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Title: Access to Space: Routine, Responsive and Flexible: Implications for an Expeditionary Force

Subject: As the Air Force struggles to mold itself into an expeditionary force, it must act quickly to develop doctrine and command relations designed to maximize the combat capabilities engendered by routine space access.

Author(s): Dewey Parker; Edward F. Greer (Faculty Advisor)

DTIC Keywords: AEROSPACEPLANES, RECOVERABLE SPACECRAFT, RENDEZVOUS SPACECRAFT, SPACE BASED, SPACE COMMUNICATIONS, SPACE SURVEILLANCE, SPACE SYSTEMS, SPACE TO SURFACE, SPACE TRANSPORTATION, SPACE WARFARE, SPACEBORNE, SPACECRAFT TRAJECTORIES, SURFACE TO SPACE, UNMANNED SPACECRAFT

Abstract: The United States Air Force is implementing the Expeditionary Air Force (EAF) construct. Concurrently, technological, political and economic forces are driving the rapid development of routine, responsive and flexible access to space. This paper presents the argument that routine access to space will happen more quickly than is presently forecast and therefore the transition to an EAF should address the implications of routine space access. The research methodology included literature searches in the areas of air and space doctrine, Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) development, EAF constructs, and command and control relationships within the joint force. The congressional record was searched for relevant legislation and legislative proposals. Interviews with EAF and space experts were conducted. Exercises and games such as Expeditionary Forces Exercise (EFX) 98 and Global Engagement 98 were analyzed. The Air Force must quickly develop doctrine and command relationships designed to maximize the contributions routine space access brings to the joint warfighter. Doctrinal constructs for the effective use of USAF expeditionary aerospace power will help ensure our nation maintains its lead as the preeminent aerospace power. This paper specifically uses the near-future advent of Reusable Launch Vehicles and their implications for an Expeditionary Air Force as an illustration of how future Joint Force Commanders may effectively bring aerospace power to bear in the battlespace as a combined, synergistic whole.

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Last updated 1999 Nov 17