Air University Review, January-February 1985

The USAF In Low-Intensity Conflict:
The Special Air Warfare Center

Lieutenant Colonel David J. Dean

SMALL wars are an all too familiar part of the international situation these days. Lebanon, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chad, and Western Sahara are onlya few of the places where small wars are either in full flame or smoldering, ready toignite. The term low-intensity conflict is often used to describe these wars. It is a most unsatisfactory term because it defies precise definition. Actions related to low-intensity conflict can cover a vast range of military, political, and economic activity. A definition of the term developed at a 1984 workshop on the subject states that low-intensity conflicts are:

situations ranging from terrorism, crises, and small wars to revolutions and counterrevolutions which require tailored limited responses short of national mobilization and often in conjunction with host regimes and third countries. These responses are likely to be military or paramilitary for short situations, but of mixed political-economic-military-other actions for revolutionary and protracted conflicts.1

Clearly this definition portrays low-intensity conflict from the viewpoint of the United States, that is, of a nation which perceives that it must be able to exert its will in limited conflicts without actually declaring war. Such situations are particularly sticky for the United States. It is often difficult for the American people to see a "vital" U.S. interest at risk in far-off and obscure places. In fact, a vital interest––one for which the United States would go to war––would probably not be at stake in most small wars, yet for political reasons, a U.S. initiative in a small war may be required. Unfortunately, support from the Congress and the people might not be readily forthcoming for any conflict that could be perceived as "another Vietnam." Worse still, the military may not have a clear idea of its role in such a conflict, either in a primarily military operation or in a multidimensional operation involving the military as a subordinate element in a mainly economic and political effort.

One way for us in the military to think about being effective in small wars is to establish a simple framework for developing capabilities appropriate to such conflicts. A framework built on three levels of activity may be appropriate. Those levels are: assistance, integration, and intervention. While actions relating to those levels would apply to any military (or multidimensional) effort, they can be described in Air Force terms. Assistance means providing noncombat training and support directly to a friendly air force. That support would include developing the infrastructure of a host nation's air force––logistics, intelligence, planning––as well as training with that air force to develop flying skills appropriate to its threat. A USAF assistance effort could (and usually should) be part of a multidimensional (military-economic-political) or joint military effort.

The integration aspect of the framework for designing forces for low-intensity conflict means that a small, specialized USAF combat contingent would become part of a host nation's forces for a limited time. The USAF contingent would fly aircraft with performance capabilities comparable to the aircraft of the host nation and, if necessary, would be authorized to fly combat missions with the host air force. Essentially, the U.S. force would serve as "stiffeners" for the local force. Again, this higher level of activity could be carried out as an air force-to-air force operation, part of a joint-military operation, or as part of a multi-dimensional effort.

The highest level of U.S. activity in low-intensity conflict would be direct U.S. military intervention, either unilaterally or in concert with allies. Normally, such intervention would use air power in combination with other specialized military capabilities. Intervention would mean, of course, either that assistance or integration efforts had failed or that a crisis had erupted so rapidly that it required direct immediate action.

Thinking about participating in small wars by assisting, integrating with host forces, or intervening leads to knotty questions on national will, political guidance to the military, and the military's ability to act as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy in situations short of declared war. These questions lead, in turn, to others regarding specific military capabilities. Do we have the proper equipment, doctrine, tactics, training, and personnel selection by the services? Are we ready to provide a series of military options to political decision makers in situations short of war?

Such questions are not new. The U.S. military went through the same kind of self-appraisal under President Kennedy's prodding in the early 1960s. In the Air Force, that prodding resulted in creating the air commandos and the Special Air Warfare Center. The experience of the Special Air Warfare Center over two decades has a great deal to teach us about using and misusing air power in small ways.

Early U.S. Efforts
in Special Air Warfare

The United States can trace its use of air power in unconventional ways back to World War II. Air commandos operated in China, Burma, Southeast Asia, Korea, and Europe. Early special warfare efforts using air power were linked to military activity in enemy-held territory. In the context of the war, special air warfare was closely linked to unconventional operations that supported larger, conventional efforts. There was no impetus to develop small-war strategies as a separate form of warfare, as had the British during the post-World War I era when air power strategies were developed to control large parts of the British Empire.2

Basically, from the 1920s through the 1950s, America's air power theorists thought "big." The experience of World War II simply reinforced the idea that air power's role was to destroy the enemy's capacity and will for continued conflict––an objective mainly accomplished by massive bombing campaigns.

The early sixties, however, were marked by confrontation between the superpowers over Berlin, Cuba, and "wars of national liberation." In a 6 April 1961 speech, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pledged to support wars in less-developed countries and cited conflicts in Algeria, Laos, Vietnam, and Cuba as examples of increasing guerrilla activities against oppressive regimes.3 Correspondingly, President Kennedy believed that it was necessary and correct for the United States to resist aggression and Communist-inspired revolts.4 Thus, in 1961, the National Security Council outlined policies to counter the insurgency threat in underdeveloped countries.5 National Security Action Memorandum 56 tasked the military services to develop counterinsurgency forces for special operations in their functional areas.6

Creation of Jungle Jim

The U.S. Air Force established the 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron (CCTS), nicknamed "Jungle Jim," on 14 April 1961 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Jungle Jim had a twofold mission: training and combat (very close to the assistance and integration levels discussed earlier in this article). Pilots in friendly foreign air forces received a fifty-hour flying course, while their ground crews were trained to maintain aircraft in very austere conditions. Jungle Jim also provided "USAF personnel with optimum-type training for supervising the development of unit combat capability in similar-type aircraft of friendly foreign nations…"7 The combat mission was divided into strike, reconnaissance, and airlift operations.

The Jungle Jim units used vintage aircraft, such as the C-47, T-28, and B-26. These aircraft had proved their ability to operate from remote, primitive bases and had useful capabilities in terms of firepower, range, and cargo capacity for counterinsurgency operations.

Jungle Jim was fully operational by 8 September 1961, and everyone assigned to the unit was trained "on the job." The squadron devised the techniques and tactics for building a counterinsurgency capability in developing countries from Latin America to Africa to Southeast Asia without a basic Air Force doctrine to guide them. All the people of Jungle Jim knew was that someone on high had decreed that the Air Force would have a counterinsurgency capability, and they were it. The idea of visualizing how a small war might be planned and carried out using air power, by itself or in conjunction with other capabilities, had never been studied in the Air Force. Jungle Jim put the Air Force into the counterinsurgency activities for the first time. Only four months after activation, Jungle Jim personnel made their first overseas deployment. Code named Sandy Beach One, this operation involved training Mali paratroopers to operate from C-47 aircraft. The Jungle Jim people noted that just across the airfield at Bamako stood Soviet and Czechoslovak aircraft, a stark reminder that superpower rivalry was beginning to occur in some very obscure places.8 Detachment 1's commandos completed their mission in November and returned to Eglin. Their efforts established such good working relationships that air commandos returned to Mali in 1963 to give more training.

In November 1961, elements from the Jungle Jim squadron deployed to Bien Hoa, Republic of Vietnam. This operation was called Farm Gate; the requirements of supporting it soon became central to Air Force thinking on small wars. The air commandos' equipment was not significantly different from that used by the air commandos in World War II; tactics for using the equipment had to come from the ingenuity and imagination of the men on the scene. To further complicate matters, there was considerable controversy in Washington over just what Farm Gate's mission should be. Some people thought Farm Gate should be involved mostly in operational missions, while others wanted to assign strike sorties to Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) and a training role to Farm Gate. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara chose the latter division of roles in December.9 However, Jungle Jim elements continued to conduct combat operations, including night strikes with C-47s dropping flares. Meanwhile, President Kennedy pushed for a universal capability to oppose insurgencies.

