Reconfiguring Footprint to Speed Expeditionary Aerospace Forces Deployment
Studies examining support requirements for expeditionary operations have determined that moving all the materiel needed within the goal of 48 hours is infeasible at present. As a result, there has been a call for "footprint reduction"-reducing the amount of materiel and personnel deployed. Some attention has been given to reducing the size of equipment (smaller avionics testers, lighter shelters and billeting equipment), but such reductions may not be feasible in all areas. Researchers have also examined such alternatives as time-phasing the deployment of support and relocating some equipment to places other than forward operating locations. This study develops an analysis framework, footprint configuration, to assist in devising and evaluating such comprehensive strategies. It also attempts to define footprint and to establish a way to monitor its reduction. Because the whole point of the expeditionary concept is to be ready to deploy quickly to bases that might be unprepared, generic equipment lists are needed that are not tailored to specific bases but that can be used as templates for deployment packages. Such lists could serve as a starting point for tailoring for deliberate planning and as a basis for strategic support.