Air Force general receives analysis award

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The Air Force Heritage to Horizons focus was highlighted recently when the Air Force vice chief of staff received the Lt. Gen. Glenn A. Kent Leadership Award here. 

Gen. John D.W. Corley was recognized for his long-term vision and leadership in guiding the Air Force to set the standard for Department of Defense analyses.

General Corley is the fourth recipient of the award, which recognizes leadership for the analytic community. Previous award recipients include retired Gen. Larry D. Welch, the former Air Force chief of staff.

As a young officer, General Corley served as a combat analyst in the Headquarters Air Force Studies and Analyses branch, which was responsible for building the modeling and simulation foundation that defined the service's next-generation fighters. Following the air war over Serbia, he served as director of studies and analysis at U.S. Air Forces in Europe, developing the lessons-learned report for the Air Force.

Dr. Jacqueline Henningsen, director for Studies and Analyses, Assessments and Lessons Learned at the Pentagon, said she can't imagine a better recipient for this award.

"Based on his background, General Corley understands the role of unbiased analytic fireproofing and ensures our community is a vital part of the decision process," she said.

The award is named after General Kent, who retired in 1974 after serving as the director of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, under the direction of the Defense Research and Engineering for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This followed his assignment as assistant chief of staff, Air Force Studies and Analysis.

General Kent, among other accomplishments, is known as the father of the "Strategy to Task" defense analysis approach that is still in use today and is still considered among the premier military analytical thinkers of all time.

Ever since the first days of the Army Air Corps, the Air Force analytic community has provided operational-warfighting assessments, force-structure recommendations, emerging-issue analysis, and the application of lessons learned. The analysts provide insight enabling Air Force leadership to make informed decisions.

General Corley said his father, a B-17 pilot in World War II, depended on the strategic bombing information provided by analysis pioneers of that time.

Dr. Henningsen said she sees a lot of similarities between General Kent's era of service and the one General Corley serves in today.

"While our nation was facing the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict," she said, "General Kent contributed critical thought and sound analysis to help convince leaders that a single command with an integrated operations plan should be responsible to organize and employ our strategic forces. His visionary concepts laid the way to the end of the Cold War two decades later."

Dr. Henningsen concluded that "leaders, like General Corley and General Kent, compel us to think logically as well as to study the lessons experienced by those before us --how they prevailed, adapted and modernized. These insights can help us maintain a competitive edge over our foes now and in the future."

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