The Peacetime Tempo of Air Mobility Operations: Meeting Demand and Maintaining Readiness

The Peacetime Tempo of Air Mobility Operations: Meeting Demand and Maintaining Readiness

The Peacetime Tempo of Air Mobility Operations: Meeting Demand and Maintaining Readiness

The Peacetime Tempo of Air Mobility Operations: Meeting Demand and Maintaining Readiness

Excerpt

Air mobility forces are organized, trained, and equipped to simultaneously satisfy two objectives: meet peacetime demand and maintain wartime readiness. Peacetime demands can fluctuate greatly and unexpectedly, as evidenced by the tempo of U.S. military operations in the 1990s decade. Peacetime demands, both too high and too low, can lead to problems during wartime and to longerterm problems once the air mobility forces return to peacetime operations.

RAND's Project AIR FORCE has recently completed three studies of the air mobility forces. This study assesses Air Mobility Command operations at an aggregate level to better understand the characteristics of peacetime tempo, its potential effects, and alternatives for fixing emerging problems. A related study (Waging Peace: Addressing the Peacetime Tempo of the Mobility Air Forces, MR-1574-AF, forthcoming) assesses the stresses that the peacetime operations tempo has imposed on air mobility forces at the unit level. Another study (“Enduring Challenge: The Impact of the Global War on Terrorism on Air Mobility Forces,” forthcoming with limited distribution) examines air mobility support in Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as challenges that could be faced in future operations conducted in support of the global war on terrorism. Together, these studies provide important insights into challenges faced by the air mobility forces in peacetime and war, and they identify specific problems that need to be addressed.

This report compares the peacetime tempo of air mobility operations during the Cold War with that of the post-Cold War period. It then identifies potential problems that would impede the ability of the Air Mobility Command to meet peacetime demand and maintain wartime readiness. Finally, it suggests corrective measures to alleviate the identified problems. It should be of interest to analysts, military planners, and policymakers concerned with air mobility operations in both peacetime and wartime.

Although the bulk of this research was completed just prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the report also assesses how post-attack activities . . .

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