The Airlift System: A Primer,
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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This primer offers a macrolevel vision of how the airlift system works. Its purpose is to describe key concepts and component interrelationships of the US national military airlift system to provide a baseline for in the assessing the systemic advantages and disadvantages of making changes to the missions or composition of those components. The core concepts and interconnections of the airlift system-mission, the focus of airlift policy, component roles, and organization-are reasonably easy to describe. Secondary issues, such as the determination of appropriate airlift technologies and the interplay of institutional self-interests in the policy process, are more complex. Consequently, determining the net benefits of any effort to improve the effectiveness of a specific airlift component is challenging but not impossible, so long as the overall connections and synergism of the airlift system are kept in mind. To the end of seeing how the interrelationships of the airlift system influence assessments of viable policy, this discussion touches on some current airlift policy issues in the course of discussing the systems foundational tenets. These issues include the role of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet CRAF, the acquisition of commercial aircraft for the military component of the airlift system, and organizational centralization.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies