A Perspective on the USAFE Collocated Operating Base System
This Note documents the results of an evaluation of selected management issues associated with the development of the collocated operating base (COB) program in NATO. The COB concept was developed in response to requirements for bedding down the large number of aircraft that the U.S. Air Force will send to Europe to support current contingency plans for augmenting USAFE (U.S. Air Forces in Europe) based in the theater. The research was designed to (1) assess the current status of the COB system of airbases in Europe; (2) evaluate the capability of the COBs, especially their ability to generate and sustain wartime sorties; (3) identify means of enhancing the combat contribution of the COBs; and (4) identify actions that could improve the wartime readiness of COB-related resources. The authors suggest that USAFE staff develop two general policy areas to ensure that the COBs provide the planned defense posture: (1) a concerted program to increase peacetime emphasis on designing and implementing the COB system and (2) specific programs to evaluate and test the warfighting capabilities of COB-based augmented air forces.