Air University Review, May-June 1979
a hazard for aircrews
Major Thomas E. Bronson
Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service (1964) and other Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) reports such as The Health Consequences of Smoking: 1967, 1968, 1911, 1972, 1974, and 1975 have generated much concern and controversy over the impact of smoking on public health.1 In response to the efforts of many antismoking groups, several state and local governments have passed ordinances restricting smoking in many public places.2 The Civil Aeronautics Board has voted to ban the smoking of cigars and pipes on all commercial flights, and it has proposed a rule that would extend the ban to cigarette smoking.3 Last year the Department of Defense issued Instruction 6015.18, which outlined smoking policy in DOD buildings and facilities. Air Force Regulation 30-27, "Smoking in Air Force Facilities," established procedures and guidelines to control smoking in Air Force-occupied buildings.4
In keeping with this recent emphasis on the impact of smoking, the Air Force needs to focus attention on smoking among aircrews. The effects of smoking on the safe operation of Air Force aircraft have received little attention. Much has been published on the relationship between smoking and cancer, coronary artery disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other long-term health consequences, but little has been written on the short-term or immediate effects 'of smoking on the human body. This article addresses the matter and deals specifically with those effects that may have a pronounced impact on the performance of aircrews, for it seems very likely that smoking constitutes a hazard which may hamper the safe operation of Air Force aircraft.
Inhalation of the harmful components of tobacco smoke causes deterioration of many functions necessary for effective performance. Such deterioration can constitute a significant safety risk for aircrews. In addition, the constituents of tobacco smoke produce a harmful and irritating effect on nonsmoking crew members, which is not conducive to harmonious crew functioning. Therefore, the Air Force should consider regulating the use of tobacco products by aircrew members.
The Public Citizen's Health Research Group expressed similar concern when it petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to regulate smoking by members of commercial aircrews.5 The petition and the accompanying report presented evidence that smoking adversely affects the performance of certain vital body functions.6 The conclusion was that smoking by commercial aircrews could cause a distinct safety hazard. The report also published a survey of airline crew members in which the majority favored the prohibition of smoking on the flight deck. The group petitioned FAA to prohibit smoking by crew members within eight hours of flying and during flight operations.
The FAA denied the petition, claiming that the evidence was not conclusive.7 In a subsequent petition to reconsider, the group refutes the FAA's claim of inconclusiveness.8 The petition also states that the FAA bases its position largely on only one study that shows few adverse effects of smoking.9 The group's report, on the other hand, has produced numerous studies supporting its contention.
The effects of smoking a cigarette begin immediately:
In just three seconds a cigarette makes your heart beat faster, raises your blood pressure, replaces oxygen in your blood with carbon monoxide and leaves cancer-causing chemicals to traumatize various body organs.10
Smoking one or two cigarettes can produce an increase of blood pressure (10 to 20mm), acceleration of pulse (5 to 20 beats per minute), and a temperature drop of 2o to 7o in the fingers and toes.11 Inhaled smoke remains in the mouth and can travel into the throat, windpipe, and the lungs. It also can travel into the upper breathing passages and into the stomach after it has dissolved in saliva. Smoke may also be absorbed in the mucous membranes of the mouth. The lungs retain 85 to 99 percent of all the compounds inhaled, but the most dangerous are carbon monoxide, tar, and nicotine.12 The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has identified these three compounds as the most likely contributors to the health hazards of smoking.13
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of organic matter. Smoke from one cigarette can contain up to 21,400 micrograms of CO. Nicotine is found in concentrations of 200 to 2400 micrograms per cigarette. Tar, the particulate matter that remains after moisture and nicotine have been removed, is the most practical single indicator of the total carcinogenic potential of tobacco smoke.14
Nicotine produces a transient stimulation followed by depression of both the sympathetic and central nervous systems and also causes a discharge of epinephrine from the adrenal glands. This, in turn, stimulates the nervous system and other endocrine glands and causes the conversion of glycogen into sugar. The result is a feeling of stimulation, "kick," and relief from fatigue.15 The varied physiological and psychological effects of nicotine alone in cigarette smoke should concern Air Force policy-makers, who have prohibited the use of any drugs by aircrews other than aspirin and tylenol.16 However, because of its effect on the functioning of the central nervous system, carbon monoxide has the greatest potential danger for flying personnel.
Tobacco smoke contains from 2.7 to 6 percent CO, and estimates are that 54 percent of the CO inhaled is absorbed into the lungs.17 The principal effect of CO on the body is that it impairs the oxygen-transporting function of the blood. It exerts this adverse effect in two ways:
These two processes combine to produce a situation that deprives the functioning tissues of the normal amount of oxygen. The most oxygensensitive tissues are the brain cells of the central nervous system, which are the first to be affected by any oxygen deficiency.
All individuals have a relatively small level of carbon monoxide in their system. Studies have shown that the average level of COHb saturation in nonsmokers is 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent. However, smokers may have a mean level of COHb of five to six percent, even if they do not smoke immediately before testing.20 Heavy cigarette smokers can have COHb levels of 15 percent. 21 COHb saturation in a smoker of20 to 30 cigarettes a day can be as high as 10 percent.22 A daily consumption of 35 to 40 cigarettes can easily attain and maintain an alveolar CO concentration of 50 particles per million (PPM), which reaches the legally established ambiant air quality limitation for ail eight-hour industrial exposure.23 Air Force standards limit the maximum CO concentration to 9 PPM for eight hours and 35 PPM for one hour. To protect human health, neither of these levels can be exceeded more than once per year.24
The effect of CO on the human body is both cumulative and persistent. Initially, a cigarette smoker can inhale an average concentration of CO into the lungs of 400 PPM or 0.04 percent.25 Continued smoking produces the COHb levels previously mentioned. Since the estimated halflife of CO in the body is two to four hours, the effect of smoking is long lasting.26 Some studies have shown that moderate smokers (1 to 1 packs a day) have had levels as high as 4.5 percent COHb in their blood after 8 to 15 hours of deprivation.27 Thus, a smoking crew member inhales concentrations of CO far above the amount determined by the Air Force as a healthful atmosphere.
Studies of cigarette smokers in a Colorado town with an elevation of over 10,000 feet concluded that the adverse effect of cigarette smoking on oxygen transport may be especially pronounced at high altitudes and may restrict an individual's ability to adapt to reduced oxygen tension: reduced oxygen tension refers to lower partial pressure of oxygen at higher altitudes.28 This same effect is equally critical for smoking crew members who fly in pressurized aircraft at cabin altitudes between 7000 and 8000 feet. Figure 1 shows the relationship between true altitude (cabin pressure altitude), varying levels of COHb saturation, and resulting physiological altitude. For example, smoking crew members flying at a cabin altitude of 7500 feet with COHb levels of 5 percent and 10 percent will have a physiological altitude of 11,500 feet and 14,000 feet, respectively. Thus, the smoking crew member performs his tasks at physiological altitudes above the altitude requiring oxygen, according to Air Force Regulation 6016.29
Figure 1. Effects of carbon
Other researchers feel that this method of estimating the combined effect of carbon monoxide and altitude may be dangerously understating the situation. Since CO causes the nonsaturated hemoglobin to bind its oxygen more tightly, these researchers feel that much less oxygen is actually released to the tissues, which further increases the physiological altitude of the flying crew member who smokes.31 In any case, the hypoxic condition produced by mild CO intoxication has been shown to cause deterioration of many physiological functions of the body. When these effects are extrapolated into the already oxygen-lean atmosphere where crew members perform, a serious problem is quite evident.
Several studies have been conducted on the effects of mild CO intoxication on the human body. Some of these studies have shown that low levels of CO in the system can impair complex psychophysiological functions. COHb levels of less than five percent have produced deterioration in various sensory, perceptual, and cognitive functions.32 Low levels of CO in the blood of human subjects have affected reaction to visual stimuli, temporal behavior, auditory discrimination, coordination, peripheral vision, certain psychomotor skills, and the ability to discriminate differences in brightness thresholds.
