You are on page 1of 2

SUBJECT: US Air Force Doctrine

1. PURPOSE. Present a concise overview of US Air Force Doctrine IOT understand

“Air Force mindset.”

2. MAIN POINTS. US Air Force Doctrine Documents (AFDDs) are built upon 18
basic principles and beliefs. There are three levels of Air Force Doctrine – Basic,
Operational, Tactical. Doctrine also presents how the Air Force views the links
between Policy, Strategy, Doctrine

3. DISCUSSION. Source is AFDD 1, 17 November 2003.

A. Key foundational statements that describe “the Air Force mind” (see AFDD 1,
pg ix-x, for all 18)
1. The US Air Force provides a unique capability to project national
influence anywhere in the world on very short notice. Air and space
forces, through their inherent speed, range, and flexibility, can
respond to national requirements by delivering precise military power to
create effects where and when needed.
1. The “American way of war” has long been described as warfare based on
either a strategy of annihilation or of attrition and focused on engaging
the enemy in close combat to achieve a decisive battle. Air and space
power, if properly focused, offers our national leadership alternatives
to the annihilation and attrition options.
1. Unity of command is vital in employing air and space forces.
1. Air and space forces can pursue tactical, operational, or strategic
objectives, in any combination, or all three simultaneously.
1. Centralized control and decentralized execution is the
fundamental organizing principle for air and space power, having
been proven over decades of experience as the most effective and
efficient means of employing air and space power.
1. Air and space power is inherently a strategic force and an offensive
1. Unlike other forms of military power, air and space power may
simultaneously hold all of an enemy’s instruments of power at
risk—military, economic, and political.
A. Levels of Air Force Doctrine
1. Basic Doctrine: Fundamental and enduring beliefs that describe and guide
the proper use, presentation, and organization of air & space forces. AFDD
1 is the airman’s basic doctrine.
2. Operational: Guides proper organization and employment of air & space
forces in the context of distinct objectives, force capabilities, broad
functional areas, and operational environments. Contained in AFDD 2-X
series publications
3. Tactical: Describes the proper employment of specific Air Force assets,
individually or in concert with other assets, to accomplish detailed
objectives. Air Force TTP (AFTTP) -3 series.
B. Policy, Strategy, Doctrine linkage and differences
1. Policy: Guidance that is directive or instructive, stating what is to be
accomplished (NSS, Presidential Executive Orders, Tactical level ROEs).
2. Strategy: How operations will be conducted to accomplish national policy
objectives. . . .a plan of action matching means to ends.
3. Doctrine: Presents considerations on how a job should be done to
accomplish military goals. Military doctrine is authoritative, but, unlike
policy, is not directive.

4. RECOMMENDATION. None – Information only.

Prepared by: Maj William H. Burks, USAF

SAMS, Seminar VII