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The Foundations of Operational Resilience Assessing the Ability to Operate in an Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) Environment: The Analytical Framework, Lexicon, and Characteristics of the Operational Resilience Analysis Model (ORAM)

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Technical Report

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RAND Project AIR FORCE Santa Monica United States

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In the face of growing anti-accessarea denial A2AD challenges, the United States must posture airpower to accomplish missions while under intense and persistent attack. In other words, U.S. air forces must have operational resilience the capacity to withstand attack, adapt, and generate sufficient combat power to achieve campaign objectives in the face of continued, adaptive enemy action. Although several analytic efforts at RAND and elsewhere have studied selected elements of Air Force base resilience, little has been done to determine how potential adversaries could tailor their attacks for greatest effect in negating U.S. airpower capabilities or to assess a wide range of potential resilience improvements to evaluate trade-offs between them and identify which one or combination of measures would result in the most resilient force posture, theater-wide. Given this gap, the U.S. Air Force asked the RAND Corporation to develop a logical framework for assessing Air Force operational resilience in an A2AD environment. Specifically, RAND was given four objectives 1 identify the fundamental strategic assumptions about the emerging geostrategic environment as they relate to operational resilience and emerging A2AD threats, 2 develop a lexicon of resilience-related terms and definitions that could serve as a standard for use across the analytical community, 3 develop an analytical framework for evaluating the potential impacts of alternative attacks on U.S. air forces, theater-wide, and the potential benefits of a wide range of approaches for improving operational resilience, singularly and in combination, in the face of those attacks, and 4 employ the foregoing assumptions and tools in an exploratory analysis to gain insights into approaches for improving Air Force operational resilience within the context of efforts to rebalance the Joint Force in the Asia-Pacific region.

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