The U.S. Air Force in Space 1945 to the Twenty-First Century

The U.S. Air Force in Space 1945 to the Twenty-First Century

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On September 21 and 22, 1995, the Air Force Historical Foundation convened a historical symposium on the United States Air Force's experience in the development of space systems and their military applications. Held at the Andrews Air Force Base Officers' Club, Maryland, the symposium was the culmination of nearly a year-long planning effort headed by a committee chaired by Lt. Gen. Bradley Hosmer, USAF (Ret.). Other committee members included Donald R. Baucom, BMDO historian; George W. Bradley III, Air Force Space Command historian; Col. Louis H. Cummings, USAF (Ret.), the Foundation's executive director; R. Cargill Hall and Jacob Neufeld, senior historians at the Air Force History Support Office; and Maj. John Kreis, USAF (Ret.), a Foundation trustee. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Office of the Air Force Historian, in association with the Air Force Space Command and the Air University. Dozens of individuals affiliated with these organizations pitched in graciously and expertly whenever the committee solicited their assistance. We wish to acknowledge especially Lt. Gen. Patrick P. Caruana, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, who introduced one of the panels, and Major Kreis, who introduced another. Gen. Bryce Poe II, USAF (Ret.), the Foundation president at the time, introduced the symposium. He was followed by the then Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, who gave the keynote address. Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Sheila E. Widnall and the Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Thomas S. Moorman, placed the subject in perspective and peeked into the future. Several other distinguished civilian and military officials related their experiences and perspectives, while scholars provided historical context. A perusal of the table of contents discloses a virtual "Who's Who" in Air Force space history. The symposium was arranged in three chronological sessions beginning with the threshold of space in 1945 to 1961, the year that the Air Force became executive agent for space research and development. Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, USAF (Ret.), the service's leading missiles and space pioneer, provided invaluable recollections and observations. Panel two traced the evolution of space systems from R&D to operational status up to their employment in the Persian Gulf War. Former Air Force Secretary John L. McLucas and Gen. Donald J. Kutyna riveted the audience's attention with their personal assessments. Finally, former Air Force Secretary Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge was among a select panel of senior leaders who looked at space "today and tomorrow." The consensus among the two hundred men and women who attended was that this was a unique and extremely useful symposium and that its proceedings deserved to be published and disseminated widely.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 204 pages
  • 178 x 254 x 11mm | 363g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508684693
  • 9781508684695