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Air Force UAV History

Air Force UAV History



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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Aviation/Space History Library on Sep 27, 2012
Copyright:Public Domain


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 A Mitchell Institute Study 
Air Force UAVsThe Secret History
A Mitchell Institute Study
July 2010By Thomas P. Ehrhard
On September 12, 1918 at St. Mihiel in France, Col. Wil-liam Mitchell became the frst person ever to commanda major orce o allied aircrat in a combined-arms opera-tion. This battle was the debut o the US Army fghtingunder a single American commander on European soil.Under Mitchell’s control, more than 1,100 allied aircratworked in unison with ground orces in a broad oen-sive—one encompassing not only the advance o groundtroops but also direct air attacks on enemy strategic tar-gets, aircrat, communications, logistics, and orces beyond the ront lines.Mitchell was promoted to Brigadier General by order o Gen. John J. Pershing,commander o the American Expeditionary Force, in recognition o his com-mand accomplishments during the St. Mihiel oensive and the subsequentMeuse-Argonne oensive.Ater World War I, General Mitchell served in Washington and then becameCommander, First Provisional Air Brigade, in 1921. That summer, he led jointArmy and Navy demonstration attacks as bombs delivered rom aircrat sank several captured German vessels, including the SS
His determination to speak the truth about airpower and its importance toAmerica led to a court-martial trial in 1925. Mitchell was convicted, and re-signed rom the service in February 1926.Mitchell, through personal example and through his writing, inspired and en-couraged a cadre o younger airmen. These included uture General o the AirForce Henry H. Arnold, who led the two million-man Army Air Forces in WorldWar II; Gen. Ira Eaker, who commanded the frst bomber orces in Europe in1942; and Gen. Carl Spaatz, who became the frst Chie o Sta o the UnitedStates Air Force upon its charter o independence in 1947.Mitchell died in 1936. One o the pallbearers at his uneral in Wisconsin wasGeorge Catlett Marshall, who was the chie ground-orce planner or the St.Mihiel oensive.
 The Mitchell Institute orAirpower Studies, ounded by the Air Force Association, seeks to honor theleadership o Brig. Gen. William Mitchell through timely and high-quality re-search and writing on airpower and its role in the security o this nation.
Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell
Published by Mitchell Institute Press© 2010 Air Force AssociationDesign by Darcy Harris
Dr. Thomas P. Ehrhard is Special Assistant to the Chie o Sta o the US Air Force. As the senior civilian assistant to Chie o Sta, headvises Air Sta leaders on strategy and policy and serves as the principaladvisor to the Chie o Sta’s Strategic Studies Group. Beore his appointmentin 2009, Ehrhard was a Senior Fellow at the Center or Strategic and Budget-ary Assessments in Washington, D.C. Ehrhard, a 1980 graduate o the US AirForce Academy, served 26 years on active duty, retiring in 2006 as a colonel.During that time, he acquired a master’s degree rom Caliornia State Uni-versity, a master o airpower art and science degree rom Air University, anda PhD in international relations rom The Johns Hopkins University. Ehrhardwas military assistant to Andrew W. Marshall, the Pentagon’s Director o NetAssessment. He also worked in various Air Sta and OSD strategy positionsin the Pentagon, and was Chie o the US Central Command Air Forces Strat-egy Division during the opening phases o Operation Enduring Freedom inAghanistan.
By Thma P. Ehhad
 a miThEll inTiTuTE Tudy
July 2010
Air Force UAVsThe Secret History

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