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An Force Jihirial‘^Locistics 

Air Force Journal Logistics 

Volume XXIV, Number 2_ Summer 2000 _ AFRP25-1 


2 Big Week—Eighth Air Force Bombing 20-25 February 1944 
How Logistics Made Big Week Big 

Major Jon M. Sutterfield 

14 Alternate Munitions Prepositioning—Strategy 2000 
John B. Abell, RAND 
Carl Jones, RAND 
Louis W. Miller, RAND 
Mahyar A. Amouzegar, RAND 
Robert S. Tripp, RAND 
Clifford Grammich, RAND 

20 Global Access—Strategy 2000 

David A. Shlapak, RAND 
John Stillion, RAND 
Olga Oliker, RAND 
Tanya Charlick-Paley, RAND 
Robert S. Tripp, RAND 
Clifford Grammich, RAND 


1 Force Support for the Expeditionary Air Force 

Captain Ronald N. Dains 

27 Best Value in Source Selections 

Captain Jonathan L. Wright 


26 Personnel and Career Information 

Logistics Officer Manning—A Growing Concern for Commanders 
Major William R. Donovan 

34 1999 AFJL Awards 

Most Significant Article 

Logistics Lessons Learned 

Best Article Written by a Junior Officer 

General Michael E, Ryan 
Air Force Chief of Staff 

Lieutenant General Michael E. Zettler 
Deputy Chief of Staff, Installations and 

Colonel Ronne G. Mercer 

Air Force Logistics Management Agency 

Lieutenant Colonel James C. Rainey 
Air Force Logistics Management Agency 


Beth F. Scott 

Air Force Logistics Management Agency 

Associate Editor 

Captain Andrew W. Hunt 

Air Force Logistics Management Agency 

Associate Editor 

Captain Reginald R Festejo 

Air Force Logistics Management Agency 

Contributing Editor 

Lieutenant Colonel Gail Waller 

Air Force Logistics Management Agency 

The Air Force Journal of Logistics {AFJL), published quarterly, is the professional logistics publication of the United States Air Force. It provides an 
open forum for presenting research, innovative thinking, ideas, and issues of concern to the entire Air Force logistics community. It is a nondirective 
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the established policy of the Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, the Air Force Logistics Management Agency, or the organization 
where the author works. 

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accuracy, reflection of existing policy, and proper regard for security. 

The publication of the AFJL, as determined by the Secretary of the Air Force, is necessaiy in the transaction of the public business as required by 
the law of the Department. The Secretary of the Air Force approved the use of funds to print the Journal, 17 July 1986, in accordance with AFI 37- 

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Articles in this edition may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. If reproduced or reprinted, the courtesy line “Originally published 
in the Air Force Journal of Logistics,” should be included. 

A Function of Logistics Capability 

F orce Support 
for the 

Air Force 


Ronald N. Dains 

20000922 048 

1 don 7 ever, ever, ever want to hear the term logistics tail again. If our aircraft, 
missiles and weapons are the teeth of our military might, then logistics is the muscle, 
tendons, and sinew that make the teeth bite down hard and hold on—logistics is 
the jawbone! Hear that? The JAWBONE! 

Lieutenant General Leo Marquez^ 

Attend any professional sports event, and 
you will find fans wearing the names of 
their favorite team members on T-shirts, 
sweatshirts, and possibly tattooed onto 
their skin. Normally, the names are of 
football quarterbacks or running backs, 
baseball pitchers or home-run hitters, or 
the most current basketball phenom. Very 
seldom does one see names of second- 
string punters or centers, guys with low 
batting averages, or the basketball guard 
who was traded for the fourth time in the 
current season. You do not see enthusiastic 
fans sporting the name of the team’s 
equipment manager, bus driver, or stadium 
janitor on a garment either. This is part of 
our American heritage, which holds that 
we associate achievement with a hero or 
winner. In the movie Patton,^ George C. 
Scott eloquently reenacted General 
Patton’s address to the Third Army. In this 
address, he elicited a surge of patriotism 
and can do spirit by stating, “Americans 
love a winner. Americans will not tolerate 
a loser.”^ He drew on the power of positive 

association. Unfortunately, the things or 
people we associate with often hold little 
regard for the sacrifices made by so many 
people behind the scenes. This psyche 
pervades our Air Force today. While 
healthy in most respects and, indeed, 
critical to creating a winning team, it may 
be detrimental in the long run if people 
lose sight of their roles and responsibilities 
by focusing their efforts on proving their 
worth solely through methods of 

Visit an Air Force base today, and you 
will see Air Force members in a green, 
gray, or blue flight suit, depending on 
their function as flight crew or space and 
missile operations. Some military 
members may also wear polo shirts or 
wind suits with embroidered logos 
specific to their organization. 
Nonsurgical personnel may be wearing 
scrubs at clinics and hospitals. You may 
sense that people, in general, have an 
aversion to being found in blues or, 
heaven forbid, battle dress uniform 

(BDU). This is not to question the validity 
or functional necessity of the clothing. 
Rather it questions the rationale 
commanders, managers, and policy 
makers use to justify the need and 
expenditures to provide these special 
items. Are we focusing too much on the 
seemingly pervasive need to associate 
with winners (read those in flying career 
fields) and thereby foregoing association 
with the larger Air Force team? Or are we 
maintaining a clear view of the Air Force 
mission, membership in the profession of 
arms, and merely attempting to boost 

We, as an institution, are allowing 
individuality (perhaps with morale in 
mind) to slowly erode our sense of 
mission and esprit de corps. How do we, 
as Air Force leaders, motivate our people 
(especially those in support functions) to 
value their role on the larger Air Force 
team while allowing the power of 
association to remain as a normal, healthy 
organizational behavior? The sheer 
numbers of people in the nonflying career 
fields should make this leadership 
challenge relatively easy. Of the 363,724 
officer and enlisted members in the Air 
Force in January 1999, only 39,982 were 

(Continued on page 35) 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 




20-25 VEIHUJAKY 1044 

If any indisputable logistic lesson can he drawn from World War II, it is 
that in any major war involving industrial powers, no nation can hereafter 
emerge victorious without substantial and sustained superiority over its 
enemy in the quality and the quantity of its weapons and suppdfiing, 



^7p;^frr£[f)y ochBr.fsiasi^ 
rllesD befofB,, wan 

mobilization, unit hnildup and bedd( 


Major GenehftL^. R. Cd^k, USA 

T he night of 19 February 1944 found England shrouded uhc^er 
a heavy cloud cover, but the weather over Germany was 
breaking. While the murk might complicate getting away and 
possibly landing, General Spaatz had made his decision—“Let ‘em 
go.”2 What was to be called the Big Week (20-25 February 1944) h 
begun. The next day, 20 February, saw the largest force of air 
up to that time take off and head for targets in Germany. England 
literally shook under the roar of engines—some 1,004 bomber aircraft 
plus their fighter escorts.^ 

The primary objective of Big Week was to direct a strategic bombing 
campaign against the Luftwaffe that would destroy its means to 
continue the war and, as a result, gain air superiority before Operation 
Overlord.'’ Bomber operations were conducted principally by the 
Eighth Air Force, with support from both the Fifteenth Air Force and ^ 
the Royal Air Force (RAF). In theater logistics support, the key 
element that allowed the Eighth Air Force to kick off Big Week, came 
from the VIII Air Force Service Command (AFSC). An order 
magnitude measure of this logistics effort is seen in theji^j^ 
bomber aircraft generated -VIII AFSC made 
available, an unprc edented number. How^ 
of logistics support, often on a scale 

necessary for Big Week, These inoJirde^il^lBfflffl^^^dustrLal 


facility expansion and modernization, training and equipping 
of personnel, and organization of air logistics activities. As is 
often the case, much of the planning, preparation, and execution 
of the Eighth’s bombing operations was subject to uncertainties 
that made logistics support difficult and required improvisation 
on the part of both logistics organizations and logistics 

The Foundations of 
Eighth Air Force Logistics 

Annies do not go out and have a fight and one guy wins 
and the other loses and the winner takes all. Throughout 
history victorious commanders have been those that knew 
logistics when they saw it. Before any plans can he made to 
provide an army, logistics must be provided first. Histoiy 
has changed a lot, but logistics has been the crux of eveiy 
one of these changes, the nail that was missing, which lead 
to the loss of a country lead to a lot of those decisions.^' 

Major General Hugh J. Knerr, USAAF 

Industrial Mobilization Planning 

Organizations and planning that focused on industrial 
mobilization were primarily the result of the National Defense 
Act of 1920 and the Industrial Mobilization Plan of 1924. The 
Defense Act established the War Department Planning Branch, 
Army and Navy Munitions Board, and Army Industrial College. 
It also directed the Assistant Secretary of War to prepare 
mobilizations plans. The Industrial Mobilization Plan of 1924 
called for instantaneous industrial mobilization upon declaration 
of war (M-day), based on the assumption that civilian leadership 
would not accept gradual mobilization prior to a declaration of 
war, and for military control of the economy. The plan was 
revised in 1934. A variety of flaws plagued mobilization 
planning efforts and the 1934 plan itself. These include incorrect 
assumptions (no civilian support for gradual mobilization), not 
addressing the needs of the civilian populace or potential allies, 
and military control of the civilian economy. Further, the 
operations staff that prepared the plan failed to seek input from 
either civilian leadership or industry and did not consult with 
relevant military logistics planning or support activities. 
Industrial mobilization planning in the post-1920 period was 
superficial at best and, therefore, “The muddling that had 
accompanied World War I mobilization was being repeated.”^ 
Even as late as 1940, when President Roosevelt wanted some 
50,000 aircraft produced per year, there was no guidance as to 
what types should be produced.^ 

Army/Army Air Forces Logistics Planning 

In September 1941, faculty from the Air Corps Tactical School 
drafted Air War Plans Division Plan No. 1 (AWPD-1) to address 
what would be needed should the United States go to war.*^ In 
August 1942, AWPD-1 was rewritten to address the requirements 
for conducting an air offensive against Germany, and this resulted 
in a new plan known as AWPD-42.‘‘’ In the fall of 1942, the US 
Army Air Force (USAAF) staff made aircraft utilization 
projections by aircraft type—which included allocations for 
attrition, transit, reserves, training, and modification—for 
November 1942 through December 1944, totaling in excess of 

65,000 aircraft." However, neither AWPD-1 nor AWPD-42 
addressed the needs of the RAF, logistical requirements beyond 
personnel end-strength, or anything more than a generic total of 
munitions required. Operational planning took precedence over 
logistical planning, which resulted in war plans that were 
incomplete at best. ‘The organization and proper position of the 
logistical arm had long been a subject of debate in the Army and 
the Army Air Force (AAF).”'“ Reeommendations by the 
commanding general. Army Service Forces (ASF) for 
standardizing organizations and procedures to improve 
efficiency and effectiveness were mi.sunderstood and rejected by 
the War Department. Lack of doctrine resulted in each theater 
commander establishing complex, unique logistics 
organizations. Further, the Army’s lack of emphasis on logistics 
training prior to the war—due to outright neglect—resulted in 
too few personnel with an extensive knowledge of logistics and 
its functions. Ultimately, during World War II, “Large 
headquarters with ill-defined and duplicating functions were the 
rule and achieved only partial success in coordinating supply ... 

In the summer of 1943, the Bradley-Kncrr committee made 
an extensive study of air force installations in Europe and 
published the Bradley Plan, which became part of the Air Force 
Buildup Plan. The plan, largely written by Major General Hugh 
Knerr, prescribed the manning and organization of air units and 
installations. A key feature of the plan was the requirement to 
establish third echelon maintenance activities (subdepots or 
service groups) manned by Air Service Command (ASC) 
personnel at each operational base. Third echelon maintenance 
would be augmented as necessary by depot field teams 
dispatched from fourth echelon (depot) maintenance 
organizations (base area depots and advance depots) to take care 
of abnormal battle damage repair loads. The Air Force Buildup 
Plan provided for coordinated buildup of combat units, increased 
flow of materiel, expansion of maintenance and supply 
installations, and increased stateside Air Service Command 
personnel. Shortly after the Bradley plan was adopted, Knerr was 
selected to command the VIIIAFSC in the United Kingdom (UK), 
where it became his task to put the plan into operation.'*^ 

Industrial Mobilization 

At the onset of and continuing well into World War II, industrial 
mobilization was hampered by a proliferation of organizations 
and procedures. 

In 1940, President Roosevelt created an advisory commission 
to address industrial mobilization. Roosevelt appointed William S. 
Knudsen, a General Motors executive, as the commission’s 
advisor for industrial production, and the commission reported 
directly to the President. The commission, however, was largely 
ineffective."*^ Military efforts to control the mobilization effort 
and the Army and Navy Munitions Board’s autonomy 
contributed to the commission’s difficulties and led to 
Roosevelt’s disenchantment with it."’ While every effort to gain 
control of the economy would be thwarted by the President, there 
can be no doubt this activity behind the scenes created more 
problems than it solved and negatively influenced civil-military 
relations. The one bright spot in the commission’s performance 
was giving industry the incentive to build munitions factories 
by allowing them to amortize all construction costs over a 5-year 
period. This was the brainchild of Donald M. Nelson, the chief 
merchandizing executive at Sears and an advisor to the 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

The President replaced the advisory commission with the 
Office of Production Management (0PM) on 7 January 1941 and 
appointed Knudsen as its director general, undoubtedly 
contributing to the 0PM’s ineffectiveness, as he was not 
considered a strong leader. The OPM lacked authority and was 
plagued by organizational design defects resulting in duplication 
of effort, so it could not dictate to industry, which still preferred 
to cater to the civilian population. Even Roosevelt’s declaration 
of national emergency on 27 May 1941 did not enhance the 
OPM’s clout. However, despite all its problems, the OPM 
accomplished a great deal. It surveyed industry to determine 
output by examining the potential to standardize production 
processes. In March 1941, it prioritized raw material usage and 
production of nondefense items. At the same time, the Army and 
Navy Munitions Board prioritized production of specific defense 
products. Considering the long lead times required for procuring 
and manufacturing machine tools, the OPM’s identification of a 
shortage in this area early in the mobilization effort is clearly 
significant.^”^ The OPM also initiated retraining programs to 
increase the pool of skilled labor and encouraged industry to hire 

In April 1941, the President created the Office of Price 
Administration and Civilian Supply. However, when the 
organization’s leader decided to end automobile and major 
appliance production for the civilian population, a decision with 
which the President disagreed, Roosevelt moved the civilian 
supply function to the OPM by creating the Supply Priorities 
Allocations Board. Donald M. Nelson, appointed to head the 
board, still worked for Knudsen as part of the OPM but possessed 
particular authority his boss did not, the authority to set priorities. 
The board set out to first establish an allocation process and then 
set priorities within the allocations. In late 1941, industrial 
production rates were stagnating because of prioritization 
problems with both raw materials and the mix of consumer-to- 
defense goods produced as a result of the OPM’s general lack of 
authority. Nelson, in his role as head of the Supply Priorities 
Allocation Board, cut back on production of automobiles, 
appliances, and raw material for civil sector use. While the 
reorganization that created the Supply Priorities Allocations 
Board did prove to be essential to satisfying the defense 
requirements for the Victory Plan, the board was often rendered 
ineffective by government officials who sought assistance from 
department secretaries or the President whenever things did not 
go their way.^^ In addition, the board was challenged with 
coordinating with the Services—who still retained their 
procurement authority—the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other 
powerful organizations. 

In January 1942, Roosevelt created the War Production Board 
(WPB) and appointed Nelson as its chairman. The War 
Production Board absorbed the OPM, Supply Priorities 
Allocation Board, and National Defense Advisory Committee. 
However, these organizations continued to perform a role under 
the WPB umbrella. During the war, the advisory committee grew 
to more than 20,000, with many of these people located at defense 
manufacturing facilities across the country. Throughout the war. 
Nelson and his staff were occupied by three problems as they 
tried to increase production. 

• Supplying raw materials from which war materiel and 

essential civilian products were made. 

• Providing the plants and equipment in the factories to 
manufacture the tools of war, 

• Staffing the plants with enough people who had the right 

Unfortunately, the WPB, like its predecessors, suffered from 
the lack of real authority to make decisions affecting the civilian 
populace. Its authority was further diluted when the President 
created the Office of War Mobilization. It did, however, have “the 
power to compel acceptance of war orders by any producer in 
the country and could requisition any property needed for the 
war effort.”^^ 

A key example of the effect the proliferation of industrial 
mobilization organizations and procedures would have on 
operational logistics is seen in munitions production. Beginning 
in early 1942, General George C. Marshall headed the Combined 
Chiefs of Staff, with authority over the munitions allocation 
process; however. Prime Minister Churchill and President 
Roosevelt retained the authority to resolve disagreements.^^ The 
Army and Navy Munitions Board determined military munitions 
requirements, and the Munitions Assignment Board controlled 
the assignment of all military hardware. The President and his 
various civilian organizations controlled resource allocation and 
the means of production. Clearly, with no fewer than four large 
organizations involved in munitions planning, the beginnings 
of major difficulties were created that would hinder the 
effectiveness of Allied bombing from late 1943 onward. 

In spite of many difficulties, the industrial output of the US 
grew almost geometrically into 1944. However, demand 
consistently exceeded production because of “overestimation 
of capacity by those responsible for producing materiel.”^^ 

In sum, while the military put much effort into planning, plans 
were often incomplete because they were formulated in a vacuum. 
Military leadership did not seek advice from industry leaders or 
consult with elected officials. The proliferation of civilian, civil- 
military, and military organizations—often with overlapping 
functions and lacking authority—resulted in duplication of 
effort, confusion, and frustration. Further, the military attempted 
to gain control of the economy, contrary to the desires of the 
President, adding to the problems. Clearly, all of this was 
counterproductive and retarded the efforts to build and sustain 
the logistics support necessary to conduct large air operations 
like Big Week. Major General O. R. Cook, Deputy Director of 
Service, Supply and Procurement, summed it up well: 

It is, therefore, imperative that advance plans provide for more 
effective civilian war agencies. Most serious duplications, wasteful 
methods, and complex procedures existed during World War II, 
when the organization of these agencies was largely improvised. 
Their very multiplicity impeded the accomplishment of essential 

The Pillars of Support 

Several military organizations provided logistical support to the 
Eighth Air Force and VIII Air Force Service Command in the 
United Kingdom. The USAAF’s Air Service Command provided 
stateside depot, technical, research and development, and 
acquisition support to the Eighth, while the ASF Service of 
Supply (SOS) provided the Eighth with items common to the 
Army and the USAAF. Although the Eighth and VIII AFSC 
together had a very large logistics capability and capacity, they 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


depended on the ASC and the ASF for supplies and support and 
could not have succeeded without their assistance. 

On 17 October 1941, the Air Service Command was activated 
and made responsible for acquisition of weapon systems and 
provision of fourth echelon (depot level) maintenance support 
to the warfighting commands."^ Headquarters USAAF 
established maintenance policies and procedures, while the Air 
Service Command issued technical instructions.^*^ However, 
there is evidence that field commanders occasionally issued 
guidance without ASC coordination.In early 1942, the Air 
Service Command also became responsible for providing 
airbases with third echelon (subdepot or intermediate-level) 
maintenance support.By June 1943, ASC’s work force of 
50,000 worked day and night to support the war effort.^^ The 
expansion of ASC’s depots and acquisition effort was vital to 
the Eighth’s ability to generate and sustain Big Week raids. 

The aviation industry in America had focused on research and 
development during the interwar years. This focus tended to 
result in the production of aircraft in small lots, so the ASC 
acquisition function faced the challenge of trying to convert the 
industry to a mass production ethos. 

In 1940, when President Roosevelt set a goal of producing 50,000 
aircraft per year and funds were appropriated in large amounts, 
severe acquisition problems developed. Many of the carefully 
developed procedures relating to advertising and competition had 
to be set aside simply because of a shortage of time.-^ 

Additionally, on 9 April 1942, Congress simplified accounting 
and contracting by appropriating funds for war materiel directly 
to the Service departments.^'^ 

“World War II demonstrated the importance of scientific 
research in a spectacular manner. Never in the history of warfare 
were there more rapid and far-reaching scientific and 
technological developments in weapons.Some of the most 
significant technological developments were the identification 
of suitable material and process substitutions to satisfy military 
requirements. Synthetic rubber is a good example of a 
substitution that was made in World War II. Much time and effort 
was required to research and develop suitable substitutes, but 
they played an important part in providing the logistical support 
necessary to sustain combat operations. In hindsight. Cook 
observed, “A most important logistic lesson is that our safety 
depends on the continuation of this close collaboration in the 
development of new instruments of war.”^' 

Improvements in supportability were also gained through the 
combination of engineering expertise and quality maintenance. 
“By strict adherence to the best standards of inspection and 
routine maintenance, it was possible to lengthen the time interval 
between overhauls and thus to increase the force available for 
operation.”-^- As early as July 1941, greatly reduced maintenance 
and supply demand resulted from lengthening aircraft inspection 
intervals by 25 percent.^"* The official history maintained: 

During the earlier years of the war... the desperate need for aircraft 
in most theaters argued so strongly for repair of the crippled or 
damaged plane that air depot and service groups were strained to 
provide the special skills, equipment, and materials to meet the 

The spare parts shortages that existed through the end of 1942 
made this problem more acute, and the difficulty was not 
overcome until late in the war.^'^ 

Between 1931 and 1939, the Air Corps had fewer than 2,000 
aircraft, and the depots’ small capacity was adequate as they 
overhauled an average of 166 planes and 500 engines annual!y.^^’ 
USAAF expansion after the summer of 1940 was so rapid the Air 
Service Command found it almost impossible to meet the steadily 
growing maintenance demands. The USAAF did not initiate 
depot expansion plans until late 1940; therefore, by 1941, the 
depots were wholly inadequate. From January 1942 through 
January 1944, depot modernization and expansion, along with 
the addition of eight depots and many subdepots, meant that 
capacity outstripped the availability of qualified technicians.^^ 

There were just not enough skilled technicians to meet 
demands, and there was no time to properly train unskilled 
laborers. The Air Service Command found itself in competition 
with the more attractive war industry employers in recruiting 
civilian laborers and generally suffered from a lower priority for 
civil service personnel fills. A training program for military 
personnel, which graduated hundreds of thousands of 
technicians, and special technical training programs for civilian 
employees recruited to work in .stateside depots only partially 
alleviated the personnel shortage.*^'"^ 

The Air Service Command also turned to the private sector 
for solutions, increasing depot capacity by contracting for 
training and transport aircraft maintenance and adopting mass 
production methods to improve productivity.-^'^ Production line 
techniques alleviated some problems associated with integrating 
unskilled labor into depot and flight-line maintenance functions 
worldwide. A task performed by one mechanic was broken down 
into several simple steps to quickly make new employees 
productive. Conveyor belt systems were used to support engine 
overhaul, repair of parts and accessories, ^md even some phases 
of aircraft inspection and repair.Depot management 
statistically measured and monitored production to identify areas 
for improved productivity and often adopted the innovative 
ideas of technicians for improving tools, equipment, and 
processes. The combination of special civilian training programs, 
use of military personnel in depots and contractors to augment 
depot capacity, and process improvements remedied the depot 
personnel shortage and improved quality and productivity.^' 

ASC acquisition, engineering, research and development, and 
depot maintenance activities were beneficial to the Eighth Air 
Force operations. The improvements made within the Air Service 
Command improved the Eighth’s and VIII AFSC logistical 
support capabilities to some extent. Whether in the form of a new 
aircraft, a repaired part, an aircraft modification, or a technical 
directive to maintainers, ASC performance directly impacted the 
Eighth’s performance. 

Similarly, the Eighth’s performance directly reflected that of 
the Army Service Forces. General Marshall’s reorganization of 
the War Department as America entered the war had created three 
separate but equal commands under the Chief of Staff. The new 
commands were the Army Ground Forces, USAAF, and the Army 
Service Forces. In the theater, the SOS commander supported the 
operational USAAF commanders. However, many commanders 
felt the Services of Supply infringed upon their responsibilities, 
and many misunderstandings occurred. 

The Army Service Forces established command in the UK in 
1943, with headquarters functions split between London and 
Cheltenham, resulting in inefficiency. “This split in SOS HQ was 
brought about by the desirability of having SOS planning staffs 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

near the various other planning agencies in London and by the 
inability of facilities in London to accommodate the entire 
staff.Communications support was inadequate and travel was 
time consuming, so the geographical separation caused acute 

... SOS was the “rear area” organization of the theater. Under field 
service regulations, the rear areas of a theater were organized as a 
“communications zone,” an autonomous theater-within-a-theater. 
The communications zone commander was responsible to the 
theater commander for moving supplies and troops from the zone 
of the interior forward to the combat zone. In this regard, he relieved 
the theater commander from . . . rear area activities .... In the 
European Theater of Operations (ETO), however, there was as yet 
not a combat zone—the entire theater was essentially a rear area. 
This geographic coincidence... exacerbated the ambiguities over 
... logistical roles 

The USAAF maintained its own supply system for things 
unique to its mission. Therefore, split USAAF supply support 
responsibilities existed as supply support of common items was 
provided by the ASF Services of Supply. This split was a source 
of great contention. 

Knerr, commanding general of the VIII Air Force Service 
Command and later the United States Strategic Air Force 
(USSTAF) Deputy for Administration, was responsible for all 
USAAF logistics in the United Kingdom. He hotly contested the 
Army’s tables of organization and tables of equipment that 
placed artificial limits on authorized manpower and equipment. 
Knerr wrote in 1945, “The tables of organization and tables of 
equipment are a convenient and simple means for a staff agency 
in the United States to do its job easily, but they place the people 
in the Theater of War in a straight jacket.He provided many 
examples of the impact strict adherence to these tables had on 
the war. Problems included shortages of vehicles to move 
ammunition, vehicle maintenance and ordnance equipment, and 
high-explosive bombs due to increased usage during late 1943. 
These problems made the execution of Big Week more 
challenging for the Eighth’s logisticians. More important, the 
latter problem meant that not every bomb dropped would 
produce the desired effect, increasing requirements to revisit 
targets."^^ Knerr believed the Army should reinvent its manpower 
and equipment authorization policies. He wanted the Army to 
use authorization tables more flexibly, like the USAAF supply 
tables, treated more as guidelines than strict policyAlthough 
Knerr tried to resolve many of these problems before February 
1944, the Army did not adopt his suggestions. 

ASC and ASF Services of Supply support was critical to the 
Eighth and VIII AFSC, but the theater logistics organization 
evolved throughout the war and was characterized by functional 
overlaps and power struggles. Even after the VIII AFSC 
shouldered the responsibility for supply distribution, the Army 
Service Forces provided it some supply support. 

Eighth Air Force Logistics 

Let US, the next time, have our logistics prepared before 
we plan to operate. We managed to skin by, in this last war, 
particularly in training personnel, on the logistic side by 
pulling ourselves out by our bootstraps .... Here 273 groups 
were set up but not a Depot Group was thought of That 
meant that the very late start that was made had to be taken 
care of in the theater, and in the European theater our 

logistic establishment in the Burgenwood (sic) area was 
simultaneously a training school and the support for the 
operating pilot But that is a bad situation to be inf^ 

Major General Hugh J. Knerr, USAAF 

An enormous effort was required to receive, support, and 
sustain the US bomber units, and British support was the key to 
success in massing strategic bombardment forces within striking 
distance of Germany. The British provided the materials for and 
constructed 91 of the 138 airfields required for American flying 
operations, allowing the forward deployment of USAAF units. 

The buildup of American air and ground forces in Britain 
(Operation Bolero) was determined by the logistics constraints the 
British-American coalition faced before the Normandy invasion. 
During the first year or so of its operational status from August 
1942, Eighth Air Force’s buildup was greatly helped by Britain’s 
industrialization and the RAF’s maturity. 

However, logistical sustainment of the deployed units was 
also critical in order to increase pressure on Germany and step 
up those efforts during Big Week. These efforts could only be 
made if flyable airframes and the right munitions were available. 
Unfortunately, the emphasis at home on aircraft acquisition 
overshadowed problems of supply and maintenance, which 
received inadequate attention from USAAF senior leadership 
until they became acute. 

As evidenced by the data in Table 1, the in-theater logisticians 
found a way to conquer obstacles and get the kind of results 
necessary to support an effort with the magnitude of Big Week. 
Although some of the success is attributable to the improvements 
made stateside, most of the credit goes to the American and 
British logisticians in the UK and those braving the Atlantic sea 
lines of communications. Dramatic improvements across the 
spectrum of logistics were made in less than 1 year, enabling the 
Eighth to sustain crippling bombing missions against Nazi 
Germany from Big Week onward. 

Leadership and Organizational Evolution 

The USAAF established the VIII AFSC to provide the Eighth’s 
combat units with supply, intermediate- and depot-level 
maintenance, and transportation support. However, in many 
respects, the AFSC concept was in direct conflict with the ASF 
Services of Supply 

Air service groups provided intermediate-level maintenance 
support for two combat groups, possibly with the squadrons 
dispersed. One air depot group supported two air service groups. 
However, in Europe, an entire combat group, sometimes two 
groups, usually operated at a single airfield, complicating 
intermediate-level maintenance operations. 


Dec 42 

Nov 43 

Aircraft Assembled 



Engines Overhauled 



Aircraft Modified 



tons of Bombs Delivered 



Propellers Repaired 



Supply Tonnage Received 



Truck Tonnage Hauled 



Table 1. VIII Air Force Service Command 
Production Comparisons^ 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


VIII AFSC established two depots in England and one at 
Langford Lodge, Ireland.^’** A government contracting oversight 
gave Lockheed control of all personnel working at the depot in 
Ireland, which further complicated operations.'^^’ 

General Knerr spearheaded the logistics efforts within the 
Eighth up to and beyond Big Week. His past experiences in 
corporate America, combined with those gained while part of the 
Bradley-Knerr Committee, did much to influence the logistics 
organizations and processes supporting the Eighth flying 
operations. Knerr arrived in Britain in July 1943 as the deputy 
commander, VIII AFSC.**^^ AFSC was separate from the Eighth 
and subordinated to the numbered air force A-4 (logistics) staff, 
resulting in conflicts between staff office and operating agency. 
Knerr pressed for a reorganization of the Eighth, consistent with 
the recommendation he made to the Bradley Committee, 
elevating AFSC to a status equivalent to other staff functions. 
He also sought to consolidate A-4 and AFSC headquarters and 
reorganize Headquarters Eighth Air Force around two deputies— 
one for operations and one for logistics. Knerr believed a 
commander in constant contact with his two deputies could 
eliminate the need for much staff work and get results by being 
able to make major decisions quickly. Knerr took control of the 
Eighth A-4 staff on 11 October 1943, while still acting as deputy 
commander of VIII AFSC. Shortly after that, he took command 
of the AFSC. Knerr, by December 1943, “absorbed the personnel 
and functions of A-4 to become, in effect, the sole logistical 
agency entitled to act in the name of the commanding general. 
Eighth Air Force. 

Unfortunately, the Eighth took staff and other resources from 
VIII AFSC, without warning, to stand up the Twelfth Air Force 
in October 1943. This unforeseen loss of resources degraded VIII 
AFSC capabilities for some time.*^'^ VIII AFSC anticipated the 
activation of IX AFSC, so when this occurred, it did not affect 
VIII AFSC as the need to support the Twelfth had.^^^ 

Reestablishment of the Ninth Air Force in Britain prompted 
further organizational changes. In late December 1943, General 
Carl Spaatz, commander of the newly created US Strategic Air 
Force, established a two-deputate structure, administration and 
operations. The deputy for administration would direct the 
logistics efforts of the Eighth and Ninth, while the deputy for 
operations would direct the strategic operation of both the Eighth 
and the Fifteenth.^’ With the birth of the USSTAF organization, 
Knerr became the deputy for administration. Knerr stated, “We 
had a good demonstration of the smooth operation of that 
partnership thesis during this war in Europe, and we should never 
forget that lesson because it produced results.”^’- Under this new 
command structure, Knerr made the final preparations and 
executed support of the Eighth bombing operations during Big 

Workloads resulting from initial combat operations, however, 
were greater than anticipated. In April 1943, VIII AFSC modeled 
itself after the Air Service Command by establishing three 
operating divisions—supply, maintenance, and personnel. This 
organizational change replaced the traditional general staff 
structure and produced a more effective operation. AFSC also 
decentralized operations in conjunction with this reorganization, 
allowing headquarters to focus on management and process 
improvement. In 1943, logistics organizations and processes 
were specialized and optimized, and the reduced threat of 
bombardment in the UK allowed for more efficient centrally 

located functions. However, VIII AFSC sustainment of the 
Eighth’s combat operations became a major problem, and the 
“anxious examination of the factors affecting the rate of bombing 
operation in the fall of 1943 had emphasized anew the basic 
importance of its varied functions.VIII AFSC had not 
addressed all the organizational overlaps, inefficiencies, and 
difficulties. Despite great organizational improvement, its 
effectiveness suffered. 

Infrastructure, Personnel, and Training 

“Britain contained a core of civilian workers with maintenance 
and supply management skills” but “logistics met with an 
immediate shortage of British labor at ports and construction 
sites.Although the number of USAAF personnel in Britain 
increased by 300 percent in 1943, buildup of AFSC personnel 
lagged behind that of combat forces and handicapped logistics.^’*’ 
Despite the fact that 1,000 Eighth Air Force personnel completed 
technical schools each month in 1943, Knerr noted the biggest 
problem he faced in 1943 was a shortage of personnel, and those 
he did have required training. He solved the problem, at least for 
the maintenance function, by cycling personnel through the air 
depot groups for formal training. Once trained, they were 
reassigned to air service groups, and “maintenance was no longer 
a problem.”^’*'’ 

In late 1943 and early 1944, thousands of unskilled and 
untrained workers were shipped to the UK to help man rapidly 
expanding depots. In order to use new personnel quickly, 
production-line methods were instituted. Although this 
approach was not efficient, there was no other way to productively 
employ these people more rapidly.^^ 

In June 1941, a factory representative section was established 
in London, and when the VIII AFSC was activated, it became 
responsible for the section. The factory representatives assisted 
the RAF and the USAAF with technical problems in the field and 
at depot. By May, it had 222 civilians representing 34 different 
American manufacturing companies. Then, as now, the factory 
representatives were invaluable in sustaining operations. 


“The decision in 1939 ... to put almost all of the funds made 
available to the Air Corps into complete aircraft explains in large 
part the critical shortage of spare parts which persisted through 
1942.”^’*^ Throughout 1942, aircraft grounded for lack of parts 
was a concern throughout the USAAF.^‘’ To make matters even 
more stressful for VIII AFSC, on 1 December 1942, the 
unanticipated withdrawal of supplies and essential personnel to 
support the Twelfth created much chaos.^' 

Through most of 1943, the Eighth’s logistics system suffered 
shortages because of shipping losses and the support it provided 
to the Twelfth. “Shortages of spare parts for such items as 
superchargers, bombsights, and trucks (which themselves were 
in short supply) were frequent.However, by the beginning of 
1944^ rnore than 190,000 supply items were cataloged, spares 
were at satisfactory levels, and “no aircraft was long on the ground 
for lack of spare parts.”^^ The improvement is attributable to the 
synergistic effects of: 

• Decreases in shipping losses. 

• Redeployment of Ninth Air Force to Britain. 

• Local purchase and manufacture. 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

• Improved transportation, maintenance, and supply distribution 

• The learning curve. 

• ASC service life extension and economic repair policies. 

US forces in the UK relied on merchant shipping that was 
subject to German U-boat attacks. U-boats caused the loss of 6.3 
million tons of cargo in 1942, but losses steadily declined in 1943 
and afterwards. Cargo reaching the UK increased from some 
50,000 tons in May 1943 to about 1 million tons in December 
1943, while monthly losses decreased from more than 700,000 
tons in November 1942 to approximately 100,000 tons in June 
1943 .’" 

Although cargo losses subsided, problems with manifests and 
cargo markings often delayed deliveries to units. In 1942, ships 
commonly arrived in the UK without the SOS having received a 
copy of the manifest or loading information. Even when 
documentation was received in a timely manner, it was often too 
general, making planning almost impossible.’^ Actions were 
taken to standardize markings and documentation, and dramatic 
improvement was realized. 

As late as the first quarter of 1943, only 46 percent of the manifests 
and Bills of Lading were being received five or more days before 
the arrival of the ships, and 24 percent were not received at all. 
However, during the month of April 1943,80 percent were received 
five or more days ahead of ships, and in May 90 percent. Thereafter, 
delays in receiving documentation ceased to be a serious problem.”^^ 

SOS unfamiliarity with USAAF markings and procedures 
delayed distribution of supplies and prompted VIII AFSC to 
establish in-transit depots at sea and aerial ports. Further 
improvements in distribution were realized by dividing the 
British Isles into two geographic zones. Northern Ireland was later 
established as a third zone. In-transit depot zoning was based on 
the capacity of the geographic area to receive supplies, and ships 
in the United States were then loaded with supplies based on 
zones, reducing the amount of intratheater transportation 
required within the UK. ” 

Consequently, VIII AFSC distributed all USAAF supplies 
received in the UK. With respect to the Eighth, the Services of 
Supply provided wholesale supply support, and VIII AFSC 
provided retail supply support.’^ On 14 December 1943, VIII 
AFSC reported that in-transit depots could deliver bulk supplies 
from the port to a depot or base within 72 hours. They also 
reported that 88.5 percent of requisitions were satisfied 
immediately and requisitions for items not on hand were being 
filled in less than 24 hours. These process improvements may 
seem simple, but they did wonders to make the flow of USAAF 
supplies to and within the UK more efficient and reliable.’^ 

It took the USAAF nearly 2 years to develop an effective 
supply statistics system to aid in spare parts requirement 
forecasting. As early as 1942, supply planning was accomplished 
using automatic supply tables based on peacetime consumption 
rates for 30-, 60-, 90-, and 180-day stock levels in 20-, 40-, and 
80-aircraft units. The tables were developed and implemented 
to help reduce pipeline times for high demand parts with low 
availability—some were, in fact, taking up to 2 months to obtain 
from the United States.^® Supply conferences were held in April 
and November 1943 to fine tune the tables.^^ 

In September 1943, the Air Service Command discontinued 
automatic resupply shipments for all but new aircraft types. An 

agreement to ship 50 percent of the 6-month requirement as soon 
as possible and the remainder 60 days later resolved the problem. 
Further process refinement averted both shortages and 
overstocks, and depots were authorized 90-day stock levels of 
specialized aircraft parts. Subdepots were authorized 6-month 
levels of common supply items. The prepositioned pipeline 
stocks were used to fill supply demands at all echelons of 

In October 1943, the VIII AFSC began to use 3-month forecasts 
to account for the effects of sortie rates, enemy opposition, repair 
facilities, and other factors that were not accounted for by the 
automatic supply tables. Supply transactions were recorded 
manually, and by late 1943, the aircraft fleet size made it evident 
that automation was necessary. However, automation did not 
occur until after 1944. As a result, Big Week did not enjoy the 
speed and efficiency of an automated supply demand forecasting 

The amount of equipment being shipped to support the 
Twelfth caused acute equipment shortages in the Eighth, 
hampering beddown and support of new units arriving in theater. 

During the early part of 1943, the movement of air echelons to the 

United Kingdom prior to the movement of ground echelons, service 

units, and their equipment, contributed to low serviceability. A new 

unit, for example, seldom reached a serviceability rate higher than 

50 percent during the first month of operations. 

To alleviate theater shortages, the USAAF began to require 
units deploying to the UK to ship their own equipment 1 month 
before deployment.^^ Given the lead times associated with the 
manufacture of peculiar support equipment items, this policy 
maximized the number of combat ready aircraft during Big 

Before February 1943, all requisitions were passed through 
HQ VIII AFSC, slowing the process and making it inefficient. 
After February 1943, the supply channels for Air Force-unique 
supply items were decentralized. Only those needs that could 
not be satisfied by military supply within the theater were passed 
to HQ VIII AFSC and filled, preferably by stateside ASC depots. 
If ASC could not satisfy the demand, local purchase was used as 
a last resort.^^ Supply stocks after the winter of 1943-1944 were 
adequate, and overages were shipped back to the United States.^’ 
Reinvention of supply demand processing 
procedures, beginning in February 1943, improved supply 

In a fine example of cooperation and teamwork, the “British 
dispensed all the petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) in Britain, 
even though most of it came from the United States under lend- 
lease.”^^ Further, British POL manpower brought some relief to 
VIII AFSC personnel shortages. 

By May 1942, it was apparent that operational requirements 
would not permit the delays associated with waiting for parts 
from the United States, so local procurement was begun. The 
Army SOS established the General Purchasing Board in May 
1942 for the purpose of locally procuring goods and services.^^ 
Shortly thereafter, the SOS commander granted VIII AFSC limited 
procurement authority.^° This decentralized procurement tool 
gave logisticians powers similar to today’s International 
Merchant and Procurement Authorization Card program.Also, 
by early 1943, local manufacture of some spare parts by European 
theater of operations depots aided in partially alleviating 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


A mutual aid agreement establishing reverse lend-lease with 
the British was signed 23 February 1942. In the first 2 years of 
the war, approximately 422,721 tons of supplies were procured 
from the British.'^^ “From June 1942 to July 1943, the British 
provided US forces in the UK half or more of their quartermaster, 
engineer. Air Corps, medical, and chemical warfare service 
supplies.”'^'^ During the war, the United States received more than 
$6.7B worth of goods and services from the British through 
reverse lend-lease.'^-"^ 

The supply support received from the British was significant 
as the United States suffered losses of 100,000 to 700,000 tons 
of shipping per month from late 1942 to mid-1943. Logistics 
personnel made good use of local purchase, local manufacture, 
reverse lend-lease, and pooled common supplies. These resources 
brought relief to weary maintainers by reducing the number of 
aircraft part cannibalization actions required to satisfy supply 
shortfalls while maximizing the mission capable rate. The RAF’s 
extensive use of US-built aircraft allowed the RAF and USAAF 
to create a large pool of common supplies in early 1943. VIII 
AFSC eventually took over procurement responsibility for the 
common supply pool, and many items were obtained from UK 
sources, reducing pipeline time and transport burdens.*^^’ It would 
not have been possible to execute Big Week in February 1944 if 
it had not been for the materials the United States received from 
the British through local purchase and reverse lend-lease, 
coupled with the synergistic effect of pooling common aircraft 
supplies and local manufacture capabilities. 

Maintenance and Munitions 

During 1943-1944, the average life of an Eighth Air Force heavy 
bomber was 215 days, during which it flew missions on 47 days 
and was undergoing maintenance, repair, or modification on 49 

The quality of maintenance was often the margin of difference 
between the life or death of an aircrew or the success or failure of 
a mission. The greatly increased rate of operations, the high incidence 
of battle damage, and the growing complexity of military planes 
during World War II made maintenance one of the most vital 
functions in waging of air war.‘^^ 

Maintenance system operations were flexible, and the amount 
of maintenance was determined by the availability of equipment, 
supplies, and manpower,Prior to mid-1944, heavy bomber 
maintenance organizations were constantly challenged by 
having to expend labor and parts to keep war-weary aircraft 
flying, since replacement aircraft were not available in sufficient 
quantities to stabilize aircraft availability with respect to losses.‘^‘^ 
Fighter and medium bomber serviceability was higher than that 
of heavy bombers “primarily because of a much lower percent of 
battle damage and less extensive modification requirements.”'^’^’ 
Large theater depots also put increased flexibility into theater 
maintenance, relieving VIII AFSC organizations on the airbases 
of a wide variety of labor intensive tasks."” In late 1943, General 
Knerr established subdepots at various operational bases to 
enhance field maintenance capability. He also implemented a 
mobile aircraft repair team concept to support onsite repair of 
aircraft too badly damaged to fly to the depot. In existence 
between 1943 and 1945, mobile repair teams comprised of 
supply and repair trucks and specially trained personnel were 
very important to base maintenance activities. Because the 
mobile repair teams repaired damaged aircraft that landed off 

station and aircraft damaged beyond the bases’ maintenance 
capabilities, base maintainers could concentrate on minor repairs 
and aircraft regeneration."’- 

Further, Knerr reorganized the VIII AFSC and instituted a 
system to monitor and control aircraft production. He established 
“statistical reporting and control procedures at all bases” so 
commanders knew what the situation and requirements wcrc."’^ 
This included, beginning in September 1943, collecting 3-month 
sortie forecasts from the combat commands to forecast and adjust 
depot workloads in order to reduce backlogs."” Late in 1942, 
the British agreed to let Americans replace British workers at the 
Burtonwood depot, and “under American leadership and 
production methods the production of engines and instruments 
increased at a rapid rate.”"’^ Depot capacity was also increased 
when Wailon Air Depot was activated in September 1943. Several 
smaller subdepots, known as advance depots, were activated at 
selected operational airbases to further enhance field 
capabilities."’^' Knerr’s reallocation of repair and modification 
work in December 1943 took advantage of the efficiency of 
specialization by spreading backlogs and making the depot in 
Ireland responsible for aircraft modification kits."’^ The necessity 
of modifying all incoming aircraft frequently reduced theater 
aircraft serviceability rates as much as 16 percent."”^ “Following 
this reorganization, the volume of work accomplished was 
vastly increased.”'"'’ 

Lockheed Corporation, under US contract, manned the Irish 
depot. Lockheed’s depot support was considered advantageous 
because it provided in-thcater specialized engineering work, 
modifications, development of special tools, design changes, and 
kit manufacture for all types of USAAF equipment.'"’ Finally, 
“Between 12 and 20 February 1944 no bombing missions had 
been flown; hence the backlog of aircraft in repair had been 
diminished, and an unprecedented number of bombers were 
available.”"' This period of inactivity was the result of poor 
weather conditions that restricted flying operations. Maintainers 
took advantage of the situation to generate the 1,292 aircraft that 
were available entering Big Week."- 

The Eighth had a sufficient tonnage of munitions and 
quantities of ammunition available to support Big Week. 
However, disagreement centered on the types of munitions 
available and the types the flying units needed to destroy the 
targets assigned. Knerr believed the disagreement was due to 
improper communication of field requirements to munitions 
production plants in the states. The shortage of desired bomb 
types began in December 1943 and was not corrected by 1 April 
1945. The lack of proper bomb types to support Big Week, given 
the bombing accuracy of the B-17 and B-24, degraded mission 


Knen- attempted to address airlift problems, which he had foreseen, 
by trying to secure the dedicated airlift he had apparently been 
promised. In the summer of 1943, he wrote, “Not more than 3 
percent of the required airlift has ever been forthcoming in the 
United States from that promised service.”"^ With the exception 
of inter- and intra-island air service, the Eighth was relieved of 
airlift functions. These functions had been placed under the Air 
Transport Command sometime in the summer of 1943. Knerr 
later wrote in his lessons learned, dated 10 May 1945, that air 
cargo had been delivered to places where it was “extremely 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

difficult to assemble and process” and that units and equipment 
were separated from each other, delaying unit mission execution 
in the theater. A military airline was formed by the Eighth for 
moving troops and supplies throughout the UK and proved its 
merit by moving an average of 300 tons of cargo and 2,500 
personnel per month in 1943.^^^ 

The Army Service Forces controlled what was shipped via sea 
to the UK. Knerr felt the Army Service Forces mismanaged sea 
shipments, and although it never happened, he believed the Air 
Force should have been allocated dedicated sealift.^ 

Knerr addressed many key logistical problems in 1943. Not 
the least of his efforts included resisting the return of the Truck 
Transport Service to the Service of Supply because “until the 
Air Forces took over segregation and distribution of their own 
supplies from shipside (sic) to consuming unit, they starved.”’’^ 
A shortage of vehicles added to interservice squabbles over 
control of the ground transport function. “A truck shortage 
adversely affected distribution, although it was mitigated by 
Britain’s fine transportation system.”’*^ In addition, the Eighth’s 
trucks were pooled into a single organization and were effective 
and efficient in moving supplies from port to base and laterally 
between bases. 

Concerning transportation, the Eighth made the best of a bad operated an intratheater airlift service but depended 
on Air Transport Command for intertheater airlift. This 
combination of intertheater and intratheater support apparently 
satisfied the Eighth’s airlift needs despite its dependence on 
another command. Despite the sealift problems Knerr believed 
the ASF created, he never was able to secure dedicated sealift. 

Eighth Air Force Logistics—The Bottom Line 

World War II, as exemplified by the Eighth’s tremendous efforts 
up to and through Big Week, “dramatized as never before the 
importance of the essentially undramatic functions of 
transportation, supply, and maintenance and lent new strength 
to calls for centralization of responsibility.”^^’ From 1942 right 
on through Big Week, improvements were constantly sought in 
all logistical functions to make them more responsive and 
effective. Many of the accomplishments were achieved because 
of Knerr’s leadership. Although logistics organizations and 
process deficiencies still existed in late February 1944, many 
problems had already been addressed and yielded the logistics 
capability to initiate and sustain operations the size of Big Week. 
The improvements made within all the logistical functions, 
combined with continuous process improvements, put the big 
into Big Week. 

Success Reaped the Hard Way 

Perhaps the most significant lesson of World War II is that 
the military potential of a nation is directly proportional 
to the nation's logistic potential The first hard fact to be 
faced in applying that lesson is that our resources are 
limited. The next is that the slightest delay or inefficiency 
in harnessing our logistic resources may cost us victory 

Major General O. R. Cook, USA 

Logistics indeed made Big Week big with respect to the Eighth’s 
bombing operations. The Eighth generated 3,880 bomber sorties 
that delivered 8,231 tons of bombs to targets throughout the Third 

Reich. The number of operational bombers declined to about 900. 
However, within 5 days after Big Week ended, maintainers had 
returned about 150 of the approximately 200 bombers with battle 
damage back to a combat ready condition.Big Week was big 
because, although Allied air superiority was not won until later, 
as General Spaatz noted, it did spell the beginning of the end for 
the Luftwaffe daylight fighter force. 

Leadership greatly influenced the logistics capability and 
support the USAAF was able to establish in the UK. On the 
negative side, it took a long time for the civil-military 
organization to evolve into an effective one, and it appears the 
military spent more time trying to take charge of the economy 
than to work within the President’s system. 

General Cook remarked: 

Time is the most precious element in logistics preparation for military 

security. Measures must be prepared in advance for the all-out, 

logistic mobilization that must be completed between the time when 

the danger threatens and the time that war actually strikes. 

Indeed, the military did not adequately plan for industrial 
mobilization, which contributed to the myriad of problems 

Congress’ streamlining of acquisition procedures and granting 
of obligating authority to the armed services greatly reduced lead 
times associated with the major procurements necessary to prepare 
for and prosecute the war. However, military management of 
acquisitions was not perfect. In 1942, there was an imbalance 
between the number of whole aircraft procured and the spare parts 
required, resulting in a parts shortage. Fortunately, the spare parts 
situation improved by 1943, and maintainers had the spares 
needed to support Big Week. 

ASC research and development activities enabled 
technologies to be exploited and, thus, improved combat 
capability through a controlled aircraft modification program. 
Technology insertion was a positive influence on logistics. 

Functional overlaps, process inefficiencies, and what could 
be labeled intraservice rivalry between the VIIIAFSC and AFS 
Services of Supply caused many of the processes critical to 
providing and sustaining aircraft maintenance to break down. VIII 
AFSC addressed most of the problems during 1942 and 1943, 
but Knerr, because of his overall dissatisfaction with ASF support, 
made every effort to make the Eighth as logistically independent 
from the Army as he could, and he got results. 

VIII AFSC suffered personnel and training shortages. The 
leadership’s adoption of production-line maintenance processes 
was not the most efficient use of personnel, but it did allow for 
speedy incorporation of unskilled workers into the depots and 
service groups. 

“Host nation support, or whatever resources happen to be in 
the place one fights, can contribute greatly to a logistics system’s 
capability.”’^^ British airfield construction allowed the United 
States to mass bomber units on the island. Interservice supply 
support was critical to the Eighth’s maintenance. Finally, British 
dispensing of POL made efficient use of manpower, which was 
important to the undermanned VIII AFSC. 

Civilians also provided critical support to the logistics team. 
Civilians in ASC worked acquisition programs and provided 
supply and repair support. The Lockheed employees at Langford 
Lodge depot provided in-theater support in a much more timely 
manner than would have been possible had they been located in 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


the United States. Factory representatives further enhanced 
theater maintenance capabilities. In-theater depots, siibdepots, 
and intermediate-level maintenance organizations provided in- 
depth aircraft repair service independent of stateside organizations. 
In addition, they developed and provided limited but valuable 
local manufacture capability, alleviating parts shortages. By the 
time Big Week arrived, these organizations had evolved and 
could provide effective logistical support to the combat units, 
thus enabling sustained bombing raids of 1,000-plus bombers. 

Knerr was the single greatest influence on the capabilities and 
effectiveness of the Eighth’s logistics. From the time he served 
on the Bradley-Knerr Committee to plan the organization and 
buildup of forces through his tenure as the US Strategic Air Force 
Deputy of Administration, he constantly improved all logistical 
functions. His institutionalization of statistical monitoring and 
requirements forecasting was used effectively to minimize depot 
backlogs. His implementation of mobile repair teams for battle- 
damaged aircraft helped sustain the bomber fleet. Finally, he 
championed making the logistics and operations functions equal 
at the headquarters level, giving logistics the clout needed to 
ensure their logistics considerations were taken into account and 
that logistics and operations were synchronized. 
“Responsiveness and flexible logistics support requires a 
management system that consciously links operations and 
logistics.”'‘^ A good example of Knerr’s effort to synchronize 
operations and logistics was his ability to get 3-month sortie 
forecasts that were used to plan logistical support. 

The processes of producing or allocating munitions, or both, 
were broken because units did not always have the types and 
quantities of munitions needed to destroy the assigned targets. 
Big Week was big, but it did not pack the punch it had the 
potential to because of the many munitions substitutions. 

Ship escorts, establishment of distribution zones, .ship loading 
based on destination of goods, improved documentation and 
communication, establishment of in-transit depots, VIII AFSC's 
pooling of trucks for supply distribution, and theater controlled 
intratheater airlift were very positive influences on operations. 

Eighth Air Force logistics prior to Big Week was the story of 
brute force logistics. Knerr’s effort to synchronize logistics and 
operations and provide responsive, effective, and efficient 
logistics serves as the benchmark for all airmen. At the end of 
the day, the logisticians conquered many challenges through 
innovation and adaptation that yielded improved productivity 
and paved the way for Big Week. Indeed, Big Week would not 
have been big were it not for the dedicated efforts of the 
logisticians for months and years prior to 20 February 1944. 


1. Maj Gen O. R. Cook, “Lessons of World War II." Lecture to Air War 
College USAF HRA, K239.7162241-22, 10 December 1947, 4. 

2. Edward Jablonski, Ainvar, Garden City, New York: Doubleday and 
Company, Inc, 1971, 52-53. 

3. USSTAF, “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” VSAF HRA. 5I9.04-L 
20-25 February 1944, 4. On 20 February 1944, Eighth Air Force 
had fighter escort support from both Eighth and Ninth Air Force units, 
totaling 902 sorties. 

4. Stephen L. McFarland and Wesley Phillips Newton, To Command 
the Sky, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991, 168- 

5. Jacob A. Slockfisch, Linking Logistics and Operations: A Case Study 
of World War II Air Power, Santa Monica. California: RAND, 1991, v. 

6. Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr, “Strategic. Tactical, and Logistical Evaluation of 
World War II." Lecture to Air War College,USAF HRA, K239.716246- 

18. 19 October 1946,3. 

7. Alan L. Gropman, ed.. The Big “L"; American Logistics in World 
War IL Washington DC: National Defense University Press, 1997, 
10-15, 94, 98-100. The War Industries Board, established in 1917, 
was the focal point for the nation’s resource and acquisition 
management. The Board, short-lived, was abolished in the wake of 
post-World War I acquisition reform that replaced streamlined 
procedures with peacetime bureaucracy. 

8. Gropman, 21. 

9. Maj H. Dwight Griffin, ct ak. Air Corps Tactical School: The Untold 
Story, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1995, 45. 

10. Haywood S. Hansell, Jr, The Strategic Air War Against Germany and 
Japan, A Memoir, Washington DC: Office of Air Force History, 
1986. 62-63. AWPD-1 called for 61,799 aircraft, of which 4,328 
were to be based in Britain, and required 2,118,625 Army Air Forces 
personnel. AWPD-42 included munitions requirements and called for 
a total of 8,214 aircraft, including a 50 percent reserve, to be based 
in Britain. 

11. “AC/AS Plans: \9A2-\9A5r USAF HRA, 145.92-IS. 1943. 

1 2. US ASF. iMgistics in World War II: Final Report of the Army Service 
Forces (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1947, 

13. Ibid, 

14. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week',” 1-2. 

1 5. Gropman. 9-31. 

16. Ibid. 

1 7. Gropman, 23-25. 

1 8. Gropman, 25-31. 

19. Gropman, 31-35, 38, 55. 

20. Gropman, 265-283. 

21. Gropman, 31-35, 38. 55. 

22. Cook. 7. 

23. Lois E. Walker and Shelby E. Wickam, From Huffman Prairie to the 
Moon, Washington DC: Office of History, 2750”’ Air Base Wing, 
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 1986, 146-147. 

24. AAF Historical Office, “Army Air Forces Historical Studies No. 51: 
The Maintenance of Army Aircraft in the United States 1939-1945, ” 
USAF HRA, 101-51 (1945), 133. In February 1942, improvements 
in engine construction enabled overhaul schedules to be changed. 
Only when inspection revealed it was necessary were aircraft 
reconditioned. In 1943, the obsoletion policy requiring the retirement 
of combat aircraft after 6 to 8 years of service was changed and 
replacement was not required until “whenever superior equipment 
was available." 

25. Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr, “Knerr Correspondence," USAF HRA, 
519.1613, October, November, December 1943. Although the 
commanders who did this probably felt operational necessity justified 
their actions, they increased the complexity of logistics support by 
creating nonstandard configurations. Their actions negated the 
advantages of interchangeable parts and lengthened the time it took 
for VIII Air Force Service Command intermediate and depot 
maintenance activities to return affected aircraft to service. 

26. Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate (eds.). The Army Air Forces 
in World War H, Vo! 6, Men and Planes, Chicago: The University 
Press of Chicago, 1955, 391, 

27. Walker and Wickam. 145. 

28. Gropman, 123. 

29. Gropman. 122, 282. 

30. Cook, 18. 

3 1 Ibid. 

32. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 389-392. “The basic data 
from which policies and instructions were derived came from reports 
which flowed in from the depots and stations and from various 
inspection activities .... Although jurisdiction of ASC did not extend 
overseas, it was responsible for providing service units, equipment, 
and supplies for all AAF commands." 

33. Army Air Forces Historical Studies No. 51, 134-135. The suggested 
overhaul time for the B-17 increased from 4,000 flying hours or 30 
to 60 months of service in 1940 to 8,000 flying hours or 84 months 
of service in 1944. 

34. Craven and Cate. Vol 6, Men and Planes, 393. 

35. Ibid. By 1944, aircraft production allowed replacement of heavily 
damaged planes by new ones, and battle damage repair became less 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

critical. ASC was then able to establish criteria for determining whether 
or not it was more cost effective to repair or replace badly damaged 
aircraft, and the job of the depots “became mainly one of modification 
and overhaul.” 

36. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 389. 

37. Army Air Forces Historical Studies No. 51, 121, 124, 136-139. 

38. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 395. In 1941, there was an 
urgent need for more and better maintenance, and the quality of 
maintenance continued to be low during the early months of the war 
due to a lack of adequately trained engineering officers and civilian 
mechanics to man the depots. In part, this was caused both by the 
increased production pressure associated with the parts shortage that 
existed through 1942 and the fact that ASC was the lowest priority 
command for personnel fills. 

39. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 391, 395. 

40. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 396. 

41. Army Air Forces Historical Studies No. 51, 118-122, 127-128, 135. 
During the period January 1942 through January 1944, stateside depot 
maintenance facilities returned approximately 25,000 aircraft and 
90,000 engines to service. In 1943 alone, 236,622 aircraft visited the 
200-plus subdepots for repair and other work. Finally, an Air Inspector 
survey conducted in the summer of 1943 attested to the fact that the 
Eighth Air Force was satisfied with the third and fourth echelon 
maintenance support it was receiving from ASC. 

42. General Board United States Forces, European Theater, “Logistical 
Build-Up in the British Isles,” USAF HRA, 502.101-128, 9 June 1953, 

43. Ibid. 

44. Gropman, 345. 

45. Logistics in World War II, 248, 341. Within the ASF, “there was an 
unnecessary overspecialization in types of service troops, thereby 
making it difficult to secure maximum flexibility in the utilization of 
service personnel.” Although it was believed units comprised of both 
USAAF and Army personnel would improve the situation and some 
experimenting with this type of organization was done, the idea “was 
not pushed vigorously.” 

46. Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr, “Air Force Logistics,” USAF HRA, 519.8086-1, 
10 May 1945, 2. 

47. “Air Force Logistics,” 6-7 

48. “Air Force Logistics,” 2. 

49. Knerr, “Strategic, Tactical, and Logistical Evaluation of World War 
II,” 4-5. 

50. Stockfisch, 18. 

51. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 390. 

52. USSTAF, “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter, ” USAF HRA, 
519.057-4, 1942-1945, 10. 

53. Ibid. 

54. Stockfisch, 19. Further complicating an already complicated task, 
commanders of combat units wanted command of Air Force Service 
Command intermediate-level maintenance (air service group) 
activities on their bases. This quickly became the practice, diluting 
the authority but not the responsibility of the VIII Air Force Service 
Command commander. 

55. Knerr, “Knerr Correspondence.” 

56. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 6. 

57. Biographical Data, Personnel Index, USAF HRA, 519.293-1, 1945. 
Knerr, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, became an Army artillery 
officer in 1911. He joined the Air Corps near its birth and retired 
from active duty in 1939 only to be recalled in 1942, having spent 
the interim years at the Sperry Gyroscope Company “in work that 

. . . proved invaluable both to him and to the Military Service.” 

58. Craven and Cate, Vol. 2, Europe: Torch to Pointblank — August 1942 
to December 1943, 742-743. As a member of the Bradley Committee, 
in the spring of 1943, Knerr had prepared a special report on air 
service in Africa. In the report, he advocated the elimination of the 
problems caused by the logistics function being subservient to the 
staff and operations functions by the simple expedient of elevating 
the agency to the staff level of command, 

59. Stockfisch, 18-19. 

60. Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter, 6-11. 

61. Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter, 752. 

62. Knerr, “Strategic, Tactical, and Logistical Evaluation of World War 
II,” 5. 

63. Craven and Cate, Vol. 2, Europe: Torch to Pointblank—August 1942 
to December 1943, 742. 

64. Stockfisch, 18, and Gropman, 346. 

65. Gropman, 364. 

66. USAF Historical Research Agency, “Notes on an Interview with Maj 
Gen Hugh J. Knerr,” USAF HRA, 168.2-12, 24 November 1947, 1-2. 

67. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 395-396. 

68. “Civilian Technicians and Representatives,” USAF HRA, 519.8023, 

69. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 390. 

70. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 394. 

71. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 2. 

72. Stockfisch, 19. “During early 1943 spare parts for 50-caliber aircraft 
machine guns became so scarce that the total supply was pooled in a 
single depot with telephone requests being doled out by special truck 

73. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” 3. 

74. Gropman, 347-348, 359, 361-363, and Maj Gen William E. Kepner, 
“Supply (Congressional Committee)” Kepner Collection, USAF HRA, 
168.6005-84, 3 June 1945, 2. 

75. “Logistical Build-Up in the British Isles,” USAF HRA, 502.101-128, 
9 June 1953, 25-26. “Entries on the manifest such as ‘1000 boxes of 
Quartermaster Class I supplies’ were not uncommon.” 

76. Ibid. 

77. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 3, 128. 

78. Ibid., 3. 

79. Knerr, “Knerr Correspondence.” 

80. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 3. 

81. “Stock Control in the ETO,” USAF HRA, 519.8024-1, 1945, 1, 8-9. 

82. “Stock Control in the ETO,” 25, 31. 

83. “Stock Control in the ETO,” 3-5, 10. 

84. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 5. 

85. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 4. 

86. “Stock Control in the ETO,” 15-16, 19-23, 36-37. Combat group 
demands not met were first sent to the air service group, then the 
depot. If neither organization could satisfy the demand, it was then 
sent to headquarters VIII Air Force Service Command. A three-tier 
supply priority system was established, in which priority was based 
on urgency of need. Aircraft grounded for lack of parts were given 
highest priority, and those requirements were sent via teletype to the 
air service group. If the air service group could not fill the request, a 
teletype was sent to the air base depot, and if it still could not be satisfied, 
a cable was sent to the responsible stateside depot. 

87. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 5. AOG rates fell from 
5 percent in December 1942 to 2.3 percent in November 1943. 

88. Stockfisch, 19. 

89. General Board United States Forces, European Theater, Logistical 
Build-Up in the British Isles, 15. 

90. “Stock Control in the ETO,” 22-23. Local purchases were limited to 
25 pounds sterling ($100), required written approval of the station 
commander, and could only be done when urgency of need did not 
permit procurement through the British Equipment Liaison Officers. 
Station purchase (for example, contracting) officers had standing 
authority to make purchases not exceeding 5 pounds sterling. 

91. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Contracting). Contracting 
Toolkit: IMP AC, 5 January 2000 [Online] Available: http:// 

92. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 2. 

93. “Stock Control in the ETO,” 19. Reverse lend-lease arrangements were 
used to make routine purchases exceeding 25 pounds sterling and 
were processed through the commanding general, VIII Air Force 
Service Command and the RAF Equipment Liaison Officers. 

94. Stockfisch, 18. 

95. Gropman, 273, 277. 

96. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 4. 

97. Craven and Cate, Vol. 6, Men and Planes, 388, 394. 

98. Craven and Cate, Vol 6, Men and Planes, 389. 

99. Stockfisch, 43-44. 

100. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 4. For example, medium 
bomber serviceability went from 29 percent in July 1943 to 92 percent 
in November 1943. 

101. Craven and Cate, Vol. 6, Men and Planes, 391. 

102. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 6, 11. Transport of 
aircraft via truck to depot in the UK was infeasible due to the physical 

(Continued on page 37) 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 


A maxim has it that we seldom 

fight the war for which we plan. 
Recent history strongly suggests 
it is likely that the next contingency 
we face will be one we have not 
considered explicitly. 

John B. Abell 
Carl Jones 
Louis W. Miller 
Robert S. Tripp 
Clifford Grammich 

Operational Certainty 
and Planning 

The Expeditionary Aerospace Force 
(EAF) concept—with its reliance on 
rapidly deployable, immediately 
employable, and highly flexible force 
packages to serve as viable substitutes 
for continuous forward presence— 
requires new combat support practices. 
RAND EAF research in this area has 
been focused on (1) new combat 
support practices that enable the EAF 
concept, (2) identifying options to satisfy 
combat support requirements over a 
wide range of expeditionary scenarios, 
and (3) assisting the Air Force to adapt 
its support system from one supporting 
a permanent overseas force to one that 
supports the EAF operational concept.^ 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 



A maxim has it that we seldom fight the war for which we plan. 
Recent history strongly suggests it is likely that the next 
contingency we face will be one we have not considered 
explicitly. Facing up to this likelihood requires planning that is 
robust against the widest possible range of scenarios, including 
things that can go wrong. Robustness results from actions taken 
both before and during a contingency. To achieve robustness, 
investment levels and prepositioning assets must be determined 
during peacetime. Strategies for prepositioning war reserve 
materiel (WRM) include placing materiel at forward operating 
locations (FOL), at forward support locations (FSL), or at 
continental United States locations. FSLs can be established at 
fixed sites on land, or they can use afloat prepositioning ships 
(APS). Decisions about prepositioning assets affect employment 
time lines and lift requirements associated with contingencies 
and determine the Air Force’s capability to respond to 
contingencies around the globe. 

Robust planning for war reserves can be distilled into three 

• What kinds and quantities of resources should the Air Force 
acquire and have on hand to meet continuous peacekeeping 
roles, as well as major theater wars (MTW)? 

• Where should these resources be stored in peacetime? 

• What strategies should be employed in crises for supporting 
deploying units with war reserve assets? 

This article does not address the full range of questions implied 
by these three points. Rather, it focuses on aspects of the second 
point and illustrates how this issue can be approached by 
evaluating air munitions against a range of scenarios. The 
scenarios are variations on a Desert Storm-sized campaign 
occurring in one of five geographic locations, with differing 
amounts of warning, and in the face of several kinds of disruptive 
unexpected events. Prepositioning air munitions on the ground 
and in ships and the use of transportation assets were considered. 
Outcomes were evaluated according to the adequacy of 
munitions stocks to meet 30 or more days of operations. 

JICM and Exploratory Modeling 

The evaluations were accomplished using the Joint Integrated 
Contingency Model (JICM).^ JICM is a comprehensive, 
deterministic simulation in which higher level decisions and 
actions are specified by the user. Execution details are left to the 
adaptive logic of the program, which employs an extensive 
database of information about geography, military activities, and 
objects such as ships and aircraft. Although JICM can adjudicate 
battles on land, sea, and in the air, only its capabilities to simulate 
mobility operations leading to estimates of the day-by-day 
quantities of munitions delivered to operating bases were used. 

One approach to dealing with uncertainty is to plan against a 
single scenario that is so demanding it encompasses all other 
cases that might eventuate (normally an erroneous assumption). 
Exploratory modeling takes the opposite view. Rather than deny 
the existence of uncertainty, it provides an approach to confront 
both uncertainty and a lack of knowledge head on. Operationally, 
it entails examining a broad range of cases that cover the extremes 
of beliefs about the possibilities that could eventuate, combined 
with a broad range of choices. Instead of choosing a policy that 

is in some sense optimal for a fixed environment or scenario, the 
objective is to find alternatives that are robust against a wide 
range of conditions.^ 

Although there has been criticism that exploratory modeling 
is just old-fashioned sensitivity analysis, it encourages a 
valuable and possibly novel approach to planning. Exploratory 
modeling generally requires that many cases be evaluated. This 
has only become possible with modern computing 
environments (the number of cases run in this study was close 
to 180,000). 

That exploratory modeling projects typically involve 
running huge numbers of cases raises the question of how to go 
about analyzing the results. The solution lies in having some 
kind of computer-generated graphical display appropriate to the 
problem. This study employed a program called DataView.'^ 

Scenarios and Alternative 
Prepositioning Strategies 

Presently, the Air Force has a substantial amount of munitions 
prepositioned in Southwest Asia (SWA), and a fairly large 
amount is aboard three ships stationed in the Indian Ocean and 
Mediterranean Sea.^^ When the National Command Authority 
orders the Air Force to respond to a contingency, munitions on 
the ground have to be moved to operating bases by rail, truck, 
or air. At the same time, ships begin moving toward ports. After 
ships dock and unload at ports with limited berthing and 
unloading capacity, the munitions must be moved to bases. 
Transporting munitions can be an immense task in itself, 
involving issues such as the availability of equipment, host 
nation approval, qualification of personnel to prepare munitions 
packages for pallets, and so forth. The analysis focused 
explicitly on the number and position of APS and their effect 
on WRM stocks throughout the first month of a contingency. 

In generating the results, it was assumed that the requirement 
for munitions would depend on the planned arrival of forces in 
theater according to current deployment plans for Southwest 
Asia and a specified target set. It was also assumed that the mix 
of munitions both on the ground and in APS would be carefully 
chosen, so only the aggregate tonnage of munitions was 
considered during the course of the study. Of course, the quantity 
of munitions required for a contingency may vary, so cases were 
examined where the WRM requirement varied 25 percent from 
planned levels. 

The main sources of uncertainty considered were warning 
time (the time between the decision to act [C-day] and the 
commencement of hostilities [D-day]) and the theater of 
operations (location of the contingency). The five theaters 
considered were Southwest Asia (Saudi Arabia), South Asia 
(Myanmar), North Africa (Tunisia), the coast of Africa 
(Congo), and west South America (Chile). Among these, only 
Southwest Asia has approved data on targeting, force beddown, 
and time-phased force and deployment. 

In addition to these uncertainties, a variety of other things 
can go wrong, so seven surprises were included in the 

• Aero. AeroPort danger, in which enemy action poses a danger 
to aircraft delivering munitions to operating bases resulting 
in delivery by land (and not air) from rearward bases. 

• Late. Ship late, in which the ship that is supposed to arrive first 
is delayed by 5 days.^ 

• Land lines of communication (LLOC). LLOC curtailed, in 
which enemy action reduces the throughput capacity of the 
surface transportation network by 75 percent. 

• Port. Seaport attack, in which an attack on a seaport halts 
operations at the primary port until damage can be repaired. 

• Sabo. Sabotage, in which 5,000 tons of munitions on the 
ground are destroyed before combat begins.® 

• Sunk, Ship sunk, in which the ship that is supposed to arrive 
first to a theater is lost along with its cargo 

• Horm. Hormuz chokepoint, in which enemy action delays 
passage through the Strait of Hormuz (the surprise affects only 
the Southwest Asia scenario). 

In combination with this range of scenarios and surprises, 
several initiatives to promote robustness and responsiveness were 
evaluated. The most important of these was to change the 
prepositioning of WRM, primarily by increasing the number of 
APS. For the study, a shipload of munitions was taken to be 
17,000 tons. At the time of the study, there were about three 
shiploads worth of munitions prepositioned on shore in 
Southwest Asia, in addition to the three ships. Alternatives 
considered involved adding one or two additional ships, while 
reducing the amount of munitions on land accordingly, to 
maintain the 102,000 (six times 17,000) tons overall.^ 

Alternative APS positioning was also investigated. The 
National Command Authority, for example, may have advance 
indications of the need to deploy, and APS could move 
accordingly to 2 i forward-leaning posture. Further, the option 
of replacing break-bulk APS—which would take 4 days to 
unload, with roll-on, roll-off fRORO) ships that were faster and 
could be unloaded in a single day—was tested. The assumption 
was made that one APS would always be a lighter aboard ship, 
or LASH, to ensure deep-water unloading capabilities. The study 
also considered increasing the airlift for moving munitions by 
the equivalent of 30 C-17s operating for 30 days for greater 

Table 1 presents the locations of the APS, regardless of where 
the contingency takes place. The middle column gives the 
locations assumed in the base case. The right-hand column 
depicts a modified basing used in analyzing a forward-leaning 
(FWD) option for this scenario. 

In the non-Southwest Asia scenarios, forward basing means 
that two ships begin moving in order to be 1 day from docking 
on C-day. 

Demand for Air Munitions 
and Scoring Scheme 

A natural way to evaluate the performance of logistics support 
for an operation is to compare the availability of material to the 
demand. A planner would want to ensure adequacy of supply by 
providing for safety stocks above the projected demand while 
recognizing that supplying materiel beyond a reasonable level 
of protection is wasteful. The daily requirement for munitions 
was established by using the Air Force’s Conventional Targeting 
Effectiveness Model (CTEM) for munitions that are strictly 
target-driven. For munitions requirements that the CTEM does 
not estimate, requirements were developed using estimates of 




of Ships 




lO, lO 

PG, Ml 


lO, lO, MED 

PG, Ml, lO 


lO, lO, MED. SP 

PG, Ml, lO, MED 


lO. lO, MED, SP, LA 

PG, Ml, lO, MED, SP 

IQ—Indian Ocean (Diego Garcia) LA—CONUS Pacific Coast (Los Angeles) 

MED—Mediterranean Ocean (Rome) PG—Persian Gulf (United Arab Emirates) 

SP—CONUS Atlantic Coast (Sunny Point) Ml—Masurah Island, Arabian Sea (Oman) 

Table 1. Locations of Afloat Preposltionlng Ships 

the regional commander in chief. These requirements were 
translated into tons of munitions required for each day of 

Evaluations of alternatives against scenarios with JICM were 
based on the worst days in terms of munitions on hand over the 
first 30 days of operation. Specifically, at the end of each day, 
the tonnage of munitions on hand was compared with the 
demands for succeeding days. For example, having at least 5 days 
of supply on hand every night for each of the first 30 days would 
be satisfactory. On the other hand, it would be highly 
unsatisfactory if there are as many as 3 occasions out of the 30 
when the inventory is inadequate to meet the following day’s 
requirements. Expanding the foregoing, a straightforward system 
involving a nine-point scale for conditions between and 
including these extremes was adopted. Table 2 indicates the nine- 
point scoring scale and the color codes employed. The 
abbreviation DOS is short for days of supply. For example, 7 DOS 
means the amount of munitions required for the following 7 days. 

Scenarios in which there was excess movement of stock were 
not explicitly considered, but it was obvious that too much WRM 
ashore in Southwest Asia adversely affects support system 
performance elsewhere. 

Analysis of Prepositioning 
Options with DataView 

The Study explored variations of these nine factors: 

• First surprise, if any. 

• Second surprise, if any. 

Color Code 




At least 7 DOS on hand every 



At least 5 DOS on hand every 



At least 3 DOS on hand every 



At least 1 DOS on hand every 



Less than 1 DOS on one or more 
nights; never stocked out 



Stocked out 1 night 


Stocked out 2 nights 



Stocked out 3 nights 



Stocked out more than 3 nights 

Table 2. Colors and Scores Based on Days of Supply 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


• Theater (Southwest Asia, South Asia, North Africa, West Africa, 
and South America). 

• Warning time (C-day to D-day) of 10, 20, or 30 days. 

• Shiploads (17,000 tons) of air munitions ashore in Southwest 

• Number of afloat prepositioning ships. 

• Whether FWD is in effect. 

• Whether all APS but the LASH are RORO. 

• Whether additional airlift is used to move munitions. 

To fully appreciate the power of DataView, one must work 
with it interactively. Since DataView produces three-dimensional 
displays, a user can (interactively) choose three factors for the X, 
Y, and Z axes and pick specific values for the remaining factors. 
For the figures in this article, the three axes were associated with 
the first three factors in the list above. Each figure is the result of 
setting specific values for the remaining six factors. Figure 1 is 
the DataView presentation for the case of 20 days’ warning, three 
shiploads of munitions ashore in Southwest Asia, and three 
prepositioning ships. None of the options represented by the last 
three factors is in effect.'^^ 

The five squares in the lower left corner (None and None) 
indicate outcome scores with no surprises for the five scenario 
locations. For the Southwest Asia and North Africa contingencies, 
indicates there are always at least 5 days of supply on hand. 
For the South Asia and West Africa scenarios, means that 
there was at least 1 night with 
less than 3 days’ supply on hand 
but there were no days with 
stock outs either. The South 
American war is just too far 
away to be satisfactorily 
supplied by the munitions we 
assumed to be available, and 
means there are at least 3 
nights with stock outs. (Were 
the United States to become 
involved in a war in Chile, 
alternative sources of munitions 
might be available.) Because all 
the munitions are near the 
Southwest Asia theater, none of 
the surprises, or even 
combinations of surprises, 
cause that case to be worse than 
(although, with less 
warning, the Hormuz and other 
surprises cause Southwest Asia 
outcomes to be colored 
differently). The worst set of 
surprises comes when a ship is 
sunk and the port is 
contaminated or munitions on 
the ground are lost to sabotage. 

That all the Southwest Asia 

outcomes are suggests 

that munitions are well positioned to fight an MTW there. But 
that level of performance is unachievable in any of the other 
theaters considered. This suggests that achieving a more robust 
posture might be possible if less tonnage were kept on the ground 
in Southwest Asia and more put in afloat prepositioning ships. 

Figure 2 shows the outcomes under all the same conditions as 
above, except that two of the three shiploads of munitions are 
placed on ships located according to the last line in Table 1. 
Observing the color shifts between the two figures suggests there 
are some improvements in the non-SWA scenarios." 

The forward-basing strategy outlined in the right-hand 
column of Table 1 additionally improves responsiveness. The 
results are in Figure 3 where, at worst, there are a few cases 
showing stock outs on 1 or 2 nights when the port is attacked. 

Proceeding with additional improvement measures, replacing 
break-bulk ships with RORO ships eliminates all the 
squares. If, in addition, the extra strategic airlift is provided for 
moving munitions, all cases are 

Since only total tonnage was considered in this analysis, the 
mix of munitions to be stowed aboard ships was not explicitly 
considered. Optimal mixes of munitions required for different 
theaters can vary considerably. This suggests the Air Force 
should load munitions prepositioning ships homogeneously, lest 
a ship loaded for a particular scenario is the first to arrive at a 
scenario for which its load was not intended. Current loading of 
Air Force munitions prepositioning ships indicates that such a 
policy is already in effect. 














































1. SWA (front), 2. S. Asia, 3. N. Africa 

i, 4. W. Africa, 5. W. South America (back) 

Figure 1. 20 Days, 3 Ashore, 3 Afloat 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 











None Aero Late LLoc Port Sabo Sunk Norm 

Theater: 1. SWA (front), 2. S Asia, 3. N Africa, 4. W Africa, 5. W South America (back) 

Figure 2. 20 Days, 1 Ashore, 5 Afloat 









[3^ r5 

iFnt>" PnF 

,r^= {\ rl= ^ rJ= n 

None Aero Late LLoc Port Sabo Sunk Horm 

Theater: 1. SWA (front), 2. S Asia, 3. N Africa, 4. W Africa, 5. W South America (back) 

Experiences with 
APS During 
Noble Anvil 

During Operation Noble Anvil 
(ONA), the Air Force flew 
about 2,000 bombing runs 
(with a total of about 6,000 
sorties) and dropped about 
16,000 short tons of 
munitions. Because of the 
unique aspects of ONA—rich 
infrastructure of the theater, 
proximity of well-developed 
FOLs, duration and intensity 
of the conflict, and the 
enemy’s strength—one 
should be circumspect about 
drawing too many conclusions 
from it. It is worthwhile, 
however, to reflect on what 
the experience suggests 
about potential strengths and 
weaknesses of the Air Force’s 
preparations to face future 
(and different) conflicts. 

As outhned, the ammunition 
prepositioning fleet is an 
important asset because in 
many conceivable scenarios 
the munitions requirements 
cannot be met with in-theater 
assets alone. Yet, it took about 
9 weeks from the United States 
Air Forces in Europe (US AFE) 
request that munitions on the 
MV Captain Stephen L. 
Bennett be made available 
and arrival of the final 
trainload at its destination. 
Figure 4 shows the time line of 
events associated with the 
Bennett. The horizontal scale 
indicates weeks from the start 
of air operations. The initial 
delay between the USAFE 
request and JCS authorization 
might be attributed to the lack 
of urgency in resupplying 
munitions, given the quantity 
of the prepositioned materiel 
in the theater and initial 
expectations that the campaign 
would not be a long one. The 
Bennett sailed from its station 

Figure 3. 20 Days, 1 Ashore, 5 Afloat, FWD 

(Continued on page 38) 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


David A. Shlapak 
John Stillion 
Olga Oliker 
Tanya Charlick-Paley 
Robert S. Tripp 
Clifford Grammich 

A global access strategy that 
includes maintaining core 
assets and deveioping new 
political and technological 
opportunities can help the 
United States manage and 
deveiop access and basing 
options both now and in future 




D efense basing decisions reflect 
both military needs and political 
conditions. For much of its 
history, the Air Force has relied heavily 
upon forward basing, maintaining a 
substantial portion of its tactical forces^ 
at permanent bases outside the United 
States. The primary purpose of this 
strategy was to counter a possible attack 
by the Soviet Union and its allies, but this 
strategy also had political dimensions. 
However, it was only possible with 
political support at home and in host 
nations. It would not have been possible 
had the United States and its allies 
disagreed on the need to or means of 
containing Soviet power. Ultimately, the 
collapse of the Soviet Union and’the 
implosion of the Warsaw alliance 
removed the military and political 
conditions for extensive foreign basing. 

Despite the subsequent drawdown 
from a global to a US-based force in the 
past decade, the Air Force has waged a 
growing number of operations of various 
scales on every continent in the same 
decade. It has done so while maintaining 
its role as a deterrent to attacks and 
preparing to respond wherever US 
interests are challenged. 

The growing number of operations in locations around the 
world has led the Air Force to reconstitute itself as an 
expeditionary aerospace force, or EAF. The EAF goal is to deploy 
forces anywhere in the world and begin sustained operations 
within 48 hours. However, such goals will be difficult to meet 
with current processes and technologies, particularly where 
resources are not prepositioned at forward operating locations 
(FOL). RAND and AFLMA research has shown that the level of 
resources at FOLs affects employment time lines. Naturally, 
greater prepositioning at FOLs reduces employment time lines. 
This research has also shown that forward support locations (FSL) 
can help reduce the need for prepositioned materiel and aid the 
shift from surge to sustainment operations in a contingency when 
used for intermediate maintenance activities and for storage of 
munitions, supplies, or other war reserve materiel.^ 

The continuing need for forward basing of the logistics 
infrastructure, even as more operational forces are based in the 
continental United States, means that logisticians must be 
involved in addressing questions of access to bases and other 
facilities outside the United States. To address such questions, 
logisticians must understand both operational and political 
constraints. As the scenarios change in nature and location, so 
do political and logistical needs and conditions. These may see 
the warfighting ally of today refuse to cooperate tomorrow, even 
to the point of denying the United States access to its resources 
located at FOLs and FSLs abroad. 

What are the conditions that would lead a potential ally to 
permit or resist US access and basing? Given these, what 
strategies should the United States use to manage its future needs 
for access and basing? We reviewed some expeditionary 
operations that encountered substantial political difficulties and 
how the difficulties affected access and basing. These operations 
demonstrate the variables that lead other nations to grant or resist 
US requests for access and basing, as well as how the United States 
can maintain and develop new access and basing options. 

All branches of the US military must confront access and 
basing questions for operations abroad. The Army and Air Force 
are equipped and configured primarily to fight within theater. 
The Marines’ raison d'etre is conducting expeditionary 
operations “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of 
Tripoli.” Even Navy ships, largely free from the need for foreign 
bases, require access to foreign ports and facilities for resupply 
and other support. 

Nevertheless, access and basing issues are most salient for the 
Air Force. Fighters and attack aircraft like the A-10, F-15, F-16, 
and F-117 have operating ranges of 300 to 500 nautical miles. 
While aerial refueling can extend the operating ranges for these 
aircraft, they cannot operate effectively when based thousands 
of miles from theater.^ The Air Force has also suffered the most 
pronounced limitations because of access problems, most recently 
in operations against Iraq. 

The Politics of Recent 
Expeditionary Operations 

Expeditionary operations in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s 
illustrate the political issues that must be confronted in access 
and basing. Access difficulties may not halt operations outright, 
but they do impede effectiveness. 

Operation Nickel Grass. In 1973, the Air Force conducted an 
airlift to support Israel during the Yom Kippur war. This operation 

was severely hampered by the refusal of nearly all the European 
allies to permit US aircraft to cross European airspace or use their 
facilities while en route to or from Israel. Only Portugal 
cooperated, grudgingly granting access to Lajes Air Base in the 
Azores. Without this assistance, the airlift, which Egyptian 
president Anwar Sadat cited as one of the reasons he requested a 
cease-fire, might have been impossible."^ 

European allies refused to cooperate with this mission because 
they feared reprisals from Israel’s enemies. Indeed, the subsequent 
Arab oil embargo was targeted toward both the United States and 
Portugal but not other European allies. Portugal, however, was 
willing to curry the favor of the United States by supporting 
Nickel Grass since, at the time, it was isolated globally because 
of its colonial war in Africa. 

Operation El Dorado Canyon. In 1986, the United States 
launched airstrikes against Libya in retaliation for alleged 
terrorist activities. These operations included F-111 and EF-111 
aircraft flying from the United Kingdom (UK). France and Spain 
refused to permit flyovers, thus forcing US aircraft to fly from 
the UK around the Iberian Peninsula to Tripoli in a one-way 
journey of 2,700 nautical miles. Flying over France would have 
cut this journey to 1,500 miles, and flying over Spain and around 
France would have cut it to 1,900 miles (Figure 1). The refusal of 
France and Spain to permit flyovers for this operation nearly 
doubled the distance aircraft had to travel to perform the mission. 
Upon reaching Libya, many US aircraft had difficulties with their 
targeting systems, and tired aircrews made errors in aiming 
ordnance- While on a strategic level the attack may have 
succeeded, on a tactical level, the access problems prevented it 
from accomplishing as much as had been hoped. 

The United Kingdom supported this mission, in part, because 
of the special relationship the US and UK have nurtured. This 
included the sharing of intelligence that persuaded the United 

Figure 1. Schematic Mission Profile for El Dorado Canyon. The 
refusal of France and Spain to permit flyovers for this operation 
almost doubled the distance aircraft had to travel to perform the 

Kingdom of the need for the mission. France and Spain refused 
support because they feared being targeted by terrorist reprisals. 

Persian Gulf Operations. In 1990, the Iraqi invasion of 
Kuwait galvanized a coalition sharing interests in preventing 
further Iraqi aggression, ousting Iraq from Kuwait and, if possible, 
toppling Saddam Hussein. US diplomatic pressure, coupled with 
American intelligence convincing Riyadh of an Iraqi threat to 
Saudi Arabia, persuaded the Saudis to permit an enormous 
deployment of US forces there. Following the Gulf War, several 
nations in the region, including Saudi Arabia, broke with tradition 
and permitted the United States to maintain some presence. Yet 
the United States has been unable to formalize its security 
relationship with Saudi Arabia. Continued US involvement in 
the region has led to conflicts between the United States and its 
regional allies. These conflicts have caused serious problems for 
military planners many times since 1996. Saudi Arabia and 
Turkey have refused to support US actions against Iraq or permit 
the use of US forces for such actions, forcing the United States to 
rely on less effective cruise missile strikes rather than land-based 
airpower. These refusals arose as the political climate changed 
from one in which regional allies needed US help to contain and 
reverse Iraqi aggression to one in which they questioned whether 
US strategy against Iraq would prevent ultimate reprisals by 
Saddam Hussein. Domestic politics also limit how much regional 
allies are willing to cooperate with US actions against an Arab 

Operations in the former Yugoslavia. US responses to crises 
in Bosnia and Kosovo have involved US airstrikes against 
Serbian forces. Although the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
(NATO) authorized and conducted these operations, Greece, a 
longstanding member of the alliance, refused to allow NATO 
flyovers or use of bases in Greece for these operations (Greece 
did provide logistical support and allowed humanitarian 
overflight). In contrast, Albania and Bulgaria, which are not 
NATO members, and Hungary, which became a NATO member 
only recently (after Bosnian operations but before the Kosovo 
crisis), cooperated with NATO in Kosovo. All three nations 
permitted flyovers, and Hungary and Albania hosted both NATO 
and US forces. 