These results were obtained at sea level or low elevation. The total effect of the impairment of these functions would be considerably greater when combined with higher altitudes, such as normal cabin pressure altitudes. One can easily understand how the impairment of these functions could be critical to crews that operate complex, high-speed aircraft in demanding situations, such as combat, landing in minimal weather, nighttime, or at the end of a 24-hour crew day. These adverse effects are evident at low levels of CO intoxication, below levels that produce subjective symptoms. Thus CO intoxication may affect an individual's system, and he may not (probably will not) even notice the effects. Just as poisoning is insidious from high levels of carbon monoxide, such as automobile exhaust in an enclosed garage, so is mild CO intoxication. The effects can be closely compared with effects produced by some medications, drugs, or low doses of alcohol. The Air Force regulates the use of such items by aircrews, but, as yet, it has issued no regulations (except for emergencies, takeoffs and landings, ground operation, etc.)' on the use of tobacco products by aircrews. Regulations such as AFR 60-16 were written in part to prohibit smoking during critical phases of operation in order to minimize the chance of fire. They were not written with any concern over the effects CO may have on the central nervous system during these critical phases.
Three other areas of concern for smoking crew members are times of useful consciousness, lung volume capacity loss, and peripheral movement detection. The pilot of a fighter-type aircraft flying at a cabin altitude of 22,000 feet would have approximately five minutes to discover he has a malfunctioning oxygen regulator; if he had smoked three cigarettes just prior to taking off, he would have only 45 seconds to make the same discovery.33 Smoking would also significantly reduce the time of useful consciousness of a pilot flying a cargo aircraft that suddenly experiences rapid decompression.
William H. Browning studied the lung volume capacity loss of both smoking and nonsmoking jet fighter aircrews after breathing 100 percent oxygen on missions that included brief periods of practice air combat maneuvers. He found that under high G conditions smokers had an inflight volume loss 3½ times greater than that noted among nonsmokers. He concluded that 100 percent oxygen has a deleterious effect on aircrew members in an air combat environment, and the effect is especially aggravated among cigarette smokers.34
Craig Scoughton and Norman Heimstra studied 25 male subjects--15 smokers and 10 nonsmokers--to determine whether smoking had any effect on detection of peripheral movement. One cannot overemphasize the importance of a pilot's ability to detect motion in his periphery and estimate velocity and distance. In their study of smokers, deprived smokers, and nonsmokers in high and low illumination conditions, the researchers concluded that smoking does affect visual peripheral processing functions.35
An example of a real world analog of the visual field determination task could be posed in terms of a pilot with a target vehicle entering his field of vision in a parallel trajectory. At a lateral distance of 1000 yards, a differential velocity of 30 knots between command and target vehicle could be compared to the 1.000/sec angular velocity used in the experimental task. The results of the present investigation indicate that a smoking pilot would require 3/4 of a second longer to respond to a target vehicle than that same pilot deprived of smoking for several hours prior to the flight. In the case of the 1.86° difference found in the SM-NS [Smoker-Nonsmoker] comparison, the delay would be increased by 2½ times to almost 2 seconds.36
Not all studies have reached similar conclusions concerning smoking, however. A few studies have shown little deterioration in the area of vigilance, time perception, and driving performance.37 Some have even shown that the effect of nicotine on the central nervous system actually increases behavioral efficiency.38 Conflicts in the studies can be attributed to different tasks studied, methodology, and means of measurement employed by researchers. These conflicting views, of course, contribute to the confusion and add fuel to the controversy concerning the effects of smoking. Yet, the great majority of studies substantiate the hypothesis that smoking significantly impairs certain physiological functions.
Smoking not only affects the smoker himself but also other people who may prefer not to smoke. The thrust of recent public policy has been to protect the rights of nonsmokers to an environment reasonably free from harmful and irritating pollutants. The pollutants of cigarette smoke can be especially irritating in small, enclosed areas, such as cockpits and flight decks. The dry, warm air on aircraft also accelerates the irritating effect on the throat and sinuses of nonsmokers.
