An Operational Imperative: The Future of Air Superiority

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce the release of its newest Policy Paper, An Operational Imperative: The Future of Air Superiorityby Brig Gen Alex Grynkewich, USAF.

Budget pressures and near-term priorities in lieu of long-term threats cut short investment in America’s air superiority capability at the same time other nations were developing advanced technologies in this critical mission area. In response to this challenge, Grynkewich was tasked by the Air Force to lead a team of air, space, cyber, logistics, and support experts in an exhaustive review of options to gain and maintain continued control of the air. The team assembled a report on their findings in May 2016, the Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan, which assessed the state of the mission through 2030, and beyond.

Grynkewich, in this paper, takes us behind the scenes of his team’s efforts to come up with an air superiority plan for the 21st century. “Air superiority and unity of command in its employment will remain critical to the success of future joint operations,” Grynkewich writes. “Achieving air superiority in the future requires realizing the ascent of information as a dominant factor in warfare. Building an architecture that integrates data to create decision-quality knowledge is key,” he adds, as well as the ability to share it with sensor-shooters in every domain. He also highlights the need for the Department of Defense to change its acquisition approach, or risk the possibility of adversaries outpacing the US in air superiority capability development.

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