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C O R P O R AT I O N

Is the USAF Flying Force


Large Enough?
Assessing Capacity Demands
in Four Alternative Futures

Alan J. Vick, Paul Dreyer, John Speed Meyers


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Preface

The 1997 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed the Department of Defense to
conduct a systematic review of U.S. defense needs every four years. The first of these
Quadrennial Defense Reviews (QDRs) was conducted in 1997, followed by four others in 2001,
2006, 2010, and 2014. By 2016, congressional leaders viewed the QDR as a costly “watered-
down, consensus-driven product” of relatively little value.1 As a result, the 2017 NDAA
scrapped the QDR, replacing it with two strategy documents. By 2017, this had evolved into a
requirement for a single review of the National Military Strategy.
Recognizing that some kind of defense strategy review would occur in 2017–2018, the
Director, Strategy, Concepts and Assessments, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force (USAF),
commissioned a fiscal year 2017 RAND Project AIR FORCE study. The USAF sought help
developing a force planning and sizing construct that would address two competing demands: (1)
Deter (and, if necessary, win) a future conflict with a major power and (2) meet recurring and
often enduring combatant commander demands for forces today. These are in tension because
the current force is neither sized nor resourced to meet the demands of current operations,
maintain a large force in high readiness for major conflict, and fund needed modernization to
counter emerging challenges.
To address these and related policy issues, the study was organized around five research
questions: (1) Do defense reviews matter, and, if so, how can the USAF participate most
effectively? (2) What programs should the USAF prioritize to deter/defeat peer threats? (3) How
do military operations become prolonged?2 (4) What types of force demands have been placed
on the USAF since the end of World War II? and (5) What impact do steady-state demands,
prolonged military operations, and other contingencies have on USAF force structure?
This report addresses the last two questions. Specifically, the purposes of this report are to
quantify historical demands placed on the Air Force and to use that historical evidence to help
identify future potential capacity shortfalls, indicate which aircraft platforms might or might not
be placed in short supply under different scenarios, suggest where capacity increases could
enhance force robustness, and inform force planning more generally. The report does not address
specific causes of stress in the current force other than to note the role of prolonged operations in
creating excessive demand relative to the fiscal year 2017 force.
For documentation of our analysis on the other questions, see Raphael S. Cohen, The History
and Politics of Defense Reviews, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-2278-AF, 2018;

1
Joe Gould, “QDR Dead in 2017 Defense Policy Bill,” Defense News, April 25, 2016.
2
We define “prolonged” operations as those lasting more than a year.

iii
and David Ochmanek, Restoring U.S. Power Projection Capabilities: Responding to the 2018
National Defense Strategy, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, PE-260-AF, 2018.
The research described in this report was conducted within the Strategy and Doctrine
Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.

RAND Project AIR FORCE


RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF), a division of the RAND Corporation, is the U.S. Air Force’s
federally funded research and development center for studies and analyses. PAF provides the Air
Force with independent analyses of policy alternatives affecting the development, employment,
combat readiness, and support of current and future air, space, and cyber forces. Research is
conducted in four programs: Force Modernization and Employment; Manpower, Personnel, and
Training; Resource Management; and Strategy and Doctrine. The research reported here was
prepared under contract FA7014-16-D-1000.
Additional information about PAF is available on our website:
www.rand.org/paf.
This report documents work originally shared with the U.S. Air Force on July 13, 2017. The
draft report, issued on September 22, 2017, was reviewed by formal peer reviewers and U.S. Air
Force subject-matter experts.

iv
Contents

Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iii


Figures .......................................................................................................................................... vii
Tables .......................................................................................................................................... viii
Summary.......................................................................................................................................... x
Acknowledgments ..................................................................................................................... xviii
Abbreviations ...............................................................................................................................xix

Chapter One: Introduction ............................................................................................................... 1


