DROP ZONE: OTH Anniversary Series

Over the Horizon is approaching the first anniversary of its January 2017 inception and it’s time to celebrate! By bringing together disparate, often competing, perspectives,


In the latest installment of our Human Domain series, Louis L. Cook examines Information Operations effectiveness in multi-domain operations through a focused look at the offensive and defensive uses of Operations Security (OPSEC).


Seventy years of American invulnerability to existential threats is coming to an end and Civilian and Military leaders will have to adapt.


Protected by two oceans, the United States enjoys the most defensible real estate in the world. Additionally, if the rest of the world floated their


Peter Layton explores how future warfighting concepts and network/combat cloud design are now interdependent – with the actual platform design of more secondary importance. He notes how, in moving to a fifth-generation force, networks and combat clouds are the fundamental building blocks and we need to get them right.


Much of the debate over future force structure, command and control, and strategy writ large is littered with unexplored assumptions and muddled thinking. This article explores some of the most recent examples of imprecise language, unqualified assumptions, and outright myths one frequently sees as the US Department of Defense attempts to build a ready force that can match lethality and military effectiveness with purpose in the emerging operational environment.


OTH takes a deeper look at some challenges and rhetoric surrounding “5th Generation Warfare.”


Gene Kranz gives his perspective on leadership and forging a team that can manage significant risk to accomplish difficult tasks.


Lt Gen Kwast gives his perspective of the emerging security environment and the challenges facing the United States.

DROP ZONE: OTH Interviews with Lt Gen Steven Kwast, AETC Commander, and Gene Kranz, Apollo 13 mission commander

OTH Interviews with Lt Gen Steven Kwast, AETC Commander, and Gene Kranz, Apollo 13 mission commander

How the Air Force Should Test Autonomous Vehicles Part 2

Part 2 of the conclusion to a series on training and developing autonomous wingmen for future aerial combat.

How the Air Force should Test Autonomous Vehicles Part 1 of 2

In part 1 of a 2-part series conclusion, Nick Helms discusses foundations and processes for testing and training autonomous air vehicles.

Modernizing C2 of ISR – Part 2: Breaking ISR’s Industrial Age Chains

Theater-level ISR C2 must be modernized to ensure the Joint Force is prepared for a complex future and can achieve multi-domain success.

Strategic Rationale for Deep Space Operations

Authors Jefferson, Hans, and Wehrle use historical examples and national security to discuss the importance of deep space exploration and the requirement for advanced propulsion systems.

DROP ZONE: Commemorating Veterans and Remembrance Day

In commemoration of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day we offer the speech delivered by John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery on this day in 1961.

OTH Podcast 4: Exploring Cognitive Warfare

In OTH’s fourth podcast we examine the concept of cognitive warfare and what it means for the future security environment.

A Game Plan to Save CSAR

Brandon Losacker examines how the US Air Force can achieve a more capable CSAR aircraft to ensure its promise to American and allied warriors on future battlefields.

Interview with Lt Gen (Ret.) David Deptula: Part 3

In an interview, Lt Gen David Deptula (Ret) shares his perspective on current and future challenges for USAF leaders and joint operations.

Interview with Lt Gen (Ret.) David Deptula: Part 2

Lt Gen David Deptula (Ret) shares his perspective on the Combat Cloud, ISR, and the need for airmen to serve as joint warfighting commanders.

Mission Command in Multi-Domain Operations

This article on Mission Command looks at how contested domains will force subordinate leaders to make timely decisions that either seize or forfeit the initiative.

DROP ZONE: Success in Multi-Domain Battle relies on Mission Command

As the future battlefield continues to be debated, a topic of conversation is the role of Mission Command in Multi-Domain Battle.

Using UAS in Military Logistics Applications

The AF concept of UAVs has centered on combat missions, leaving airlift as largely unexplored potential.

The Indirect Approach and Human Influence

This is the first installment of our new Human Domain series. In it, Robert M. Schoenhaus discusses the importance of considering human influence when taking an indirect approach to operational planning and introduces the term “social intelligence.”

Drop Zone: Human Domain Series

This year, Over the Horizon will present a series of articles related to the Human Domain to promote conversation about this critical, but often ignored, domain.

OTH Interview of Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret): Part 1

In an interview, Lt Gen David Deptula (Ret) shares his perspective on current and future challenges for the USAF leaders and the Joint Force.

Zephyr aircraft in-flight during a live demonstration involving teams from the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School.

Trust in Autonomy

In this article, we are delving into the concept of trust as it applies to training autonomous air vehicles like human wingmen or co-pilots.

Drop Zone: OTH Interview with Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.)

In a candid interview, retired Lt Gen David Deptula, shares his perspective on current and future challenges for USAF leaders and the Joint Force.


Russia is using nationalism to regain control over former Soviet Union States, a phenomenon predicted by Halford Mackinder in 1904.

Courage and Risk: How far can we manage risk?

