By Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Howard D. Belote, Air University Press

Within the 53-year background of the USA Air strength (USAF), simply airmen have risen to function neighborhood commanders in leader (CINC). in the course of the similar interval, seventy four squaddies, sailors, and Marines have been chosen for geographic CINC billets. In “Once in a Blue Moon: Airmen in Theater Command,” Lt. Col. Howard D. Belote examines the explanations for this disparity and indicates how airmen may well enhance their customers for changing into destiny nearby commanders. Colonel Belote employs old research to spot the non-public traits airmen should still search as potential war-fighting CINCs. to set up a baseline for that evaluation, he starts by means of learning the careers of 2 early regionals CINCs, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. Jacob L. Devers. depending seriously on basic assets within the Air strength old examine corporation, the writer then deals tow special biographical case stories. the 1st is of Gen. Lauris Norstad, till this yr the single USAF officer to have served as a neighborhood CINC. the second one case research considers the profession of German box Marshal Albrecht Kesselring, certainly one of purely airmen ever to have commanded a theater in wartime. Belote enhances his old inquiry with findings in response to interviews with senior division of protection officers coupled to an research of the new literature on joint command. those various resources agree on one very major aspect: to accomplish successfully as war-fighting CINCs, airmen – certainly, all officials – needs to own complete joint army talent, an incisive geostrategic-political-military imaginative and prescient, and robust – yet nuanced and deft – talents in management and interpersonal family members. another significant discovering merits point out up entrance. with out exception, the senior officers interviewed via the writer agreed that as would-be CINCs, airmen are handicapped by way of a particular attribute of Air strength tradition. As individuals of a technical provider that areas a excessive top class on Air Force-specific talents, so much airmen fail to obtain the wide-ranging joint and political-military adventure anticipated of power regionals CINCs. to assist treatment that challenge, the writer proposes construction of a brand new and deliberately broad-gauged “joint warfighter” profession tune.

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Additional resources for Once in a Blue Moon: Airmen in Theater Command : Lauris Norstad, Albrecht Kesselring, and Their Relevance to the Twenty-First Century Air Force (Cadre Paper, 7.)

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136 (See fig. 137 In a detailed analysis of Kesselring’s decision making, however, Capt Teddy D. 138 Macksey opined that the “massacre” of the 36th American Division in central Italy in January 1944 was due to Kesselring’s decision to deploy his reserves, and Gen Siegfried Westphal, Source: Thomas E. : Avery Publishing Group). Adapted by Lt Col Howard D. Belote. Figure 1. ”139 After the war, General von Vietinghoff provided a worthwhile summary of Kesselring’s military skill: “Having been called in by our Italian ally to assist them, the few German divisions in southern and central Italy were confronted with an apparently hopeless situation on the conclusion of the Italian armistice in September 1943.

67 Norstad’s feel for international politics helped him avoid becoming a mere mouthpiece for American policy in the eyes of European statesmen, and this favorable perception greatly increased his effectiveness. In fact, he opposed US policy proposals that he thought might weaken NATO. When Sen. Homer E. Capehart of Indiana suggested withdrawing from European bases and relying on US-based strategic airpower, Norstad was adamant: “Such action by the United States would destroy the confidence of all European countries in the United States, and it would destroy the NATO alliance.

57 Prevented by circumstances from attending graduate or professional military education (PME)—six years after attending ACTS as a first lieutenant, he was a major general—Norstad continued his study of history and politics on his own time. Evidently, his self-education was broad and effective. As Time magazine reported, “in a profession not noted for breadth of reading, Norstad quickly became conspicuous as one airman who read voraciously, ranging from The Federalist to the memoirs of the Aga Khan.

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