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Thomas P. Christie


Thomas P. Christie

Thomas P. Christie was a career defense analyst working for the U.S. government.

Christie graduated from Spring Hill College with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and from New York University with a master's degree in Applied Mathematics.

In the 1960s he worked for the Air Force at Eglin AFB as an analyst in the Ballistics Division at the Air Proving Ground Center. He later moved to other positions at Eglin AFB, before moving to the Pentagon. He worked in the Pentagon for more than three decades beginning in the early 1970s. Before his retirement, he served as the director of Operational Test and Evaluation from 2001 to 2005.

Christie is often associated with John Boyd and other associates of Mr. Boyd who were critical of U.S. defense policies. While working with John Boyd at Eglin AFB, Mr. Christie was deeply involved with the development of the Energy-Maneuverability theory of aerial combat. The work on this theory was not officially sanctioned and Christie and Boyd resorted to "stealing" computer time to compare the performance of U.S. and Soviet military aircraft which resulted in the publication of a two volume report in 1964. Despite the manner in which the Energy-Maneuverability theory was developed, it was accepted by the U.S. military and influenced the design of the successful F-15, F-16 and F-18 fighters. Application of the Energy-Maneuverability theory radically altered U.S. fighter doctrine and has resulted in nearly four decades of dominance for U.S. airpower.


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