Wild Blue Yonder!
The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training After Vietnam has a lot of afterburner excitement!
“The four-ship of F-15C Eagles raced across the sky at thirty thousand feet. The flight lead, call sign Death-1, focused on his radar, looking for enemy aircraft in the vicinity. He also knew those enemy aircraft were looking for him.”
It is not about the aircraft, the pilots, or the enemy in the imagined skies he describes. Instead,it weaves together an intricate history of the causal connections among failures in the skies over Vietnam, revolutions in training and operational preparation of the United States Air Force (USAF) that led to the creation of Red Flag, and the service’s resultant wartime successes of the last three decades. An important work that fills a void in the popular historical narrative, one lacking an appreciation for the human element responsible for transforming a nuclear-focused Air Force into the world’s most potent conventional force — forever blurring the line between tactical and strategic forces.
It's best work is connecting the failures of Vietnam to the development of designed operational capability (DOC) statements, the “building block approach” to training, and the creation of large, realistic exercises such as Red Flag.
These three fundamental changes to how the USAF prepared its fighter crews, and eventually all of its fighting forces, revolutionized how the Air Force prepared its forces, incorporated new technology, and conducted warfare.