Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Military Theory XI.

This is coolbert:

Finally, John Boyd.

John Boyd. Hot shot American Air Force fighter jock. Military theorist and strategist of recent time [Boyd passed away in 1997].

Arrived on the scene to see limited combat in Korea. Had more important duties during the Vietnam War than command and engage in aerial combat. Did NOT have extensive combat experience. But AN EXPERIENCED military man and superb fighter jet pilot whose nickname was "Forty-Second-Boyd".

"as a result of a standing bet that he could maneuver from a position of disadvantage (challenger on his tail) to advantage (positions reversed) in 40 seconds — or pay the challenger 40 dollars. "

A man who gave much thought to warfare.

An engineer [Master Degree in Engineering from Georgia Tech] who applied scientific and engineering concepts to the theory of aerial combat and warfare in general.

Boyd's theories and strategies can be applied at the micro [one-on-one aerial combat between two jet fighter aircraft] and macro [the First Gulf War was fought by American forces using Boyd's concepts!!??] level both.

Boyd's most famous concept and contribution to military strategy is what he called OODA.

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

This can be seen in a power point slide presentation found here.

[get a free power point viewer from MS to see the slide presentation.]

Boyd WAS instrumental in the design and development of both the F-15 and F-16 fighter planes. Aircraft that have become world famous and have had an amazing life expectancy and a proven combat record.

Boyd DID NOT present his theories in the form of a book as did theorists such a Clausewitz or Jomini. Was NOT a prolific writer in the style of say Fuller.

Presented his strategies, theories and concepts in the form of oral briefings, power point slide presentations, etc. As a man of the late 20th century would do so. As you would expect from a man of the caliber and intensity of Boyd.

I am not sure of how wide spread is the acceptance of Boyd and his theories? Boyd DOES have a considerable number of followers and adherents to his concepts in the U.S. military, in all branches. Beyond that, I cannot say.

[I have a sneaking suspicion that Boyd was involved in the Igloo White project during the Vietnam War. A state-of-the-art engineering project that WOULD have required a commander and officer with the engineering background of Boyd. I can confirm this, but I have good intuition about this!]




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