The Origin of the
Special Air Warfare Center

In an open letter to the U -S. Armed Services in the spring of 1962, President Kennedy said:

The military challenge to freedom includes the threat of war in various forms, and actual combat in many cases. We and our allies can meet the thermonuclear threat. We are building a greater "conventional deterrent capability." It remains for us to add still another military dimension: the ability to combat the threat known as guerrilla warfare."10

He directed the Secretary of Defense to "expand rapidly and substantially the orientation of existing forces for sublimated or unconventional wars."11 In response to this political pressure, the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Curtis E. LeMay, established the Special Air Warfare Center (SAWC) at Eglin Air Force Base on 19 April 1962. The unit was composed of the 1st Air Commando Group (1st ACG), the 1st Combat Applications Group (1st CAG), headquarters section. The SAWC absorbed the men and assets of the 4400 CCTS and continued to operate Farm Gate.

The Special Air Warfare Center's first regulation––Tactical Air Command Regulation 23-12, dated 13 July 1962––defined the center's mission:

... USAF Special Air Warfare Center will command, organize, equip, train, and administer assigned or attached forces to participate in and, conduct combat improvement projects for air actions in counterinsurgency warfare and other special warfare operations.12

SAWC's major responsibilities included modifying existing equipment or inventing items for special warfare and providing forces for "… supporting, instructing, and advising friendly foreign forces in counterinsurgency warfare."13 Significantly, no mention was made of creating a capability to conduct air strikes. SAWC was "merely" supposed to train and develop foreign air forces through short-term assignments overseas.

The 1st Combat Applications Group was to develop the doctrine, tactics, techniques, and hardware that the 1st Air Commando Group would use in operations and training. The 1st CAG was given special funding priority. It also had arrangements with Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) that allowed the group greater flexibility and fewer delays than most research and development organizations have. The 1st CAG could design and research and construct new hardware, purchase goods locally, or use modify off-the-shelf products.

SAWC's primary mission––training aircrews in all aspects of unconventional warfare and counterinsurgency air operations and techniques––was the responsibility of the 1st Air Commando Group. Equipped with C-46, C-47, T-28, B-26, U-10, and later A-1E, C-119, C-123, and C-130 aircraft, the group provided training in low-level parachute resupply, close air support, use of flares for night operations, assault takeoffs and landings, psychological missions with leaflets and loudspeakers, and other counterguerrilla techniques. Propeller driven aircraft were preferred for counterinsurgency operations due to their ability to operate from remote, primitive bases as well as their capabilities in terms of loiter time over target, firepower, range, and cargo capacity.

The air commandos received unusual training for Air Force personnel. They learned self-defense, received small arms training with the .38 caliber pistol and M-16 rifle, and, for a while, conducted defense, daily physical training. To prepare them to conduct training overseas, a language course was started at Eglin. Air commandos learned a 600-800 word French or Spanish vocabulary. These languages were chosen because of their wide use in Latin America, North Africa, and Asia. Much of the vocabulary that was provided dealt with aircraft terms or terms related to guerrilla warfare. After completing this training, SAWC sent its operational units, either an entire detachment or mobile training teams (MTTs) abroad. These units would be overseas for varying lengths of time and in different force compositions, depending on the training to be accomplished.

SAWC Mobile Training Teams in Action

Among the first detachments to be established was Detachment 3, located at Howard Air Force Base, Canal Zone. Beginning on 10 May 1962, Detachment 3 offered counterinsurgency training to any Latin American country that requested it. Detachment 3 sent mobile training teams throughout Latin America to survey the needs of countries that requested training. These teams analyzed what types of operations needed to be conducted and gave instruction in counterinsurgency air operations and civic action techniques.

Detachment 3 was involved in numerous counterinsurgency and civic action projects. For example, in August 1962 an MTT went to Honduras to survey its needs for counterinsurgency and to train its pilots.14 On another occasion an MTT installed wing racks for rockets on Guatemalan air force F-51s, resulting in a 600-percent increase in firepower.15 On 5 October 1962, a mobile training team installed radio equipment at the airfield of David, a city in Panama, which gave the airfield necessary traffic control capability. Later, on 19 July 1963, the air commandos recovered and refinished an old ambulance and gave it to the city.16 The air commandos flew teachers into remote areas to instruct villagers in public sanitation and health. They flew a U.S. Army team into villages to drill wells and improve local agriculture. In December, they airlifted Christmas gifts to cities in Panama.17 In addition, the Detachment 3 air commandos tested equipment for the 1st CAG, such as a new set of target-marking rockets for use by forward air controllers. The tests went well; the air commandos reported that the rockets were effective for marking targets.18

