Defense Infrastructure

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The buildings and permanent installations necessary for the support, deployment, and operation of a nation's military constitute its defense infrastructure. RAND research has examined the structure and needs of U.S. and allied military facilities, provided recommendations concerning base realignment, and investigated ways to maximize the capabilities and utilization of existing resources and to define future infrastructure needs.

  • North Carolina Air National Guard Airman Staff Sgt. Jay Benton transports equipment with a fork-lift at a warehouse in western North Carolina, June 18, 2020, photo by Sgt. Marcel Pugh/U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Military and Defense-Related Supply Chains

    Jun 22, 2021

    After the Cold War, U.S. logistics planners moved away from a focus on effectiveness to a focus on efficiency in the sense that little is left idle for significant periods and that commodities are delivered at minimum cost. The ability of the system to support the joint force in the event of major conflict is at best untested and could be problematic.

  • A facility at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, was severely damaged by Hurricane Michael, October 10, 2018, photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Conroy/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    How Can the Department of the Air Force Prepare for Natural Hazards?

    Aug 9, 2021

    Some Air Force facilities are exposed to flooding, high winds, wildfires, or even multiple hazards. Future costs of damages are uncertain, and climate change could affect the frequency and scale of these hazards. The process for making investment decisions regarding resilience should be flexible.

Explore Defense Infrastructure

  • Report

    Report

    Enhancing Defence's Contribution to Societal Resilience in the UK: Lessons from International Approaches

    This study sought to understand other nations' approaches to societal resilience to enhance UK resilience. The study defined societal resilience and its importance, analysed other countries' practices, and identified lessons relevant to UK Defence.

    Oct 21, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The Growing Exposure of Air Force Installations to Natural Disasters

    Some Department of the Air Force installations face high levels of exposure to flooding, wildfires, or high winds. Twenty installations have areas with high or very high wildfire potential.

    Sep 16, 2021

  • Joint operations in the Pacific, photo by U.S. Navy/Chief Photographer’s Mate Todd P. Cichonowicz

    Report

    Aligning Roles and Missions for Future Multidomain Warfare

    The formal decisions, documents, and events that established the roles, missions, and functions (RMF) of the U.S. Department of Defense and the military services in the early postwar years are over 70 years old. Is the existing RMF framework fundamentally sound, requiring only modest adjustments?

    Aug 19, 2021

  • Massive coils of heavy high tension wire to rebuild the island's electrical distribution system arrive at the lay-down yard in this undated photo in Ponce, Puerto Rico, photo by Jerry Rogers/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Commentary

    U.S. Military Power Comes from More Than Just the Defense Budget

    With U.S. domestic challenges ranging from the ongoing pandemic to long-delayed infrastructure investments, now is a good time to consider spending that provides both domestic and national security benefits. Infrastructure spending offers one such example.

    May 10, 2021

  • Hawaiian Electric contractors deliver six 159-ton generators to the 50-megawatt power plant being constructed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, July 20, 2017, photo courtesy of Hawaiian Electric Company via U.S. Defense Department

    Commentary

    The Pentagon Could Help Improve Resilience of the U.S. Electric Grid

    The resilience and robustness of the U.S. electric grid needs to be improved, especially given the likely increased occurrence and magnitude of natural disasters due to climate change. This is where government entities that operate large facilities in the United States, such as the Department of Defense, can potentially play a role.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly over Joint Base Langley-Eustis’ Felker Army Airfield at Fort Eustis, Virginia, June 12, 2018. Felker Army Airfield represents the success of consolidating Army and Air Force operations through a joint base as the airfield continues to support aerial missions while being operated by the Air Force’s 1st Operations Support Squadron, photo by Tech. Sgt. Natasha Stannard/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Winning the Battle of the Airfields

    Airfields have long been recognized as essential military facilities. And combatants have gone to great lengths to destroy enemy aircraft on the ground and to deny the use of airfields through attacks. What enduring lessons do RAND's seven decades of work on air base defense and attack provide?

    Feb 24, 2021

  • Sign that says Fort Bragg, Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    How to Protect Army Installations from Emerging Threats

    Emerging technologies such as drones, 5G communications, smart city systems, and the use of social media disinformation by adversaries all pose potential threats to U.S. Army bases. A new framework can help assess possible solutions and the resources required to defend against these threats.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Alternatives for Reducing Army Installation Utility Bills While Enhancing Installation Readiness

    Researchers identified options for reducing installation utility costs in three areas: reducing commodity payments; finding alternative funding sources for energy and water system investments; and leveraging nontraditional partnerships.

