Air–Space Integration

Authored by: Everett Carl Dolman

Routledge Handbook of Air Power

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138632608
eBook ISBN: 9781315208138
Adobe ISBN:


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Integrating space capabilities into military operations, particularly air power operations, has proven a considerable challenge. This chapter offers a brief description of several of the problems that have plagued efficient integration, not the least of which is the proper role of space in terrestrial military operations, from enhancement to enablement and then, ultimately, to independent operations and strategies. Equally troubling has been the relative roles of the existing services in supporting and nurturing the space domain. If space is a warfighting domain, should it be under the complete control of the air force, the navy, or the army, and, if not, what percentage should be allotted to each service? Accordingly, this chapter functions as a brief overview of military space capabilities and missions and of the historical progression of integrating space power into military operations, from its earliest prophets to its current position as the backbone of modern military capabilities. The chapter highlights several of the obstacles that have slowed what should have been a much quicker pace. It concludes that the optimal joint fight is not one in which everyone participates equally, but one in which everyone participates efficiently. A future space-heavy force must be led by a space service, with planning optimised from that point on.

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