|About the Book|
With the United States 19 reliance on rapid power projection, there is little prospect demands on airlift will decrease. On the contrary, today s significant gap between requirements and capabilities will likely increase as the nation faces new challenges prosecuting the war on terrorism. One of which is the increased likelihood of airlift forces operating in hostile environments due to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and man-portable surface-to-air missiles. There are several possible mainstream solutions to meet growing airlift demands including purchasing additional military-style aircraft, refurbishing aging aircraft, increasing Civil Reserve Air Fleet involvement, stockpiling more pre-positioned equipment, or increasing burden sharing with allies. This thesis asks whether complementing Air Mobility Command s current military-style aircraft fleet with commercially available aircraft is the most fiscally responsible option for solving Department of Defense s intertheater airlift shortfall? Given the long lead times for design, funding, and acquisition, understanding future requirements and operating environment is important. Unfortunately, predicting the future is impossible and often leads to incorrect and expensive assumptions. Therefore, when creating a future airlift fleet, planners should not only provide capability to meet specific threats, but also provide a sufficiently robust, flexible, and most generally capable force effective against even unforeseen circumstances.