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Annual Air Power Symposium

Air Power Symposium Topics and Speakers

The Military History Center at UNT held the 5th annual Air Power Symposium on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison. Dr. Conrad Crane, Chief of Historical Services at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks discussed the strategic bombing of Japan during the Second World War in a presentation titled “The Cigar Who Brought the Fire Wind.” Dr. Crane, one of the foremost experts on the history of strategic bombing, is currently Chief of Historical Services for the Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks. For the previous ten years, he was Director of the US Army Military History Institute. Before accepting that position, Dr. Crane served with the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College from September 2000 to January 2003, where he held the General Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He also has held the General Hoyt S. Vandenberg Chair of Aerospace Studies at the War College. He joined SSI after his retirement at the rank of colonel from active military service, a 26-year military career that concluded with 9 years as Professor of History at the U.S. Military Academy. Dr. Crane holds a B.S. from United States Military Academy as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. Dr. Crane has authored or edited books and monographs on the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and has published articles on military issues in such journals as The Journal of Strategic Studies, The Journal of Military History, The Historian, and Aerospace Historian, as well as in a number of collections and reference books. His books include: Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario (2003); Avoiding Vietnam: The U.S. Army's Response to Defeat in Southeast Asia (2002); Facing the Hydra: Maintaining Strategic Balance while Pursuing a Global War against Terrorism (2002); Transforming Defense an Era of Peace and Prosperity (2001); American Airpower Strategy in Korea, 1950-1953 (2000); Alternative National Military Strategies for the United States (2000) Bombs, Cities, and Civilians: American Airpower Strategy in World War II (1993) Before leaving SSI, he coauthored a prewar study on reconstructing Iraq influenced Army planners and attracted much attention from the media. In addition, he was the lead author for the new Army-USMC counterinsurgency manual that was released in December 2006 and was named one of Newsweek’s people to watch in 2007. At the request of General David Petraeus, he visited Iraq in November 2007 to evaluate the new doctrine in action. In November 2008, he was named the international Archivist of the Year by the Scone Foundation.

The Military History Center at UNT held the 4th Annual Air Power Symposium on Monday, May 7, 2012 at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum. The title of the program was "The Two Faces of Air Power." Dr. Dennis Showalter's luncheon address discussed the application of airpower on both the Eastern and Western Fronts during the Second World War. A professor of history at Colorado College, Dr. Dennis Showalter is a widely recognized expert on military history, focusing primarily on Germany and the United States. His experience includes serving as president of the Society for Military History from 1997 to 2001, and teaching at several service academies, including the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the Marine Corps University. A prolific author, Dr. Showalter's publications include Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare; If the Allies Had Fallen. Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II; The Wars of German Unification; Tannenberg: Clash of Empires; The Wars of Frederick the Great; Railroads and Rifles: Soldiers, Technology and The Unification of Germany; and Patton and Rommel: Men Of War in the 20th Century. Tannenberg won the American Historical Association's Paul M. Birdsall Prize for best new book of 1992. Dr. Showalter also received the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize in 2005 and the Victor Gondos Memorial Service Award in 2002 from the Society for Military History, and the Clio Award from the Department of History, US Air Force Academy in 2000. Dr. Showalter has served on the academic council of Center for Security Policy and served on the board of directors for the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in 2008, a policy group in Washington, D.C. Dr. Showalter received his B.A. from St. John's University in 1963, his M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1965, and his Ph.D. likewise from Minnesota in 1969. He was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1991-1993 and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1997-1998.

The Military History Center of the University of North Texas held the 3rd Annual Air Power Symposium on Monday, May 2, 2011 at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum. The title of the program was "Designing an Air Force for the 21st Century." Dr. Grant Hammond's luncheon address traced the evolution of airpower and the transformations the USAF has made by evaluating where we are now, determining where we need to be in 25 years, and speculating on the changes in the character of war for which we need to prepare.

The Military History Center at the University of North Texas held the 2nd Annual Air Power Symposium on 20 April 2010 at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The title of the program was "Wired for War." The luncheon address was given by Dr. Peter Warren Singer, a Senior Fellow and Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Singer is considered one of the world's leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare. He was named by the President to Joint Forces Command's Transformation Advisory Group. He has written for the full range of major media and journals, including the Boston Globe, L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Current History, Survival, International Security, Parameters, Weltpolitik, and the World Policy Journal. He has been quoted in every major U.S. newspaper and news magazine and delivered talks at venues ranging from the U.S. Congress to over 40 universities around the world. He has provided commentary on military affairs for nearly every major TV and radio outlet, including ABC-Nightline, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS-60 Minutes, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show. Dr. Singer's most recent book, Wired for War (Penguin, 2009), looks at the implications of robotics and other new technologies for war, politics, ethics, and law in the 21st century. Wired for War made the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list in its first week of release. It was named a non-fiction Book of the Year by The Financial Times. The book has been made an official reading with organizations that range from National Defense University to the Royal Australian Navy. Singer received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

The Military History Center at the University of North Texas held the 1st Annual Air Power Symposium, titled "Can Air Forces Win Wars," at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas on 11 May 2009. The luncheon address was delivered by Dr. Brian R. Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan has written more than 100 articles on Italian military, naval, diplomatic, and colonial history, 20th century intelligence history, national security, and intelligence and defense affairs. This program is dedicated to Dr. Walter Hesse, for his vision and commitment to UNT's Military History Center. A generous gift from the Aviation Heritage Association has made this series possible and the Military History Center wishes to thank Dr. Peter Lane and General Edmund Rafalko of the Association for their support.

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