Background ............................................................................................................................................... 1
The Policy Problem ................................................................................................................................... 2
Purpose of This Report.............................................................................................................................. 2
Organization .............................................................................................................................................. 3
Chapter Two: An Overview of Joint Operations: 1946–2016......................................................... 4
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 4
Descriptive Statistics, 1946–2016 ............................................................................................................. 6
Prolonged Operations ................................................................................................................................ 9
Prolonged Operations by Mission Type ............................................................................................... 9
Length of Prolonged Operations by Mission Type ............................................................................. 10
Simultaneity and Prolonged Operations ............................................................................................. 11
Prolonged Operations by Presidential Administration ....................................................................... 12
Are Operations Becoming Longer? .................................................................................................... 13
Chapter Three: Analytical Approach............................................................................................. 15
Derivation of Future Decremented Supply ............................................................................................. 15
Total Supply ........................................................................................................................................ 15
Fixed Demand ..................................................................................................................................... 16
Decremented Supply ........................................................................................................................... 19
Estimation of Future Variable Demands ................................................................................................. 19
Futures 1 and 2: New Cold War ......................................................................................................... 20
Future 3: Peace Enforcement .............................................................................................................. 22
Future 4: Global Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency Operations ............................................. 23
Construction of Representative Force Packages ..................................................................................... 25
Prediction of Operational Durations ....................................................................................................... 28
Translation of Aircraft Demands into Squadron Demands ..................................................................... 29
Accommodation of Key Scheduling Constraints .................................................................................... 30
Chapter Four: Force Structure Implications of Alternative Futures .............................................. 33
Base Case ................................................................................................................................................ 33
Analytical Excursions ............................................................................................................................. 36

v
Contingencies Capped at One Year .................................................................................................... 36
Trade-Offs Between Steady-State and Contingency Demands .......................................................... 39
Impact of Deploy-to-Dwell Constraints on Contingency Shortfalls................................................... 40
Summary of Alternative Futures Analysis .............................................................................................. 42
Chapter Five: Findings and Recommendations ............................................................................. 43
Findings ................................................................................................................................................... 43
The USAF FY17 Force Experiences Capacity Shortfalls in All Four Futures ................................... 43
No Class of Aircraft Is Robust Across All Four Futures .................................................................... 44
Prolonged Operations Have a Disproportionate Impact on Contingency Demands........................... 44
Deploy-to-Dwell Constraints Are Not Responsible for Contingency Shortfalls ................................ 45
Recommendations ................................................................................................................................... 46
Final Thoughts ........................................................................................................................................ 47

Appendix A: Air Force Future Environment Scheduling Simulation (AF-FESS) Model


Description .............................................................................................................................. 49
Appendix B: Notes on the Joint Operations Dataset, 1946–2016 ................................................. 56
Appendix C: Prolonged Joint Operations, 1946–2016 .................................................................. 58
Appendix D: Joint Operations Chronology, 1946–2016 ............................................................... 59
Appendix E: Force Packages Used in AF-FESS ........................................................................... 76
Appendix F: MDS-Level Simulation Results................................................................................ 79
Appendix G: Estimating a Vietnam War–Level Demand on the USAF FY17 Force................... 80

Bibliography .................................................................................................................................. 83

vi
Figures

Figure S.1. Prolonged Operations, by Presidential Administration .............................................xiv


Figure 2.1. Count of Prolonged U.S. Military Operations, by Operation Type, 1946–2016 ........ 10
Figure 2.2. Average Length of Prolonged Operations, by Operation Type, 1946–2016 .............. 11
Figure 2.3. All Prolonged U.S. Military Operations, 1946–2016 ................................................. 11
Figure 2.4. Prolonged Operations Initiated and Inherited, by Presidential Administration .......... 13
Figure 2.5. Comparison of the Length of Pre–Cold War and Post–Cold War Operations ........... 13
Figure 3.1. Illustration of Air Force Future Environment Scheduling Simulation Scheduling
Logic ...................................................................................................................................... 31
Figure 4.1. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force: Prolonged Versus Shorter
Contingencies ........................................................................................................................ 38
Figure 4.2. Trade-Offs Between Steady-State and Contingency Demands for C3ISR/BM
Aircraft (All Futures) ............................................................................................................. 40
Figure 4.3. Impact of Deploy-to-Dwell Constraints on Availability of C3ISR/BM Aircraft
(Peace Enforcement Future) .................................................................................................. 41
Figure A.1. AF-FESS Model Structure ......................................................................................... 49
Figure A.2. Notional Future from CT/COIN Era .......................................................................... 53
Figure A.3. KC-135 Demand from Notional Future ..................................................................... 54
Figure A.4. MC-130 Demand from Notional Future .................................................................... 55

