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This study investigated the nature of the future combat air staff in the context of air war in the information age and how application of information-age technology could reduce deployment of personnel while maintaining, or improving, staff support to the air campaign through the use of virtuality. Within the confines of this study, "virtuality" refers to the concept that not all elements of a staff may be physically located in the same place, that communication technology may allow for the retrieval of information resources from diverse centers of responsibility, and that staff assets may be reabsorbed into host centers after the cessation of hostilities. The results of this research indicate that the rapid advances now progressing within the technological realm, as well as within organizational theory and practice, presage a different paradigm for the future combat air staff. This report should be of interest to the Air Force, other services, and commands that are seeking ways to reduce physical forward combat area presence while maintaining combat effectiveness.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Evolution of Military Staffs

  • Chapter Three

    Technological Change and the Virtual Staff

  • Chapter Four

    The Virtual Organization in the Corporate World

  • Chapter Five

    Issues in Reengineering the U.S. Military

  • Chapter Six

    Case Study: a Future Virtual Combat Air Staff Scenario

  • Chapter Seven

    Analysis and Retrospect

  • Appendix

  • Bibliography

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This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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