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

Mitchell Institute’s 2022 Year in Review

Arlington, VA | January 17, 2023 | The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies Looking back at 2022,​​​​​ Mitchell Institute stands proud of the work the team accomplished in 2022. The numbers speak for themselves: 13 research studies and policy papers; 39 Aerospace Nation video panels with the top aerospace leadership; and 49 podcasts delving into key air and space issues. We did this at a time when national security threats continue to grow. This means the
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B-21 Raider: Resetting America’s Power Projection Edge

Arlington, VA | December 1, 2022 | The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies At the Mitchell Institute, the requirements for effective long-range strike options that bolster our nation’s deterrence and global security writ large have long been a focus of study. In anticipation of the December 2 reveal of the new and highly secretive B-21 stealth bomber, we have prepared a number of resources that delve into why the nation needs a modern long-range stealth
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Want Air Power? Then You Need to Buy Aircraft

Defense News | December 14, 2022 | Lt Gen Joseph Guastella, USAF (Ret.)
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Press Release – PenFed Credit Union Underwrites Mitchell Institute Dean as Chair for Aerospace Studies

Arlington, VA | December 14, 2022 The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce that Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), Dean of the Mitchell Institute, now holds the PenFed Chair for Aerospace Studies. This Chair was established to support the mission of the Mitchell Institute as it works to inform national leaders and the public at large about the unique policy options that airpower and space power afford the country. This includes
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Making Joint All Demand Command and Control a Reality

War on the Rocks | December 9, 2022 | Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
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Publications

All Publications

C2 Series: Clearing the Fog and Friction of Command and Control

Arlington, VA | January 9, 2023 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is proud to announce three new Forum Papers in a series on command and control (C2) by Col Frederick “Trey” Coleman, the commander of the 505th Command and Control Wing. With an Air Force still pondering how it can accelerate change (or lose), as well as grappling with the requirements to realize a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept, these short
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The Next Frontier: UAVs for Great Power Conflict | Part 1: Penetrating Strike

Arlington, VA | December 7, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Research Studies series, The Next Frontier: UAVs for Great Power Conflict | Part 1: Penetrating Strike by Caitlin Lee, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies and Mark A. Gunzinger, Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. Only a few years ago, the
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Hardened Shelters and UCAVs: Understanding The Chinese Threat Facing Taiwan

Arlington, VA | November 9, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, Hardened Shelters and UCAVs: Understanding The Chinese Threat Facing Taiwan by non-resident fellow Daniel Rice. This analysis of unclassified aerial imagery concludes that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) airfields adjacent to the Taiwan Strait are intended for permanent, sustained operations in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan. Previous
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The Indispensable Domain: The Critical Role of Space in JADC2

Arlington, VA | October 20, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, The Indispensable Domain: The Critical Role of Space in JADC2 by Tim Ryan, Senior Fellow for Spacepower Studies at the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence. Coming out of the Cold War, the U.S. military possessed the capabilities and capacity to dominate global military operations when and where it
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Five Imperatives for Developing Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Teaming Operations

Arlington, VA | October 6, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Five Imperatives for Developing Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Teaming Operations by Heather R. Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. The Air Force lacks the force capacity, lethality, and survivability needed to fight a peer-level conflict with China. To address these shortfalls, Air Force leaders are
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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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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

Learn more from our additional resources of studies, policy papers, forums, and other featured news articles.

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