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Tables

Table S.1. Percentage of Demands Met by Aircraft Class (FY17 Force) .................................... xii
Table 2.1. Frequency, Duration, and USAF Participation in Joint Operations, 1946–2016 ........... 7
Table 2.2. Count of Operations, by Type for Four Time Periods ................................................... 8
Table 2.3. Years Between Events (Normalized Frequency), by Operation Type for Four
Time Periods ............................................................................................................................ 9
Table 2.4. Count of Prolonged Operations and All Operations, by Major Time Periods ............. 12
Table 3.1. Total USAF FY17 Supply, by Major Aircraft Type .................................................... 16
Table 3.2. Fixed Demand Assumptions, by Future ....................................................................... 18
Table 3.3. Mapping Policymaker Concerns to Historical Periods and Alternative Futures.......... 20
Table 3.4. Variable Demands During the Cold War (1946–1989)................................................ 21
Table 3.5. Variable Demands During the Peace Enforcement Era (1990–2000) .......................... 23
Table 3.6. Variable Demands During the Counterterrorism/Counterinsurgency Era
(2001–2016) .......................................................................................................................... 25
Table 3.7. Historical Basis for Force Packages for Each Demand Class and Each Future ........... 26
Table 3.8. Sources of Operational Duration Inputs for Alternative Futures ................................. 28
Table 3.9. Total Historical Supply and Demand in Aircraft and Squadron Equivalents .............. 30
Table 4.1. Percentage of Demands Met, by Aircraft Class (FY17 Force) .................................... 34
Table 4.2. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force (by Aircraft Type) ................................. 36
Table 4.3. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force (Contingencies Are Capped at
365 Days)............................................................................................................................... 37
Table A.1. Categorized List of MDS............................................................................................. 50
Table C.1. Joint Operations That Lasted 365 Days or Longer, 1946–2016 .................................. 58
Table D.1. Joint Operations Starting Between 1946 and 1951 ..................................................... 59
Table D.2. Joint Operations Starting Between 1952 and 1955 ..................................................... 60
Table D.3. Joint Operations Starting Between 1956 and 1959 ..................................................... 61
Table D.4. Joint Operations Starting Between 1960 and 1962 ..................................................... 62
Table D.5. Joint Operations Starting Between 1963 and 1964 ..................................................... 63
Table D.6. Joint Operations Starting Between 1965 and 1967 ..................................................... 64
Table D.7. Joint Operations Starting Between 1968 and 1971 ..................................................... 65
Table D.8. Joint Operations Starting Between 1972 and 1975 ..................................................... 66
Table D.9. Joint Operations Starting Between 1976 and 1979 ..................................................... 67
Table D.10. Joint Operations Starting Between 1980 and 1982 ................................................... 68
Table D.11. Joint Operations Starting Between 1983 and 1985 ................................................... 69
Table D.12. Joint Operations Starting Between 1986 and 1988 ................................................... 70
Table D.13. Joint Operations Starting Between 1989 and 1991 ................................................... 71

