The Beginning of the Air Power Technology Essay

This essay has a total of 641 words and 4 pages.


The Beginning of the Air Power Technology
When people look at today's Air Force, they happen to see a technologically advanced force
that can be anywhere at any time. Nothing could support this more than Operation Dessert
Shield/Storm were the Air Force practically moved itself to the Persian Gulf within the
few days. But what many people don't know is that the Air Force almost never came to be
if it weren't for the World War I.

Aircraft were first introduced into the U.S. military in 1907 as a way to scout and
observe enemy movements. After the first ground offensive of the war, the situation in
which further progress is impossible in the trenches of France in 1914. The aircraft from
both sides became virtually the only source of intelligence. These aircraft were actually
part of the stalemate for the fact that their use prevented opposing ground forces from
building large formations without being detected. This stalemate lead to the development
of pursuit aircraft, which were used to drive the observation planes and balloons out of
the skies.

The U.S. did not try to make many advances while those in Europe were working to get any
sort of advantage that they could. At the same time, the German had developed the Fokker
pursuit plane. This plane was created so that it could fire its bullets within the
turning propeller blades. The Fokker became superior advancement over the other planes
because it required a gunner in the back seat.

America's involvement in the air war was minimal at first. American volunteers began
flying for the Lafayette Escadrille in the French Air Force. But by the end of the war,
America had over 11,000 officers flying. Almost half had served in France. American
involvement was significant in the fact that those fighting brought ideas about aircraft
and its role in war back to America. The most important of these people was Colonel
William "Billy" Mitchell.

Colonel Mitchell, who was a private in the Spanish-American War, was an extremely
military-minded man. In April 1917, the United States declared war on Germany.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel "Billy" Mitchell was already on his way to Europe as an
observer. Over the next 18 months, he held a variety of aviation posts. During this
time, Colonel Mitchell had listened carefully to members of the British and French Air
Forces about how air power could be used tactically and strategically. Colonel Mitchell
took these ideas that he had listened to and put them into action.

In 1918 Colonel Mitchell took command of the largest concentration of allied aircraft
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