Albania had the most compelling reasons for supporting the 
United States since ethnic Albanians in Kosovo were suffering 
the most. Hungary was interested in strengthening its new ties to 
the alliance, despite domestic political concern that its support 
could endanger the large ethnic Hungarian community within 
Serbia. Greece, whose position in the alliance was longstanding 
and secure, faced no such incentive to ignore the opposition of 
its predominantly orthodox population to NATO operations. 
Bulgaria, while facing the same ethnic political considerations, 
was willing to ignore these in hopes of building stronger ties to 
the United States and NATO. 

The Political Variables of Access 

The recent history of Air Force expeditionary operations points 
to six key variables affecting the options available to logisticians 
and planners when confronted with access and basing decisions. 
Logisticians can neither affect nor ignore these variables. An 
optimal location with a mix of resources for an FOL or an FSL is 
worthless if political constraints prevent its use. Logisticians, 
therefore, must take into account the political variables that affect 

access and basing possibilities. Three that work to favor 
cooperation from other nations are: 

• Close alignment and sustained military connections. 

• Shared interests and objectives. 

• Hopes for closer ties with the United States. 

Three that work against cooperation are: 

• Fear of reprisals. 

• Conflicting goals and interests. 

• Adverse domestic public opinion. 

Understanding these variables can help logisticians devise 
an optimal access-and-basing strategy for supporting 
expeditionary operations. 

Close alignment and sustained military connections. States 
that have longstanding security relations with the United States 
are more likely to support its actions. The best example of this is 
the special relationship shared by the United States and the 
United Kingdom over the last 60 years. The United Kingdom 
was the only US ally to support El Dorado Canyon, and UK 
aviators flew alongside US forces against Iraq and Serbia. 
Nevertheless, close alignment does not guarantee cooperation 
in access and basing. Many NATO allies have denied access and 
basing for US operations, and even the United Kingdom refused 
to support Nickel Grass. Still, the formal alliances, treaties, and 
diplomatic understandings the United States has developed 
around the world will remain an integral part of its global access 

Shared interests and objectives. States sharing identical 
interests and objectives with the United States are more likely 
to support its operations and grant access and basing. Even allies 
as reluctant as the Saudis will provide access and basing when 
they perceive common interests and objectives. For agreement 
on interests and objectives to lead allies to grant access and 
basing to the United States, it must cover both ends and means. 
The Saudis, for example, may agree with the United States on an 
ultimate goal of toppling Saddam Hussein, but they will not 
cooperate with means that they see as ineffectual, 
counterproductive to their long-term interests, or possibly 
stimulating an ultimate reprisal. The United States can, however, 
use its intelligence to develop cooperation on access and basing. 
American intelligence on the threat Iraq posed to Saudi Arabia 
helped persuade that nation to accept the presence of American 
forces in 1990, It also persuaded the United Kingdom to support 
El Dorado Canyon in 1986. 

Hopes for closer ties to the United States. States looking to 
improve their relationships with the United States or perceiving 
their security to depend on the United States are likely to 
cooperate with US military actions, including access and basing. 
Portugal in 1973 and Hungary in 1999 had unique interests 
leading them to support military operations that other more 
reliable US allies refused to support. Kuwait has perceived its 
security to depend on the United States and, hence, has 
cooperated with US actions against Iraq. 

The United States may be able to develop future access and 
basing options with other nations hoping for closer ties. The 
Philippines, for example, has expressed renewed interest in 
closer ties with the United States, likely because it seeks support 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 


in their dispute with China over the Spratly Islands. The United 
States has expressed no interest in reestablishing a permanent 
military presence there and has stated that its only interest in the 
Spratlys is to keep open sealanes. Nevertheless, this political 
situation offers the United States a means of solving many of its 
access and basing problems in Southeast Asia. 

Fear of reprisals. Fear of reprisals nearly changed the course 
of Middle East history by almost thwarting Nickel Grass. French 
and Spanish fears of terrorist attacks, were they to support El 
Dorado Canyon, greatly limited the effectiveness of that 
operation. Fear of reprisals also figures in the reluctance of many 
regional states to provide the United States with access and basing 
for actions against Iraq. In many cases, there is little the United 
States can do to assuage these concerns. US forces can help protect 
a host country from direct military retaliation, but the United 
States has had little success battling terrorism, and it is usually 
not in a position to insulate its partners from the effects of 
economic sanctions. The fear of reprisal among US allies will 
continue to be a barrier for access and basing. 

Conflicting goals and interests. Conflicting interests can 
eliminate prospects for cooperation. They made Turkey reluctant 
to support US retaliation against Iraq for the latter’s offensive 
against Kurdish rebels in 1996. Greece and Macedonia refused 
to support the US-led response to the Kosovo crisis, in part because 
of their differing views on what constitutes Balkan stability. 

Domestic public opinion. Domestic public opinion can limit 
access and basing options. It led Greece to oppose the US-led 
response to the Kosovo crisis by refusing NATO access to Greek 
airspace. It has made the Saudis sensitive to Islamic complaints 
that a continuing US military presence is incongruous in the 
nation of Mecca and Medina. In 1986, it forced the United States 
to remove a tactical fighter wing from Spain in the face of rising 
anti-American sentiment, exacerbated by the participation in El 
Dorado Canyon of two KC-10 refueling stations that had been 
based there. Domestic public opinion may yet force the United 
States to reduce or eliminate its military presence in Okinawa, 

Basing and Access Options 

Each of these political variables affects the five different 
approaches the Air Force has for managing access and basing 
issues to the point that none, by itself, is adequate for a complete 
global access strategy. Logisticians must recognize how the 
political variables affect the five pure basing alternatives in 
developing a hybrid access-and-basing strategy that helps the 
United States exploit favorable variables and control unfavorable 

The five pure alternatives for access and basing are: 

• Expanding the number of major operating bases abroad to 
increase the likelihood that forces will be present where and 
when needed. 

• Identifying one or more reliable allies in each region of the 
world and counting on them to cooperate when asked. 

• Proliferating security agreements and alliances to broaden the 
set of potential partners in any given contingency. 

• Negotiating and securing long-term extraterritorial access to 
bases, such as that gained by leasing Diego Garcia from the 
United Kingdom. 

• Relying on extended-range operations from US territory. 

Expanding major operating bases abroad. To contain the 
Soviet threat, the Air Force built and stationed dozens of major 
operating bases around the world. After the Cold War, the Air 
Force reduced this network. Expanding the current network of 
major operating bases by rebuilding the former one is, 
theoretically, an option for supporting operations around the 

There are, however, several barriers to such a strategy. There 
are no popular constituencies for it, either domestic or foreign. 
Unless host countries assume some of the costs for these bases, 
finding the money to build or reopen these facilities would be 
extremely difficult. Even if these facilities were built or reopened, 
there is no guarantee that they will always be of use in 
expeditionary operations. Having forces stationed in another 
nation does not ensure they can be used how and when the US 

Identifying more reliable allies. The United Kingdom has 
been a stalwart to the United States, particularly in supporting 
El Dorado Canyon and in policing no-fly zones over Iraq. Can 
the United States identify other such allies around the world 
whose cooperation will nearly always be forthcoming for 
expeditionary operations? Unfortunately, this is unlikely. 
Candidates for such relationships are rare. The special 
relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States 
includes a strong cultural attachment, a common history, and a 
very close security alliance dating back to World War II. There 
is no other nation that shares such strong ties and common 
perspectives with the United States. This relationship does not 
exist with nations in Asia and the Mideast, where access and 
basing problems are most pronounced.'^ Furthermore, even the 
reliable United Kingdom has refused to cooperate with US 
operations such as Nickel Grass. The United States can and 
should try to nurture close relationships with other countries, but 
it should not build its overall access strategy on this single 

Proliferate security agreements and alliances. By 

expanding its network of alliances and other security 
arrangements, the United States has been able to expand its access 
and basing options for expeditionary operations. The recent 
expansion of NATO, for example, helped convince Hungary to 
support the US-led response to the Kosovo crisis. The success of 
the Partnership for Peace program has also given the United States 
new options for access and basing. 

There is not, however, consistent domestic support within the 
United States for expanding foreign alliances. Support for recent 
NATO expansion may have been a one-time occurrence, based 
more on public familiarity with the role of the alliance in US 
security than any desire to expand security arrangements more 
generally. Isolationism in American politics is a recurring theme 
that can limit global engagement. 

Furthermore, much of the benefit to access and basing from 
expanding security arrangements comes before such 
arrangements are formalized or when they are still new. A desire 
for improved relations with the United States may motivate a 
potential partner more than a longstanding formal alliance, just 
as such a desire led Hungary, a new NATO member, to support 
the US-led response to Kosovo while long-time NATO member 
Greece did not. 

Negotiate and secure long-term extraterritorial access for 
bases. The 99-year lease for Diego Garcia Island, which the 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

United States gained from the United Kingdom as part of the lend- 
lease arrangement of 1940, has been invaluable in supporting 
operations in the Persian Gulf. It might be possible to lease from 
the Philippine government one of the many desolate, 
uninhabited islands in the archipelago and build a major 
operating base there. Such a base would be ideal for supporting 
military operations in Southeast Asia. 

The possibilities for acquiring such extraterritorial access, 
however, are rare. The United States gained Diego Garcia only 
when the United Kingdom faced its darkest hour against Nazi 
Germany. The United States also enjoys extraterritorial access 
at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, but this is a remnant of a colonial 
past. Many available locations might be uninhabitable due to 
unhealthy climates, flooding, lack of livable land, or an absence 
of fresh water. These problems can be overcome, but the costs 
can be high. 

Relying on extended-range operations from US territory. 

A final option for access abroad is to eliminate the need for it by 
relying on US-based airpower. B-52 bombers operating from 
Louisiana and B-2s operating from Missouri were used in attacks 
against Iraq and Serbia. The growing capabilities of the Air Force 
heavy bomber fleet will make it more important in future 

There are, however, two problems with exclusive US basing 
for expeditionary operations. First, the Air Force currently has 
almost 2,000 fighter and attack aircraft with small operating 
ranges and less than 200 long-range bombers. It plans no new 
procurement of long-range combat aircraft in the next 20 years. 
Exclusive US-basing means that about 90 percent of the Air Force 
combat aircraft would be useful in only the most exceptional 
scenarios. Furthermore, the larger payloads of heavy bombers 
flying 30- to 40-hour missions that begin and end in the United 
States generate less than one sortie per day. Their heavier 
payloads do not always match the number of weapons that smaller 
planes flying more sorties can place on target. 

Second, for many expeditionary missions, operating mainly 
from a US territory is not a practical option. The goal of some 
expeditionary operations is not to put ordnance on target but to 
support complicated and intensive peacekeeping or 
humanitarian operations on the ground. Such operations could 
not be accomplished without regional access and basing. US 
territory should become increasingly important as a base for 
operations abroad, but it cannot be a complete solution to the 
access problem. 

Designing an Effective 
Global Access Strategy 

None of the pure strategies above can, by itself, provide the Air 
Force, in particular, and the military, in general, with all their 
access and basing needs. Nevertheless, planners can select 
elements of these individual approaches to develop a hybrid 
strategy meeting present and future needs. The four components 
of this strategy are maintaining core assets, developing new 
processes and technologies that expand access and basing 
options, exploiting new opportunities for access and basing, and 
addressing immediate concerns in Southwest Asia and the Pacific 

Maintaining core assets. We offer three recommendations for 
the Air Force to make the most of its core assets for access and 

basing. First, the United States should maintain its current major 
operating bases in Europe and Asia for use as FOLs. These are 
fairly secure and reliable bases for operations in nearly all regions 
of interest to the United States, These bases have been helpful in 
providing rapid response to past contingencies, and they should 
be in the future, particularly since the Air Force cannot currently 
meet expeditionary deployment time lines without substantial 
prepositioning of resources at FOLs. 

Second, in establishing FSLs to support FOLs, logisticians 
should select locations where access is guaranteed or most likely. 
These locations could serve as strategic and theater airlift hubs 
as well as repair facilities for key components such as engines or 
critical avionics units. Current RAND analysis also suggests that 
forward support locations can greatly improve logistics processes 
for EAF operations.^ 

A small number of forward support locations in Alaska, Guam, 
Puerto Rico, Diego Garcia, and the United Kingdom could put 
most of the world within range of a C-130 carrying a 12-ton 
payload of supplies and equipment (Figure 2). Those in Alaska, 
Guam, and Puerto Rico, being on sovereign US territory, would 
offer assured access. Assured access is available on Diego Garcia 
until at least 2039. FSLs in the United Kingdom do not offer 
completely assured access, but they would be on the territory of 
the most reliable US ally. All would be outside the range of the 
offensive capabilities of likely future adversaries. 

A third core asset the United States can exploit in a broader 
access-and-basing strategy is its relationships with key security 
partners worldwide. Training exchanges, joint exercises, and 
temporary deployments help maintain the relationships that can 
be of great value in a crisis. Because deployments for training 
and exercises often include facility improvement, they offer 
opportunities to enhance an access-and-basing infrastructure as 
well as relationships. 

Developing new processes and technologies. Improvements 
in process and technology can help the Air Force expand its 
access and basing options. Increases in crews and tanker support 
could permit an expeditionary unit to operate with about the same 
effectiveness at ranges of 1,000 to 1,500 nautical miles as it 
would have operating about 500 miles from a contingency. 

Figure 2. Coverage Available from Five FSLs. Most of the world 
is within a 3,000-miie radius from one of these five potential FSLs, 
putting most of the world within the operating range of a C-130. 

(Continued on page 40) 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 





Logistics Officer Manning—A Growing 
Concern for Commanders 

Visit just about any logistics organization, and it will not take 
long to notice a vacant office or two. Ask commanders about it, 
and they will be the first to point out the lack of officers, 
especially field grade officers. Manning levels have been slowly 
eroding over the last few years, and units are now feeling the 
pinch. Units that once enjoyed 100 percent or higher manning 
levels now feel fortunate to be manned at 75 percent. It has not 
always been like this. What happened to bring us to this point? 

The Air Force has undergone major changes since the end of 
the Gulf War. The 1990s saw half our overseas bases and a quarter 
of the bases in the continental United States closed; a major 
realignment of major commands (MAJCOM); and more than 30 
percent of both the active military and civilian force leave the 
Service through selective early retirement, reduction-in-force, 
voluntary separation initiatives/selective separation board 
incentives, and normal attrition. No one has to be reminded that 
both the operations tempo and personnel tempo are up sharply 
since the Gulf War, especially those of us in logistics. In addition 
to being intimately involved in the deployment and reception 
business, logistics officers have seen their share of deployments. 
The top two officer career fields in the mission support arena for 
average monthly percentage of personnel deployed in 1999 were 
logistics fields—aircraft maintenance and transportation, with 
18 percent and 14 percent respectively. Supply and logistics plans 
finished the year at a little more than 6 percent each, slightly 
above the Air Force average of 5.6 percent. 

So here we are, almost 10 years after the drawdown began, with 
fewer people to handle the workload. Although there is cause 
for concern with company grade officer manning, the biggest area 
of concern is field grade manning. Across all logistics disciplines, 
field grade manning is at its lowest levels in years. Authorized 
versus assigned manning for majors in aircraft maintenance is 
76 percent, logistics plans is 63 percent, supply is 70 percent, 
and transportation is 71 percent. As a result, grade substitutions 
are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception. It is not 
unheard of to have a major select filling a lieutenant colonel billet 
or a captain filling a traditional major’s billet, such as squadron 
maintenance officer or aerial port flight commander. 

Retirements will play a pivotal role in field grade manning 
over the next few years. As of December 2000,83 percent of core 
logistics lieutenant colonels were retirement eligible, the second 

highest percentage of all mission 
support career fields. In 2000, the 
transportation career field alone will 
lose 17 percent of its total assigned 
lieutenant colonels to retirement. 
Because the 1979 and 1980 year groups 
were relatively large, we can expect 
upwards of 600 of those officers to retire 
in the next 2 years, further reducing the 
field grade experience pool. 

With this shortage of officers, how do 
we at Logistics Officer Assignments 
ensure our field units are fairly and 
equitably manned with the available 
field grade officers? We deal with this 
dilemma by adhering to a concept known as entitlements. The 
Air Force uses entitlements to manage its resources during times 
of personnel shortages. Some requirements, such as Air Staff 
billets, short tour needs, and joint positions are considered must- 
fill positions. Those positions will be manned at 100 percent. 
MAJCOM and wing level positions are manned to entitlement 
levels, which are different for each career field based on assigned 
manning. The major entitlement for aircraft maintenance is 73 
percent, transportation is 66 percent, supply is 58 percent, 
logistics plans is 47 percent, and the 21L entitlement is 70 
percent for lieutenant colonels. For example, if a MAJCOM is 
authorized 10 majors in aircraft maintenance, that MAJCOM is 
entitled to 7.3 majors, which we will round down to 7 majors. In 
an assignment match cycle, we ask each MAJCOM to prioritize 
its requisitions, and we work to fill them in their prioritized order. 
The decision to man a particular wing at or above entitlement 
level and allow another wing to dip below entitlement level is 
left up to MAJCOMs. It is important to stress that our goal at the 
Personnel Center is to man the MAJCOMs to entitlement levels 
or above, but despite our best efforts, we are not always 
successful. Unexpected retirements and officers exercising their 
7-day option can unravel even the best-laid plans. 

So what is the answer? Is anything being done to fix the 
problem? Since its implementation in late 1998, the Air Force 
Assignment System (AFAS) has been used to keep pace with 
manning shortages. The AFAS balances Air Force needs, officer 
professional development, and officer preferences to match the 
most qualified people to the right jobs. In addition, AFAS, along 
with effective MAJCOM management of entitlements, offers a 
way for the Air Force to optimize mission needs versus officer 
desires. The Air Force is also holding two major promotion 
boards this year, and the results from the first board held in 
January are promising. Support officers, as a whole, did very well, 
and logistics will soon have a lot of new field grade officers. 
There is no official word on the number of major and lieutenant 
colonel promotion boards the Air Force will hold next year, but 
an announcement should be forthcoming. The only real answer 
is time. Accessing officers at a higher rate than in past years, 
coupled with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s focus on 
retention, should, over time, help alleviate the current shortage, 

(Major William R. Donovan, Chief, Transportation Officer 
Assignments, AFPC, DSN 665-4024) 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

An Air Force Logistician’s Primer 

Best Value in 


Jonathan L. Wright 

Fleet Admiral King once admitted, “I 
don’t know what the hell this logistics is 
that Marshall is always talking about, but 
I want some if it.” Yes, logistics. Recall 
Hannibal needing food for his elephants, 
think about Rommel crossing the African 
desert and running out of fuel, and 
remember the maintenance men who 
supported the Berlin Airlift. The maxim 
applies in every case, as the capability 
relies on logistics not only as a force 
provider but also a force multiplier. As 
history shows, the warfighter’s logistical 
support also includes reliance on 
contractor assistance. Today’s flag officer 
might remark, “I don’t know what some 
of this best value contract stuff is, but I 
want some of it.” This article explains the 
stujfdiVid. how to obtain it. As manpower 
constraints combine (or collide) with 
fiscal limitations, an appropriate balance 
must be struck between people and 
money. The need to spend funds smartly 
is paramount in faster-cheaper-better 
acquisition reform triad. Major 
requirements deserve the most careful 
attention and consideration in 
determining which contractors will 
augment our capability to support the 
warfighter. This means choosing the most 
advantageous offeror’s (aka contractor’s) 
proposal in an A-76 study for installation 
support. It means selecting the right 
offeror to manage major command-wide 
base maintenance contracts. It also means 
picking the best proposal for the next 
generation aircraft. With this in mind, the 

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 
allows other acquisition methods besides 
the famous lowest bid avenue, known as 
sealed bidding via invitation for bids. 
The Air Force occasionally uses sealed 
bidding where no negotiations are 
permitted with the offerors, and the bids 
are open and announced in a public 
forum. However, the predominant Air 
Force approach is negotiation, which 
capitalizes on a variety of tradeoffs. Using 
any one of these tradeoff techniques 
constitutes a source selection—choosing 
an offeror for the contract award on the 
basis of an integrated assessment of 
noncost factors as well as cost or price. 
Negotiation and tradeoffs allow the Air 
Force to achieve a best value decision, 
which may not always be the lowest 
priced offer. 

But this must be a fair process for the 
qualified offerors. Integrity is built into 
the process because the Air Force uses 
public dollars to fund contracts and, 
therefore, is subject to the Procurement 
Integrity Act and Joint Ethics 
Regulation.^ This makes purchasing in 
the public sector different from 
commercial purchasing practices. 
Offerors have the right to protest certain 
aspects of the source selection if the team 
appears to act in a manner that is not in 
the public interest or outside the bounds 
of fairness. Therefore, certain safeguards 
exist. Many of them come from case law 
and require a team of veteran experts to 
navigate through the complexities. 

which is why it is important to have legal 
counsel on board. 

Best Value Tradeoffs 

So what is the best value? The Air Force 
FAR Supplement defines it as the 
“expected outcome of an acquisition that, 
in the Government’s estimation, provides 
the greatest overall benefit in response to 
the requirement.”^ The decision 
integrates factors that determine 
successful and affordable contract 
performance. So how do you determine 
best value? No formula exists, but different 
types of tradeoffs facilitate the decision. 

Before determining the most 
appropriate tradeoff, market research 
can answer the questions affecting this 
determination. Market research means 
determining if a solution exists within the 
commercial marketplace and ascertaining 
marketplace conditions. With market 
research, the team may construct and 
refine Air Force requirements and 
methods. For example, they may ascertain 
that past performance plays a 
considerable role in industry and thus 
emphasize past performance more than 
the technical evaluation (henceforth 
known as mission capability) in the 

The Best Value 

Market research reveals what the 
commercial marketplace offers and the 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


risk conditions related to successful contract performance. The 
acquisition approach depends upon the requirement and 
situation, so tradeoffs come in many forms. The contracting 
officer uses business judgment to determine the most appropriate 
acquisition approach available from a variety of tradeoffs 
included in a best value continuum. A best value continuum 
exists, featuring many solutions that distinguish relative 
differences in the importance of cost/price and the effect on the 
capability to successfully perform the contract. The request for 
proposal (RFP) should clearly communicate the acquisition 
approach, relative importance among the factors (for example, 
stating the factors in descending order of importance), and the 
specific factors and subfactors. 

LPTA Technically Acceptable 
Acquisition Approach 

On the low risk end of the continuum lies the lowest price 
technically acceptable (LPTA) acquisition approach.^ Air Force 
personnel very seldom use the sealed bid acquisition approach 
now because an LPTA includes the same award decision 
principle as sealed bids and also offers the opportunity to hold 
exchanges with the offerors."^ However, LPTAs are suitable for 
fixed-price contracts. One may consider using the LPTA process 
when the price and a technical go/no go are expected as the 
only considerations for determining the best value. This is 
suitable for clearly definable requirements and minimal risk of 
unsuccessful performance. For example, suppose the installation 
was purchasing 1,000 queen-sized mattresses for the lodging 
facilities. As long as the technical proposal suited the 
requirement {acceptable), the award should be given to the 
lowest price offeror. 

LPTAs allow only acceptable or unacceptable ratings on 
technical proposals, not degrees of merit and risk. Some offerors 
may disagree with their unacceptable rating and protest the 
award decision. However, the contracting officer has the 
discretion to determine the best method to meet the needs of the 
user, so an offeror’s disagreement with the choice in acquisition 
method does not necessarily mean the subsequent evaluation 
was unreasonable.^ 

Past performance evaluations are included on an acceptable/ 
unacceptable basis as well. One special caveat exists when rating 
the past performance of a small business unacceptable. The 
Small Business Administration (SBA) equates this to 
determining the small business’ responsibility as a contractor. 
In this case, the SBA may step in to formally evaluate the 
determination and issue a certifieate of competency, which is 
the SBA guarantee that the offeror is a responsible contractor 
who can perform the work.^ This requires more time and 
coordination for the source selection process. Also, one sacrifices 
the decision authority to determine responsibility. 

PPT Acquisition Approach 

Beyond LPTA, one may use a tradeoff to award the proposal to 
a higher rated, higher priced offeror. The Air Force uses 
performance price tradeoff (PPT) as one such approach.^ For 
either fixed-price or cost contracts where the Air Force would 
like to rate the offeror’s past performance rather than simply make 
it a go/no-go responsibility call, the PPT technique may be more 
suitable. For example, PPT considers the offeror’s performance 
history—in cost/price control, on-time delivery, and other areas. 

With PPT, one may weigh cost/price considerations against the 
past performance evaluation for a technically acceptable 
proposal. For example, while LPTAs were suited for the mattress 
buy, a PPT would satisfy the installation’s custodial contract 
because of considerations for the offerors’ managerial and service 
delivery performance history. 

In PPT, past performance ratings may use a six-category scale 
as defined in Air Force FAR Supplement 5315.305(a)(2), ranging 
from exceptional/high confidence to unsatisfactory/no 
confidence^ or some other scale, provided a range of ratings 
beyond acceptable or not acceptable is being used to evaluate 
the performance record. Therefore, one could award the contract 
to someone other than the lowest priced, technically acceptable 
offeror if the perceived benefit of superior past performance 
justifies the additional cost/price. Since the tradeoff exclusively 
focuses on past performance and price, one will only rate the 
technical proposal as acceptablc/unacceptable with PPT. The 
PPT acquisition method predominantly suits operational 
contracting, replenishment spares, some construction, 
noncomplex supplies or services, nondevelopmcntal, and build- 
to-print contracts.*^ 

The Formal Tradeoff 
Acquisition Approach 

Finally, a formal tradeoff approach exists. Tradeoffs consider a 
wide range of issues for which a proposal may merit additional 
costs or price. For example, one may pay more than the lowest 
price for warranties, maintenance, life cycle, past performance, 
performance thresholds, management approach, experience in 
country, environmental and energy conservation solutions, 
proposal features, and so on. The factors involved in the tradeoff 
may even feature a performance-based target (for example, 
response times and percentage of subcontracts to small 
disadvantaged businesses). A source selection authority (SSA) 
performs an integrated assessment on every evaluation factor and 
subfactor and compares these perceived benefits to the past 
performance and cost/pricc. In all Air Force source selections, 
the mandatory factors are mission capability, cost/price, past 
performance, and proposal risk. The mission capability factor is 
essentially the technical evaluation of the qualitative aspects of 
the offeror’s proposal. This factor, along with its subfactors (not 
more than six), are the technical and management aspects of the 
proposals the team expects to be able to use as discriminators. 

Tables 1 through 4 summarize the advantages and 
disadvantages of each acquisition approach. 

Source Selection Procedures 

The contracting officer uses discretion in choosing the 
acquisition approach yet complies with certain procedural 
requirements. These procedures vary according to the acquisition 
dollar amount. A basic source selection may only have a 
contracting officer and a technical representative using simple 
and minimal procedures and documentation. Median source 
selections are usually more complex and justify more evaluators, 
factors, and documentation. Agency source selections are 
intended for very complex and highly visible acquisitions, which 
can require even more participants, factors, and subfactors than 
median acquisitions. Table 5 illustrates when basic, median, and 
agency source selection procedures apply. 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

Sealed Bid Acquisition Approach 



Fast response due to minimal 
Interaction with offerors. 

Exchanges are not permitted. 

Suited for standard, fixed- 
price commodities. 

Tradeoffs of any kind are not 

Only the price determines the 
award, so it minimizes 
second-guessing \he award 

The competition does not 
include past performance 
comparisons among the 

Very simple. 

Table 1. Advantages and Disadvantages of the 
Sealed Bid Acquisition Approach 

PPT Acquisition Approach 



Tradeoffs occur on the basis 
of past performance 
information and cost/price. 

Tradeoffs do not occur on the 
basis of technical merit 
(acceptable/ unacceptable 

Past performance ratings may 
range from six available 
categories (compared to the 
rating in LPTA). 

The SSA may not grant extra 
value to proposals that 
exceed threshold or objective 
performance requirements. 

Rating a small business’ past 
performance is not a 
responsibility determination, 
so it does not require 
coordination with the Small 
Business Administration. 

One may have difficulty In 
establishing a technical 

Perhaps easier to decide if 
the superior past performance 
outweighs the additional 

A perception may exist that it 
takes longer than LPTA. 

Less complex as a formal 

Could still award to a lowest 
price technically acceptable 
offeror even though the 
approach is PPT. 

Allows customer contribution 
in the evaluation. 

Eliminates poor performers. 

Table 3. Advantages and Disadvantages of 
the PPT Acquisition Approach 


All Source 
Selections Other 
Than Information 

All Information 
Source Selections 


Simplified acquisition 
threshold (SAT) to 

fiscal year or to 
$30M for the total 



$15Mfor 1 fiscal 
year or $30M for 
the total program to 


> $100M. 

> $120M. 

LPTA Acquisition Approach 



Technical proposals are 
rated on a pass/fail basis; 
therefore, less time is 
required to evaluate the 
proposal and grade its 
merits among a variety of 
factors and subfactors. 

Technical proposal 
evaluations use a pass/fail 
basis; therefore, tradeoffs 
do not consider better 
technical proposals. 

Exchanges are permitted. 

The competition does not 
include past performance 
comparisons among the 

Very simple. May include as 
few as two people (a 
contracting officer and a 
technical representative). 

If a contracting officer rates 
a small business’ past 
performance unacceptable, 
the matter is referred to the 
Small Business 


One may have difficulty in 
establishing a technical 

Tabie 2. Advantages and Disadvantages 
of the LPTA Acquisition Approach 

Formal Tradeoff Acquisition Approach 



The technical proposal 
evaluations include mission 
capability (a range of four 
ratings is used, compared to 
acceptable/unacceptabfe) and 
proposal risk (high, moderate, 
or low). 

Evaluating proposals usually 
takes more time than the 
previous approaches. 

The mission capability factor 
has as many as six subfactors 
to compare the proposal merits 
among offerors. 

Requires even more clear 
communication of the 
evaluation method in the 

RFP to enhance competition 
and also to avoid protests. 

Past performance ratings may 
range from six available 
categories (compared to the 
acceptable/unacceptable rating 
in LPTA). 

Very complex. 

Rating a small business’ past 
performance is not a 
responsibility determination, so 

It does not require coordination 
with the Small Business 

Allows the customer 
contribution in the evaluation. 

Eliminates poor performers on 
the basis of proven 

Table 4. Advantages and Disadvantages of the 
Formal Tradeoff Acquisition Approach 

Table 5. Source Selection Procedures Applicability 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


The Tradeoff Elements 

In Air Force source selections, a formal tradeoff consists of four 
main factors: cost/price, past performance, mission capability, 
and proposal risk.'^^ The cost/price analysis addresses the fairness 
and reasonableness of the price and the realism of the cost. Past 
performance, often misconstrued as experience, targets a 
demonstrated track record of contract compliance and successful 
completion of the effort or ongoing successful contractor 
performance for existing efforts. It uses recent and relevant past 
performance information to assign a confidence rating—not a 
numeric score—of the offeror’s ability to perform on the 
contemplated contract. The evaluation team evaluates the 
technical proposal in two separate areas: mission capability (the 
ends) and proposal risk (the means). The team evaluates 
proposals according to RFP stated factors and subfactors, and 
they do not evaluate the proposals against each other until they 
send their report to the source selection authority or to the source 
selection advisory council (SSAC), if one is used (usually only 
in agency source selections). 

Mission Capability and Proposai Risk 

Mission capability focuses on the proposal’s strengths and 
inadequacies, while proposal risk covers the related risks and 
weaknesses of the approach. Mission capability considerations 
support key emphasis areas for the source selection decision and 
meaningful comparisons (a uniform baseline) among the offerors 
in the competition. Performance thresholds/objectives are 
encouraged. When writing the RFP, the source selection team 
may not use more than six subfactors to describe the 
discriminating characteristics that impact the source selection 
decision. This gives the SSA more focus on the critical aspects 
of successful contract performance. 

Proposal risk considerations may include cost risk, schedule 
disruption, potential performance problems, and subsequent Air 
Force oversight as they correspond with the proposal and 
validity of the offeror’s proposal to mitigate these risks. 

Figure 1 illustrates a proposal evaluation matrix for one factor 
within mission capability. The mission capability has one factor 
with four subfactors, and they all receive a rating. Each mission 
capability subfactor also receives a corresponding proposal risk 
rating. One assesses a performance confidence at the subfactor 
level but assigns a rating at the factor level. The cost/price is 
evaluated as an independent factor from the mission capability. 

The request for proposal must clearly communicate Air Force 
requirements, how the evaluation team will evaluate proposals, 
and how the source selection authority will determine the award. 

Mission Capability Factor 1 

Subfactor 1 

Subfactor 2 

Subfactor 3 

Subfactor 4 

Risk 1 

Risk 2 

Risk 3 

Risk 4 

Performance Confidence 

(Assessed at the subfactor level, rated at the factor level.) 


Figure 1. Factor Evaluation Matrix^^ 

The requirements should include those performance-based 
factors that deliver the most mission capability. In response to 
the RFP, a performance-based requirement allows the offeror the 
latitude to propose a suitable method or solution for meeting the 
objective. This enhances creativity and maximizes the Air Force’s 
desire to obtain the best commercial practices. 

However, just selecting performance-based factors is not good 
enough. The RFP writers should carefully choose discriminator 
criteria. Discriminators are significant aspects of a program that 
distinguish one proposal over another. They enhance the ability 
to choose the best value proposal so the right offeror can satisfy 
Air Force requirements. 

During the evaluation, the team may discover mission 
capability proposal inadequacies, proposal risk weaknesses, and 
strengths for both factors. The team may use a host of exchanges 
to maximize understanding for both the Air Force and the 
offerors. Exchange is a broad word implying a clarification, 
communication, or discussion, depending on the phase of 

Clarifications are used if the contracting officer is 
contemplating an award without discussions and needs to resolve 
minor errors, clarify past performance relevance, or provide the 
offeror an opportunity to respond to adverse past performance 
information. Offerors may not, however, revise their proposal in 
response to a clarification. 

Communications help determine the competitive range, 
which limits the continuing evaluation and eventual in-depth 
discussions to only those offerors who have the best chance of 
winning the award. Otherwise, an offeror with no reasonable 
chance of award participates in the process, and both the offeror 
and the Air Force will spend a considerable amount of time and 
money for a marginal return. As with clarifications, 
communications do not allow offerors a chance to revise their 
proposal once discussions are opened. In this case, the objective 
is efficiency, and those offerors still left in the competitive range 
may later revise their proposal when discussions are conducted. 
Therefore, if the offeror is good enough to make the competitive 
range, then it is worth the time and money for further revisions. 

Issuing an evaluation notice (EN) counts as an exchange, and 
certain limitations on exchanges exist. For each proposal 
inadequacy and weakness, if it affects the subfactor rating, then 
the evaluation team must issue an EN. Finally, discussions are 
used with those offerors within the competitive range. 

Not every formal tradeoff has the same evaluation emphasis. 
While Air Force FAR Supplement 5315 prescribes the rating 
categories for evaluating past performance, mission capability, 
and proposal risk, the requirement drives the tradeoff emphasis. 
The RFP must state this emphasis. The statement will tell offerors 
whether all evaluation factors (other than cost/price), when 
combined, are significantly more important than cost/price, 
approximately equal to cost/pricc, or significantly less important 
than cost/price.The SSA’s final decision coincides with this 
statement yet has broad discretion when it comes to making the 
tradeoff. For example, suppose technology is significantly more 
important than price. Docs that mean the SSA must direct the 
award to a highest rated offeror without regard to its price? No. 
The SSA has the authority to use business judgment in the tradeoff 
between the benefits of price and technical merits (and its 
associated additional costs). 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

Evaluating Cost/Price 

A contracting officer determines whether the price is fair (to both 
the Air Force and the offeror for successful contract performance) 
and reasonable (the price a prudent and competent buyer would 
be willing to pay).^^ There are essentially three types of analyses 
used to make the fair and reasonable price determination: price 
analysis, cost analysis, and cost realism analysis. 

Price analysis is the evaluation of the proposed price without 
evaluating individual elements of cost and proposed profit. 
This type of analysis is crucial to determining the fair market 
value of the requirement. Further, it should be noted the price 
includes both the total cost of the product or service plus profit. 
Price analysis will involve some form of comparison with other 
prices to determine if the price is fair and reasonable. The most 
preferred method of comparison is through competition. In 
addition, price analysis could consist of comparing prices to 
previous prices for the same requirement, published price lists, 
independent government estimates, prices obtained through 
market research for the same or similar requirement, or parametric 

If prices are determined to be unreasonable in a competitive 
situation, a cost analysis can be used to establish reasonableness. 
A cost analysis addresses the reasonableness of the individual 
cost elements and profit to determine their accuracy.This 
analysis provides information to build a probable cost, which 
the evaluation team will use for its negotiations. It may consider 
the use of learning curves, allowances for contingencies, cost 
trends, estimates, audited or negotiated cost rates, labor rates, 
cost of money, actual cost history, other cost estimates, the 
independent government estimate, forecasts of planned 
expenditures, and so on. 

For cost reimbursable contracts, one must also analyze cost 
realism. This review examines the specific cost elements to 
determine if they: 

• Are realistic for the proposed work. 

• Reflect a clear understanding of the requirement. 

• Are consistent with the unique methods of performance and 

materials featured in the proposal. 

Past Performance Explained 

Past performance plays a vital role in PPT and formal tradeoffs. 
One may even consider it the most important factor. It should be 
considered at least equal to the most important noncost/price 
factor.^"^ For example, one may emphasize past performance more 
than any other factor or at least emphasize past performance to 
the same extent as proposal risk (the most important noncost/ 
price factor in this example). 

Using past performance to enhance decision making in 
government contracts has proved itself over time. In 1986, the 
Packard Commission identified it as a commercial-style practice 
suitable for federal procurement agencies.’^ The Federal 
Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 mandated past 
performance evaluations for all competitively negotiated 
contracts exceeding $100K. Although its use was contracted 
back to $1M, past performance, nevertheless, indicates an ability 
to perform according to recent and relevant contract history.^^ 
Past performance information may include key personnel and 

management of quality, cost, timeliness, subcontracts, 
organization structure, work force, property, inventory, small 
business subcontracting, technical requirement 
accomplishments, continuous improvement, and innovation. 
Including this information in the tradeoff between price and 
performance may assist in determining the benefits of one offeror 
over another to successfully comply with a relevant contract. 

For relevant contract history, one should match information 
from similar contracts related to required skills on the new 
contract. Other factors may affect relevance, such as source of 
the information (federal, state, local, or commercial), context, 
contract dollar amount, information time lines, and general trends 
in the offeror’s performance. Some organizations use a rating 
scale for an aggregate relevance as very relevant, relevant, 
semirelevant, and not relevant. 

Past performance information covers a broad range. 
Requirements are divided among business sectors, such as 
systems, services, information technology, health care, 
operations support, fuels, construction and architect engineering, 
and science and technology. These sectors have unique and 
similar types of past performance information. The types may 
include the quality of product or service (or technical), cost 
control, schedule compliance, business relations, management 
(key personnel), compliance with labor standards, and 
compliance with safety standards. Merely having problems on a 
previous contract does not necessarily equate to a lower 
confidence assessment if the offeror initiated effective actions 
to correct those challenges. For this to occur, the contracting 
officer needs measurable improvements as a result of the 
corrective change. However, the number and severity of problems 
may impact the confidence assessment. 

The source selection evaluation team (performance risk 
assessment group, if used) should first find out whether the history 
is relevant to the new contract. For instance, a recent General 
Accounting Office protest decision upheld the Navy’s decision 
to award to a higher priced offeror with exceptional past 
performance on a mess attendant contract over an offeror with 
exceptional past performance on a food service contract and a 
satisfactory assessment on a mess attendant contract.^® The 
decision was upheld due to the difference in relevancy. 

The team also has the challenge of finding the right past 
performance information. Sure enough, offerors will most likely 
furnish trusted sources of previously successful contract history. 
The team should also find sources the offeror did not provide. If 
there is no relevant past performance information, which is rare, 
the rating category for this instance is prescribed in the FAR.^^ 
The SSA should consider the neutral/unknown confidence 
rating neither favorable nor unfavorable. This implies that a 
higher priced offeror may receive the award in favor of an offeror 
with no relevant past performance.^"^ 

So would a neutral/unknown confidence assessment mean that 
the offeror could merit a moderate or high proposal risk rating 
(for suggesting a method that the offeror theoretically has not 
performed before)? The proposal risk assessment in Air Force 
source selections focuses on the offeror’s approach with questions 
such as: Is it sound? Does it demonstrate an understanding of 
the requirements? Therefore, the offeror’s proposal risk rating 
should not be impacted by a lack of past performance history. 
However, an offeror will rarely have no relevant past performance 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 


history. If this situation occurs, the evaluation team must inform 
the SSA. This information will be taken into account in making 
the final award decision. 

The Decision Official 

Some jobs in the Air Force deserve the big bucks, as the saying 
goes. The source selection authority has one of them. The SSA 
takes into account all of the evaluation results provided by the 
source selection team; then integrates the results for cost/price, 
past performance, mission capability, and proposal risk; and 
ultimately determines who will deliver the best overall value to 
the Air Force. The source selection decision document (SSDD) 
contains the SSA’s decision, and the SSA signs it. The contracting 
officer is still the only person authorized to obligate the 
government, yet the SSA has decision authority for competitive 

Only a trusted senior official bears the SSA’s responsibility, a 
designation to make the source selection decision. The SSA also 
oversees the source selection process by appointing an SSAC 
chairperson who presides over a group of senior decision 
makers.^^ The SSAC members counsel the SSA during the process 
and prepare a comparative analysis for the SSA.^^ The SSA and 
the source selection evaluation team have adequate preparation 
with knowledge of policies and procedures for properly and 
efficiently conducting the source selection.^*^ The SSA ensures 
there is no conflict of interest (actual or perceived). Also, the SSA 
approves the source selection plan (SSP), which is the detailed 
plan of the source selection process, participants, evaluation 
criteria, and so on. 

In the Air Force, the contract dollar amount and the type of 
requirement designate the SSA. This relationship does not 
coincide with the basic, median, and agency source selection 
classifications because of the level of responsibility required for 
making the decision. Tables 6, 7, and 8 outline the dollar 
thresholds and the SSA delegation levels.^*^ 

The Actual Decision 

The SSA has the tough challenge of making the award decision. 
The SSA determines who will deliver the best value to the Air 
Force. With LPTA, the SSA decides the lowest price proposal 
and proposal acceptability. In acquisitions other than LPTA, the 
SSA may determine if a higher priced proposal warrants the 
additional costs. This takes subjective judgment. While the 
current policy mandates the rating categories used for past 
performance, mission capability, and proposal risk, the policy 
does not mention assigning quantitative weights to those 
categories. (A previous Air Force FAR Supplement policy 
prohibited assigning weights. Air Force FAR Supplement 
5315.305 lifted the prohibition when it mandated the evaluation 
categories.) Therefore, some organizations have used a 
predetermined numerical scoring system, akin to a complex 
algorithm, to quantify the value of each proposal and thus 
identify the award winner. In doing so, it reduces or eliminates 
the SSA’s discretion to recognize qualitative benefits of the 
technical proposal. Also, in some cases (for example, a unique 
technical approach coupled with average past performance), the 
SSA may even determine the best value would come from the 
offeror who had less than the best overall score. Even so, if the 
SSAs used the scoring mechanism, they would report to the 
warfighter that the selection was simply given to the offeror with 


Delegable SSA 
(not in AFMC) 

Delegable SSA 
(in AFMC) 

Simplified acquisition 
threshold to $10M. 

Not lower than the 
contracting officer. 

Not lower than the 
contracting officer. 

$10IVI to$50M. 

MAJCOM, field 
operating agency, or 
direct reporting unit 

Single manager or 

$50M to $500M, 

MAJCOM, field 
operating agency, or 
direct reporting unit 

Program executive 
officer, designated 

commander, or center 

> $500M. 

MAJCOM, field 
operating agency, or 
direct reporting unit 

MAJCOM, field 
operating agency, or 
direct reporting unit 

Table 6. Source Selection Authority Delegation 
(Non-Information Technology and Non-Major 
Automated Information System Acquisitions) 


Delegable SSA 
(in AFMC) 

SAT to $15M or more in any 
fiscal year or SAT to $30M or 
more for all program years. 

Single manager. 

$15M or$30Mto$120M and 
non MAIS. 

Program executive officer, 
designated acquisition 
commander or center 

>$120M or MAIS. 

Principal Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of the Air Force 
(Acquisition and 


Table 7. Source Selection Authority Delegation in 
AFMC (Major Automated Information System 
or Information Technology Acquisitions) 


Delegable SSA 
(not in AFMC) 


Not lower than the contracting 

$10M to $120M and non 


MAJCOM, field operating 
agency, or DRU commander. 

>$120M or MAIS. 

Principal Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of the Air Force 
(Acquisition and 


Table 8. Source Selection Authority Delegation 
Not in AFMC (Major Automated Information 
System or Information Technology Acquisitions) 

the best score. Would it not be better to report the best offeror 
was hired because of certain reasons? 

