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Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century: A Basic Primer by Clayton K. S. Chun

By Clayton K. S. Chun

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Clear, c o n c i s e , a n d u n d e r s t a n d a b l e p l a n s p r o m o t e b e t t e r c o o r d i n ation and understanding of the operation. For example, conducting an aerial photoreconnaissance mission of a particular battle-damaged target is easier to plan and execute than conducting total surveillance of an area and then looking for battle-damaged targets. In the former case, intelligence analysts need only focus on a single target. In the latter, the same 22 AEROSPACE CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS intelligence analysts need to find the target and then determine its battle damage.

His theory was a starting place for many airmen to attempt to build an independent air force, carved out of their land and naval services. G e n e r a l D o u h e t provided the push to define and legitimize national air forces—a movement that carried into the post–World War II e r a . Billy Mitchell: America’s First Airpower Theorist William “Billy” Mitchell was a combat-experienced aviator in the US Army who wrote about the use of airpower and its future application in war. He was the son of a US senator and joined the Army during the Spanish-American War.

For example, during the Vietnam War, t h e U S A F w a s a ssigned to destroy the Than Hoa Bridge on 3 April 1965. A large “strike” package of 79 Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs dropped 638 750-pound bombs and fired 298 rockets but failed to destroy the bridge. Five aircraft were lost in the attack. The bridge was a target of many missions throughout the war. In 1972 the USAF was finally able to destroy the span b y u s i n g 1 6 F - 4 P h a n t o m s equipped with advanced Paveway laser-guided bombs, thus eliminating the need for large numbers of aircraft.

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