Air University Press releases memoir and Walker, Wright Flyer papers

  • Published
  • By Air University Press

Air University Press announces the release of a memoir by Air Force’s first inspector general and the latest Walker Paper and Wright Flyer Paper.

The Vital Era in Which America Nurtured Leaders and Tempered Arms, 1887–1950, is a memoir by Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Knerr and edited by Capt. David A. Loska. Few have done more to establish the Air Force and its logistics enterprise, as we know it today, than Knerr. An early aviator, Knerr established the first airlift mission and led the procurement effort for the B-17 with Army Gen. Frank Andrews before WWII. He then led a campaign for the autonomous air force that put him at odds with the War Department and the White House.

During WWII, Knerr led logistics planning efforts to mobilize the Eighth Air Force in the European Theater of Operations and later amassed theater-wide authority of logistics, aligning the entire logistics efforts of the Army Air Forces in the theater. Knerr ended his career as the Air Force’s first inspector general, establishing the Office of Special Investigations, and is accredited with designing the Air Force’s dress blue uniform.

His memoirs, penned in the months preceding his death in 1971, give a personal insight into this formative period of the Air Force and offer the perspective only one of its architects could tell. Further, his pursuit of innovation, disruption of barriers and challenges to the status quo are exceptionally relevant to the present-day Air Force as it seeks to accelerate change.

Download it now here. The book will be available in November at the Air University Press Bookstore located in the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center on Maxwell. To request copies, click here.

America’s Strategic Baggage in the Middle East: Is It Necessary and Sustainable by Col. Daniel L. Magruder Jr. examines the strategic rational underpinning the decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.

Published by Air University Press amid the ongoing debate over America’s withdrawal, this Walker Paper’s analysis of strategic baggage, hindering force recapitalization and a pivot to strategic competition, remains relevant. So do the questions Magruder presents for policy makers and military leaders as they consider the requirements for and sustainability of U.S. military commitments.

A fellow at the Brookings Institution and a veteran of that conflict, Magruder argues that the U.S. needs to define what end states entail “victory.” He states, “Theoretically, more work can be done to clarify the U.S. military’s role in competition and to what end America is competing.” Using those defined end states, new operational concepts need to be refined and, more importantly, exercised within and across services and with foreign partners.

By focusing on the most dangerous threats to national security, the Air Force—and the nation—can avoid the more common but less existential entanglements that inhibit the ability to adequately defend the country.

Walker Papers are selected and published from papers written by field grade officers in the Air Force Fellows program. They are named after Brig. Gen. Kenneth N. Walker, a former Air Corps Tactical School instructor and Medal of Honor recipient in the Pacific during World War II.

Download the paper here.

Selected by Air Command and Staff College as a Wright Flyer Paper, Flexible Employment of Multi-Role Assets by Maj. Trevor A. Gustafson, discusses how existing doctrine is antiquated and does not align well with current mission requirements and equipment. The author argues that by combining assets into multirole platforms and updating doctrine and air operations, full utilization of assets can occur.

Air Command and Staff College disseminates outstanding student research via the Wright Flyer series to address today’s security and defense challenges.

Read the paper here.