One of two reports, a proposal evaluation report (PER) or 
proposal analysis report (PAR), is used in Air Force source 
selections to document the comparative analysis of proposals. 
For basic source selections, a PER succinctly documents every 
phase of the process in four sections: 

• SSP and acquisition description. 

• Evaluation. 

• Comparative analysis of offerors and rationale for excluding 
offerors from the competitive range. 

• SSDD and debriefing summary. 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

A PAR is used for agency source selections to document the 
evaluation results and provide a comparative analysis (optional 
for median, which may use the briefing charts presented to the 
SSA in lieu of the PAR). Unlike the PER, the PAR does not contain 
the SSP or SSDD, which are separately documented. No 
debriefing summary is required in the PAR, since each debriefed 
offeror receives the same briefing charts on its proposal that were 
presented to the SSA at the final evaluation briefing as well as 
the ratings of the successful offeror’s proposal. A PAR’S level of 
detail compares offerors at the subfactor or element level and 
usually includes in-depth cost or price analysis as well as detailed 
past performance evaluation results. For this reason, the PAR is 
often complex and lengthy, even though it does not include all 
the phases of the source selection process that are captured in 
the PER. 

Once the SSA renders the decision and signs the SSDD, the 
source selection evaluation team will hold individual debriefings 
with the successful and unsuccessful offerors. After all, offerors 
have spent a significant amount of money on their proposal and 
competed throughout a long process. The debriefing gives them 
an opportunity to learn how they can improve on future source 
selections. Therefore, they may benefit and so will the Air Force. 
Each offeror will receive a redacted SSDD. This means the team 
will only debrief the offeror about the successful evaluated cost/ 
price, the successful technical rating, a summary of the award 
rationale, the make/model of a commercial item (if applicable), 
and the overall ranking (if used) of the offerors. The evaluation 
team holds debriefings to give open, frank, and meaningful 
feedback to the offerors. 

Some source selection teams hold debriefings at the offeror’s 
facility. This gives more of the offeror’s people the opportunity 
to engage in the feedback. Also, some SS As have either attended 
the debriefing or at least called the offeror’s general manager in 
addition to the team’s debriefing. Doing so provides the offeror 
with more credible feedback because it is from the actual decision 
maker and senior authority figure. 

Lightning Bolt 99-2, 

Superior Source Selections 

Darleen A. Druyun, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the 
Air Force (Acquisition and Management), initiated an Air Force¬ 
wide initiative in 1999 called Lightning Bolt 99-2, Superior 
Source Selections.^® 

The Lightning Bolt 99-2 initiative created the Air Force 
Source Selection Expert Advisor (SSEA) Charter. The charter 
instituted a group of highly qualified, expert professionals who 
provide assistance in order to “improve consistency, quality, 
documentation, and debriefings on all Air Force source 
selections.SSEAs come from each Air Force Materiel 
Command (AFMC) product center and every major command 
(MAJCOM) contracting office (LGC). According to the charter, 
the SSEAs will provide guidance on developing Acquisition 
Strategy Plans, factors, subfactors, source selection plans, and 
the SSA briefings. They will also provide training and advise 
the evaluation team members during the evaluation process. As 
the SSEAs have hands-on impact for their source selections 
(mandatory for their inclusion on source selections more than 
$100M in AFMC and more than $10M for the other MAJCOM 
LGCs), they can ensure the source selection evaluation teams 
consistently meet high Air Force standards. 

The initiative also resulted in producing the United States Air 
Force Source Selection Procedures Guide, which was revised 
in March 2000.^^ As the standard guide, it explains policy for all 
basic, median, and agency source selections. Each set explains 
the presolicitation, evaluation, and award activities along with 
the required documentation. 

Other topical guides support the Lightning Bolt 99-2 
initiative. Some address such topics as conducting market 
research, participating in a performance risk assessment group, 
and writing critical documents such as: 

• Section L (Instructions, Conditions, and Notices to Offerors). 

• Section M (Evaluation Factors for Award). 

• Proposal Analysis Report (upcoming). 

• Source Selection Decision Document (coming soon). 

These guides are available on the Business Solutions 
Exchange web site: In addition to the guides, the 
site contains an active discussion area open to the general public. 
The appropriate policy experts have answered many source 
selection questions from Air Force and industry personnel. 

Source selection is a complex process designed to maximize 
the team’s contributions in assisting the SSA in making a decision. 
It takes commitment to manage this challenge. When talking 
about selecting the right offeror to augment the total force and 
thus becoming a force multiplier, one key question needs to be 
answered: Flow do you know you selected the right one? 
Although the answer will not be apparent until the contractor 
demonstrates performance on the contract, using the tradeoff/best 
value approach provides a structured way of increasing the Air 
Force’s ability to ensure success. 


1. The Procurement Integrity Act, 41 USC 423, amended by section 
814 of PL 101-189, 17 April 2000 [Online] Available: http://, and the Joint Ethics Regulation, 5 CFR Par 
2635, 25 April 2000 [Online] Available: 

2. Government Printing Office, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 
2.101, 20 January 2000 [Online] Available: 

3. FAR 15.101-2. 

4. General Accounting Office, B-284360, 18 April 2000 [Online] 
Available:, (18 Apr 00). 

5. FAR 15.101-2(b)(4). 

6. FAR 15.101-2(b)(l). 

7. Air Force Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (AFFARS) 
53 15.101 -1 (a), 20 January 2000 [Online] Available: 

8. AFFARS 5315.305(a)(2)(S-92). 

9. Air Force Materiel Command, Performance Price Tradeoff (PPT) 
Guide, 9 September 1999. 

10. AFFARS 5315.304(c). Proposal risk is optional for basic source 

11. Adapted from a presentation conducted by Suzanne Snyder, HQ 
AFSPC/LGC, “Source Selection,” 21 March 2000 [Online] Available:; also found in AFFARS Attachment 5315-4. 

12. FAR 15.304(e). 

13. FAR 15.404-l(a)(l). 

14. FAR 15.404-l(b)(l). 

15. FAR 15.404-1(c). 

16. FAR 15.404-l(d). 

(Continued on page 41) 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


1999 AFJ L Awards 

Lionel A. Galway 
Robert S. Tripp 
John G. Drew 
C. Chris Fair 
Timothy L. Ramey 

A Global / \ 

Infrastructure ie'^^ 
Support EAF 

Aii^t-i'0'k0 *' 





Colonel Steven J. Zamparelli 


^ "S#:- 

led Award 

Best Article Written 
by a Junior Officer 


The Editorial Advisory Board 
selected “A Global Infrastructure 
to Support EAF” (Volume XXIII, 
No. 2)—written by Lionel A. 
Galway, Robert S. Tripp, Chief 
Master Sergeant John G. Drew, 
C. Chris Fair, and Timothy L. 
Ramey—as the most significant 
article to appear in the Air Force 
Journal of Logistics in 1999. 

The Air Force Historical 
Foundation selected 
“Contractors on the Battlefield: 
What Have We Signed Up 
For?”(Volume XXIII, No. 3)— 
written by Colonel Steven J. 
Zamparelli—as the best article 
containing logistics lessons 
learned to appear in the Air 
Force Journal of Logistics in 

The Executive Board of the 
Society of Logistics Engineers, 
Montgomery Alabama, selected 
“AEF Munitions Availability” 
(Volume XXIII, No. 4)—written by 
Captain John E. Beil and 
Lieutenant Colonel David K. 
Underwood—as the best article 
written by a junior officer to 
appear in the Air Force Journal 
of Logistics in 1999. 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

(Force Support for the Expeditionary Air Force continued from page 1) 

in flying specialty codes—just under 11 percent of the total 
force.^ Our leadership challenge, then, is to ensure the remaining 
89 percent of the Air Force fully understand how important they 
are to the mission. Even more important, we must all understand 
how we mesh the 11 percent and 89 percent together to 
accomplish the mission. 

Fortunately, we have a ready-made teaching tool in the core 
competencies as outlined in Air Force Doctrine Document 1 
(AFDD-1). With the answers so readily available, it only remains 
that we must teach our people and change the culture of today’s 
Air Force and continuously demonstrate how vital support 
(logistics) and other functions are to accomplishing the Air Force 
mission. This article serves three purposes: (1) emphasize the 
critical role logistics plays in mission accomplishment, (2) 
caution all members that taking logistical support for granted 
(with the view of improving operational capability) may 
adversely impact readiness and capability, and (3) solicit senior 
leadership to place emphasis on logistics as an Air and Space 
Power function. 

Air Force Basic Doctrine 

For many leaders, especially those who have been around the 
Air Force since just prior to Desert Storm, mere mention of 
AFDD-1 brings back chilling memories of the days when Air 
Force Manual 1-1 (AFM 1-1) came out. General Merrill A. 
McPeak, then Chief of Staff of the Air Force, decreed that he 
expected officers and senior enlisted members to know AFM 1-1, 
Volume I, and at least be conversant with Volume II. It is 
probably a safe bet that there are thousands of editions still in 
shrink-wrap or, at best, filling those pesky 2-inch gaps in many 
professional libraries. Perhaps by realizing that AFM 1-1 was a 
flight surgeon’s best cure for insomnia, Air Force leadership 
decided something must be done to get people interested in 
doctrine. Being a problem-solving or image conscious service, 
we decided to create doctrine documents with pictures, graphs, 
and bolded items and package them in neat-looking manuals. 
To further ensure people would accept and read these manuals, 
they were printed in booklet form perfectly sized for the lower 
leg pocket on a flight suit or a thigh pocket on a BDU. It was a 
great start, but what has happened? People still wonder what it is 
they are doing and how they fit in. Very often the answer to 
questions on this matter elicits a condescending, “You do not 
have the big picture.” It is quite possible people answering the 
questions recite this colloquialism because of their own inability 
to understand the Air Force mission. Why? Perhaps they may not 
realize that the big picture is found in a small document—AFDD-1, 
Air Force Basic Doctrine. More important, we, as leaders, do a 
poor job outside classroom settings of emphasizing the 
importance of every Air Force member knowing basic doctrine. 
With the expeditionary Air Force just over the horizon and 
uncertain future threats, it becomes more critical that all Air Force 
people—active, reserve, and civilians—especially support 
personnel, understand our doctrine or our raison d'etre. 

Core Competencies Versus Air 
and Space Power Functions 

Perhaps an overarching problem with the seemingly taken- 
for-granted view of force support lies in AFDD-1 itself. The core 
competencies of Air and Space Superiority, Precision 
Engagement, Information Superiority, Global Attack, and Rapid 
Global Mobility^ are readily supported—or further refined—by 
1 or more of the 17 Air and Space Power functions. These 
functions are counterair, counterspace, counterland, countersea, 
strategic attack, counterinformation, command and control, 
airlift, air refueling, spacelift, special operations employment, 
intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, combat search and 
rescue, navigation and positioning, and weather services.^ To a 
casual observer, nothing may seem to be missing. After all, is 
not the Air Force only about airplanes, bombs, and satellites? 
These functions represent an end product for the Air Force. If 
you know your doctrine, you should have noticed that in the 
above list of core competencies, Agile Combat Support was 
omitted. The omission was made because in AFDD-1 there is no 
further refinement or support for this competency in the list of 
Air and Space Power functions. Is logistics not included as an 
Air and Space Power function because it is too broad a topic to 
grasp? Or could it be that it does not necessarily involve aircraft 
and, therefore, does not require winged operators; hence, it should 
not be an Air and Space Power function? Or is Agile Combat 
Support listed as a core competency merely to throw a bone and 
placate the support fields? All of these are true. For this reason, 
our Air Force leaders must facilitate increased understanding of 
logistics and institutionalize logistics (Agile Combat Support) 
as a warfighting skill, especially in this era of the Expeditionary 
Aerospace Force. 

Logistics Defined and Understood in 
Context of Joint Publication 4-0 

When Paul G. Kaminski, Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition and Technology, addressed the 12^*" National 
Logistics Symposium and Exhibition in October of 1995, he 
stated, “[he] found the subject of logistics is of growing interest 
to our warfighters.”^ What did he mean by warfightersl Is the 
logistician any less a warfighter than the pilot, infantryman, or 
tanker? Do logisticians just punch the clock and work normal 
office hours? Hardly! Had Mr Kaminski read the definition of 
logistics in AFDD-1, he might have reconsidered his term 
warfighter and perhaps recognized the fact logistics is an 
operational (warfighting) art. The definition in AFDD-1 (taken 
from Joint Publication 1-02) follows: 

The science of planning and carrying out the movement and 
maintenance of forces. In its most comprehensive sense, those 
aspects of military operations that deal with: a. design and 
development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, 
maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of material; b. movement, 
evacuation, and hospitalization of personnel; c. acquisition or 
construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities; 
and d. acquisition or furnishing of services.^ [Emphasis added.] 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 


Mr Kaminski came close to calling logisticians warfighters 
when he spoke of the logistics role of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. 
He quoted John Chancellor of NBC news as saying, ‘This was a 
logistician’s war. Logistics, the movement of troops and supplies, 
made all the difference.”‘^ Mr Chancellor’s comments should not 
have come as a surprise. In the executive summary of Joint 
Publication 4-0, the notes of emphasis (in the margin) state, 
“Logistics is the foundation of combat power.”'” The supporting 
text states, “Logistics is the bridge connecting a nation’s economy 
to a nation’s warfighting forces.”" How important was logistics 
to our success in the Gulf War? Some interesting statistics help 
paint the picture. 

The Air Force alone used fifteen million gallons of jet fuel a day 
[Emphasis in original] at the height of the war .... Storing, 
transporting, and issuing this fuel remained a significant obstacle 
that was surmounted by a combination of new pipelines and the 
Air Force’s supply of fuel bladders, hydrant systems, refueling 
vehicles, and trained personnel gathered from all over the United 
States, Europe, and the Pacific. To meet this requirement, however, 
the Air Force deployed 92 percent of its entire refueling assets to 

the theater. [Emphasis added]_[They] had also deployed to the 

gulf 85 percent of all... equipment for operating from bare bases— 
tents, dining facilities, and so forth ... [52 percent of the Air Force’s 
HARMS (high-speed antiradiation missile), 63 percent of its LGBs 
(laser-guided bomb), 63 percent of its Mavericks, and 43 percent 
of its CBUs (cluster bomb unit) were deployed into theater.] " 

This equipment movement was planned, coordinated, and 
executed by logisticians. Whether or not people in the logistics 
functions of supply, maintenance, transportation, general 
engineering, and health services'^ are seen as warfighters, it 
should be readily evident that without the logistics capability 
they provide, our Air Force will be unable to fulfill its role in 
joint operations. Our task, then, is to marry the concept of logistics 
as outlined in Joint Publication 4-0 with the Agile Combat 
Support competency found in AFDD-l. In order to do so, we 
should understand some of the historical lessons learned 
concerning logistics and realize there are a myriad of challenges 
in our future. These challenges can be overcome if we ensure all 
logisticians know and understand their roles and responsibilities 
as set forth in doctrine. 

Logistics Lessons Learned 

The maxim i\\ 2 A. failing to learn histoty dooms one to repeat the 
same mistakes is probably the most ovemsed, yet underpracticed, 
statement in the military. Many leaders, when pontificating or 
postulating on a given subject, will spout those words and then 
set policy based almost solely on current information and 
political restrictions. The Department of Defense (DoD) civilian 
leadership and elected officials are supposedly taking the advice 
and counsel of our general officers, who should be getting well- 
researched advice from their staffs. It is quite probable this is 
happening, but these same people are also being inundated with 
information and requests from special interest groups who arc 
looking out for their pocketbooks rather than our national 
security. In the area of logistics, history has proven time and 
again that we continue to make costly mistakes when we fail to 
learn from history. 

In his article “Logistics: The Past is Prologue,” Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Logistics Eric A. Orsini says: 

In the plethora of initiatives on efficiencies, some favorite buzzwords 
are two-level maintenance, outsourcing to original manufacturers, 
and just-in-time inventory. The judgment is that the infrastructure 
is bloated, systems arc archaic and we arc living in the past. These 
charges arc not coming from battle-hardened commanders but from 
industry representatives, think tanks, and academia.' ' 

He cites as historical precedence the case of the German 
military in the 194()s. Panzer divisions operated under the 
concept of two-level maintenance and just-in-time inventory. 
Damaged tanks that could not be repaired in the field were sent 
back to the factory. The logistics concept worked well in the 
campaign in Poland in 1939 and subsequent campaign in France 
in 1940, but both were fairly short campaigns. The Germans 
declared the two-level concept a success and implemented the 
plan. Unfortunately, this concept was to work against them in 
Russia. Poor planning (possibly by taking their capability for 
granted), increased losses due to mines and attack, high attrition 
rates due to distance and extreme climatic conditions, and a poor 
logistics infrastructure made the two-level system impractical. 
The fix did not come until 1942, and then it did little good 
because of other blunders. The Tiger tank failed because of 
rushed production and employment without adequate supplies 
of spare parts. The same thing happened with mass production 
of the Panther tank. The Germans sent 325 Panther tanks into 
battle and then found defects in the steering and control 
mechanisms. They all had to go back to the factory. To make 
matters worse, once the initial problem was fixed, the engines 
were found to be inadequate,''^ Lesson learned: you cannot 
shortchange any part of the logistics chain and hope to be 
successful in battle. But has senior leadership learned this lesson? 

To answer this question, consider the following excerpt from 
Focused Logistics concerning the concept of agile infrastructure.'^’ 

[Agile infrastructure! will result in the right sizing of the logistics 
footprint through reductions in logistics forces, facilities, equipment 
and supplies. These reductions will be enabled through significant 
enhancements to joint logistics policies, structures and processes 
in inventory management, engineering, maintenance, and 
infrastructure improvements. 

It is difficult to put much stock in a logistics system whose 
success has been promised without testing in the worst possible 
cases or scenarios. Are we making changes to our future logistics 
capability based on relatively short campaigns, as the Germans 
did earlier this century? The Gulf War may have been won in 6 
weeks, but we had nearly 6 months to prepare. The recent Kosovo 
air campaign was, perhaps, easier logistically but lasted even 
longer—78 days. Granted, there were gross inefficiencies in the 
way we handled the logistics chain in both scenarios. However, 
much of that was due to our own dealings with the fog iwid friction 
of war—better to have too much of what you do not need than to 
have none of what you must have. Is this only true in modern 
warfare? Not at all! 

In For Want of a Nail,^^ Kenneth Macksey cites Benjamin 
Franklin’s maxim: 

For want of a nail— 

The shoe was lost— 

For want of a shoe the horse was lost— 

For want of a horse the rider was lost— 

For want of a rider the battle was lost. 

This, along with 13 chapters of text replete with examples of 
the effects of logistics on war from the early 1800s to 1975, serves 
as warning that we must not “overlook the workings of what may 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

be termed the logistic equaliser He cites Britain’s failure to 
maintain her logistical capabilities gained during the 
Napoleonic wars as an example of allowing economic policies 
to subjugate military power. “Whenever military organisations 
come under financial constraints, they tend to make disproportionate 
economies in the logistic services compared to the combat 

The case is easily made that we are following historical 
precedence and putting money into force modernization at the 
expense of logistical capability. Outsourcing and privatization 
is an example. “The Commission on Roles and Missions of the 
Armed Forces in 1995 encouraged the DoD to pursue outsourcing 
and privatization to generate savings that could be applied to 
force modernization.’’^^ The operative word in that quote is could. 
Hardly a contractual statement to make the logisticians of the 
world sleep better at night. 

Given that the historical lessons and current policies regarding 
infrastructure paint a less than perfect picture for the logistics 
community, how will we motivate our people to meet the 
challenge? It all goes back to understanding our role in doctrine. 

Maintaining Doctrinal Focus 
in the Expeditionary Air Force 

“Logistics is traditionally an unglamorous and unappreciated 
activity. To generalize, when the battle is going well, the 
strategist and tactician are lionized; it is only when the tanks run 
out of gas that people go head-hunting for the logistician.”^‘ 
Regardless of historical lessons, the fact remains that we are in a 
changing military environment for economic, political, tactical, 
and strategic reasons. We can and will make changes to our 
doctrine documents as the need arises. What we must not do is 
make arbitrary decisions to disassociate ourselves from our role 
in doctrine simply because we gain more attention for 
ourselves—or our particular career fields—through association 
with other career fields that may be in the limelight. A firm 
understanding and complete acceptance of our role in doctrine 
will go far in making every member proud to be associated with 
the Air Force, regardless of career field. Teaching and 
demonstrating the importance of doctrine to our newest members 
may help turn the tide in this era of individualism or association 
with only those seen as heroes or winners. 

A Leadership Opportunity 

General Patton’s speech to the Third Army, as depicted in the 
movie, was cited earlier. The emphasis is on our natural tendency 
to associate ourselves with winners. Many who have watched 
the movie may have perceived the winners as only those front¬ 
line troops who fought for General Patton. He did not see it that 
way. In the movie, an important part of his actual speech was 
omitted, probably since it lacked glamour. 

All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every 
single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don’t ever let up. Don’t 
ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do, 
and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain ... 
every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every 
department, every unit, is important in this vast scheme of war.. 

.. Each man must not only think of himself, but also of his buddy 
beside him.^^ 

With the expeditionary Air Force becoming a reality, we have 
a golden opportunity to heed General Patton’s words concerning 
people’s importance. Recognizing logistics as a warfighting skill 
by including it as an Air and Space Power function and educating 
the entire Air Force about each other’s role in doctrine will go 
far toward ensuring our natural tendency for association remains 
healthy and focused on our warfighting capability. 


1. Lt Col James C. Rainey, et al, Logistics on the Move, Maxwell AFB, 
Gunter Annex, Alabama: Air Force Logistics Management Agency, 
April 1999, 3. 

2. Patton, 20th Century Fox, 1970, Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. 

3. The Famous Patton Speech, Phil Buckley’s G.I. JOE Bar & Grill 
[Online] Available: 

4. “Career Field Breakdown,” Airman Magazine, January 1999, 47. 

5. Air Force Doctrine Document 1, Air Force Basic Doctrine, September 
1997, 29-35. 

6. Air Force Basic Doctrine, 45-60. 

7. Paul G. Kaminski, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and 
Technology, “The Revolution in Defense Logistics,” Defense Issues, 
Vol 10, No. 107, 31 October 1995 [Online] Available: http:// 

8. Air Force Basic Doctrine, 83. 

9. Kaminski. 

10. Joint Publication 4-0, Doctrine for Logistics Support of Joint 
Operations, January 1995. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Thomas A. Keaney and Eliot A, Cohen, Revolution in Warfare? 
Airpower in the Persian Gulf, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 
Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1995, 176-177. 

