Aerospace Power: An Imperative for National Security

An Imperative for the Nation

The Mitchell Institute is the only aerospace power-focused think tank in the nation’s capital. The Institute informs the national security debate, educates about the essential role of aerospace power, and cultivates aerospace-minded talent.
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Content

In the News & Commentary

The Mitchell Institute’s editorials, media articles featuring Mitchell expertise, and other content.
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Aerospace Nation Interview Series

The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Nation Interview Series.
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Publications

Read Mitchell Institute Research Studies, Policy Papers, and the latest entries in the Mitchell Forum Paper series.
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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events feature thoughtful commentary from decisionmakers, thought leaders, and other authoritative voices from the aerospace power community.
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Aerospace Advantage Podcast

The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage Podcast.
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References

An Aerospace Power Reading List For National Security Professionals.
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In the News and Commentary

All News

Brazilian Airmen Deepen Ties in U.S. Visit

Air & Space Forces Magazine | September 12, 2022 | Chris Gordon
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Do the obvious thing: Establish a Space National Guard

Breaking Defense | September 9, 2022 | Tim Ryan
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Press Release – Shane Thin joins the Mitchell Institute Team as Digital Media Content Assistant

Arlington, Virginia, August 10, 2022 The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce Shane Thin is joining our operations team as Digital Media Content Assistant. He will focus on developing strategies to enhance Mitchell Institute outreach through our website, webinars, and podcasts. While Mitchell Institute has always maintained an online presence, recent years have seen significant investment and focus in this area with the stand up of our Aerospace Nation webinar series, Aerospace
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Press Release – Tim Ryan joins the Mitchell Institute Team as a Senior Resident Fellow for Space Studies

Arlington, Virginia, July 20, 2022 The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce that Mr. Tim Ryan is joining our research and analysis team as a Senior Resident Fellow for Space Studies at the Mitchell Institute Space Power Advantage Center of Excellence (MI-SPACE). In this position he will focus on a range of issues addressing the critical areas of space power strategy, operational concepts, and technologies. Tim is a retired United States Air
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Publications

All Publications

Decades of Air Force Underfunding Threaten America’s Ability to Win

The Air Force’s budget has been less than the Navy and Army’s for the last 30 years in a row. The Army received over $1.3 trillion more than the Air Force between 2002–2021, an average of $66 billion more per year than the Air Force. These sorts of realities repeatedly prompted service officials to pursue “divest to invest” modernization strategies that introduced significant risk and failed to effectively balance modernization, force size, and readiness. Resetting the Air Force to meet the national security demands of today and tomorrow is possible, but it will take forceful leadership at the highest levels of the Department of Defense. Without modernizing our geriatric Air Force and building it to the capacity required by our national defense strategy, the U.S. is a great risk of losing its next major conflict.
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The Nuances of Air Control in Great Power Competition: What the No-Fly Zone Debate is Missing

Arlington, VA | August 2, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, The Nuances of Air Control in Great Power Competition: What the No-Fly Zone Debate is Missing by Lt Col Dave Cochran, USAF. Ukraine’s request for a “no-fly-zone” in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion sparked a debate in the United States over the use of this policy instrument against a nuclear-armed opponent. It is
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Orbital Vigilance: The Need for Enhanced Space-Based Missile Warning and Tracking

Arlington, VA | June 7, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Orbital Vigilance: The Need for Enhanced Space-Based Missile Warning and Tracking by Christopher Stone, Senior Fellow for Space Studies at the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence. Today, both China and Russia are fielding a new generation of hypersonic, low-flying missiles that U.S. ground-based radars are unable to track
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Building Alliances and Competing with China: The Imperative for UAV Export Reforms

Arlington, VA | April 18, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Building Alliances and Competing with China: The Imperative for UAV Export Reforms by Heather R. Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute. At a time when the American public is demanding to know what more we can do to help forces in Ukraine resist the invasion of Russia, we
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The Arctic Intersection: Site of the Next Collision with Russia?

Arlington, VA | March 30, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, The Arctic Intersection: Site of the Next Collision with Russia? by Col John Cody Mosbey, Ph.D., USAF (Ret.). Especially in light of the threat posed by Russian expansionist ambitions laid bare in Ukraine, now is the time America must seriously consider the growing value of keeping the high north secure. In this paper,
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Air War Over Korea: Lessons for Today’s Airmen

Arlington, VA | February 22, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Air War Over Korea: Lessons for Today’s Airmen by Douglas A. Birkey, Executive Director at the Mitchell Institute. Often lost between WWII and Vietnam, the air war over Korea holds particular relevance for members of today’s Air Force as they seek to address a strikingly similar set of challenges—everything from
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Beyond Pixie Dust: A Framework for Understanding and Developing Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft

ARLINGTON, VA | February 10, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new Research Study, Beyond Pixie Dust: A Framework for Understanding and Developing Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft, by Heather Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute, and Maj Christopher Olsen, USAF, with Foreword by Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.). Nearly every vision, strategy, and flight plan the U.S. Air Force has released over the past decade identified
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Drip Feeding Improvements in EMSO Will Not Work

Arlington, VA | January 31, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, Drip Feeding Improvements in EMSO Will Not Work by Maj Gen Ken Israel, USAF (Ret.). Spectrum superiority is critical to multi-domain and multi-functional capabilities and operations. From gray zone conflicts to nuclear conflagration, the ability to control and dominate the spectrum will likely determine the outcome of future conflicts. Our electromagnetic spectrum operations
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About the
Mitchell Institute

The Mitchell Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research organization established to provide fact-based policy options, inform debate, and empower our nation’s leaders.

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1,763
Air Force F-35 Procurement Requirement to Outpace Advancing Threats

Flying & Fighting
in the Modern Age

Employing successful modern combat aerospace power today and in the future demands questioning long-standing assumptions and seeking smarter ways of achieving desired mission goals.

270
The Number of Bombers Required to Meet Real-World Demand

Future Trends

Individuals engaging in tomorrow’s aerospace domain, whether at the tactical, operational, or strategic levels, will face a future far different than what they experienced in the past. The last century saw aerospace power ascend in the industrial age, when the state of the art was governed by mechanical prowess.

29.2
Average Age of an Aircraft in the Air Force Inventory

Dollars & Sense

The US Air Force is embarking upon a crucial modernization cycle. Presently, airmen are flying combat missions in aircraft that average over a quarter of a century in age. Said another way, many pilots are younger than the aircraft in which they are taking into the sky.

386
The Number of Operational Squadrons Required by the US Air Force

Analysis

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