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The U.S. Air Force is committed to the Air and Space Expeditionary Force concept and the transformation that is necessary for it to project power quickly to any region of the world. Forward positioning of heavy war reserve materiel (WRM) resources in optimal forward support locations (FSLs) is key to the Air Force’s ability to respond to a wide variety of potential scenarios. This monograph evaluates a set of global FSL basing and transportation options for storing WRM. The authors present an analytical framework that can be used to evaluate alternative FSL options. A central component of the authors’ framework is an optimization model that allows a user to select the best mix of land-based and sea-based FSLs for a given set of operational scenarios, thereby reducing costs while supporting a range of contingency operations.

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The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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