    Jun 18, 2020

  • SOUTHCOM, headquarters, Southern Command, Miami

    Report

    Improving the Allocation and Execution of Army Facility Sustainment Funding

    To identify strategies and make recommendations on improving the allocation and execution of Army installation facility sustainment funding, the authors compare Army practices with those in the other Services and in the public and private sectors.

    Apr 23, 2020

  • Cyber warfare specialists engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland, June 3, 2017, photo by J.M. Eddins Jr./U.S. Air Force

    Report

    The Defense Industrial Base Needs a Cyber Protection Program

    The unclassified networks of defense industrial base firms have become a target for adversaries seeking to steal sensitive data, trade secrets, and intellectual property. How can the U.S. Department of Defense better secure these networks?

    Mar 30, 2020

  • Engineer Anu Narayanan at the RAND office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 21, 2020, photo by Jim Mendenhall/Pro Photography Network

    Q&A

    Thinking Outside the Grid: Q&A with Anu Narayanan

    Anu Narayanan, an engineer at RAND, is a specialist in what-ifs. Her research focuses on critical infrastructure and national security. In this interview, she discusses her latest work that explores what would happen if a cyberattacker tried to take down the power grid.

    Mar 5, 2020

  • Electric power lines behind a network illustration, photo by kosssmosss/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Options for Deterring Attacks Against the Power Grid

    The U.S. military relies on electric power to accomplish critical missions. And most of the electricity consumed by installations in the continental United States comes from the commercial grid. How can the Defense Department protect the power grid from physical and cyber attacks?

    Jan 6, 2020

  • uturistic soldiers wearing virtual reality goggles, photo by Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images

    Report

    Next-Generation Wargaming for the U.S. Marine Corps

    The U.S. Marine Corps has an opportunity to adopt wargaming best practices, tools, and approaches from other sources and adapt them to suit its needs. What courses of action should the Marine Corps take toward building its next-generation wargaming concept?

    Oct 16, 2019

  • MNF-S forces defend Panama Canal during PANAMAX exercise, photo by TSgt Heather Redman/DVIDS

    Report

    Valuing Air Force Electric Power Resilience

    How well do current Air Force processes evaluate power resilience investments? A proposed framework identifies cost- and performance-related information in a clear manner that facilitates decisionmaking.

    Jun 3, 2019

  • An F-16 fighter jet lands at a U.S. Air Force base in Osan, South Korea, April 3, 2013, photo by Lee Jae Won/Reuters

    Commentary

    'Cost Plus 50' Explained

    The Trump administration may be considering requiring host nations to subsidize the entire cost of the U.S. military presence and pay an additional 50 percent of that amount. This type of transactional foreign policy increases the risk that countries will rethink their agreements to host U.S. forces, and that could reduce the U.S. military's ability to operate globally.

    Mar 15, 2019

  • Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, during the 2018 Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, August 13, 2018

    Commentary

    Explaining the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) Critical Role in National Security

    Despite its varied roles and responsibilities, the DIA can be boiled down to just two core missions: intelligence analysis and intelligence collection. Having a better understanding of these core missions could help to properly frame the agency’s value to the intelligence, military, and policymaking communities.

    Jan 11, 2019

  • Marines unload from an MV-22B Osprey at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, June 4, 2018

    Report

    Preparing for Post-ISIL Access Challenges

    As the conflict against ISIL enters a new phase, a stronger basing posture against adversary networks in and around Syria and the Sinai Peninsula is needed. U.S. Central Command must plan for the possibility of losing access to Iraqi bases and airspace. An interactive tool can help identify robust basing options.

    Sep 10, 2018

  • Report

    Report

    Defense Planning in a Time of Conflict: A Comparative Analysis of the 2001–2014 Quadrennial Defense Reviews, and Implications for the Army — Executive Summary

    This summary highlights findings from a comparative analysis of the four Quadrennial Defense Reviews conducted after 1997, identifying trends, implications, and recommendations for the Army and Defense Department to help improve future reviews.

    Jan 31, 2018