Thanks to Rob Pincus, I have found a cleaner copy of Colonel John Boyd’s Aerial Attack Study (AAS). It was recreated by Mr. Mark Hart from the declassified 1964 version. The recreation is much easier on the eyes than the reproductions of the original mimeographed edition that are generally available.
Prior to Colonel Boyd’s AAS, fighter combat was viewed by the majority of fighter pilots as an intuitive skill rather than one that could be codified. Some conceptual principles had been developed along with elementary tactics such as the Thach Weave, but Boyd was the one who wrote the definitive book. Only Major General Frederick “Boots” Blesse had preceded Colonel Boyd in writing a book, No Guts No Glory, about jet fighter combat. Major General Blesse’s book wasn’t the exhaustive treatise on the subject that the AAS was.
The most interesting aspect of Boyd’s AAS is that it is conceptually the exact opposite of how ‘the OODA Loop’ is popularly perceived. Boyd did not posit that we ‘think faster’ than the enemy. Rather, he showed that there were a set of decisions that were made in advance and then a choice of the appropriate decision made in the moment.
It’s well worth reading by everyone who is interested in our Art.
The updated version can be found HERE. Note: the link changed slightly and is now correct.