Official websites use .mil
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
This is the home of the library of US Air Force doctrine. It is organized into 30 Air Force Doctrine Publications (AFDPs) that span the range of all Air Force operations. Its purpose is to improve access to Air Force doctrine, simplify the doctrine publishing process, and provide easier access to all military doctrine.
The LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. For Air Force doctrine, the commander of the LeMay Center responds directly to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force as principal agent for doctrine and lessons learned. The LeMay Center administratively falls under Air University (Air Education & Training Command).
If placed along a continuum, doctrine, emerging doctrine, operating concepts, and vision provide a model for thinking about future technology, operating constructs, and doctrine in a coherent temporal framework.
Doctrine is focused on near-term operational issues and describes the proper employment of current capabilities and current organizations.
Emerging doctrine generally drives force development in the two to seven year time frame. Still not proven as extant practice, it examines an operating concept for doctrine development. Emerging doctrine is further developed and refined to drive future operational and tactical doctrine.
Operating concepts generally look out from seven to fifteen years, and postulate reasonable operating scenarios that, through a combination of analysis and the use of descriptive examples, examine a range of issues such as employment, operating environment, C2, support, organization, and planning considerations.
Vision statements describe key operating constructs and desired operational capabilities well in the future, usually fifteen years and beyond.
For a more thorough discussion, see the Doctrine Primer
The term “doctrine” is frequently (and incorrectly) used when referring to policy or strategy. These terms are not interchangeable; they are fundamentally different.
Policy is guidance that is directive or instructive, stating what is to be accomplished. It reflects a conscious choice to pursue certain avenues and not others.
Strategy defines how operations are to be conducted to accomplish national policy objectives. Strategy is the continuous process of developing and applying ways and means to overcome particular challenges and achieve strategic ends (objectives).
Doctrine presents codified best practices on how to accomplish military goals and objectives. It is a storehouse of analyzed experience and wisdom. Military doctrine constitutes official advice, but unlike policy, is not directive.
We updated the Service doctrine library to provide a simpler and cleaner experience for you in the doctrine community. The volumes and annexes are now titled Air Force Doctrine Publications (AFDPs); no information was lost, it was simply reformatted into full e-books you can download more readily.
In April 2021, Gen Brown, CSAF, signed the new Air Force Doctrine Publication (AFDP) 1, The Air Force:
This rescinded both Volumes 1, Air Force Basic Doctrine, and 2, Leadership. The information from these rescinded volumes deemed appropriate to maintain are now incorporated into AFDP 1. AFDD 1-1 was the predecessor to Vol 2, Leadership, and Annex 1-1, Force Development. The bulk of leadership information from Vol 2 (and therefore its predecessor AFDD 1-1) has moved to AFH 1, The Airman’s Handbook, and AFI 1-1, Air Force Standards (attached). The information on force development was transferred to AETC/A3J for incorporation into a new AETC publication being worked.
Links to the joint and other Service doctrine sites are provided below the “Air Force Operational Doctrine” map. You can also click on the “external links” dropdown tab to go directly to them.
Links to the various types of TTPs are provided below the “Other Operational Doctrine” line of buttons. You can also click on the “Tactical-level Doctrine” dropdown tab to go directly to them.
Doctrine is updated in a collaborative manner with all Air Force MAJCOMs and Headquarters Air Force Air Staff agencies. Once proposed text has been validated by coordination, it is approved and updated in Air Force library.
Air Force doctrine is reviewed every two years at a minimum to ensure currency. Proposals to update the doctrine don’t have to wait for the two year review and can be submitted at any time. Update proposals come from within the LeMay Center or from appropriate Air Staff or MAJCOM staffs.
Please contact your MAJCOM or Air Staff representative (usually in the A5 and/or A8 offices). If you have trouble finding the correct office, please let us know and we’ll help direct you to the appropriate agency/office.
You can report any technical issues to email@example.com
Yes. Simply type in your search term in the “Search AF Doctrine” block at the top right of the screen.
No. A common misconception is that web-based doctrine would function similar to Wikipedia™. Air Force doctrine is maintained by the LeMay Center, and coordinated with HQ Air Force and MAJCOM staffs to ensure content is accurate and up to date.
Yes. All AFDPs are contained in a .pdf file which can be saved to any device with compatible Adobe Acrobat Reader™ software.
We’ve found that using the .pdf format allows the user the simplest means of saving the content for use offline. It was a choice to ensure widest availability for the user.
a. This is an Adobe Acrobat™ preference on your computer.
b. To change the setting open Adobe Acrobat™ and do the following:
1. Open the [Edit] Menu and select [Preferences]2. One the left side menu select [Internet]3. Under Web Browser Options, uncheck the [Display PDF in browser] box.4. Click Ok
You need to install a DoD Root Certificate, which is a digital document providing the identity of a web site or individuals.
A certificate is a digital document providing the identity of a website or individual. The trustworthiness of any certificate is only as good as the dependability and trustworthiness of the authority who issued the certificate. When you receive this error, your browser is warning you that the certificate, for the site you're attempting to access, has not been issued by an authority trusted by your browser. Web browsers come preloaded with a set of certificate authorities that the developer of the browser believes to be trustworthy. Unfortunately, the DoD Certificate Authority (CA) is often not on this list.
The certificates that identify this site have been issued by the DoD CA. In order for your browser to recognize the DoD CA as a trustworthy certificate provider, you must have the DoD Root Certificate installed in your browser. Once this root certificate is installed, your browser will recognize the DoD CA as a trusted authority and accept the certificates without warnings. Visit the following page to download the DoD/ECA Root Certificates: http://iase.disa.mil/pki-pke/function_pages/tools.html or http://dodpki.c3pki.chamb.disa.mil/rootca.html
The hyperlinks will take you to another document (inside the Air Force Library or to an external site such as the site for joint doctrine publications) for a more detailed discussion related to that term. We try to provide links to the primary source material wherever possible for your use.
Since Air Force basic and operational doctrine is fully web-based, cite the information as you would any other website. If writing for an Air Force audience, use the rules and format contained in the Air University Style and Author Guide (AU-1) or the Tongue and Quill (AFH 33-337), both derived from the Chicago Manual of Style. If writing for another agency or school, refer to the style manual and format they recommend.
Here’s an example of how to cite a publication using the Air University Style and Author Guide (AU-1):
1. LeMay Center for Doctrine, “AFDP 1, The Air Force,” https://www.doctrine.af.mil/Portals/61/documents/AFDP_1/AFDP-1.pdf
The format is: “LeMay Center for Doctrine” is used as the source name, the number and title of the AFDP is in quotation marks, and the URL for the information is provided in full. Note that you don’t need to add “(accessed Day Month 2013)” unless information is particularly time sensitive.
If you're simply referring to a specific piece of Air Force doctrine in an Air Force document (e.g., an AFI or a lesson plan), just refer to the AFDP, its number, and its title. Examples: AFDP 1, The Air Force, or AFDP 3-01, Counterair Operations.
When you're building your reference list (e.g., a list of cited sources, or a bibliography) at the end of a document, it's perfectly fine to simply reference our website, https://doctrine.af.mil, rather than laboriously listing each volume or annex cited. They're all in the same place!
If you need to formally cite information, make sure to use the standard citation format described in the FAQ, "I am writing a paper. How do I formally cite doctrinal information from this website?"
First, we need to recognize what organizations and commanders have missions and functions.
Only combatant commanders have missions. Departments and Services have functions.
From 10 USC Section 161 (a)(1): “(the President) shall establish unified combatant command and specified combatant commands to perform military missions . . .”
From 10 USC Section 9013(b): “. . . The Secretary of the Air Force is responsible for, and has the authority necessary to conduct, all affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the following functions: . . “
The functions of the Air Force are detailed in DODD 5100.01, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components.
That’s the big picture legal and regulatory answer. Missions vs. functions is only part of the puzzle.
The Air Force established Service Core Functions (SCFs), which were originally incorporated in the 2009 AFDD 1, Air Force Basic Doctrine. We removed them in 2013 when we transitioned to the current web-based doctrine, giving the information back to HAF/A8, who had originally produced them. As promulgated originally, the SCFs were policy/programmatics, run by MAJCOMs. Subsequently, the Air Staff produced five Air Force core missions, intended for use in strategic documents, not doctrine.
In other words, missions of combatant commanders and functions of Services are one aspect of the terms. But internal to the Air Force, Service core functions and Service core missions are Air Staff products that are not doctrine
You may print the versions from the Doctrine site using the DLA Document Services. Updates have been sent out to all CFMs and CCMs on printing options for the Blue and Brown Books. You are more than welcome to order the books through DLA Services Online (DSO). Click here for the order instructions to submit orders, in case you need them. If you have any issues with ordering, please reach out directly to your local DLA representative first. DLA is available to all installations but may not be at the installation.
The DAF Order Portal is the official system for ordering AF Physical Products and is now available at : https://www.orderportal.army.mil / The DAF Order Portal User Guide and Training video are available on the DAF Order Portal site. Physical Products can no longer be ordered via the Warehouse Management System (WMS).