BRIDGING THE STRATEGIC TO OPERATIONAL GAP: AIR MOBILTY IN NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF
AIR UNIVERSITY,SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE United States
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Each year, the Department of Defense can expect to respond to at least one major natural disaster. This research paper examines the air mobility component of two major natural disaster operations that occurred approximately one year apart Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE, the U.S. response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and Operation TOMODACHI, the response to the 2011 Great Eastern Japanese Earthquake and subsequent Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear fallout crisis. The air mobility enterprise resides at the seam between the strategic and operational levels of war. Therefore, military leaders must understand the strategic landscape and implications as well as mobility-relevant operational limitations and factors in order to best utilize air mobility assets. The analysis is an effort to draw on common elements between the two operations as a means to create a framework of considerations for military decision makers. These considerations will assist commanders who employ air mobility assets in a natural disaster relief operation. The research concludes by offering a set of six common considerations that, when understood and addressed, can significantly aid military leaders in increasing air mobility efficiency and effectiveness during a relief operation.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics