This is the milestone official comprehensive history of the United States Air Force with compelling stories about America's airmen and their aircraft. This document, Volume II, picks up the narrative at the Korean War, takes it through the War in Southeast Asia, the Gulf War, to the drawdown following the end of the Cold War.
Part IV: A Decade of Deterrence, 1950-1960 * Chapter 13 - The Air War over Korea * Chapter 14 - The Emergence of the Strategic Air Command * Chapter 15 - The Air Force as an Institution * Chapter 16 - Containing Communism * Part V: The War in Southeast Asia, 1960-1975 * Chapter 17 - Flexible Response: Evolution or Revolution? * Chapter 18 - The Air Force and Operations Short of War * Chapter 19 - The War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1968 * Chapter 20 - Vietnamization and Withdrawal, 1968-1975 * Part VI: Regrouping after Vietnam, 1975-1982 * Chapter 21 - Modernizing after Vietnam * Chapter 22 - Carrying Out National Policy * Part VII: The Post-Cold War Era, 1982-1997 * Chapter 23 - Peace is not Always Peaceful * Chapter 24 - From the Deserts to the Mountains * Chapter 25 - Metamorphosis: The Air Force Approaches the Next Century
More than any other military organization, the U.S. Air Force searches out and listens to the experience history offers. Few problems arise from a void or occur without precedent; and while every challenge possesses its unique aspects, the perspective of time and the careful consideration of what already has succeeded or failed inevitably improves the effectiveness of today's decisions and the quality of planning for the future.
History is therefore important to the Air Force; the recorded past is a foundation for doctrine, policy, strategy, tactics, equipment development, organization, force structure, and virtually every other element of air power. This volume, published in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Air Force as an independent service, is especially valuable. Not only should it both inspire and enlighten the members of the Air Force, it should also serve as a convenient source of information for those outside the service who are interested in the origin, growth, evolution and application of American air power.
Throughout its first century, military aviation helped advance the interests of the United States. From a curiosity, fragile and of uncertain value, the warplane has become a devastating weapon. Moreover, ballistic missiles and surveillance satellites have joined aircraft in this aerial array. In these volumes, we try to describe and analyze, in the context of national policy and international rivalries, the evolution of land-based air power since the United States Army in 1907 established an Aeronautical Division responsible to the Chief Signal Officer. This work, in addition to commemorating the Air Force's fiftieth anniversary, also commemorates almost one hundred years of progress in the design and use of aerial weaponry. By placing airmen and their machines in an appropriate context, it provides a clearer understanding of the central role of the Air Force in current American defense policy.
Early in the conceptualization of this work, we decided that a collaborative effort would make the best use of whatever special skills or knowledge each of us might possess. We knew, however, that successful collaboration requires a plan, and the blueprint was the work of Warren A. Trest, then the chief of the Histories Division, Office of Air Force History. He devised a basic outline for the book, and after his transfer elsewhere in the Air Force history program, Bernard C. Nalty saw the design through to its completion. Under the general guidance of these two, we wrote, reviewed, and revised each chapter. A panel of historians and military officers reviewed the manuscript, which then underwent the final revisions that these distinguished individuals suggested.