To provide the nation’s air and space force with a common, inte-
grated vision, Air Force doctrine must draw together the lessons of
our history, the vectors of technology, and our insights about the
future. The lessons of air and space power history are replete with
examples of the dedication and sacrifice of those who have served
their nation through our proud history as the Army Air Service, the
Army Air Corps, and finally the United States Air Force. These
lessons survive today and are reflected in the principles of war and
our own tenets of air and space power. As our experience in air and
space warfare has evolved, however, these historic principles must
now be viewed in light of modern air and space power capabilities.
Accordingly, we have developed core competencies to provide insight
into the specific capabilities that the US Air Force must bring to activ-
ities across the range of military operations.
Together, the principles, tenets, and core competencies describe
air and space power as a force distinct from surface forces and the air
arms of other Services. The United States Air Force, through opera-
tions in the air, space, and information environments, is a global
strategic power that can protect national interests and achieve
national objectives by rapidly projecting potent air, space, or joint
force land power anywhere on earth.
This basic doctrine presents the guiding principles of our Service
and our view of the opportunities of the future. It will serve us well
in coping with the hazards of war as well as the challenges of keep-
ing the peace. I commend it to all of you—active duty, reserves, and
These warfighting concepts describe the essence
of air and space power and provide the airman’s perspective.
As airmen, we must understand these ideas, we must cultivate
them and, importantly, we must debate and refine these ideas
for the future.
MICHAEL E. RYAN
Chief of Staff