Air Force Noncombat Operations

Lessons From the Past, Thoughts for the Future

by Robert J. Lempert, Donald E. Lewis, Barry Wolf, Richard Bitzinger


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 5.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback111 pages $30.00 $24.00 20% Web Discount

In the years ahead, noncombat operations ranging from disaster relief to "AWACs diplomacy" are likely to form a growing portion of Air Force activities. This note examines the Air Force's experience with such operations over the last fifty years. The U.S. has called on the Air Force and other military services for these operations in the past because they are trained and equipped for hazardous duty, they provide a political or strategic benefit when used in humanitarian endeavors, and they can provide organizational structures where ordinary civil institutions are not functioning. To better support future noncombat operations, the Air Force may need to make special provisions for training, specialized equipment, infrastructure, and institutional arrangements. For example, it will need to be able to operate in areas with primitive airfields and inadequate local facilities. It may also need to carry out massive civil airlifts, such as supplying Russian cities during long winters.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.