Detachment 3 was successful in several other civic action programs. Their personnel provided medical assistance and evacuation in Panama and other Latin American countries. For example, in mid-1962 the lst CAG developed a mobile medical dispensary. This 212-pound, three-piece unit fit easily in a U-10 light utility aircraft and contained almost all the necessary medicines and equipment needed for ailments encountered in a tropical environment.19 On many occasions, the air commandos of Detachment 3 flew into villages to give medical and dental care. From appendectomies to inoculations, the air commandos provided treatment that had never been available before. This type of civic action created much public support for both the air commandos and the local government.

Another key civic action effort, accomplished with typical air commando Úlan, was establishing reliable communication with isolated villages. First, an airplane would drop a message asking for the villagers' help in building an airstrip. Later, a U-10 equipped with loudspeakers flew over the village and instructed the villagers on how to clear the area needed for an airstrip. Once the rough strip was readied, a U-10 landed and the air commandos helped finish the strip. Later these operations became more sophisticated and included parachuting a tractor down to the village to assist in the clearing.

Major William W. McDannel, Detachment 3 commander, stated the value of these various operations:

Civic actions are now an integral part of commando operations in Latin America. We are using the "grass roots" or people-to-people approach. In training indigenous forces, we have created many lasting friendships. These friendships inspire confidence and trust. We believe the mutual trust to be the "key" to hemispheric solidarity and the greatest deterrent to international Communism.20

The work of Detachment 3 clearly demonstrated how successful special warfare missions could be and proved what SAWC could accomplish with ingenuity and flexibility. Unfortunately, Detachment 3's accomplishments in the remote jungles of Central America were largely overshadowed by events in Vietnam.

Events in Vietnam had a direct impact on the Special Air Warfare Center. On 1 July 1962, Detachment 3, renamed the 605th Air Commando Squadron (ACS) (Composite), passed to Southern Command's control.21 The removal of this unit from SAWC's control severely curtailed the center's role in training foreign forces. Now the only active training detachment of SAWC was Detachment 6 in Thailand. Detachment 5 was a CONUS-based unit whose major contribution was to STRICOM exercises; Detachment 4, located at Sembach, Germany, provided unconventional warfare support to United States Air Forces Europe. Toward the end of 1964, SAWC all but ceased its mobile training team activities.

SAWC Operations in Southeast Asia

Special Air Warfare Center involvement in Southeast Asia was, initially, a continuation of the Farm Gate project that began in 1961. Now called Detachment 2, 4400 CCTS, this unit's mission ostensibly was to train Vietnamese in combat missions. Detachment 2 was supposed to operate under strict rules of engagement, one of which stipulated that Vietnamese air force personnel must be aboard the aircraft on all combat sorties. This practice was supposed to ensure that training was conducted and that USAF personnel were not unilaterally involved in combat.

Colonel Joseph W. Kittenger, Jr., a B-26 pilot for Farm Gate in 1963, told how the air commandos got around this requirement. While they did fly combat missions with Vietnamese aboard, these Vietnamese were not pilot trainees. Most of them were low-ranking enlisted men and were so unmotivated to fly that the air commandos had to take away their boots at night so they could not run away. "None of them knew anything about flying or wanted anything to do with it.... There was not any intention whatsoever to teach them to fly ever. They could not touch the controls if they wanted to."22 Thus, even in the early days of Vietnam, the commandos relied more on doing it themselves than on training local forces. However, the air commandos eventually did train enough pilots for two fighter squadrons. Even though the Vietnamese air force received some training, the trend for the future role of SAWC was set. Flying by U.S. forces would take precedence over training the Vietnamese.