13. Doctrine for Logistics Support of Joint Operations, 10. 

14. “Insight,” Military Review, Army Command and General Staff College, 
November-December 1997, No. 6, Professional Bulletin 100-97-7/8, 63 
[Online] Available: 

15. Ibid. 

16. Focused Logistics, Joint Vision 2010: A Joint Logistics Roadmap, 
GPO, undated, 34. 

17. Kenneth Macksey, For Want of a Nail: The Impact on War of Logistics 
and Communication, Brassey’s (UK), original date unknown. School 
of Advanced Aerospace Studies reprint. Academic Year 1997-1998, 

18. Ibid. 

19. Macksey, 10. 

20. Focused Logistics, Joint Vision 2010, 35. 

21. Lt Gen William G. Pagonis, USA, Moving Mountains: Lessons in 
Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War, Boston, Massachusetts: 
Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 1992, 8. 

22. The Famous Patton Speech. 

Captain Dains is presently a military strategic studies instructor, 
34^’' Education Squadron, United States Air Force Academy. 

(Big Week—Eighth Air Force Bombing 20-25 February 1944 continued from page 13) 

constraints associated with humpback bridges, narrow winding roads with 
reverse camber, and bridge clearances. 

103. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” 2-3. 

104. Knerr, “Knerr Correspondence.” 

105. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 6. Although it is not 
clear from the historical account if VIII Air Force Service Command 
sought to replace British personnel at Burtonwood depot with 
Americans because the British were not productive or if the decline 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 


in British employee productivity was caused by the agreement, it is 
clearly documented that productivity increased. 


107. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” 3-4. 

108. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 5. The shortage of 
station overhead personnel also necessitated the use of skilled service 
personnel for overhead functions. 

109. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” 4. 

110. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” 6. Despite initial USAAF 
reservations regarding Lockheed’s control of depot personnel at 
Langford Lodge, which occurred due to an error made by the 
government in writing the contract, it appears the contractor managed 
the personnel satisfactorily. 

111. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” 4. 


113. Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr, “Letter from USSTAF in Europe Deputy 
Commanding General, Administration to Commanding General,” 
USAF, HRA 519.8671-3, 1 April 1945. 

114. Knerr, “Knerr Correspondence.” 

115. Knerr, “Air Force Logistics,” 7. 

1 16. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 12. 

117. Knerr, “Air Force Logistics,” 7. 

1 1 8. Knerr, “Knerr Correspondence.” 

1 1 9. Stockfisch. 19. 

120. “Notes for Supply and Maintenance Chapter,” 12. 

121. Craven and Cate. Vol 2, Europe: Torch to PomthUmk—August 1942 
to December 1943, 742. 

122. Cook, 6. 

1 23. “Materiel Behind the ‘Big Week’,” 4. 

124. Richard G. Davis, Car! A. Spaatz and the Air War in Europe, 
Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1993, 327. 

125. Knerr. “Strategic. Tactical, and Logistical Evaluation of World War 
11,” 7. 

126. Knerr, “Air Force Logistics,” 1. 

127. Stockfisch, 52, 

128. //?/W. 

1 29. Knerr. “Air Force Logistics,” 6-7. 

Major Suttetfield is currently an instructor. Department of Joint 
Warfare Studies, Air Command and Staff College (ACSCf At 
the time of the writing of this article, he was a student at ACSC, 

(Alternate Munitions Prepositioning—Strategy 2000 continued from page 19) 

in the Mediterranean to Spain and then to Nordenhain, Germany, 
to be offloaded. At this point, about 2 weeks had elapsed since 
the initial request was sent out by USAFE. The deep-water port 
is only one constraint for an APS. Host nation restrictions, as well 
as availability of equipment and experienced personnel for 
munitions offloading, also play major roles in the selection of 
the port. The offloaded munitions from the Bennett were then 
sent to three different locations. A portion was sent on barges to 
the United Kingdom, and the rest were sent to Italy and Germany. 
These locations required selected munitions that were spread 
throughout the entire ship. As a result, all the containers had to 
be offloaded, opened, and sorted and then either shipped forward 
or repacked and put back on the ship (Figure 4). 

It took about 2 weeks to complete the offload and delivery to 
Germany and the United Kingdom and upwards of a month to 
complete the delivery to Italy. Some of this delay may be 

attributed to the hazardous nature of munitions and the rules and 
regulations governing its transportation. 

Could smaller, faster ships alleviate some of the problems 
outlined above? For example, EAF peacekeeping scenarios, as 
well as many other smaller conflicts, may not require as many 
munitions as an MTW, and yet the requirement for munitions in 
a multiple-conflict scenario across large distances can overwhelm 
two or three large APS. 

The Air Force should start examining the smaller, faster sealift 
capability. One particularly attractive option includes the high¬ 
speed sealifts (HSS)—such as the 91-meter wave-piercing ferry 
INCAT 046 and Revolution 120, a 120-meter wave-piercing RO/ 
Pax Catamaran—both built by the International Catamaran 
(INCAT) Australia Shipyard. These boats combine three 
attributes: light weight, high performance, and large payload. 
The INCAT 046 Devil Cat, Figure 5, with a surface-piercing 
catamaran hull 91 meters long and 
beam of 23 meters, is capable of 
carrying 500 metric tons and reaching 
speeds of up to 43 knots. In fact, the 
Army, as part of the Center for the 
Commercial Deployment of 
Transportation Technologies High- 
Speed Sealift program and in 
cooperation with the US 
Transportation Command and 
Maritime Administration, has 
sponsored an evaluation of the 91- 
meter INCAT 04614. The newest 
INCAT design, Revolution 120, with 
turbine-powered jets, is 120 meters 
long with a beam of 30 meters. It can 
achieve speeds of more than 60 knots 
lightship (400 metric tons) and 50 
knots fully loaded (1,200 metric tons). 
In fact, the Australian Navy used an 
INCAT-built catamaran, the HMAS 
Jervis Bay, to carry troops and 
vehicles to and from East Timor. 

-USAF sent a request to EUCOM 

-EUCOM contacted JCS 
- JCS authorization 

-Depart Spain 

-Arrived Germany 

Planned Distribution of Cargo (Stons) 

|—Start offload (100 containers/day) 

[— End offload 

Afloat Prepositioning Ship (Stons) 

□ Italy 

□ Germany 

H Remained on board 

Deliver to Welford, 

UK and Ramstein, Train shipment to 
GE Italy completed 

Arrived at Sunny 
Point, NC to reload I 



Figure 4. Time Line of Munitions Delivery by MV Stephen L. Bennett 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 

Figure 5. Bow View of 91-Meter Wave-Piercing 
Ferry INCAT-046 Running at 43 Knots 

There is no doubt that an afloat prepositioned fleet (APF) of 
larger ships can meet the need for sustainment or, when time lines 
allow, for longer transportation delay. Moreover, HSS ships do 
not obviate the need to preposition munitions at some FOLs that 
require a very short time line. Although the transit time for sealift 
can be substantially decreased, ground transportation can still 
add delays to the delivery of munitions to FOLs. For example, 
one can imagine a hypothetical situation where HSS ships would 
be deployed to ports in the three countries where the 5. L. 
Bennett's cargo was sent. It would have taken eight HSS ships to 
do the job, but substantial savings might have been achieved in 
terms of sealift transit time, loading and offloading, and surface 

Conclusions and Recommendations 

The initiatives evaluated—reducing WRM munitions on the 
ground in Southwest Asia, increasing the size of the afloat 
prepositioned fleet, and changing its composition—have the 
potential to improve the Air Force’s ability to respond to crises 
worldwide. However, the deep-water nature of the ships presents 
some problems in finding suitable ports. During the ONA, 
considerable time was taken to unload and transport the munitions 
to their final destinations. These initiatives do provide benefits 
for meeting operational requirements in contingencies with 
relatively long warning times and substantial uncertainty. These 
results suggest both specific and general policies for the Air Force 
to consider in increasing operational robustness. 

Specifically, the Air Force may want to pursue positioning a 
mix of WRM on fast, smaller HSS, such as the 91-meter INCAT 
046 Devil Cat or Revolution 120 and other larger ROROs. The 
Catamarans can travel up to 50 knots and carry 500 to 1,200 tons 
of equipment and personnel. In comparison, the larger ships can 
carry about 20,000 tons of cargo at a speed of 18 to 22 knots. If 
the Air Force needs to meet very rapid employment time lines, 
prepositioning munitions at selected FOLs may still be necessary. 
Difficult tradeoffs need to be made. More generally, the Air Force 
should undertake further exploratory modeling of the type used 
in this analysis. Such modeling is ideal for developing the 
dynamic and responsive system needed to support expeditionary 

Uncertainty dominates planning for war. It affects virtually 
every decision related to war reserve policy, requirements, 
investment levels, prepositioning, transportation capacity and 
priorities, and campaign planning. In the face of so many 
variables, for which there is so much uncertainty, it is no surprise 
that planners may wish to rely on canonical scenarios. A 

canonical scenario can be a constructive approach to the problem 
of matching logistics resource investment levels with budgetary 
constraints, but it is less useful for determining resource mixes 
or specific military capabilities needed for operations. Rather 
than a canonical scenario, what is needed is a methodical 
approach for: 

• Evaluating alternative strategies under a variety of scenario 

• Exploring a large number of alternative resources. 

• Choosing among strategies in a way that yields a robust mix 
of resources positioned to be most responsive to the widest 
possible variety of scenarios. 

Planning processes should focus more explicitly on the levels 
of flexibility, adaptability, and robustness needed in resource 
investments, asset postures, and prepositioning strategies. 
Planners for EAF operations may need to think outside 
conventional bounds and canonical scenarios. 

The RAND analysis of only a few variables for WRM 
prepositioning, for example, shows the key question is not where 
on land WRM ought to be positioned but how its positioning 
can become more flexible for greater support responsiveness. 
There are likely other areas of EAF planning where the key 
questions are not how best to use existing materiel, technology, 
and support structures but how to design a support system that 
stretches the current boundaries posed by existing materiel, 
technology, and support structures. Exploratory modeling can 
contribute significantly to identifying and answering such 


1. See the following Air Force Journal of Logistics articles: Lionel 
Galway et al., “Expeditionary Airpower: A Global Infrastructure to 
Support EAF,” Vol 23, No. 2; Robert S. Tripp et al., “Expeditionary 
Airpower, Part 2: EAF Strategic Planning,” Vol 23, No. 3; Eric Peltz 
et al., “Evaluation of F-15 Avionics Intermediate Maintenance 
Concepts for Meeting Expeditionary Aerospace Force Support 
Challenges,” Vol 23, No. 4; Robert S. Tripp et al., “A Vision for an 
Evolving Agile Combat Support System,” Vol 24, No. 1; and Amatzia 
Feinberg et al., “Evaluation of LANTIRN Intermediate Maintenance 
Concepts for Meeting Expeditionary Aerospace Force Support 
Challenges,” Vol 24, No. 1. 

2. Bruce W. Bennett, A. Bullock, D. Fox, C. Jones, J. Schrader, 
R. Weissler, and B. Wilson, JICM 1.0 Summary, Santa Monica, 
California: RAND, MR-383-NA, 1994. 

3. Steven C. Bankes, “Exploratory Modeling for Policy Analysis,” 
Operations Research, Vol 41, No. 3, May-June 1993. 

4. DataView was implemented by James Gillogly, formerly of RAND. 

5. According to current doctrine, munitions needs for a two-MTW 
scenario are determined by the Nonnuclear Consumable Annual 
Analysis process. Munitions allocated amongst the theater munitions 
stocks (USAFE, Pacific Air Forces, and Central Air Force), and 
swingstock. The latter includes the CONUS munitions stocks. Standard 
Air Munitions Packages, and the afloat prepositioned fleet; the Air 
Force presently has three ships as part of the APF program: the MV 
Buffalo Soldier, MV Major Bernard F. Fisher, and MV Captain 
Stephen L. Bennett. Buffalo Soldier is a break bulk and the other two 
are container ships. At the time this analysis was done, there were two 
break bulk ships and one LASH. 

6. Scenarios were analyzed in which there are no, one, or two surprises. 
In scenarios in which there are two surprises, it is assumed, with one 
exception, that the same surprise cannot occur twice. That exception 
is for sabotage, which can occur twice. 

Volume XXIV, Number2 


7. In cases where both ship sunk and ship Idle sinprises occurred, the first ship 
expected to arrive in theater was the one assumed lost. 

8. If sabotage was simulated to occur twice, it was assumed that 10.000 
tons of munitions were lost. 

9. It was assumed that one shipload of munitions would always be kept 
in SWA. For other scenarios, if more than one shipload was in 
Southwest Asia, it was assumed that one shipload could be airlifted 
directly from SWA to the theater. If three shiploads were in Southwest 
Asia, the second load would be moved by sea. 

10. White squares indicate cases not run. Off-diagonal squares arc for 
combinations of surprises, but sabotage of munitions on the ground 
is the only surprise that can happen twice. The Hormuz surprise only 
affects the SWA scenario. Except for the first position, the bottom 
row is empty because it would be just like the first column. 

11. The exception is that performance is worse in the North African 
scenario when there is an enemy attack on the port (the port surprise). 

Understanding this requires an analysis of the interaction between the ship 
arrival schedule, what wc assumed about unloading processes, and our 
model of the effects of an attack on a port. 

12. Using CTEM. for example, wc estimated munitions requirements for 
scenarios in Southwest Asia and Korea, finding the optimal mixes of 
munitions required for these two theaters to be quite different. 

1 Courtesy of INCAT Australia. 

14. Martin J. Dipper. Jr.. “91-meter Wave-Piercing Ferry INCAT 046 
Transit from Hobart. Tasmania, Australia, to Yarmouth. Nova Scotia, 
Canada, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division. West 
Bethesda. Maryland. 20817, CRDKNSWC/HD-1479-01. 1998. 

MrAhelJ, Mr Jones, Mr Miller, Mr Amouzegar, Mr Tripp, and 
Mr Grannnich are senior analysts at RAND. 

(Global Access—Strategy 2000 continued from page 25) 

Developing and acquiring aircraft with longer operating ranges 
would help the Air Force avoid future access difficulties. Aircraft 
able to operate over a range of 2,000 nautical miles without 
refueling, for example, could support contingency operations in 
most of the world while operating exclusively from the five 
forward support locations preciously identified. Small, smart 
munitions could improve the rates at which aircraft could deliver 
ordnance, in turn, permitting the Air Force to consider a wider 
variety of options for access and basing. By adopting processes 
or technologies that expand its options for access and basing, 
the Air Force will hedge against risks of future access lockout. 
By identifying and implementing process and technology 
innovations that improve expeditionary operating range, 
logisticians will also overcome many of the political constraints 
on their options. 

Exploiting new opportunities. There are two types of 
opportunities for access and basing that may be exploited for 
future operations. The first is extraterritorial access. We cannot 
identify a future host country, but the United States possibly 
could work now to develop such opportunities. The Air Force 
should survey one or more key areas of interest, starting in the 
western Pacific, to identify potential sites for such access. If some 
are found, then logisticians can consider the cost, feasibility, and 
development of facilities there. This preparation will help should 
theoretical possibilities become actual opportunities. 

A second area of opportunity for access and basing is in the 
currently rapid pace of geopolitical change. The changes of the 
last decade may have created new opportunities for access and 
basing that have not yet been realized. Many nations of Central 
Asia have demonstrated an interest in closer ties with the United 
States. Their help could be crucial in access and basing for 
responses to crises involving China or Iran. Several Southeast 
Asian nations have also expressed interest in expanding ties with 
the United States; their help could be crucial for US responses to 
crises there. 

Addressing immediate concerns. In both Southwest Asia and 
the Pacific Rim, current access arrangements arc insufficient, and 
the risk of contingencies is high. Both these regions should 
command the most attention in managing and developing access 
and basing options. 

In Southwest Asia, flexible planning will be critical to 
maintaining Air Force capabilities to respond to contingencies. 

Such planning should focus on how to maintain current 
capabilities if basing options arc not optimal. This might include 
planning to base aircraft at one regional location and support 
processes at another in order to minimize risks and create more 
basing options. The United States may wish to develop more 
strategic partners in the region. Israel is a prime candidate for 
such a role should a broad peace accord permit its normalization 
in the region. 

The Asian Pacific Rim outside Korea presents daunting access 
and basing problems to the United States. Particularly 
problematic is the lack of bases available near the Taiwan Strait. 
Facilities in the northern Philippines would solve this problem 
if they could be used in a Taiwan crisis. Identifying and 
developing extraterritorial access would also help. In Southeast 
Asia, the United States would improve its options by expanding 
its presence in Singapore, continuing to build its relations with 
Thailand, and possibly, developing Malaysia as a site for access 
and basing. 

In both Southwest Asia and the Pacific Rim, the development 
of new, longer range combat aircraft could ameliorate access and 
basing concerns. 

Future Access and Basing Needs 

Continuing changes in military technology may eliminate many 
access and basing problems. Space-based surveillance and attack 
systems may someday enable the Air Force to strike any target 
in the world without deploying aircraft or personnel. Still, it is 
unlikely that such changes will completely eliminate 
expeditionary operations in general and the need for access and 
basing in particular. Peacekeeping and humanitarian operations 
will continue to require local access and basing. 

There is no single solution that the United States can apply 
for its access and basing needs now or in the future. Traditional 
problems for access and basing will persist, and new ones, 
including new threats posed to US forces based regionally, may 
develop, further complicating a global access strategy. 
Nevertheless, a global access strategy that includes maintenance 
of core assets and development of new political and technological 
opportunities can help the United States manage and develop 
access and basing options both now and in future years. 


Air Force Journal of Logistics 


1. Tactical forces are those not committed primarily to the nuclear 
retaliatory mission performed until the early 1990s by Strategic Air 

2. For more information on the resources that must be prepositioned to 
meet a 48-hour deployment and operation time line, see Lionel Galway 
et al., “Expeditionary Airpower: A Global Infrastructure to Support 
EAF,” Air Force Journal of Logistics, Vol 23, No. 2, 4-9, 40-41. 

3. The next planned generation of tactical aircraft, including the F-22 
and the joint strike fighter, will have similar operating ranges. 

4. In 1973, the Air Force fleet of C-141A transport aircraft was not fitted 
for aerial refueling and could not have flown nonstop from the United 
States to Israel, The C-5A, which was equipped for refueling but was 
prohibited from doing so because of difficulties with its wing structure, 
could have made the trip without refueling, but its maximum payload 
would have been reduced to 33 tons. By stopping at Lajes, the C-5s 
were able to carry an average of 68 tons per sortie. See J. Lund, 1990, 
“The Airlift to Israel Revisited,” unpublished manuscript, and US 
General Accounting Office, 1975, Airlift Operations of the Military 
Airlift Command During the 1973 Middle East War, LCD-75-204, 
10, 30. 

5. Israel might be said to have a special relationship with the United 
States, but it currently cannot help the United States solve its access 
and basing problems in the Mideast. Using Israel for access and basing 
in an operation against another state in the region—for example, against 
an Arab state—is, at best, problematic. This could change if the position 

of Israel in the region continues to improve. For more on the political 
dynamics and military implications of improving Arab-Israeli 
relations, see Zalmay Khalilzad, David Shlapak, and Daniel Byman, 
1997, The Implications of the Possible End of the Arab-Israeli 
Conflict for Gulf Security, MR-822-AF, RAND: Santa Monica, 
California. We also recognize that Australia shares many of the cultural 
bonds that the United States has with the United Kingdom. There are, 
however, several reasons why these bonds will not yield a special 
relationship with the United States. London and Washington share 
many of the same perspectives on regional and global issues, but 
Canberra and Washington do not. A significant number of Australians 
would likely oppose greatly expanded ties with the United States. Even 
if a special relationship were possible, Australia still would not be 
ideally located for supporting operations away from the far 
southeastern portion of Asia. 

6. For an overview of the role of FSLs in EAF logistic processes, see 
Lionel Galway et al., “Expeditionary Airpower: A Global 

Infrastructure to Support EAF,” Air Force Journal of Logistics, Vol 
23, No.2 For a discussion of how FSLs can improve EAF logistics 
processes, see, inter alia, Eric Peltz et al, 1999, “Exploring F-15 
Avionics Intermediate Maintenance Concepts to Meet AEF 
Challenges,” Air Force Journal of Logistics, Vol 23, No. 4, 3-5, 36- 

Mr Shlapak, MrStillion, Ms Oliker, Ms Charlick-Paley, Mr Tripp, 

and Mr Grammich are senior analysts at RAND. 

(Best Value in Source Selections continued from page 33) 

17. AFFARS 5315.305(a)(2). 

18. President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management, A 
Formula for Action, A Report to the President on Defense Acquisition, 
Washington DC, April 1986, 62-63. 

19. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994, PL 103-355, 
17 April 2000 [Online] Available: 

20. FAR 15.304—DAR Tracking Number 99-00002 and 15.305(a)(2). 

21. General Accounting Office, B-284360, 18 April 2000 [Online] 

22. FAR 15.305(a)(2)(iv) and AFFARS 5315.305(a)(2)(S-92). 

23. General Accounting Office. B-280645, [Online], Available: (19 Apr 00). 

24. AFFARS 5315.303(b)(l)(i). 

25. AFFARS 5315.301-90(1). 

26. AFFARS 5315.303(b)(l)(ii). 

27. AFFARS Attachment 5315-3. 

28. However, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) is the 
delegable SSA for new ACAT ID programs entering the engineering 
and manufacturing development phase. 

29. AFFARS 53i5.308-90(b), (c), and (d). 

30. “Lightning Bolt 99-2, Superior Source Selections,” 14 April 2000 
[Online] Available: 

31. Memo, Darleen A. Druyun, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of 
the Air Force (Acquisition and Management), “Lightning Bolt 99-2 
Air Force Source Selection Expert Advisors (SSEAs) Charter,” 
1 February 2000. 

32. United States Air Force Source Selection Procedures Guide, March 
2000 version, 21 March 2000 [Online] Available: 

Captain Wright is presently a project manager in the 
Contracting Division, Air Force Logistics Management Agency. 

Volume XXIV, Number 2 


Alt Force JouruuLmistics 

Coming in Future issues 

• Competitive Sourcing and Savings 

• Facilitating Cultural Change in an Organization 

• Theater Air Mobility 

Available Soi 

T hose who ignore history are condemned 
to repeat it. For too long, military history 
has ignored the aspect of logistics. 
Now, the Air Force Logistics Management 
Agency presents The Logistics of War: A 
Historical Perspective. This 
comprehensive collection details US 
logistics operations spanning the War 
for American Independence to 
Operation Desert Storm. Providing 
today’s logistics soldiers with a 
tool designed to let them see how 
past logisticians faced the 
greatest challenges brought 
forth by the pressures of 
war, The Logistics of 
War: A Historical Perspective 
is a must-read for anyone in the 
logistics community. Look for this 
cornerstone of military logistics history in the 
near future. 

Volume XXIV, 
Number 2 
Summer 2000 

United States Govenunent 




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