The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage Podcast
Episode 12 - Securing Tomorrow’s Skies: A Conversation with ACC Commander Gen Mark Kelly

Episode 12 - Securing Tomorrow’s Skies: A Conversation with ACC Commander Gen Mark Kelly

February 28, 2021

Episode 12 – Securing Tomorrow’s Skies: A Conversation with ACC Commander General Mark Kelly

Episode Summary:

The Mitchell Institute is proud to release episode 12 of its Aerospace Advantage podcast: Securing Tomorrow’s Skies: A Conversation with ACC Commander General Mark Kelly. One of the Air Force’s key mission areas is gaining air superiority—a crucial objective given that no military function can succeed if subject to attack from hostile airpower. While the service is in the midst of modernization with types like the F-35, it must also think about the capabilities it seeks to procure in future decades. General Kelly provides insights into this process and how he expects the mission to evolve given the future threat environment.

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 12 of the Aerospace Advantage host John “Slick” Baum welcomes Air Combat Command Commander General Mark Kelly to the show to discuss the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program and future air platforms with Co-host and Mitchell Institute’s Dean, Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula.

Stealth, sensors, computing, real-time data links merged with advanced performance characteristics has evolved the way in which we fight. We operate in a world where long-range strike capabilities and stealth will allow us to take down an enemy before they even know we are there. These capabilities are not cheap, and money is tight, so we need to plan ahead and be prudent in our choices. When we imagine the platform that will rule the skies in the 2030s and 2040s, we need to start planning that aircraft today. That is what the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program seeks to address.

What does that fighter, or the NGAD platform look like and what capabilities do we need to maintain U.S. air dominance? To describe what he envisions as being critical to the NGAD program and future or air warfare, Gen Mark Kelly joins the show.

Time Marks:

1:26 – Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula joins Baum to describe the state of fifth gen, and the future for air dominance

8:14 – Gen Mark Kelly describes what the requirements for the NGAD program are from a military standpoint

16:12 – Gen Mark Kelly discusses the macro-level picture of what NGAD means for the future

21:22 – Gen Mark Kelly explores the importance of the migration from a kill chain to a kill web for the future of aerospace warfare

31:24 – Gen Mark Kelly talks about the importance of training and the Air Force’s Reforge program in getting pilots ready for the next generation of air warfare

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Co-host: Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Gen Mark Kelly, USAF

Links:

USAF Brig Gen Alex Grynkewich’s paper An Operational Imperative: The Future of Air Superiority - https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org/air-superiority-release

Episode 11 - Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots’ Perspective

Episode 11 - Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots’ Perspective

February 19, 2021

Episode 11 - Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots' Perspective

Episode Summary:

The Mitchell institute is pleased to release Episode 11 of the Aerospace Advantage Podcast: Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots’ Perspective. Join us as we speak with F-35 pilots Major Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe to better understand how the F-35's stealth and information dominance capabilities are changing combat aviation. Back in the day, we used to say speed is life, but today, that mantra is evolving. It is all about understanding the battle space better than your opponent—how to best position yourself to net your mission goals, while avoiding points of danger thanks to stealth and situational awareness. That’s why the F-35 is such a capable combat aircraft.
 

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 11 of the Aerospace Advantage host John “Slick” Baum explores what it is like to fly America’s newest fighter jet, the F-35. Joined by Emmy award winning journalist Steph Stricklen as co-host, Baum brings experienced F-35 fighter pilots Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe onto the show to describe their firsthand experience flying this new aircraft.

Fifth-gen aircraft bring a whole new dynamic to the fight through their advanced stealth technology, and even more importantly, their ability to gather and process battlespace information for the pilot. These two capabilities, combined with impressive flight characteristics, make the F-35 a highly capable air combat aircraft.  

No one can better describe the experience and benefits gained by these aircraft than the pilots who fly them. To hear this experience, Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe join the show to describe  what they experience when they fly and fight in the F-35.

Time Marks:

2:17 – Baum lays down how stealth, information dominance and advanced performance is the new norm for the fighter pilot’s needs

5:43 – Steph Stricklen kicks off the conversation with Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe by getting her take on how she engages the community to educate them on the capabilities of the F-35 beyond aerobatic maneuvers

7:55 – Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee describes how the F-35 has evolved the operational level planning in the air

13:21 – First Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe describes how the F-35 has changed operating concepts, then Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee shares his thoughts.

20:37 – Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe and Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee share their experience flying the F-35 and how it changes how they fly

31:11 – Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe, Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee and Steph Stricklen each share their favorite F-35 flying story

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Co-host: Stephanie Stircklen

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe, USAF

Guest: Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee, USAF

Links:

F-35A Demo Team’s website: https://www.388fw.acc.af.mil/F-35A-Demo-Team/

Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee’s The Professionals Playbook: https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/

Steph Stricklen’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephstricklen/?hl=en

Episode 10 - Hanging Out with Unexploded Ordnance, Saddam’s Bunkers and Me: Experiences of a Fighter Pilot

Episode 10 - Hanging Out with Unexploded Ordnance, Saddam’s Bunkers and Me: Experiences of a Fighter Pilot

February 13, 2021

Episode 10 – Hanging out with Unexploded Ordnance, Saddam’s Bunkers and Me: Experiences of a Fighter Pilot

Episode Summary:

Mitchell Institute's Aerospace Advantage takes you to the flight line and beyond in Episode 10 Hanging out with Unexploded Ordnance, Saddam’s Bunkers and Me: Experiences of a Fighter Pilot. When we think about military pilots, we almost always envision them in the cockpit. However, whether helping establish requirements for new aircraft, designing fresh operational concepts, or developing attack plans, the Air Force needs folks who are first-hand operational experts. Thus, pilots find themselves rotating through the Pentagon and other associated functions in-between their flying assignments. This podcast explores one such experience through the eyes of Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker, currently serving as the Vice Commander of 12th Air Force. A fighter pilot by trade and having just finished a tour as a Weapons School Instructor, General Baker found himself helping to build the Operation Iraqi Freedom air campaign. Subsequently, he was deployed to Iraq and executed after-action inspections at his recently targeted sites. Tune in to hear his stories and how he found himself hanging from the ceiling of one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces next to an unexploded bomb!

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 10 of the Aerospace Advantage host John “Slick” Baum dives into the story of Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker, a fighter pilot who helped build the Operation Iraqi Freedom air campaign, and put boots on the ground to conduct after-action reports on his targeted sites. This episode is about his story, and his experience from the planning center to Saddam’s palace.

In late 2002, the U.S. military prepared to take offensive measure against Iraq. As part of war campaign, Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker, found himself as point man in bringing the JDAM GPD guided munition capability onto F-16s. With his background in weapons systems, he was the one of the critical people targeting Iraqi centers of gravity and assessing the damage of the new weapons systems. Bluto led the effort in ensuring that the new bombs were executing their missions successfully, and this was not always safe. It meant strapping on a rappelling rope and diving into blown out bunkers, sometimes to find unexploded ordinance waiting at the bottom of the rope!

The Aerospace Advantage is not just about concepts and technology, it is about hearing from the men that put these ideas into practice. New weapons systems are great, but we need to get them into the hands of operators for practice and to ensure that they are achieving the desired effect. Much like Bluto’s missions in Iraq, whether planning in D.C. or conducting field missions, even doing both, our airmen are pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Join Slick in future episodes as we hear the stories of airmen and the incredible missions that they undertake to push our Aerospace Advantage.

Time Marks:

2:08 – Baum lays down the historic framework of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Northern and Southern no-fly zones in Iraq

3:31 – Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker joins the show to describe both what hard and deeply buried targets are, and how they are critical to the modern war effort

10:10 – Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker describes the role of different agencies in targeting hard and buried targets

14:55 – Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker tells his experiences collecting Battle Damage Assessments, or BDAs

21:45 – Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker explains the “Project 2000” target in Iraq

29:51 – Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker offers his lessons learned from his experiences for our future military leaders

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Brig Gen Craig “Bluto” Baker, USAF

Episode 9 - Unmanned Wingmen? The Future of Air Combat

Episode 9 - Unmanned Wingmen? The Future of Air Combat

February 5, 2021

Episode 9 – Unmanned Wingmen? The Future of Air Combat

Episode Summary:

Episode 9 of Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage podcast explores the future of manned-unmanned aircraft teaming—one of the biggest developments that will shape the future of air combat. Thanks to advancements in autonomy, machine learning, computer processing power, and the ability to connect and share information, unmanned aerial vehicles and traditional crewed aircraft will partner in incredibly complementary ways. Host Lt Col. (ret) John Baum speaks with combat pilot Col Don “Stryker” Haley, one of the Air Force’s top experts on the subject, Col (ret) Mark Gunzinger of the Mitchell team, as well as two of the leading aerospace industry experts in this realm: Steve Fendley, president for the unmanned systems division at Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, and Mike Atwood, Senior Director for Advanced Programs at General Atomics.

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 9 of the Aerospace Advantage host John “Slick” Baum explores the future of air warfare in manned-unmanned teaming. He is joined by Mitchell topic expert Col (ret) Mark “Gonzo” Gunzinger, Air Force expert and combat pilot Col Don “Stryker” Haley, and industry leaders Steve Fendley of Kratos Defense & Security Solution and Mike Atwood of General Atomics.

Manned-unmanned teaming was not always a possibility, but recent technological developments are turning this future concept into reality. To kick off the discussion, Slick and Gonzo discuss the technological developments surrounding this concept.

Next, Col Don “Stryker” Haley describes current Air Fore thinking regarding the requirement for manned-unmanned teaming and how it may be employed in the future battle space.

Finally, Mike Atwood of General Atomics and Steve Fendley of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions describe how industry is building the systems that will manifest this vision through Air Force Research Lab’s Skyborg prorgam.

Time Marks:

04:20 – Gonzo joins the show to discuss the technological developments that have led to manned-unmanned teaming in theory and practice

13:22 – Col Don “Stryker” Haley speaks to the developments in the Pentagon that is bringing this capability to life

29:38 – Steve Fendley of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and Mike Atwood of General Atomics join the show to describe how industry is working to bring these capabilities online

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Col Mark “Gonzo” Gunzinger, USAF, ret.

Guest: Col Don “Stryker” Haley, USAF

Guest: Steve Fendley, President, Unmanned Systems Division, Kratos Defense & Security Solution

Guest: Mike Atwood, Senior Director for Advanced Programs, General Atomics

The Mitchell Institute’s Skyborg Report:

https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org/single-post/understanding-the-promise-of-skyborg-and-low-cost-attritable-unmanned-aerial-vehicles

Episode 8 - National Security Space Operations with Chief of the Space Force General Jay Raymond

Episode 8 - National Security Space Operations with Chief of the Space Force General Jay Raymond

January 28, 2021

Episode 8 - National Security Space Operations with Chief of the Space Force General Jay Raymond

Episode Summary:

Episode 8 of Aerospace Advantage features a conversation with Chief of Space Operations General Jay Raymond. To put it simply, there is no viable joint force without the Space Force. The capabilities yielded on orbit are fundamental for all forms of power projection. Host Lt Col (Ret.) John Baum and Mitchell Institute dean Lt Gen (Ret.) Dave Deptula explore current opportunities and challenges facing America’s newest military service in an extended conversation with Gen Raymond. This dialogue ranges from policy and budget issues necessary for Space Force’s future success, to opportunities afforded by new technologies.

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 8 of the Aerospace Advantage host John “Slick” Baum is joined by U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen Jay Raymond and Mitchell Dean Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula to open the discussion on the U.S. national security space enterprise, emphasizing  that space is a critical domain for both commercial and military purposes.

Military satellites provided by the Space Force underpin many of the technologies that we use every day  and space-based capabilities provide with the U.S. military with distinct asymmetric advantages. However, our adversaries have begun to weaponize space, a development that must be managed with utmost attention.

Gen Raymond explains the present circumstances surrounding the national security space mission, challenges and opportunities facing Space Force, and his goals as he leads this organization in its second full year of existence.

Time Marks:

02:05 – Lt Gen David Deptula joins the show to elaborate on space-based capabilities in a military context

05:41 – Gen Deptula differentiates Space Force and Space Command

09:59 – Gen Raymond offer his opening remarks on the history of the U.S. military’s strategic space-based capabilities

15:17 – Gen Raymond describes the importance of bringing the weaponization of space into the public discourse

20:53 – As the Space Force grows, growing its capabilities is key, Gen Raymond explains what he sees as some of the top priorities for the Space Force’s future

30:22 – Leveraging industry and deterrence demands reducing the classification level of Space, Gen Raymond elaborates on what Space Force is doing to streamline this process

36:58 – Gen Raymond dives into some of the less focused on challenges and opportunities the Space Force is pursuing, and the accomplishments of the Space Force in year one

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col (ret.) John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Co-host: Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Chief of Space Operations Gen John “Jay” Raymond, USSF

Episode 7 - Flying the Missions: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

Episode 7 - Flying the Missions: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

January 24, 2021

Flying the Missions: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

Episode Summary:

Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage podcast is pleased to release the third installment in its Desert Storm retrospective, Flying the Missions: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later. Host Lt Col (ret.) John Baum and Mitchell Institute dean Lt Gen (ret.) Dave Deptula speak with airmen who strapped into their jets and flew into harm’s way as part of the air campaign. Guests include F-16 pilot Lt Gen (ret) “Orville” Wright, B-52 pilot Lt Gen (ret.) Mike Moeller, F-117 pilot Major Gen (ret.) Greg Feest, F-15C pilot (ret.) Colonel Rico Rodriguez, Air Force Special Operations rep Col (ret.) Randy O’Boyle, and Mr. Dale Burton, who was the Technical Lead for JSTARS. Each one of these individuals brings unique experiences to this conversation, ranging from Feest dropping the first bomb in Iraq from an F-117, or Rodriguez scoring multiple air-to-air kills against Iraq MiGs. 

Full Topic Guide

In part 3 of this Desert Storm special series, host John Baum and co-host Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula speak with the men who strapped into their jets and flew on night one of the war. F-16 pilot Lt Gen (ret.)  “Orville” Wright, B-52 pilot Lt Gen (ret.) Mike Moeller, F-117 pilot Major Gen (ret.) Greg Feest, F-15C pilot Col (ret.) Rico Rodriguez, Air Force Special Operations rep Col (ret.) Randy O’Boyle, and Mr. Dale Burton join the show to describe the emotions, experiences and tactics of flying and fighting in the opening days of the campaign.

Lt Gen David Deptula describes the war from a planning perspective and how he made real time changes to the plans as events unfolded. Stealth saw its first real test in warfare during Desert Storm. Maj Gen Greg Feest then provides his experience as the first F-117pilot to drop munitions in Iraq. Col Rico Rodriguez describes his role securing air superiority in theater, including downing two enemy MiGs.

Long range strike was another key tool employed during the Desert Storm air campaign. Lt Gen Mike Moeller provides direct insight to this mission area as a B-52 pilot. Lt Gen Wright shares his stories as a squadron commander of an F-16 unit. Col Randy O’Boyle explains how Air Force Special Operations played a key role in the attack plan. Finally, Dr. Dale Burton recounts how JSTARS command and control aircraft was deployed for its first combat use.  

The episode wraps with each of our guests providing their top takeaways from the Desert Storm air campaign and why these lessons are especially applicable given the military challenges facing the US today.

Time Marks:

02:17 – Lt Gen David Deptula describes the opening moves from a planning perspective

06:09 – Maj Gen Greg “Beast” Feest recounts being the first person to fly an F-117 stealth bomber into combat.

14:28 – Col Rico Rodriguez emphasizes his training experience on his ability to engage MiGs in the air

23:03 – Gen Moeller’s B-52 flights demonstrated the value of long range strike in the air campaign

27:02 – LT Gen Bruce “Orville” Wright tells his stories of developing a streamlined bomb logistics chain and interacting with coalition and allied forces

35:05 – Col Randy O’Boyle describes the role of Air Force SOF units in disabling Iraqi defenses for the air campaign and the integration of SOF and regular forces in the war

44:03 – Dr. Dale Burton explains the role of experimental JSTARS aircraft in providing air support in Desert Storm

53:20 – Each of the shows guests gives a final lesson learned that they believe needs to be reemphasized for our airmen to be successful in future wars.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col (ret.) John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Co-host: Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Lt Gen (ret.) Bruce “Orville” Wright, USAF, ret.

