Robert Owen

Professor of Aeronautical Science
Aeronautical Science Department
Daytona College of Aviation
Daytona Beach campus

Areas of Expertise

Military history, doctrines, and theories with specializations in air warfare, counterinsurgencies, regional conflicts between great powers, and joint-service operations; Air Mobility history, theories, and force-structure concepts; Aeronautical Science with specializations in manned and unmanned aviation operations and history

Robert C. Owen is a Professor in the Department of Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach Campus.  In this position, he teaches courses in manned and unmanned aviation operations, law, and history and conducts research in national defense policy issues.  Professor Owen joined the Embry-Riddle Faculty in 2002, following a 28-year career with the United States Air Force. His military career included a mix of operational, staff, and advanced education assignments. He is both an Air Force Command Pilot and a Commercial Pilot with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings.  He flew over 3400 hours in the Air Force and over 1200 hours in various civilian aircraft.  Professor Owen also served on the HQ Air Force Staff and the HQ Staff of the Air Mobility Command.  His academic assignments included tours as an Assistant Professor of History at the U.S. Air Force Academy and as Dean of the USAF’s School of Advanced Airpower Studies, the Service’s graduate school for strategic planners.  His publications include the Chronology volume of the Gulf War Air Power Survey (1995), Deliberate Force: A Case Study in Effective Air Campaigning (2000), and Air Mobility: A Brief History of the American Experience (2013). In addition to his academic responsibilities Dr. Owen has worked as an on-air military and national security commentator for WESH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Orlando, Florida, and as a senior analyst with the Teledyne-Brown and RAND Corporations.


  • Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in History, Duke University

  • AGI - Advanced Ground Instructor
  • CPL - Commercial Pilot License

AS-254 Aviation Legislation

Air Mobility: A Brief History of the American Experience (U. of Nebraska, 2013)


Deliberate Force, A Case Study in Air Campaigning, Report of the Air University Balkans Air Campaign Study (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 2000)

Chronology of the Gulf War, Volume 10 of the Gulf War Air Power Survey
(Washington: GPO, 1993)

Creating Global Airlift in the United States Air Force 1945-1977: The Relationship of Power, Doctrine and Policy, dissertation, Duke University, 1992.

+ Numerous articles and papers, mainly in the realm of defense studies and military history


1969-1973 ROTC (Army, Stanford, 69-71; AF, UCLA , 71-73)
1969-1971 Self-Employed Gunsmith
1971-1973 Several Part-Time Jobs as PBX Operator, Inventory Foreman, Delivery Driver, etc.
1974 Assistant Director Customer Service, Akai Electric Corp. (USA), Compton, CA
1974-1975 Student Pilot, 82 Flying Training Wing, Williams AFB, AZ
1975-1977 C-130 Pilot, 773rd, Tactical Airlift Squadron, Dyess AFB, TX
1977-1981 C-130 Pilot, 37th, Tactical Airlift Squadron, Rhein-Main AB, Germany
1981-1985 Assistant Professor of History, United States Air Force Academy, CO
1985-1986 Instructor Pilot, 16th Tactical Airlift Training Squadron, Little Rock AFB, AR
1986-1988 Executive Officer, 34th Tactical Airlift Training Group, Little Rock AFB AR
1988-1991 Student, Duke University, Durham NC
1991-1993 Chief, Airlift and Joint Doctrine Branches, Doctrine Division, HQ USAF
1994-1998 Professor and Dean, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL
1998-2002 Chief, Doctrine and Policy Division, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, IL
2002-2004 Chairman, ERAU Department of Aeronautical Science

2004-2009 Director, Advanced Placement Programs, College of Aviation

2009+ Professor, Department of Aeronautical Science


PhD History, Duke University, 1992
MA History, Duke University, 1990
Dip Air War College, 1989
Dip Air Command and Staff College, 1983
Dip Air Force Squadron Officer School, 1980
MA African Studies, UCLA, 1974
BA African History, UCLA, 1973
AA History, Foothill CC, 1971