Cover: A Framework for Enhancing Airlift Planning and Execution Capabilities Within the Joint Expeditionary Movement System

A Framework for Enhancing Airlift Planning and Execution Capabilities Within the Joint Expeditionary Movement System

Published May 1, 2006

by Robert S. Tripp, Kristin F. Lynch, Charles Robert Roll, Jr., John G. Drew, Patrick Mills

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Recent operations abroad have shed light on shortfalls in the way the Air Force performs intratheater airlift within the military joint end-to-end multimodal movement system. Cargo backlogs, insufficient methods of tracking cargo, inefficient use of airlift resources, and a lack of discipline in requesting airlift support were among the problems identified. Using an expanded strategies-to-tasks framework as a “lens” for evaluating intra- and intertheater movement, the authors assess current intratheater airlift processes, organizations, doctrine, training, and systems. The report catalogues identified shortfalls and recommends options for improving the Theater Distribution System. They recommend a clear separation of supply, demand, and integrator roles, and they provide several organizational options. They also suggest the adoption of a closed-loop planning and execution process that focuses on the trade-offs in effectiveness and efficiency of alternative network options.

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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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