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The Parabolic Curve: Creating Operational Agility in the Third Offset Strategy

The “third offset strategy” is viewed as the third chapter of a long running United States defense policy, an evolution driven by a requirement to “offset” current and future threat capabilities in an increasingly complex and constrained environment. Unfortunately, the rhetoric of this strategy has seemingly outpaced content to support its goals. The US Air Force’s Strategic Master Plan and Future Operating Concepts, for example, provide a broad vector and vision, but lack actionable substance. In this paper, the author outlines what he coins “the parabolic curve,” which seeks to reform the current construct of the US Air Force to regain the erosion of airpower’s advantages. Based on a few k

Evolving Technologies and Warfare in the 21st Century: Introducing the “Combat Cloud”

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release a Mitchell Institute Policy Paper, Evolving Technologies and Warfare in the 21st Century: Introducing the “Combat Cloud,” by Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.). The paper highlights an operating paradigm for US and allied military forces where information, data management, connectivity, and command and control (C2) become core mission priorities. According to Deptula, the basis of the “Third Offset Strategy” will be the ubiquitous and seamless sharing of information. Current and future weapon systems will become sensorshooter nodes that form a “combat cloud” with the potential to deliver much greater combat capability than

Aim Higher: It’s Time to Boost the Air Force’s Recruiting Enterprise

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release its latest Policy Paper, Aim Higher: It’s Time to Boost The Air Force’s Recruiting Enterprise, by Michael C. Sirak, Mitchell Institute visiting fellow. The document takes a look at an under examined and critical part of the all-volunteer Air Force—recruitment activities. The Air Force’s recruiting force is the smallest when compared to the other services within the Department of Defense and challenges are straining the force. In addition to funding shortages and innovation stifling bureaucracy, recruiters have limited access to new technologies which could help the service bring in thousands of additional needed accessions fo

Beyond JSTARS: Rethinking the Combined Airborne Battle Management and Ground Surveillance Mission

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release its latest Mitchell Institute Policy Paper, Beyond JSTARS: Rethinking the Combined Airborne Battle Management and Ground Surveillance Mission, by Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.), with Marc V. Schanz and John M. Doyle. The paper takes a look into the past, present, and future of command and control (C2), air battle management (ABM), and ground surveillance of moving targets, as performed by the E-8C Joint Surveillance Attack Radar System aircraft (JSTARS)—one of the USAF’s current top recapitalization priorities. The product of extensive interviews with USAF officials, current operators, and technical experts, the paper e

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