Air Power Doctrine

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Air Power Doctrine

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Air Power Doctrine


Air Power is basically the ability to project the military force from above the surface of the earth. Australia also requires a modern integrated national force structure for its defense. Since the foundation of Royal Australian Air Force, it has relied completely on borrowing air doctrines from allied nations. This activity of the RAAF has adversely affected the service's ability to develop tactical and technical abilities at operational level and has also discouraged the development of conceptual skills on strategic level. So, the RAAF thought of developing an Australian air doctrine to overcome the imbalance between tactical and conceptual skills of the force. It also provides a basis for commanders at all levels to determine and relate how they could imply this doctrine in the defense of Australia (Johnson, 2007, pp. 25).

The positive attributes of air power include swiftness of application, ubiquity, range, shock effect and flexibility. Air power has an advantage over other forms of combat power and it also has the freedom of surface barriers. These positive factors about air force make this form of combat power to demonstrate a nation's political intent. According to the history of air power in Australia, it is observed that the military first used air power in an airborne role for the extension of sea and land power, then later the military recognized its ability to strafe, bomb and shock the enemy. The most effective means of exploiting the air was also conducted by the air force implementing the air power doctrine for strategic bombing.

After this, in World War II the military recognized that air power alone could not defeat an opposition. Then after World War II, the emerging nuclear weapons and the threat of global conflict were the most influential factors that affected the Australian air power. The development of air power history highlights three primary aerial campaigns which could affect the enemy in an air battle and these campaigns are considered as the keystone of the theory of air power doctrine (Doman, 2002, pp. 12). As we know the basic purpose of air power is to increase effectiveness of the military from the use of air and this effectiveness could be achieved by implementing and accessing the following key campaigns in the air power doctrine.

The first is to gain control of the air which enables a force to nullify the effects of opposition's air power both in the air and on ground.

Secondly, the air bombardment campaign is used to attack an enemy's resources, homeland and war making capacity.

The third campaign is the air support for combat forces which complements the combat power of land, sea and air in terms of mobility, firepower and sustainability.

These campaigns are so interactive and widely applied and the success of a military's air power relies heavily on the implication and evaluation of these campaigns.

Australia's Strategic Environment

Australia's strategic environment is based on the points available and pointed out in the White paper as the ...
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