Air Force News

Air Force releases operational doctrine

Released: 6 Oct 1998

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFPN) -- Doctrine for the new expeditionary aerospace force for the 21st century concept has been approved by the chief of staff and is being released by the Air Force Do ctrine Center here.

"Just as technology, world threats and opportunities change, so must our doctrine," wrote Gen. Michael E. Ryan in the foreword to Air Force Doctrine Document 2.

Titled, Organization and Employment of Aerospace Power, the new document follows up on AFDD 1, Basic Air Force Doctrine, which was released in September 1997.

"AFDD 2 takes aerospace power discussions to the next level of detail, describing how the Air Force organizes and employs aerospace power at the operational level," said Lt. Col. Bob Poynor, chief of the Aerospace Power Division at the AFDC and the lead writer for AFDD 2. "This publication also outlines how to set up, plan and execute air expeditionary forces. The ideas in AFDD 2 represent the recommended best way to organize for expeditionary operations."

One of the reasons AFDD 2 is important to the Air Force is that before now "we've been expeditionary in nature, but not in organization," said Poynor.

"Our operational doctrine, as embodied in AFDD 2 and the other keystone doctrinal publications, describes not only how we employ aerospace forces to meet the threats and challenges facing us today, but also the point of departure for guiding our nation's Air Force in meeting the challenges of tomorrow," Ryan said. "Aerospace power is a critical -- and decisive -- element in protecting our nation and deterring aggression. It will only remain so if we, as professional airmen, study, evaluate and debate our capabilities and the environment of the future."

Although AFDD 2 is a stand-alone document, Poynor said, "it's important to have read AFDD 1 because AFDD 1 gives the reader an understanding of terms used and the larger conceptual framework."

"All this -- the EAF framework and AFDD 2 -- has been evolving together, with many of the same sources of ideas," said Poynor. "However, the EAF concept is a policy decision, and guides things like how to schedule units for vulnerability for deployment. AFDD 2 talks about organization and command relationships, which is a different issue. In short, it's two sides of the same coin."

The direction to develop AFDD 2 came from former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman in 1996 as a result of his long-range planning summit. Since then major commands, numbered air forces, the air staff and subject matter experts, among others, have contributed to the development of the document.

Copies of AFDD 2 will be distributed to all officers and senior noncommissioned officers in the next few months.

"This is a very significant document," said Poynor. "The Air Force hasn't had anything like this before, so it's important to get this word out to the force in a timely manner."

An electronic copy of the document is available on the Air Force Doctrine Center's home page at Comments are encouraged via the feedback button.


* Air Force Doctrine Center