On 1 August 1962, a new Tactical Air Command Regulation (23-12) redefined SAWC's mission, enabling the needs of the expanding organization to be met more easily and reflecting the reality of SAWC's activity in Southeast Asia. This change allowed special air warfare forces in certain instances to be used in counterinsurgency. A significant difference was that the directive authorized SAWC combat strike operations, which, early in 1962, Washington had admitted Farm Gate was doing.23

An operations plan developed during this period reflected the conceptual thinking going on at SAWC. The center planned to develop a force capable of deploying within twenty-four hours to any area of the world. Once there, this force would possess the capability to operate in conjunction with and in support of U.S. or friendly forces in counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, and psychological warfare operations. It was also to provide training to a friendly nation's air forces in those areas.24 Clearly, this seemed to be the appropriate mission for SAWC. The Special Air Warfare Center possessed its own resources for deploying mobile training teams on short notice and had the practical experience and expertise to develop effective working relationships with sister services and other national agencies.

This capability never came to fruition, however, due to the increasing demands of Vietnam. Because of quantum increases in strike and airlift requirements for special air warfare assets, the role of SAWC shifted from training host nation forces to training USAF crews, thus reducing the emphasis on its mission of providing a combat and advisory ready force. The Special Air Warfare Center soon became very busy, with the "Special" part of its title increasingly ignored, replaced by the routine demands of what had become an expanding conventional war in Vietnam.

Between late 1962 and early 1964 SAWC grew from a small unit with limited resources to almost 3000 personnel spread throughout the world, several hundred aircraft, and priority funding for its test projects. The expanding effort in Southeast Asia absorbed more and more of SAWC's resources. For instance, Detachment 6 (Waterpump) was created and sent to Udorn, Thailand, in January 1964, trained the Royal Laotian Air Force, provided a nucleus of U.S. counterinsurgency forces near Laos, and stimulated the Royal Thai Air Force counterinsurgency program.25

By the end of 1965, the Vietnam War was having a telling impact on SAWC. Trained USAF aircrews were needed to supplement the expanding effort in Vietnam. Still, the number one mission of SAWC was to train and equip USAF air and ground crews for operations in Vietnam. Although SAWC was supposed to provide mobile training teams to unified commands for training friendly foreign air forces in counterinsurgency, this requirement was virtually ignored.26 From 1965 on, SAWC efforts would be almost solely directed toward Vietnam with only minor efforts for host country training and civic actions.

By late 1966, the war in Vietnam clearly had escalated to a conventional level with U.S. forces heavily committed to combat. The air commandos were not involved in counterguerrilla operations but mostly flew close air support missions.27 Even though the war in Vietnam had expanded far beyond an insurgency, SAWC people still held to the idea that training and deploying special detachments to train air forces of friendly foreign countries in how to use air power in counterinsurgency operations was a valid concept, particularly where conditions were different from those in Vietnam––i.e., a level of conflict lower than a conventional war. The emphasis on training USAF aircrews in the mid-'60s, however, forced SAWC resources into training people for the larger-scale war in Vietnam. By 1966, SAWC had become primarily "a combat training unit, preparing people for Air Force commands and a number of friendly foreign powers ... rather than training and maintaining combat ready forces ... for counterinsurgency or civic action missions in all parts of the world."28

On 8 July 1968, SAWC was redesignated USAF Special Operations Force (SOF) and became the equivalent of a numbered air force. As operations in Vietnam became more conventional, the need for the Special Operations Force lessened. Ironically, the command billet was reduced from a major general to a brigadier general––a change incongruent with an apparent upgrade in organizational structure from that of a "center" to the equivalent of a numbered air force.

With the Vietnam effort winding down, SOF was gradually squeezed by budgetary and manpower cutbacks. By 1970, SOF unit manning was down to only 30 percent of its earlier strength; the decline in assets continued through the early seventies. On 30 June 1974, the Special Operations Force was deactivated, officially closing out this important chapter of special operations within the Air Force.

