Bomber Deployments: A New Power Projection Strategy
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, DISTANCE LEARNING, AIR UNVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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Throughout the past 15 years, the US military has rotated its forces to Iraqi and Afghanistan to take the fight to the enemy. These rotations have tested Air Force planners and the transportation system to move troops and cargo back and forth to the theater of operations. Operation IRAQI FREEDOM tested airlift capabilities when multiple services placed their requirements to move forces and equipment. This research paper explores AF policy that directs aviation units be able to deploy to a bare-base which requires units to maintain all of their UTC equipment. While this may provide greater flexibility for fighter aircraft units, this may not be an effective strategy for bomber units. The purpose of this study is understand current policy affecting the bombers and take a cross-disciplinary assessment of bomber aviation UTC capability requirements of deploying to a bare-base. This research paper will use the evaluation framework and quantitative analysis to answer the research question, How can bomber units improve response times and minimize costs when deploying to a forward operating location Significant costs are incurred when airlifting aircraft support equipment forward each time a bomber squadron is tasked to deploy. As the quantitative analysis shows, to move all of the support equipment for one bomber squadron can be expensive and tie up valuable cargo aircraft. Understanding the cost and aircraft airlift availability when deploying forces will help determine if there is a more cost effective method to deploy equipment required to support bomber forces.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics