Supporting Air and Space Expeditionary Forces: Lessons from Operation Enduring Freedom

By Robert S. Tripp; Kristin F. Lynch et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Two
AN OVERVIEW OF JTF NA AND OEF

Every military operation has its own unique characteristics. Therefore, neither the performance of the current support system nor the design of a future combat support system can be solely judged by or based on any one experience. That said, both JTF NA and OEF provide important experiences that warrant study for combat support operations. In this chapter, we discuss some characteristics of combat support during JTF NA and OEF to show similarities and differences between the two operations. We first compare the size and scope of these two recent U. S. Air Force operations.


OPERATIONS

For comparison, Figure 2.1 presents the size and scope of U. S. Air Force operations in Joint Task Force Noble Anvil and Operation Enduring Freedom. We compare JTF NA and OEF to illustrate the differences between what are both considered small-scale contingencies, although neither could be considered “small” in all aspects. The figure provides a quantitative comparison of the number of Air Force sorties flown, amount of munitions expended, number of beddown locations,1 and number of Air Force personnel and aircraft deployed in these recent operations (Rosenthal, 2002; USAF, 437th Airlift Wing, 2002). By these measures, OEF could be considered a small combat operation compared with JTF NA.

____________________
1
We use the term beddown location to refer to locations at which personnel and/or aircraft were based during operations.

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