Guest: Lt Gen (ret.) Mike Moeller, USAF, ret.

Guest: Maj Gen (ret.) Greg “Beast” Feest, USAF, ret.

Guest: Col (ret.) Rico Rodriguez, USAF, ret.

Guest: Col (ret.) Randy O’Boyle, USAF, ret.

Guest: Dr. Dale Burton

Episode 6 - Commanding the Air War: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

Episode 6 - Commanding the Air War: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

January 20, 2021

Commanding the Air War: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

Episode Summary:

The Aerospace Advantage presents Commanding the Air War: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later, a conversation between Gen (Ret.) Chuck Horner and Lt Gen (Ret) Dave Deptula, the joint forces air component commander who led the air war and his chief offensive air campaign planner. These two individuals, along with a broad coalition team, guided 100,876 air sorties from January 17 to February 28, 1991.

This air campaign marked a turning point in warfare, seeing desired effects drive targeting across the entirety of Iraq, and more importantly, across all its regime key strategic and operational level centers of gravity. This winning approach contrasts sharply with those that evolved in the conflicts of the first decades of the 2000s, which saw our military become bogged down in nation-building.

Given the current security challenges facing the United States, the lessons of Desert Storm are more important than ever. 

Full Topic Guide:

In part 2 of this Desert Storm special series, host Lt Col (Ret.) John Baum and co-host Col (Ret.) Rich Reynolds speak with the men who were key actors in the Desert Storm air war. Gen (Ret.) Chuck Horner and Lt Gen David Deptula discuss how their individual experiences shaped their actions during the conflict and noted airpower historian Dr Dick Hallion reflects upon key takeaways from the most successful air campaign in history.

Gen Horner describes his perspective as the lead air commander. This includes insights regarding engagement with allies, senior political leaders, and US commanders. General Horner’s experience in Vietnam also shaped his approach to leadership during this campaign.

Technology was a distinct factor in Desert Storm with stealth and precision dramatically affecting the outcome of the campaign.  Lt Gen Deptula offers his own story of how he used the concepts of stealth and precision to develop an effects-basedstrategy that allowed him to yield the greatest military impact in a rapid fashion. As this was the first full-scale use of stealth aircraft, this technology set a new baseline for future air warfare.

Airpower historian Dr Dick Hallion  joins the show and explains the unique role air commanders played providing unique options for collation leaders. He also reflects on the unique intersection between strategy, operational concepts, and technology during this campaign. His remarks conclude looking at the lasting impact of Desert Storm.  The episode wraps with Rich Reynolds emphasizing the importance of the people in warfare, that individual personalities drive the key events that ultimately yield the way we think and operate in war.

Time Marks:

02:50 – Gen Chuck Horner describes his opening moves in Desert Storm

05:00 – Gen Horner breaks down the planning and military’s internal politics of the campaign

13:33 – Gen Horner describes working with the coalition forces

16:33 – The shadow of Vietnam still loomed over the planners, but Gen Horner explains how the leadership used lessons learned to succeed in Desert Storm

18:06 – Lt Gen Deptula explains how technology shaped the war

23:30 – Gen Horner and Lt Gen Deptula describe their experiences on day 1 of the war

28:15– Gen Horner’s lessons learned from Desert Storm

32:17 – Dr. Richard Hallion joins the show and describes how air power became a dominant concept in the military

37:01 – Dr. Hallion explains how the U.S. forgot some of the lessons of Desert Storm and how at a strategic level we need to leverage our aerospace advantage to fight conflicts in the future

40:15 – Desert Storms’ operating concepts influenced the concept of warfare around the globe

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Co-host: Col Richard Reynolds, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Gen Charles A. Horner, USAF, ret.

Guest: Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF, ret.

Guest: Dr. Richard P. Hallion, USAF, ret.

Episode 5 - A Strategy for Success: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

Episode 5 - A Strategy for Success: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

January 16, 2021

A Strategy for Success: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later

Episode Summary:

In Episode 5, A Strategy for Success: The Desert Storm Air Campaign 30 Years Later, host Lt Col (Ret.) John "Slick" Baum and Col (Ret.) Rich Reynolds are joined by Gen (Ret.) Mike Loh, Lt Gen (Ret.) Dave Deptula and Col (Ret.) John Warden—key actors that laid the foundation for the Desert Storm air campaign. Desert Storm marked a shift in the paradigm of warfare. For centuries, a strategy of attrition was the only path to victory. Harnessing the virtues of air and space power, U.S. and coalition air forces yielded peace rapidly and effectively in a way no adversary had ever imagined. This episode will discuss key events and highlight important lessons learned, as we hear firsthand from the airmen in the fight what really happened.

Full Topic Guide:

In Episode 5, host Lt Col (Ret.) John Baum and co-host Col (Ret.) Rich Reynolds dive into the history of the most successful air campaign in history. Drawing from his extensive experience, Reynolds sets the scene of a group of like-minded airmen going above and beyond the call of duty to plan and execute an air campaign that went against traditional military doctrine.

Gen Mike Loh offers his firsthand experience as Vice Chief of the Air Force in getting the group together that would plan and execute operation Instant Thunder. He speaks to the political battles, and the personal connections that led to pulling together the team.

Lt Gen Deptula describes the ground-centric military doctrine of air-land battle and how Desert Storm dramatically departed from this Vietnam-era strategy. Col Warden then explains how the name of the campaign, “Instant Thunder”, reflected this change in strategy, straying away from a slow grinding campaign, and focusing on the rapid strike capability of afforded by airpower.

Gen Loh speaks to the need for the American military to lead with its strongest asset, aerospace power. The group then shares their individual top lessons learned form the air campaign, and how the U.S. should be thinking in achieving the same effect in future wars.

The episode wraps with Baum emphasizing the importance of the people involved, over the larger war machine, and how this small, select group of military professionals shaped the outcome of the war.

Time Marks:

02:10 – Rich joins the episode and lays down the backstory of the opening days of the war

05:03 – Gen Loh describes how he started pulling together the group that would ultimately plan and execute the campaign

08:51 – Slick asks Lt Gen Deptula to describe air-land battle and how Desert Storm countered this doctrine

11:33 – Rich asks Col Warden about his Instant Thunder plan and its origins

15:10 – Gen Loh goes into detail on how Washington was involved in the campaign

20:40 – Col Warden describes the impact of the shadow of Vietnam on strategic thinking

23:17– Lt Gen Deptula explains the birth of the effects-based approach to warfare

28:51 – Rich asks each of the guests for their top lessons learned from Desert Storm

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org 

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower 

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Co-host: Col Richard Reynolds, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Gen John Michael “Mike” Loh, USAF, ret.

Guest: Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF, ret.

Guest: Col John Warden III, USAF, ret.

Episode 4 - Stealth, Speed, Precision and Persistence: The Keys to the Aerospace Advantage

Episode 4 - Stealth, Speed, Precision and Persistence: The Keys to the Aerospace Advantage

January 9, 2021

Stealth, Speed, Precision, and Persistence: The Keys to the Aerospace Advantage

Episode Summary:

Join 17th Air Force Chief of Staff Gen John Jumper (ret) and Mitchell Institute Dean Lt Gen Dave Deptula (ret) to explore how the Air Force can secure maximum value for every dollar it invests. In conversations with Aerospace Nation host Lt Col John Baum (ret), these seasoned leaders explore the intersection between technology, concepts of operation, and a continual quest to pursue smart solutions, not just pure mass. A central part of the conversation focuses on cost-per-effect analysis and covers a wide range of air operations—from the skies over Vietnam and Desert Storm, to Kosovo and Afghanistan. These leaders also explore key investment areas that should be prioritized to best address tomorrow’s challenges.

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 4, host John Baum dives into how to best maximize defense investment decisions through cost-per-effect analysis Baum and Mitchell Institute’s Executive Director Doug Birkey provide concrete examples regarding how this thinking works.

