Expeditionary Airpower

A Global Infrastructure to Support EAF

Published in: Air Force Journal of Logistics, v. XXIII, no. 2, Summer 1999, p. 2-7, 38-39

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1999

by Lionel A. Galway, Robert S. Tripp, John G. Drew, C. Christine Fair, Timothy Ramey

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The United States has entered an entirely new security environment. It is now the only global superpower in a world of many regional powers. The subsequent demands for US military presence or intervention required the US Air Force to stage a large number of deployments--often on short notice and to far-flung locations--with a substantially smaller force than existed in the 1980s. In response the Air Force formulated a new concept of force organization, the Expeditionary Aerospace Force (EAF). Under this concept, the Air Force is divided into several Air Expeditionary Forces (AEF), each roughly equivalent in capability, among which deployment responsibilities will be rotated. The shift toward expeditionary operations presents numerous challenges, particularly in combat support. The authors present analyses that indicate achieving the EAF goals with current support processes requires strategic preparation of a global support infrastructure: the development of a global system of forward locations, judiciously prepositioned materiel, and providing other types of logistics support such as maintenance and transportation. They analyze two key aspects of that global infrastructure: forward operating locations (FOLs) and forward support locations (FSLs).

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