The Emerging Shield: The Air Force and the Evolution of Continental Air Defense, 1945-1960 - NORAD, Dew Line, SAGE, BOMARC, SAC, Early Warning Systems, Radar Fence, Atom Bomb Impact
The volume begins with the U.S. Army Air Service's involvement with air defense in World War I and traces the story through to the late 1950s and early 1960s. More
In the 1950s, the United States Air Force led the way in building continental air defenses to protect the nation against bomber attack. By the end of that decade, the United States and Canada deployed a warning network of ground-based radars extending from the United States' southern borders to the arctic tundra, a fleet of airborne early-warning planes, naval radar picket ships, radar platforms (the Texas Towers) fastened to the ocean floor in the Atlantic Ocean, and a civilian corps of ground observers. Once warning of approaching enemy bombers had been received, the military forces of the United States and Canada were prepared to unleash against the invader an arsenal of weapons that included fighter-interceptors equipped with lethal air-to-air missiles, antiaircraft artillery, and short- and long-range surface-to-air missiles, some nuclear tipped. The whole system was coordinated through a technologically advanced, computer-oriented command and control system, the first of its kind ever deployed. The story of the rise of air defense in the United States after World War II is complex, and this volume does not presume to be a complete history of the subject. It focuses on the U.S. Air Force's predominant role in defense of the continental United States against manned bomber attacks. Although the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the Canadian Air Force contributed resources to the mission, the U.S. Air Force had primary responsibility for research, development, and deployment of most of the systems and weapons. The outstanding exception was antiaircraft artillery, the province of the U.S. Army. In some respects, the Army can be said to have fielded a complementary air defense system separate from that of the Air Force. This book, however, examines the Army's part in the mission only as it concerns roles and missions controversies with the Air Force. The volume begins with the U.S. Army Air Service's involvement with air defense in World War I and traces the story through to the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Topics and subjects covered: Dew Line, Pine Tree Line, Early Warning Systems, NORAD, SAC, General Hap Arnold, Lashup system, Billy Mitchell, Vandenberg, Gordon P. Saville, Air Defense Command, Radar fence, SAGE, Foulis, Russia, China, North Korea, BOMARC, milestones listing.
Genesis of the Air Defense Mission * The United States and Air Defense: The Early Years * Defining the Mission * Development of Air Defense Doctrine and Tactics * Air Defense in World War II * The First Air Defense Command, 1940-1941 * Air Defense in Wartime * Planning for Air Defense in the Postwar Era * Establishment of the Air Defense Command * Early Planning Efforts * The Radar Fence Plan * Attempts to Come to Terms with the Mission * Active Operations Begin * Saville Takes Charge * Revision of the Radar Fence Plan * Establishment of the Continental Air Command * Taking the Case to Congress * Fighter Aircraft for Air Defense * Further Organizational Changes * Chapter 5 - Broadening Dimensions: Air Defense as a Public Issue * The Revolt of the Admirals * Impact of the Soviet Atomic Bomb * Roles and Missions Dilemmas * Air Defense Forces in the Field * Continental Air Defense in the Korean War Period * Reorganization and the Impact of the Chinese Intervention * Confronting Realities * Status of the Fighter-Interceptor Forces * An Integrated, Efficient, Highly Potent Air Defense System * Next to the Real Thing * East River * The Summer Study Group * The Decision to Proceed * Defensive Systems Become Operational * SAGE: A Command and Control Network for Air Defense * Warning Lines * Other Warning Systems * The Air Defense Weapons Force * BOMARC * Organizing to Meet the Threat * Continental Air Defense Command: A Joint Command for Air Defense * North American Air Defense Command * Epilogue: Impact of a New Threat * Effects of the ICBM Threat on the Air Defenses
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