The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare calls the exposure of nonsmokers to pollution resulting from smoke as "involuntary smoking." Many of the, same constituents that affect voluntary smokers are present in a smokefilled atmosphere unavailable inhaled by nonsmokers. In addition to the sidestream smoke, which rises from the burning core of tobacco, nonsmokers also inhale mainstream smoke exhaled by smokers; mainstream smoke includes approximately one-half of the original concentration of carbon monoxide. Nicotine and carbon monoxide are found in much higher concentrations in side stream smoke than in mainstream smoke. In one study, the ratio of CO concentration in side stream smoke to mainstream was 4.7:1.39
In some circumstances, such as crowded, poorly ventilated, smoke-filled bars, the amount of CO in the atmosphere can exceed the 50 PPM eight-hour industrial exposure level established by the American Conference of Government Hygienists.40 Because of excellent ventilation systems, these levels would normally never be reached on modern aircraft. A study by the FAA measured pollutants on 20 Military Airlift Command and 8 commercial airline flights with both smokers and nonsmokers and found a range of two to five PPM of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.41 H. L. Judd also studied levels of carbon monoxide on overseas commercial flight decks and recorded maximum CO concentrations much higher than the FAA but none close to the 50 PPM level. However, several recordings exceeded the eight-hour exposure limit of nine PPM listed in AFP 19-5.42
Normally, the amount of CO inhaled through involuntary smoking by nonsmokers will not produce the function-limiting effects previously described. However, other constituents have caused minor symptomatic irritation in nonsmokers exposed to a smoke-filled environment. The major effects tend to be conjunctival irritation, dry throat, eye irritation, and headaches. In fact, the FAA study reported that more than 60 percent of the nonsmoking passengers and 15 to 22 percent of the smokers were annoyed by the smoking of other passengers.43
In addition to possible physical irritation of nonsmokers, tobacco smoke can also cause a number of psychological effects. The tension, conflict, and antagonism that may develop Within a mixed crew of smokers and nonsmokers are certainly counterproductive to a well-knit, functioning crew. Anything that may detract a crew member from the efficient dispatch of his duties must be eliminated, if possible. Interestingly, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, in a letter to the FAA, concurred with the proposal to prohibit smoking in the cockpit but did not endorse the eight-hour preflight ban because of enforcement difficulties. 44
The actual relationship between smoking and aircraft accidents has not been established by research; indeed it would be an investigative problem. One study of 4200 USAF accidents between 1962 and 1973 revealed 89 in which alcohol and drugs were associated in some way with the mishap. Only one of these investigations mentioned cigarette smoke. In this incident, a flight surgeon examined a crew member and found that he had mild emphysema, which could have been aggravated by cigarette smoking.45 Apparently investigators do not really consider smoking as a possible cause of accidents.
In another study of 1345 fatal civil aviation accidents from 1968 to 1974, carbon monoxide in excess of 10 percent COHb was found in pilots' blood in 79 cases, or 5.9 percent. In four of these accidents, fire had not occurred, and in 23 cases no confirmation of fire could be established.46 A more revealing statistic would have presented data on the number of cases in which the pilots' blood contained levels as low as 5 percent COHb. Also, the study failed to mention any correlation between these accidents and the smoking habits of the pilots. Accident investigators do not appear to make any attempts to determine whether a relationship exists between aircraft accidents and smoking. But there is ample evidence that a relationship could exist. This should cause enough concern for the Air Force to conduct extensive research in this area.
Research is needed to determine exactly the effects produced in the body by the combination of low levels of COHb from smoking and low-pressure altitude. This research should include aviators performing simulated flight duties in an altitude chamber at various pressure altitudes. Such a study should also include smoking, nonsmoking, and smoking-deprived subjects. Results would either validate or refute the cited studies and hypothesis.
There is a need for Air Force safety investigators to determine COHb levels in the blood of accident victims. They should be compared with the results of flight surgeons' medical records to determine the history and extent of an individual's smoking behavior. The flight surgeon would have the responsibility of recording the smoking history and habits of crew members so that this information would be readily available. A tracking of smoking aviators' records would also show the correlation between smoking and conditions of chronic sinus, respiratory, circulatory, and intestinal problems. If such a relationship exists, the Air Force should be critical of crew members who voluntarily cause an expense in both lost time and medical attention.
