The USAF C-17 Fleet: A Strategic Airlift Shortfall?
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The United States Air Force requires a core airlifter to accomplish national military objectives. The current aircraft that fills this role, the aging C-141 Starlifter, is being replaced by the C-17 Globemaster III. The success of this new airlifter depends not only on its inherent capabilities, but also on the size of the fleet. Determining the right size rests on our ability to forecast future requirements and tailor our airlift assets to net established objectives. Current studies and recent contingencies indicate that strategic airlift force structure will be unable to meet our present national security strategy and national military objectives. This report analyzes the ability of our current and future airlift forces to project and sustain U.S. power abroad. To this end, the focus of the research is in three resource planning areas 1 present and future requirements 2 current capabilities and 3 airframe attrition. In the requirements discussion, the analysis highlights the underestimation of airlift needed to deploy and sustain U.S. forces in major regional conflicts around the world. The capabilities section examines airlift to the extent to which current and future fleets et projected requirements. Finally, the last segment emphasizes the need to account for airframe attrition when using resource planning models. The findings from this research project indicate that Air Mobility Command, although seriously concerned about deficient core airlift capabilities, will not have the ability to meet future taskings posed by major regional conflicts.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Transport Aircraft
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies