|Print List Price:||$40.00|
Save $37.01 (93%)
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training after Vietnam Kindle Edition
"In The Air Force Way of War, Brian Laslie has offered us an exhaustively researched look into America's laboratory of airpower. Laslie chronicles how the Air Force worked its way from the catastrophe of Vietnam through the triumph of the Gulf War, and beyond."―Robert M. Farley, author of Grounded
"Laslie creates an important work that fills a void in the popular historical narrative [. . .] [A]n essential read for anyone who has ever experienced (or wanted to experience) the thrill of being a part of the world's largest aerial exercise of 100+ aircraft battling over the Nevada desert, known as Red Flag.
Laslie's book is a refreshing look at the people and operational practices whose import far exceeds technological advances. [Laslie] skillfully illuminates the human depth and endeavors of a service that. . .works diligently and intelligently to integrate new technology with the humans who operate it."―The Strategy Bridge
"Laslie convincingly shows that inadequate training was the primary cause of combat losses in Vietnam. He points out that studies revealed that over the first ten "actual combat missions" over North Vietnam took the greatest toll on pilots. Consequently, the Air Force revised pilot training to make it as realistic as the first ten actual combat missions.
Laslie best captures the mood of the time in his account of planning for Desert Shield. Personality clashes created scenes of drama equal to the most intense you can find on a good TV miniseries."―VVA Veteran
"Laslie tackles a period of Air Force history that has been skillfully examined by several air power experts. Yet the author is able to explore new ground, and truly provide the reader with a signifcant analysis of the importance of these revolutionary training events, in particular the Red Flag exercise.
The Air Force Way of War should be considered required reading for air power historians and analysts, combat veterans and active duty Air Force operators. Laslie's enthralling text makes it clear why Red Flag is still thriving as it approaches its 40th birthday."―The Bridge
"Most significantly, the book finally consolidates parts of a story told in a variety of sources into an easily accessible, readable, and digestible volume that will well serve both airpower historians and future practitioners for years to come."―H-War, H-Net Reviews
"More than a history for aircrew, this selection examines how innovative thinkers of the time, including then Major John Jumper, Moody Suter, and John Warden, advanced ideas and concepts despite the obstacles arrayed against them."―Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List 2016
"Historian Brian Laslie has thoroughly analyzed recent air operations and produced a thought-provoking treatise on the importance of a post-Vietnam training renaissance
leading to US success after Vietnam."―Military Review
"It is well written and documented and is readily accessible to both airpower historians and to those with an interest in the development of airpower doctrine. It is no surprise that the book was selected for the Air Force Chief of Staff's 2015 professional reading list.
The Air Force Way of War is a generally solid, well-written book, especially in its
coverage of the Air Force's post-Vietnam transformation through the Gulf War."―US Military History Review
"By placing pilots themselves and their training at the heart of his work, Brian Laslie has produced
an exemplary corrective to the typical airplane-centered view of Air Force history."―Michigan War Studies Review --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00VMZSSYC
- Publisher : The University Press of Kentucky; Illustrated edition (June 23, 2015)
- Publication date : June 23, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 2133 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 297 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #209,380 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But of course that is a very important thing to say. Red Flag did change everything. The Air Force had a tougher time than they should have had in Vietnam. After Vietnam (unlike after Korea) they learned the lesson and stepped up training.
We also read every variation of "Tactical air and strategic air are the same thing" and "Training not technology."
That established, we then go on to read that the Air Force Way of War is to disassemble the enemy air-defense network to establish supremacy before the air-to-ground work can really start.
There are some things the author left out. He makes little mention of the use of drones, either as cruise missiles, or the much-overlooked decoys. He does not give enough weight to the importance of sortie-generation rates, a lesson the Israeli taught us.
He makes not a single mention of air base defense, security, recovery and all that. But then again nobody much does. (The bad guys will exploit that in time.)
You might want to try the free sample first. Most of the theme explored in this fine work are introduced in the first bit. The book ends at the seventy-percent mark to make way for the footnotes.
The two flaws in the book were the treatment of the fighter mafia and the creation of the F-16. Both of which I feel he got wrong.
Other then that it was an excellent book and should be on the reading list of any military historian.
The book is first a history of how developments in training -most notably those at Red Flag exercises- changed how USAF conducted warfare. Second, participation in Red Flag and other exercises was crucial to the development of the air plan for operation Desert Storm, thus the Red Flag exercise greatly influenced combat planning and execution. The book demonstrated that, just as massive technological development allowed success in the Persian Gulf War, there was an equally important development in the way air power operators and planners conceived of and trained for aerial warfare.
The use of air power throughout the Vietnam conflict was ineffective. Poor organization, weak command and control, and lack of unit of command all contributed to aircraft losses, but these were not as significant as improper training for fighter and bomber pilots. USAF leaders entered the Vietnam conflict believing that the air war in Korea had been an anomaly in that it was neither a conventional war with the Soviet Union in Europe nor an exchange of nuclear weapons. They believed that the tactical aviation, meaning fighter aircraft, could best serve in the role of protecting bombers as escorts or be turned into light bombers themselves. An entire generation of aircraft known as the Century Series was specifically designed to either perform bombing missions or intercept bombers. Air-to-air combat skills became an afterthought. The aircraft in the series could not compete with enemy fighters, were not ideal for air-to-ground operations, and were not adequately prepared to deal with the air defendes of North Vietnam. Even the air-to-air F-4 was designed with a nuclear delivery capability in mind. Training programs for fighter pilots did not emphasize maneuvering to avoid surface-to-air missiles or how to properly dogfight against an enemy aircraft. Since these scenarios were not considered likely in the pre-Vietnam Air Force, they were not addressed in training. The results were almost catastrophic: by the middle of 1965 US fighters were being lost at an alarming rate, more than 12 a month. This amounted to the loss of an entire 18-ship squadron every one and a half months. The loss of aircraft was worrying but the loss of aircrews really devastating. Something had to be done to change the way USAF fought, and the book tells exactly that fascinating story of learning the hard way.
Interwar periods are not devoid of change. During these times USAF prepares for what it perceives to be the most likely future conflicts. After Vietnam, USAF experienced a paradigmatic shift in the way that it conceived of and trained for future wars. It changed its way of warfare and its entire identity. War with the Soviet Union might come, but it would not begin with a massive thermonuclear exchange. Instead, it would begin in Central Europe and be fought, at least for a while, with nonnuclear weapons. In such a conflict, air-to-air combat could tip the scales. The change occurred not only because of advanced technologies but also through human intervention in determining how those technologies would be used. In reality, the changes in training became a trump card against which enemy combatants had no resource. The influence of individuals was always present, if sometimes overlooked, in how USAF changed drastically between Vietnam and Desert Storm and how it still retains its top quality edge. A very informative book on how a military institution learned from its mistakes and how it worked hard to overcome its shortcomings and be the magnificent and invincible force it is today. It is written in a very reader-friendly style and it contains a section of 16 b/w photos. Every fan of modern aviation should read it!
Instead, I got a well thought out lesson on the power of realistic training against an advanced, integrated Air Defense System. I learned the value of bringing together all aspects of an Air Campaign from ISR to Search and Rescue against a rigorous threat, where aircrews die over and over … until they can live.
Better still, it did not read like a history book, but more like a novel about airpower and the airmen of the seventies, eighties and early nineties. Their personal stories brought the times alive, making it an easy and enjoyable read.
Dallas Stephens, Lt Col (USAF Retired)