Eagles Overhead is the first complete historical survey of the US Air Force FAC program from its origins in World War I to the modern battlefield. Matt Dietz examines their role, status, and performance in every US Air Force air campaign from the Marne in 1918, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and finally Mosul in 2017. With the remaking of the post-Vietnam US military, and the impact of those changes on FAC, the Air Force began a steady neglect of the FAC mission from Operation Desert Storm, through the force reductions after the Soviet Union’s collapse, and into the post 9-11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Eagles Overhead asks why FACs have not been heavily used on US battlefields since 2001, despite their warfighting importance. Dietz examines the Air Force FAC’s theoretical, doctrinal, institutional, and historical frameworks to assess if the nature of air warfare has changed so significantly that the concept and utility of the FAC has been left behind. From these examinations, Eagles Overhead draws conclusions about the potential future of Air Force FACs.
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Published by University of North Texas Press