Project Air Force is Making a Difference with the Air Force

Research Spotlight

  • A 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot in her aircraft during the squadron's deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, March 18, 2016

    How the U.S. Air Force Could Retain More Female Officers

    Women are underrepresented among the Air Force's senior leadership compared with their representation among the lower ranks. Focus groups with female officers identified key retention factors and potential ways to improve Air Force policies and programs to address female officer retention.

Recent Work

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2015, photo by Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters

    Understanding Russia's Intervention in Syria

    Oct 31, 2019

    Russia's military intervention in the Syrian civil war began in 2015. This decision was the result of an extraordinary set of political and military circumstances. What might cause Moscow to take similar actions in other conflicts beyond its immediate neighborhood?

  • A simulated nuclear key turn

    Managing Nuclear Modernization Challenges for the U.S. Air Force

    Oct 29, 2019

    After decades of near neglect, the Air Force is embarking on a vast modernization of its portion of the nation's nuclear deterrence capabilities, but these activities face a range of challenges. A RAND report describes ways to allay these challenges, with a focus on the integrated planning and preparation for mission success across programs.

  • KC-46 refueling F-15E, photo by John D. Parker/U.S. Air Force

    The tanKer Aerial Refueling Model for Analysis

    Sep 4, 2019

    The tanKer Air Refueling Model for Analysis (KARMA) enables an analyst to simulate the extent to which a tanker force can aerially refuel combat aircraft in a denied environment. An assessment records the algorithmic details of KARMA and explains the inputs and outputs of the model.

  • Japan's Self-Defense Forces F-15 fighter jets (top and bottom) conduct an exercise with U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers above the East China Sea, Japan, September 9, 2017

    China's Military Activities in the East China Sea

    Dec 3, 2018

    China has stepped up its vessel and air activities near the disputed Senkaku Islands. Japan has made posture changes and increased the quantity of aircraft and radar in the region, but it does not have the resources to match Chinese air activity. And since it's an issue of domestic air sovereignty, the U.S. is limited in what it can do to assist Japan.

  • A Xian H-6K bomber landing at Zhuhai Jinwan airport ahead of Airshow China 2018

    The Strategy of China's Bomber Flights

    Nov 14, 2018

    Since March 2015, China's PLAAF has conducted a series of long-range bomber flights in the Asia-Pacific region, including over the South China Sea, near Japan, and around Taiwan. What's driving these flights? And what are the implications for U.S. interests in the region?

  • Refueling operations in a KC-135 Stratotanker

    Is the USAF Flying Force Large Enough?

    Aug 28, 2018

    The U.S. military has mostly operated at a high operational tempo since the end of the Cold War, and there appears to be no significant reduction in demand on the horizon. This report draws on historical data to quantify gaps in the U.S. Air Force's capacity to meet potential future demands.

  • Airmen from the 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron lift a crate

    Evaluation of the Strength Aptitude Test and Other Fitness Tests to Qualify Air Force Recruits for Physically Demanding Specialties

    Aug 10, 2018

    The Air Force uses the Strength Aptitude Test (SAT) to determine whether recruits meet the fitness levels needed to perform the duties of various Air Force specialties with physical strength requirements. However, these duties may have changed since the SAT was developed. A new report evaluates the SAT and related fitness tests to identify strategies for ensuring airmen can meet job-related physical requirements.