If previous recommended steps confirm that smoking will impair aviators' functions or that a relationship does exist between smoking and accidents, then the Air Force should impose strict regulations on smoking by crew members. Smoking of tobacco products should be treated in the same manner as consumption of alcohol, the other socially accepted drug. It is a personal right to indulge, but indulgence must not interfere with job performance. The right to smoke and drink expires when the right limits performance and becomes a safety hazard to the individual, other personnel, material, and the mission.
Smoking by crew members should be regulated in the same way that the consumption of alcohol is regulated. For example, AFR 60-1 states:
Aircrew members will not consume alcoholic beverages during the 10-hour period before reporting for a mission, nor will they be assigned crew duties when under the influence of such indulgence.47
For the reasons already explained, AFR 60-1, AFR 60-16, and command supplements should add a ten-hour pre reporting ban on smoking of all tobacco products by aircrews. The regulations should also ban smoking by aircrews during flight operations. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare concern over enforceability would not apply to Air Force regulations, since they are directive under law. Admittedly, these restrictions will raise considerable resistance from smoking crew members. Their claims of inability to stop smoking for short durations or claims of adverse physical or psychological effects of withdrawal would produce even greater proof that tobacco is a dangerous, addictive drug, and its use by crew members should be sharply curtailed.
Air Command and Staff College
1. Smoking and Health, Report of the Advisory Committee to The Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, Public Health Service Publication No 1103 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1964), hereafter identified as Smoking and Health, 1964. The Health Consequences of Smoking-1967, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1974 & 1975 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1974, & 1975).
2. The Smoking Digest, U.S Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (Bethesda, Maryland: National Cancer Institute, October 1977), pp. 83-91.
3. "Pipes and Cigars Banned on Planes," New York Times, November 23, 1977, p. 1, cols. 5 & 6.
4. Department of Defense Instruction 6015.18, Smoking in DOD Occupied Buildings and Facilities (Washington: Department of Defense, 18 August 1977), hereafter identified as DOD Instruction 6015.18. Air Force Regulation 30-27, "Smoking in Air Force Facilities" (Washington: Department of Air Force, 29 March 1978).
5. "Petition of the Airline Pilots Committee of 76, Public Citizen's Health Research Group, and the Aviation Consumer Action Project," Regulatory Docket No. 15614 Filed April 20, 1976, before the Federal Aviation Administration, Washington D.C., and hereafter identified as FAA Petition, 1976.
6. "Smoking: Its Adverse Effects on Airline Pilot Performance," A Report of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, Susan A. Robinson and Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D., April 1976, pp. 11-12, hereafter identified as "Smoking."
7. "Denial of Petition," Regulatory Docket No. 15614, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC, August 22, 1977.
8. "Petition to the Administrator for Reconsideration of Order Denying Petition for Rulemaking," Regulatory Docket No. 15614, September 21, 1977, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C.
9. Richard D. Stewart, M.D., et al. "Experimental Human Exposure to Carbon Monoxide," Archives of Environmental Health, vol. 21 (August 1970), pp. 154-64.
10. W. Wayne Worick and Warren E. Shaller, Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs, Their Use and Their Abuse (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1977), p. 78.
11. Smoking and Health, 1964, p. 318.
12. Worick and Shaller, p. 83.
13. The Health Consequences of Smoking--1972, DHEW Publication No. (HSM) 72-7516 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1972), p. 142.
14. Ibid., p. 143.
15. Harold S. Diehl, M.D., Tobacco and Your Health, The Smoking Controversy (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969), pp. 48-49.
16. Air Force Regulation 60-1, "Flight Management," Washington Department of the Air Force, 2 January 1975, Change I, 4 October 1976, para. 7.9c. MACSUP-l AFR 60-1, "Flight Management" (Military Airlift Command Headquarters, Scott AFB, Illinois, 21 March 1977), para. 7.9c(3).
17. The Health Consequences of Smoking--1972, p. 21. John R Goldsmith, M.D., "Contribution of Motor Vehicle Exhaust, Industry, and Cigarette Smoking to Community Carbon Monoxide Exposures," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, October 5, 1970, p. 122, hereafter identified as "Community CO Exposures".
