was deployed to Iraq and executed after-action inspections at his recently targeted sites. So if you want to hear how he found himself hanging from the ceiling of one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces next to an unexploded bomb, tune in!

February 5, 2021

Episode 9 Summary:

Episode 9 of Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage podcast explores the future of manned-unmanned aircraft teaming—one of the biggest developments that will shape the future of air combat. Thanks to advancements in autonomy, machine learning, computer processing power, and the ability to connect and share information, unmanned aerial vehicles and traditional crewed aircraft will partner in incredibly complementary ways. Host Lt Col (ret) John Baum speaks with combat pilot Col Don “Stryker” Haley, one of the Air Force’s top experts on the subject, Col (ret) Mark Gunzinger of the Mitchell team, as well as two of the leading aerospace industry experts in this realm: Steve Fendley, president for the unmanned systems division at Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, and Mike Atwood, Senior Director for Advanced Programs at General Atomics. 

January 29, 2021

Episode 8 Summary:

In Episode 8 of Aerospace Advantage, Space Force Chief of Space Operations General Jay Raymond explains his future vision for his service, challenges and opportunities in the national security space domain, and what it’s been like standing up the nation’s newest service. Host Lt Col (ret.) John Baum and Mitchell Institute dean Lt Gen (ret.) Dave Deptula also discuss the broader circumstances regarding national security space and the creation of the Space Force. Bottom line: space is vital to America’s interests and the Space Force must be empowered for success.

January 25, 2021

Episode 7 Summary:

In Episode 7, Flying The Missions: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later, host Lt Col (ret.) John Baum and Mitchell Institute dean Lt Gen (ret.) Dave Deptula speak with airmen who strapped into their jets and flew into harm’s way as part of the air campaign. Guests include F-16 pilot Lt Gen (ret.) “Orville” Wright, B-52 pilot Lt Gen (ret.) Mike Moeller, F-117 pilot Major Gen (ret.) Greg Feest, F-15C pilot Colonel (ret.) Rico Rodriguez, Air Force Special Operations rep Col (ret.) Randy O’Boyle, and Mr. Dale Burton, who was the Technical Lead for JSTARS. Each one of these individuals brings unique experiences to this conversation, ranging from Feest dropping the first bomb in Iraq from an F-117, or Rodriguez scoring multiple air-to-air kills against Iraq MiGs.

January 21, 2021

Episode 6 Summary:

In Episode 6, Commanding the Air War: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later, Mitchell hosts a conversation between Gen (Ret.) Chuck Horner and Lt Gen (Ret.) Dave Deptula, the joint forces air component commander who led the air war and his chief offensive air campaign planner. Their air campaign marked a turning point in warfare. As they walk through the planning to the execution of the first attacks, which exploited the advantages of stealth and were based on a strategy of airpower, they reflect on the implications of their success and how it would change warfare and shape the development of airpower—and counter airpower—capabilities for decades to come. This winning approach contrasts sharply with those that evolved in the conflicts of the first decades of the 2000s, in which our military became entrenched in nation-building. Given the current security challenges facing the United States, the lessons of Desert Storm are more important than ever. 

January 17, 2021

Episode 5 Summary:

Episode 5, A Strategy for Success, features Gen (Ret.) Mike Loh, Lt Gen (Ret.) Dave Deptula, and Col (Ret.) John Warden describing some of the initial key actions taken in response to Saddam’s aggression. Desert Storm marked a shift in the paradigm of warfare. For centuries, a strategy of attrition was the only path to victory. Harnessing the virtues of air and space power, U.S. air forces in Desert Storm yielded peace rapidly and effectively in a way no adversary had ever imagined. This episode will discuss key events and highlight important lessons learned, as we hear firsthand from the airmen in the fight what really happened. This episode is one of a special trilogy of podcasts commemorating the 30th anniversary of Desert Storm featuring key airmen who participated in the campaign

January 11, 2021

Episode 4 Summary:

In Episode 4, Stealth, Speed, Precision, and Persistence: The Keys to the Aerospace Advantage, Join 17th Air Force Chief of Staff Gen (Ret.) John Jumper and Mitchell Institute Dean Lt Gen (Ret.) Dave Deptula to explore how the Air Force can secure maximum value for every dollar it invests. In conversations with Aerospace Nation host Lt Col (Ret.) John Baum, these seasoned leaders explore the intersection between technology, concepts of operation, and a continual quest to pursue smart solutions, not just pure mass. A central part of the conversation focuses on cost-per-effect analysis and covers a wide range of air operations—from the skies over Vietnam and Desert Storm, to Kosovo and Afghanistan. These leaders also explore key investment areas that should be prioritized to best address tomorrow’s challenges.

December 28, 2020

Episode 3 Summary:

In Episode 3, host John Baum looks at what drives national security requirements. Things like combat aircraft and national security space constellations don’t exist for their own purposes—they speak to a need. It all comes down to the mission of deterring conflict, favorably shaping engagements with adversaries, reassuring allies, and winning decisively when war comes. That takes smart combat power—of which air and space options are crucial. Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Jim Miller discusses the threat environment and makes the case for a broad range of military capabilities, including aerospace power.  Mitchell Institute Director of Studies Maj Gen (Ret.) Larry Stutzriem provides a military senior leader perspective, discussing how national security policy requirements translates to strategy and operational concepts.

December 14, 2020

Episode 2 Summary:

In Episode 2, host John Baum asks a crucial question: “Why is the Air Force aircraft inventory so small and old?” In gaining better insight regarding how we got here, the episode also emphasizes important lessons that will prove crucial to the service as it seeks to buy the next generation of combat aircraft. 

To dig into the details surrounding this challenge, Baum speaks with individuals who had a front-row view of key historic decisions, including Col (Ret.) Mark “Gonzo” Gunzinger, the Mitchell Institute’s Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments, and Gen (Ret.) John Corley, former Air Combat Command Commander. 

The F-22 production termination saga serves as a key case study in this episode, with General Corley offering direct insight from his leadership vantage. This is an opportunity to find out what went down and why from those who were there. Most importantly, we need to learn how the Air Force can recover and reset for future success. 

November 23, 2020

Episode 1 Summary:

In Episode 1 of the Aerospace Advantage, the host John “Slick” Baum lays out the case for Aerospace power. Slick starts from the beginning, and speaks with Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula to explain the importance of aerospace power. He then interviews the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Executive Director Douglas Birkey to fully develop the fundamental theories of aerospace power. Doug covers the history of aerospace theory and leads us to today’s problem of an aging fleet and an unfunded Space Force. Slick ends the episode with laying out the threats that the US faces in the aerospace domains, and how the United States is taking these threats head-on.