Further advancing our conversation on approaching risk in a future characterized by complexity and uncertainty, David Pappalardo presents Risk and Courage.

Saving CSAR: Inventory, Armament, and Speed – Three Missing Ingredients (Part three, vignette three of a multi-part series)

Through historic analysis, Losacker discusses the requirement for organic firepower as a part of future survivable rescue helicopters.

A Utah National Guard Soldier and 19th Special Forces member are lifted on board an HH-60 Pave Hawk during a combat search and rescue integration exercise Nov. 9 over the Utah Test and Training Range.

Saving CSAR: Inventory, Armament, and Speed – Three Missing Ingredients (Part three, vignette two of a multi-part series)

Through historic analysis, Losacker discusses how current and future conflicts require a large dispersed fleet of vertical rescue assets.

Saving CSAR: Inventory, Armament, and Speed – Three Missing Ingredients (Part three, vignette one of a multi-part series)

Through a historic analysis, Brandon Losacker discusses how speed, inventory, and armament affect the survival of a rescue vehicle.

US-Russia Relations: Implications for the South Caucasus

An Armenian perspective on the dynamics of US–Russia relations and their implications for the South Caucasus.

Modernizing ISR C2 Part I: Multi-Domain Maneuver as the Foundation

This is the first article in a multi-part series focused on modernizing Command and Control (C2) of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

Airmen’s Definition of Autonomy

This is the second installation in a series addressing the future of autonomous aerial systems training and acquisition.

Drop Zone: Modernizing ISR C2

The forthcoming series of articles explores a future ISR C2 realm centered on multi-domain speed, agility, and flexibility enabled by a multi-domain maneuver concept of operations.

X-47B combat drone taking fuel from an Omega Aerial Refueler off the coast of Maryland.

Autonomy: The Future of Aerial Combat

Autonomous air vehicles in a combat environment will be more useful if they are capable of adapting effectively to changing human demands.

Generational Friction within the USAF Nuclear Enterprise

To comprehend how a single generation can affect the nuclear enterprise, we should examine what is missing from the current organizational culture models.

DROP ZONE: The Future of Contested Teaming Operations

This article starts a series discussing how to develop, train, and employ unmanned platforms in future aerial combat.

CSAR: A Historical Perspective – Institutional Apathy

This article visits traceable history of Air Force mismanagement of the combat rescue helicopter forces that are the backbone of the larger joint and coalition personnel recovery enterprise.

OTH Podcast 3: The Evolving Character of Risk in the Emerging Security Environment

Welcome to OTH’s third podcast! For this episode, we turn our attention to the evolving character of risk in the emerging security environment.

Drop Zone: Reconsidering Risk in National Security

International security is a high-stakes competition in which risk is a central and constant factor. The changes taking place across the broad competition-space are simultaneously

Returning to Marshall: Mastering Risk by Understanding It

Joint Doctrine does not sufficiently and separately address risk as both a necessary part of military operations and as a series of hazards to the force. Risk is not just a list of “things to avoid and mitigate,” but instead must be identified and categorized into two separate classes: accidental and operational. A conflation of these two types of risk directly contributes to the perception that the US military is a “risk averse” organization that refuses to allow for and appropriately reward prudent risk-taking. Thusly, Joint Doctrine must specify the differences between accidental and operational risk in a more deliberate way than it currently does in order to provide clarity to commanders and staffs.

Drop Zone: What’s in a Name? Redefining Drones in the Professional Lexicon

Even though the originators of the drone did not envision the use of pilots to remotely control them the way we do today, there is a need to reshape the debate due to current rhetoric surrounding their use. The DoD and various intellectual leaders in policy and academia need to provide more nuance in what drones actually do in war and in non-war operations.

Bridge Builders to Make Multi-Domain Operations Work

To achieve dominance in the networked age, the U.S. Air Force must build organizational expertise that can foster a culture that lives and breathes multi-domain integration.

Multi-Domain Battle: Tactical Implications

The military is at a crossroads. Overmatch in firepower and maneuver led to its past successes, but they alone cannot win tomorrow’s wars. The concept of MDB is a method for today’s tactical leaders to change the playing field of tomorrow’s wars.

Building on a Firm Foundation: Redesigning the Air Force Assignment System to Improve Readiness

Unlike most industrial-era schools of thought, human beings are not interchangeable cogs in a machine, and this is the basis for modern talent management. Ultimately, readiness is ensuring that Service members are placed in jobs with the right training, equipment, experience, and background to allow for successful mission accomplishment.

Exploring the Russian Perspective with a Former U.S. Defense Attaché to Moscow

Team OTH asks a former U.S. Defense Attaché to Moscow about his experiences and Russia’s perspective on international security.

Podcast 2: Relating Gray Zone Conflict & Multi-Domain Operations

Welcome to OTH’s second podcast! For this episode we’ve brought together a group of experts to discuss two topics that have consumed Defense policy and academic conversations over the last few years: Multi-Domain Operations and Gray Zone Conflict.

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