A Framework for Planning the Employment of Air Power in Theater War

by Edward L. Warner, Glenn A. Kent

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This Note argues for the utility of developing and adhering to an explicit overall framework to guide the use of air power in support of U.S. military strategies. It offers a conceptual framework to inform Air Force planning for the development of concepts of operations that can assist in acquisition of equipment and the formation of organizational elements. The main feature of the framework is its identification of the range of functions--surveillance, assessment, command, control, asset generation, and engagement/attack--that must be executed sequentially and repetitively to perform effectively key air power missions. The framework can be used to develop concepts of operations for the application of air power across the full range of strategic and tactical missions. In this Note, however, discussion is confined to its applicability in the context of a major theater conflict fought with conventional weapons.

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