FORT BENNING, Ga. (April 18, 2018) -- Fifty-six students from the Army Command General and Staff College (CGSOC) at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) visited the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base April 11 near Warner Robins, Georgia.

The purpose of the visit was to study the combined bombing strategy during World War II from 1943 to 1944, using the museum as the classroom.

Mike Rowland, the museum curator, and Dr. Paul Larson, a staff historian with Air Force Reserve Command, guided students through the museum, describing many types of aircraft used during World War II and their significant role in developing airpower doctrine.

The field grade officers discussed the challenges of measuring success or failure in airpower as well as airpower's relevance in the present operational environment.

Students explored the aircraft hangars displaying a B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress and a P-51 Mustang, which, through their role during the strategic bombing of Germany and Japan, enabled Allied success. Students walked inside the fuselage of a B-29, sat the bombardier's station, and looked at a Norden bombsight, a technological innovation that enabled more accurate daylight bombing.

The visit concluded in the museum's auditorium with four teams delivering presentations on their findings during their visit. This museum provided visual examples of how competing ideas within airpower challenged the measures used to define success in a strategic campaign such as World War II.

The Museum of Aviation is the second largest museum operated by the U.S. Air Force and the fourth most visited museum in the Department of Defense. Four exhibit buildings contain many of the nearly 90 aircraft at the museum. The static full-size bombers on display at the museum taught students about an era when the effects of strategic bombing were instrumental to Allied success. The styles and size of the different aircraft helped chart innovations in airpower that preceded the aircraft currently employed in the global operating environment.

CGSOC students participating in this joint visit were field grade officers from the U.S. Army's active-duty component, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard and U.S. Air Force as well as international police, navy and army from Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Honduras and Panama.

To learn more about the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, visit the link in the "Related Links" section on this page.