Lessons from the Special Air Warfare Center

Even this cursory look at the history and activities of the Special Air Warfare Center suggests some points about early Air Force participation in low-intensity conflict. First, it is clear that the center was created in response to political pressure from the top. Without President Kennedy's call to create forces to fight Communist-sponsored wars of national liberation, it seems very unlikely that the Air Force would have generated a dedicated counterinsurgency capability on its own. Second, the center grew very quickly. Aircraft and men were thrown together quickly, and there was no time to develop long-range thinking on strategies and doctrines that could guide the plans of those earliest Air Force counterinsurgent forces. As noted by Colonel Robert Gleason, who was with the commandos from Jungle Jim days, "The immediate missions of the original USAF COIN (counterinsurgent) unit (Jungle Jim) ... were not immediately obvious to the original cadre."29 The organization, equipment, planning, doctrine, and concept of operation for the early air commandos were very much ad hoc affairs.

It is important to stress the role of doctrine in the development of the Special Air Warfare Center. A lack of doctrine and the short time between SAWC's inception and its conducting operations may be the keys to the problems that resulted in this special organization. SAWC was entering a new field beyond any experience of the Air Force and most of the military. Entering the counterinsurgency arena without applicable doctrine may have encouraged the use of conventional air power tactics rather than developing new tactics appropriate to small wars. As early as 1963, the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Command, Admiral Harry D. Felt, noted that Farm Gate fliers were conducting conventional missions and did not need counterinsurgency training––a clear indication of the misuse of SAWC's capabilities.30 The SAWC developed successful air power employment techniques for counterinsurgency and civic action programs in Central America, which were not applied in the same scope or intensity in Southeast Asia.

In spite of the lack of conceptual thinking that went into establishing Air Force counterinsurgency forces in the early sixties, the people assigned to that task did a most impressive job of getting organized and fielding a Credible force. The basic idea of developing a force to train friendly foreign air forces took root quickly. They used simple, rugged aircraft for operations under relatively primitive conditions. They trained their personnel in languages, cross-cultural relations, hand-to-hand combat, and a host of other skills not normally part of an Air Force career. They designated a specific group within the center to obtain and develop equipment.

Certainly one of the highlights of SAWC was the 1st Combat Applications Group. The success of this organization in providing counterinsurgency and civic action equipment gave SAWC a valuable resource. It also gave the center the flexibility to handle the unusual missions that came its way. The 1st CAG accomplished literally thousands of projects between 1962 and 1972. These ranged from testing the prototype VC-123 transport under field conditions to designing an efficient dispenser for sterile screwworm flies. The 1st CAG developed low-light television equipment for night strikes and reconnaissance, as well as cargo extraction systems. It also tested the AC-47, AC-119, and AC-130 gunship platforms.31

Probably the most visible Special Air Warfare Center successes with long-term implications were with the mobile training teams and civic action programs. U.S. military people conducting beneficial civic action programs invariably provided a boost to American prestige in remote areas throughout the world. In addition, air commandos contributed to the functional ability of the host country's military, demonstrating how military units could improve conditions in their country and improve relations with the citizens. These low-risk operations inspired continued friendship and solicited respect. Direct military benefits, over the long run, included such things as basing agreements. However, due to the increased commitments to Vietnam, these efforts declined drastically.

As the Vietnam War evolved, it affected the center's mission, eventually leading to a dramatic change in the mission. By 1973, TACR 23-12 defined the mission as simply two basic tasks: training and operating forces in Air Force special operations and training USAF and allied personnel as directed by Hq TAC or USAF. From the previously mentioned wide-ranging responsibilities, the mission changed to a narrow USAF training role. In its original concept, the Special Air Warfare Center conducted operations worldwide and had considerable autonomy; and during its early years, the center demonstrated the ability to conduct successful operations throughout the world by reacting quickly and flexibly to unusual demands. However, the special capabilities of this unit were discarded as the war in Vietnam became more conventional. The Vietnam War consumed SAWC's resources and funneled a multipurpose organization toward one end. Conventional tactics, such as interdiction, close air support, and reconnaissance, became the mainstay of SAWC operations in Vietnam. The Vietnam War quickly erased the difference between special air warfare assets and conventional air forces.32

The many lessons of the Special Air Warfare Center include the importance of doctrine, the need for flexibility in operations, the effectiveness of mobile training teams when they are properly trained and motivated, the benefits of selected civic action programs, and the effectiveness of propeller-driven aircraft in counterinsurgency operations. These are worth studying for possible application to our present and future forces.

