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The Department of Defense in recent years has shifted from sizing and shaping its forces using threat-based planning to structuring its forces to provide a range of capabilities. Given this transition, the need has arisen for new methods to assess the Air Force’s manpower and materiel deployment capabilities. In response to this need, the authors outline a method for assessing Air and Space Expeditionary Force capabilities given certain policies and resource levels, and they illustrate how this method can contribute to the capabilities-based planning environment. They give a detailed description of prototype analytical software tools developed by RAND for quantifying deployment capabilities and provide illustrative examples of how the tools can be used in capabilities assessments. They conclude with strategies for facilitating the implementation of such an analytical framework.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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