Paper by Matthew L. Lohmeier, Major, USAF
Wright Flyer Paper No. 79
28 September 2020
Air University Press
Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
This paper explores space and space culture from two distinct perspectives. The traditional mind of space believes that air and space are indivisible and is limited from the surface of the Earth to geosynchronous Earth orbit. This mind, Maj Lohmeier argues, can limit the effectiveness of the Air Force and the now-formed US Space Force.
The emergent mind of space is one that understands the delineation between air and space and views the domain of the military as reaching as far as the moon. This mind, the author says, should be adopted by all space professionals to aid the joint fight and establish the United States’ interests in an ever-expanding military and geopolitical landscape.[Maj Matthew L. Lohmeier / 2020 / 43 pages / ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-79]
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. —
In The Better Mind of Space, Maj. Matthew L. Lohmeier, explores space and space culture from two distinct perspectives: traditional and emergent. The former has shaped the current military space culture.
This Air Command and Staff College Wright Flyer series paper was selected for excellence in student research addressing current defense challenges.
The traditional mind of space believes that air and space are indivisible and are limited to the area from the surface of the Earth to geosynchronous Earth orbit.
This mind, Lohmeier argues, can limit the effectiveness of the Air Force and the now-formed Space Force.
The emergent mind of space is one that understands the delineation between air and space and views the domain of the military as reaching as far as the moon.
This mind, the author says, should be adopted by all space professionals to aid the joint fight and establish U.S. interests in an ever-expanding military and geopolitical landscape.
It is my great pleasure to present another issue of The Wright Flyer Papers.
Through this series, Air Command and Staff College presents a sampling of exemplary research produced by our resident and distance-learning students.
This series has long showcased the kind of visionary thinking that drove the aspirations and activities of the earliest aviation pioneers.
This year’s selection of essays admirably extends that tradition. As the series title indicates, these papers aim to present cutting-edge, actionable knowledge— research that addresses some of the most complex security and defense challenges facing us today.
Recently, The Wright Flyer Papers transitioned to an exclusively electronic publication format. It is our hope that our migration from print editions to an electronic-only format will foster even greater intellectual debate among Airmen and fellow members of the profession of arms as the series reaches a growing global audience.
By publishing these papers via the Air University Press website, ACSC hopes not only to reach more readers, but also to support Air Force–wide efforts to conserve resources. In this spirit, we invite you to peruse past and current issues of The Wright Flyer Papers at https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/AUPress/Wright-Flyers/.
Thank you for supporting The Wright Flyer Papers and our efforts to disseminate outstanding ACSC student research for the benefit of our Air Force and war fighters everywhere. We trust that what follows will stimulate thinking, invite debate, and further encourage today’s air, space, and cyber war fighters in their continuing search for innovative and improved ways to defend our nation and way of life.
EVAN L. PETTUS
Brigadier General, USAF
First, I must say thank you to my classmates in the Schriever Scholars Program. Your combined experience and insight have been incredibly valuable to me this year at school. But what will remain more important to me than your professional expertise is that you have become my friends. I look forward to serving with you and coming back to you for counsel and advice.
I, of course, would be remiss if I did not also acknowledge and thank the faculty of the Schriever Scholars program. You have challenged my thinking, opened my eyes to many important issues in national security space, and introduced me to some of the most influential men and women in the community. Thank you for introducing me to the Better Mind of Space.
Last, and most importantly, I owe a debt of gratitude to my family. I can no other answer make, but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.
Culture, at a fundamental level, is comprised of shared values and assumptions about reality. It has to do with what is in the mind.
Perhaps it is easier to analyze existing culture than it is to figure out how to change it. Yet that is the problem I would like to address in this paper.
Specifically, how do you improve military space culture?
Admittedly, the question is ambiguous, but it is one I have been asked many times. Implicit in the question is the assumption that military space culture needs improvement.
I do not challenge that assumption here, rather I accept it as something deserving of our time and effort.
Of course, there are a myriad of ways to address any topic, but the idea of culture seems to be among the more elusive and subjective topics of research pertaining to space and space power.
What follows is one more meager attempt to transform the elusive and subjective into something within reach.