A Global Access Strategy for the U.S. Air Force
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The United States Air Force USAF has undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at improving its responsiveness and effectiveness in fast-moving, quickly evolving contingencies. Whether confronting a humanitarian crisis in Africa, sustaining a peacekeeping operation in Southwest Asia, or fighting a major war in Korea, the USAF has sought to increase its contributions to deterrence, crisis response, and war fighting when called on to respond to challenges to U.S. interests. To accomplish this goal, the Air Force has instituted significant changes in its organization, operations, doctrine, and planning. Having reconstituted itself as an expeditionary aerospace force, or EAF, the Air Force is now in the process of changing many aspects of how it does business. This report is intended to contribute to this process by helping the Air Force think through one critical aspect of its future access for basing. Many important components of U.S. power projection capabilities, including land-based fighters and Army divisions, rely on access to overseas installations, foreign territory, and foreign airspace. The Army has no role other than homeland defense if its forces do not venture outside U.S. borders, and the Marine Corps raison detre is the conduct of expeditionary operations from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli. Even the Navys carrier battle groups, free of the need for foreign bases per se, nevertheless require access to foreign ports and facilities for resupply and other support functions.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics