Operacional Employment of Air Force

Essay by pilcomex May 2006

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The very nature and instrument of war was forever transformed with man's first flight in 1903. Since that time early theorists like Mitchell and Douhet offered their approach to the employment of airpower. They focused on strategic bombing as a means for airpower to win wars independently of land or naval forces. World War II, Korea, and Vietnam showed that effective employment of airpower must go beyond strategic bombing developing the missions of superiority, interdiction, and close air support. Military analysts soon began studying war at its three different levels: strategic, operational and tactical. This breakdown allowed analysts to better understand the cause and effect relationships of war. Airpower is primarily an operational level "tool" of war that must be tailored to meet the requirements of given mission. There are many factors the air commander must consider in developing his game plan for the employment of airpower. Generally the interpretation of these factors is as Analysis of Mission, Campaign Integration, Enemy, Combat Capability, Geography, Time to Influence, Space for Operations, and Logistics & Basing.

These factors can not be taken sequentially but rather each must be viewed constantly with the overall big picture in mind.


Here I will give a brief account on the employment of the air power in today's world scenario, which can help in using the air power effectively. This will help air commanders in determining the most effective use of airpower at the operational level of war. In the following paragraphs I will discuss some of the salient features for the effective employment of the air forces for any nation.

Some Historical Realities:

As the instrument of war was forever changed with man's first flight in 1903. Early theorists such as Giulio Douhet and William "Billy" Mitchell argued that airpower would become the most...