BLUFThis article argues that The United States and its allies' unpreparedness for the Korean War after World War II provides lessons which might be applicable today.
- Massive disarmament efforts left the Air Force with a reduced active aircraft inventory.
- Budget cuts and shortages affected manpower, training, spare parts, maintenance, and logistics.
- The Cold War focus on Europe and the defence of the continental United States, limited resources for air operations over Korea.
- Initial aircraft collection consisted of various types, including WWII leftovers with inadequate capabilities and spare parts.
- The demand for more aircraft led to the deployment of early models lacking essential combat capabilities.
- Shortages impacted pilots, and parts, and further degraded sortie rates and mission capabilities.
- The introduction of advanced enemy fighters posed challenges for the outnumbered F-86 Sabre.
- Budget cuts reduced flying budgets and limited new pilot training, resulting in a shortage of experienced combat pilots.
- The lack of air superiority posed risks to ground forces, strike missions, naval operations, and overall war management.
- Lessons from the Korean War remain relevant today, emphasizing the importance of addressing resource challenges, investing in new concepts, and aligning strategic objectives for potential conflicts and great power competition.
- VIETNAM WAR COLLECTION | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- KOREAN AIR WAR COLLECTION | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- MILITARY HISTORY GENERAL ARTICLES | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)