18. Wilbert S. Aronow, "A Critical Review of the Effect of Nicotine and Carbon Monoxide on Coronary Heart Disease," World Smoking and Health, Fall 1976, p. 21.
19. H. L. Judd, "Levels of Carbon Monoxide Recorded on Aircraft Flight Decks," Aerospace Medicine, March 1971, p. 345, hereafter identified as "CO on Flight Decks".
20. "Smoking," pp. 11-12.
21. "Community CO Exposures," p 126.
22. "CO on Flight Decks," p. 345.
23. The Health Consequences of Smoking--1972, pp. 21-22.
24. Air Force Pamphlet 19-5, "Environmental Quality Control Handbook" (Washington: Department of the Air Force, 15 October 1975), para 3-22, Table 3-7.
25. John R. Goldsmith and Stephen A. Landaw, "Carbon Monoxide and Human Health," Science, 20 December 1968, p. 1352.
26. Ibid., p 1354.
27. "Smoking," p. 15.
28. The Health Consequences of Smoking--1972 , p. 22.
29. Air Force Regulation 60-16, "General Flight Rule," (Washington Department of the Air Force, 15 July 1977), para 6.6, Table 61.
30. "CO on Flight Decks," p. 345. (Figure 1 reproduced with permission).
31. "Smoking," p. 32.
32. Steven M. Horvath et al., "Carbon Monoxide and Human Vigilance," Archives of Environmental Health, November 1971, p. 343.
33. Lieutenant Colonel David Root, "Cigarette Smoking and Carbon Monoxide," Aerospace Safety, March 1972, p. 15.
34. William H. Browning, "Deleterious Effects of Cigarette Smoke and 100% Oxygen on Aircrew Members in High Performance Aircraft," Aerospace Medicine, January 1970, p. 39.
35. Craig R. Scoughton and Norman W Heimstra, "The Effects of Smoking on Peripheral Vision," University of South Dakota, Contract No DADA 17-73-C-3037 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, December 1973), p. 39.
36. Ibid, p. 36.
37. R. D. Stewart et al., "Effect of Carbon Monoxide on Time Perception," Archives of Environmental Health, September 1973, pp. 155-60. R. A. McFarland, "Low Level Exposure to Carbon Monoxide and Driving Performance," Archives of Environmental Health, December 1973, pp. 355-59. Carol A. Christensen, "Effects of Three Kinds of Hypoxias on Vigilance Performance," Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, June 1977, pp 491-96.
38. Anna-Lisa Myrsten et al., "Enhanced Behavioral Efficiency Induced by Cigarette Smoking," reports from the Psychological Laboratories, University of Stockholm, Sweden, December 1971.
39. The Health Consequences of Smoking, 1975, DHEW Publication No (CDC) 76-8704 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975), pp. 87-00.
40. Ibid, p. 88.
41. Report on Health Aspects of Smoking in Transport Aircraft (Washington: Federal Aviation Administration, December 1971), p. 19.
42. "CO on Flight Decks," p. 347.
43. Report on Health Aspects of Smoking in Transport Aircraft, p. 54.
44. Letter from Theodore Cooper, M. D., Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, to Mr. John L. McLucas, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, 4 June 1976.
45. Anchard F. Zeller, "Alcohol and Other Drugs in Aircraft Accidents," Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, October 1975, pp. 1271-73.
46. Delbert J. Lacefield, Patricia A Roberts, and Curtis W Blossom, "Toxicological Findings in Fatal Civil Aviation Accident" Fiscal Years 1968-1974," Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, August 1973, p. 1032.
47. Military Airlift Command Supplement-1, AFR 60-1, para 79c(4).
Major Thomas E. Bronson (M. Ed., University of Massachusetts) is an assistant professor of aerospace studies, Detachment 730, University of Pittsburgh, AFROTC. He has been a C-130 and A-26 navigator in Okinawa and Thailand, and after completing undergraduate pilot training he flew EB-57s for Aerospace Defense Command and C-5s for Military Airlift Command He has served as squadron scheduler, flight commander, and executive officer for an air base commander Major Bronson is a 1978 Distinguished Graduate of Air Command and Staff College.
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.