Baum and Birkey then welcome 17th Air Force Chief of Staff Gen John Jumper, UASF, (ret.) onto the show to provide his firsthand experience of seeing technologies aligned with cost-per-effect principles in action during the Vietnam War. He then tells how this experience changed his calculus moving forward as he returned stateside as he helped shape Air Force modernization as well as tactical and operational procedures. He details how he pushed for stealth, stand-off munitions,  precision weapons, and systems that had persistence as a way to leverage cost-per-effect advantages. Gen Jumper then describes his vision for future Air Force investment decisions.

 Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (ret.)  then describes how technologies aligned with cost-per-effect thinking were brought to bear in Operation Desert Storm. Stealth and precision created a situation in which 1 F-117 was able to cause the same effect on target as 19 non-stealthy aircraft. He then discusses how politics and short-term objectives undermined further gains the Air Force could have made in this area

The episode wraps with Baum providing an assessment of the discussion and a final comparative example.

Time Marks:

02:30 – Doug Birkey, Mitchell Institute’s Executive Director joins the show to define cost-per-effect

07:11 – Slick lays out the example of the Dragon’s Jaw bridge in Vietnam

09:40 – Slick invites Gen John Jumper, USAF, (ret.), onto the show to discuss his experience with cost-per-effect in the Vietnam War

13:00 – Gen Jumper discusses the change of strategic mindset away from overwhelming mass towards cost-per-effect

22:40 – Gen Jumper describes how technology and innovation drives the success of the Air Force

25:09 – Gen Jumper provides his advice to current and future Air Force leaders on how to develop the technologies that best support the US military in the air, space, and cyber domains

27:30 – Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF, (ret.) describes how the development of stealth and precision radically changed the notion of cost-per-effect

30:11 – Lt Gen Deptula lays out the calculus of strike packages in Desert Storm, and how 1 F-117 achieved the same effect as 19 non-stealthy aircraft

36:55 – Slick uses the historical context of WWII bombing campaigns to highlight the radical changes that technology has brought to the effectiveness of air campaigns

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: 

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Douglas Birkey, Executive Director, Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Gen John Jumper, USAF, ret.

Guest: Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF, ret.

Episode 3 - What Drives National Security? Understanding the Threat

Episode 3 - What Drives National Security? Understanding the Threat

December 26, 2020

What Drives National Security? Understanding the Threat

Episode Summary:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is proud to present the next episode of its Aerospace Advantage Podcast. In episode 3, your host John “Slick” Baum brings former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Jim Miller and Maj Gen (ret.) Larry Stutzriem onto to better understand the national security landscape that drives defense decision making. The threats facing America are incredibly diverse and span from countries like China and Russia to non-state actors like ISIS. This means America needs smart options, including aerospace power.

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 3, host John Baum looks at the broader national security environment. Things like combat aircraft and national security space constellations don’t exist for their own purposes—they speak to a need. It all comes down to deterring conflict, favorably shaping engagements with adversaries, reassuring allies, and winning decisively when war comes. That takes smart combat power—of which air and space options are crucial. 

To dig into the details surrounding this topic, Baum invites former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Jim Miller to share his observations and insights on the national security environment. To complement Dr. Miller's civilian leadership view, we explore the military’s role in the process with Mitchell Institute’s Director of Studies Maj Gen (Ret.) Larry Stutzriem . 

The episode wraps with Baum highlighting the major issue at play: the threat environment that the U.S. face is incredibly complex, and Air and Space provide the most flexible and adaptable capabilities to meet the threats head on.

Time Marks:

4:28 – Slick introduces the NDS framework to understand the threat environment

8:17 – Dr. Jim Miller describes the threat landscape

11:02 – Dr. Miller explains how to prioritize the threats to national security

15:22 – Dr. Miller describes the difference between China and Russia

17:52 – How are North Korea and Iran different?

20:42 – Lessons Learned from Iraq and Afghanistan

23:11 – Air and Space power as seen by a Defense leader

32:14 – Stutz on the unique advantage of the Air Force and Space Force

32:50 – Stutz racks and stacks the threats against the U.S. and explains how he makes the assessment

35:45 – Stutz gives advice for the incoming Biden defense team

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website:  https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org/

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Dr. Jim Miller

Guest: Maj Gen Larry “Stutz” Stutzriem, USAF, ret.

Attribution:

David Ochmanek soundbite from Center for a New American Security event found here.