If the most likely type of war in which the United States will become involved during the years ahead is a low-intensity conflict, then it is important for us to examine past experiences in that area. The British, the French, the Soviets, and the Cubans have all used air power in low-intensity conflict, and their efforts and experiences are worthy of our attention. However, the experience of the USAF Special Air Warfare Center might well serve as our most valuable basis of Air Force doctrine and planning for future low-intensity conflicts.

Joint Chiefs of Staff
Washington, D.C.

The author wishes to thank Major Mark D. Gage for research assistance in preparing this article.


1. Definition developed by the Policy Panel at the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education's workshop on Low-Intensity Conflict and Modern Technology, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 22-23 March 1984.

2. Lieutenant Colonel David J. Dean, "Air Power in Small Wars: The British Air Control Experience," Air University Review, July-August 1983, pp. 24-31.

3. Robin N. Montgomery, Military Civic Action and Counterinsurgency: The Birth of a Policy (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, 1971), p. 20.

4. Richard J. Walton, Cold War and Counterrevolution (New York: Viking, 1972).

5. Robert L. Gleason, "Quo Vadis? ––The Nixon Doctrine and Air Power," Air University Review, July-August 1972. p. 49.

6. Walton, p. 169.

7. "Jungle Jim Final Operational Concept," USAF Special Air Warfare Center (TAC) History (27 April-31 December 1972), Supporting Document #7, documentation compiled and available at USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

8. Brigadier General Jamie Gough, "Airpower and Counterinsurgency," Airman Magazine, August 1962, pp. 2-7.

9. Robert F. Futrell, The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: The Advisory Years to 1965 (Washington: Office of Air Force History, 1981), pp. 83-84.

10. USAF Special Air Warfare Center (TAC) History (1 April-31 December 1962), p. 14.

11. John Hawkins Napier III, "The Air Commandos in Vietnam, November 5, 1961-February 7. 1967" (unpublished thesis, Auburn University, 16 March 1967), p. 15.

12. USAF Special Warfare Center (TAC) History (1 April-31 December 1962), p. 220.

13. Ibid., p. 2.

14. Ibid., p. 220.

15. Ibid., p. 229.

16. Ibid. (1 January-30 June 1963), p. 148.

17. Ibid., p. 234.

18. Ibid., p. 230.

19. "Commandos Bring Along Psychologist," Air Force Times, 31 July 1962, p. 21.

20. USAF Special Warfare Center (TAC) History (1 April-31 December 1972). p. 245.

21. Ibid. (1 July-31 December 1964). p. 12.

22. USAF Oral History Program Interview with Colonel Joseph W. Kittenger, Jr., USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

23. Napier, p. 85.

24. USAF Special Air Warfare Center (TAC) History (1 July-31 December 1963). p. 139.

25. Ibid. (1 July-31 December 1964), p. 44.

26. Ibid. (1 July-31 December 1965), p. 1.

27. "Skyraider Squadron," Air Force Times, 2 November 1966, p. 26.

28. USAF Special Air Warfare Center (TAC) History (1 January-30 June 1965), p. 9.

29. Gleason, p. 49.

30. Futrell, p. 170.

31. USAF Special Air Warfare Center(TAC) History (1 January-30 June 1974), appendix K, p. 1.

32. Gleason, p. 49.


Lieutenant Colonel David J. Dean (B.S.F.S., Georgetown University; M.A., Florida State University) is an Action Officer in the Middle East Africa Division (J-5), Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His previous assignments include Research Fellow, Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education; Military Concepts Analyst, Airpower Research Institute at Hq Air University; and Intelligence Officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency and Pacific Air Forces. Colonel Dean is a Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officer School and Defense Intelligence School, as well as a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He has contributed to earlier issues of the Review and was second-prize winner in the 1984 Ira C. Eaker Essay Competition.


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.

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