Airborne next: rethinking airborne organization and applying new concepts
Natter, Scott A.
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The airborne concept has had a lasting impact on military force structures since its employment on a large scale during World War II. It is puzzling to consider how little airborne organizational structures and employment concepts have changed in the intervening seven decades, considering the great amount of change occurring in warfare. This thesis examines the future potential of airborne concepts by rethinking traditional airborne organizational structures and employment concepts. Using a holistic approach in the areas of organization, doctrine, technology, and strategy as guiding frames of reference, this thesis recommends updating the organizational structures of airborne forces to model a small and many approach over a large and few approach, while incorporating a swarming concept. Utilizing historical and contemporary vignettes to demonstrate airborne utility, this research reveals how a parachute capability displays the unique attributes to complement a swarming concept. Under an updated organizational structure and new employment concept, airborne forces can offer renewed relevancy to the U.S. Department of Defense against modern adversaries in crises and conflict.
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