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Strategic Defense Initiative TQM Newsletters

by Ron Kurtus

As part of an effort to provide information on the implementation of the Total Quality Management (TQM) within the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) programs, as well as for other Air Force programs, a number of TQM newsletters were published.

The first newsletter came out of the SDI Space Based Interceptor program office. This was then expanded to cover all Air Force SDI programs and finally to encompass all of the Space Systems Division (SSD) of the Air Force Systems Command (AFSC).

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Space Based Interceptor TQM

A TQM newsletter was produced in the SBI program office to help in the implementation of that part of SDI. The following newsletters plot the progress of the program within the SBI offices. Each is a PDF file of the indicated size.

SBI April 1989 - PDF (174K)

SBI May 1989 - PDF (257K)

SBI June 1989 - PDF (288K)

SBI July 1989 - PDF (314K)

SBI August 1989 - PDF (484K)

SDI Programs TQM

Commander of the Air Force's SDI Programs, Col William O'Brien, saw the value of this newsletter and asked that it cover all of their programs. The following newsletters plots the progress of the program within the SDI program offices.

SDI September 1989 - PDF (331K)

SDI December 1989 - PDF (380K)

SDI March 1990 - PDF (496K)

SDI May 1990 - PDF (517K)

SDI July 1990 - PDF (513K)

SDI November 1990 - PDF (484K)

Space Systems Division AFSC TQM

Commander of the Air Force Space Systems Division, Lt Gen Donald Cromer, saw the value of this newsletter and asked that it cover all of the their programs. The following newsletters plot the progress of TQM within the SSD program offices.

SSD January 1991 - PDF (665K)

SSD March 1991 - PDF (1079K)

SSD May 1991 - PDF (1057K)


The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was an attempt to put a defensive shield around the United States to protect against Soviet missile attacks. The Russians spent so much money trying to counter this shield, that it contributed to the downfall of the Soviet system.

Lessons learned from studying SDI are:

You can sometimes win without defeating the opponent

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


The Strategic Defense Initiative - political risks - from Air University Review 1985

SDI History Resources


(Notice: The School for Champions may earn commissions from book purchases)

US Strategic And Defensive Missile Systems 1950-2004 by Mark A. Berhow, Chris Taylor; Osprey Books (2005) $16.95

Quality Government: Designing, Developing, and Implementing TQM by Jerry W. Koehler; CRC (1996) $84.95

Top-rated books on Missle Defense

Questions and comments

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