Strategic Airlift in Africa: Understanding Challenges and Opportunities for the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) and Member Nations
Aug 20, 2021
The Movement Coordination Centre Europe commissioned RAND Europe to conduct a scoping study to understand constraints of operating in Africa, as well as barriers to the efficient coordination of airlift and other logistic support in the continent. The African theatre of operations is of increasing strategic importance but presents a wide range of challenges hampering coordination between Member Nations.
The African theatre has long been viewed as logistically challenging to operate in; its geography is characterised by its sheer size and scale, and a diversity of different terrains. Many of the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE)’s 28 Member Nations currently have military forces deployed across Africa as part of a variety of national and multinational missions, with concentrations in the Sahel and Horn of Africa.
While a significant number of these deployments are relatively small and with a light footprint, interest in the African theatre of operations is growing and the logistics effort required to support future deployments is only likely to increase. Physical barriers to logistics support solutions in Africa are compounded by the lack of regional hubs or forward bases, meaning that there is an over-reliance on inter-theatre and strategic airlift direct to the point of requirement. Strategic airlift assets are overstretched and in short supply globally.
Against this backdrop, RAND Europe was commissioned by the MCCE to carry out a scoping study into the challenges associated with coordination of strategic lift in and around Africa. While this study focuses primarily on airlift, it also considers other modes of transport (e.g. road, rail, sea) as part of possible multi-modal solutions. The aim was to identify any potential transferrable lessons from other campaigns, along with areas that would merit further detailed investigation.
Challenges for coordination of airlift in Africa
Implications and areas for further investigation
Further information on challenges for coordination