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Table D.14. Joint Operations Starting Between 1992 and 1994 ................................................... 72
Table D.15. Joint Operations Starting Between 1995 and 1997 ................................................... 73
Table D.16. Joint Operations Starting Between 1998 and 2003 ................................................... 74
Table D.17. Joint Operations Starting Between 2004 and 2016 ................................................... 75
Table E.1. Force Packages in Number of Aircraft, by Class of Demand ...................................... 77
Table E.2. Force Packages in Squadron Equivalents, by Class of Demand .................................. 78
Table F.1. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force When Contingencies Are Capped
at 365 Days ............................................................................................................................ 79
Table G.1. Vietnam War Order of Battle as a Percentage of the USAF Total Force, 1969.......... 81
Table G.2. Vietnam War–Scale Demand on FY17 Force (by Aircraft Class) .............................. 81
Table G.3. Vietnam War and OIF Demands as Percentage of USAF Total Force in 1969
and 2017 ................................................................................................................................ 82

ix
Summary

Background
The U.S. military has operated at a high operational tempo for most of the post–Cold War era.
Although the demand for forces has ebbed and flowed, peaking during major combat operations,
such as Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the “ebb”
periods never quite returned to the low levels taken for granted during much of the Cold War.
This high operational tempo required some adaptations but initially seemed manageable. U.S.
conventional military dominance allowed for some risks to be taken in force readiness and
capability requirements for conflict with a major power. That unipolar era is rapidly coming to
an end as both Russia and China field increasingly capable forces and become more willing to
use force to pursue foreign policy goals. Today, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) must meet
combatant commander demands and simultaneously improve its capabilities to defeat major
powers.
It is hardly news to the USAF that small continuous rotations are demanding. USAF leaders
invented the Air Expeditionary Force construct two decades ago to better manage these
demands.1 Similarly, the other services have adapted their force presentation models in response
to this new reality, and the Global Force Management system has evolved to better support
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense decisionmaking processes. These
adaptations (along with the willingness of American service members to make the personal
sacrifices associated with frequent deployments) have mitigated or postponed the worst effects of
constant deployments. These measures were, however, never meant to be anything other than
temporary fixes.
Although service leaders and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been
increasingly candid and direct about the readiness and retention problems caused by overtasking
and underresourcing of the military, as of May 2018 there appears to be no significant reduction
in demand on the horizon.2
In this study, we sought to help the USAF develop planning tools to test the robustness of the
flying force against a range of possible future demands. We used four distinct, empirically
derived futures to model future force demands. In particular, this study is the first to quantify the
degree to which the open-ended and prolonged operations (those lasting more than one year)

1
For an introduction to the Air Expeditionary Force, see Richard G. Davis, Anatomy of A Reform: The
Expeditionary Aerospace Force, Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museum Program, 2003.
2
For an overview of recent readiness problems across the military branches, see U.S. Government Accountability
Office, Department of Defense: Actions Needed to Address Five Key Missions Challenges, Washington, D.C., June
2017.

x
mentioned above increase demands on USAF force structure. Our hope is that this research will
provide additional analytical evidence of the gap between the demands of U.S. national security
strategy and the resources that the services have to meet these demands. Although this study
focused on the USAF, a similar analysis could be done for the other services using our joint
operations database and appropriate service-specific scheduling models. In this study, we did not
attempt to identify solutions to the capacity shortfalls beyond the obvious one (increase the size
of the force where it is most stressed).

Analytical Approach
Our analysis contains six phases: (1) derivation of future decremented supply, (2) estimation of
future variable demands, (3) construction of representative force packages, (4) prediction of
operational durations, (5) translation of aircraft demands into squadron demands, and (6)
accommodation of key scheduling constraints.
The first phase could be reduced to a simple equation. From the total supply of Air Force
capacity in fiscal year 2017 (FY17), we subtract the fixed demand for capacity that will likely be
required to meet open-ended and enduring requirements, such as homeland air defense. (We
worked closely with the study sponsor to ensure that we neither understated nor overstated this
fixed demand.) The remaining capacity is the future decremented supply, or the amount that
would be available to meet future variable demands. Our estimates of future decremented supply
assume that the total supply of Air Force capacity will remain at the level of FY17.
The most complex phase of our analysis is the estimation of future variable demands. To
produce these estimates, we rely on historical precedents (1946–2016) that portend very different
future worlds. The hypothetical futures are thus extensions of recent historical eras. For each of
four alternative futures, our model estimates the amount of Air Force capacity that would be
required to satisfy the future variable demands above and beyond the future fixed demand. The
model estimates the future variable demands for eight classes of aircraft across the four posited
futures.
The purpose of this critical phase of the analysis is to show whether the four historically
based projections of variable demand could be met by their respective decremented supplies. Our
model, called the Air Force Future Environment Scheduling Simulation (AF-FESS), can help
identify potential capacity shortfalls, indicate which aircraft platforms might or might not be
placed in short supply under different scenarios, suggest where capacity increases could enhance
force robustness, and inform force planning more generally.
The four remaining phases of our analysis are all attempts to modify specific inputs to the
AF-FESS model so that it can generate results that reflect the future Air Force capacities,
capabilities, and constraints as realistically as possible. The various model inputs have to do with
force packages, operational durations, squadron demands, and scheduling constraints.

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Findings

The USAF FY17 Force Experiences Capacity Shortfalls in All Four Futures
Whether the future bears similarities to the Cold War years, to the 1990s era of peace
enforcement operations, or to the counterterrorism (CT) and counterinsurgency (COIN) demands
of today, the USAF FY17 flying force faces force structure shortfalls. These are displayed in
Table S.1. The color coding is broadly construed and intended to highlight shortfalls: green
indicates that 80–100 percent of demands are met, yellow indicates 51–79 percent met, and red
indicates 0–50 percent met.

Table S.1. Percentage of Demands Met by Aircraft Class (FY17 Force)

Cold War Cold War


Peace
(with long (with short CT/COIN
Enforcement
regional conflict) regional conflict)
Airlift 65% 67% 97% 99%
Attack 62% 100% 53% 92%
Bomber 73% 72% 46% 76%
C3ISR/BM 50% 84% 29% 63%
Fighter 93% 100% 64% 98%
Other 91% 91% 40% 66%
SOF 53% 98% 40% 54%
Tanker 92% 92% 32% 90%
NOTES: No limits to contingency length. Deploy-to-dwell constraints: active component: 1:2, reserve
components: 1:5, 180-day max unit deployments. Green = 80–100 percent of demands are met, yellow =
51–79 percent met, and red = 0–50 percent met. C3ISR/BM = command, control, communications,
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance/battle management; SOF = Special Operations Forces.

We assess two cold war futures. The first (left column above) uses historical demands,
including long regional conflicts, such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars. In this future, the
USAF experiences shortfalls in five of the eight aircraft classes, with unmet demands as high as
50 percent (for C3ISR/BM platforms). In contrast, the second cold war has no proxy wars like
Vietnam, only short regional conflicts, such as Operation Desert Storm. In this case, the USAF
can meet 84 percent to 100 percent of demands for six classes of aircraft. It faces shortfalls for
airlift and bomber aircraft, however, meeting only 67 percent and 72 percent of their respective
demands.
Perhaps the most surprising result is that a future characterized by peace enforcement
operations (third column above) is most stressful to capacity. This is because that period was
characterized by prolonged no-fly zones in the Balkans and Middle East, which required
continuous rotations of fighter, tanker, and C3ISR/BM platforms.3 Airlift is the only class of

3
We define “prolonged” operations as those lasting more than a year.

xii
aircraft without shortfalls, meeting 97 percent of demand. The other classes face massive
shortfalls. Five classes meet only 29 percent to 46 percent of demands; another two meet 53
percent to 64 percent of demands.
A future characterized by CT/COIN operations (far right column above) presents a mixed
story. Four aircraft classes meet over 90 percent of contingency demands, but the other four
classes can meet only between 54 percent and 76 percent of demands.

No Class of Aircraft Is Robust Across All Four Futures


Force planners seeking to create resilience in the face of inevitable uncertainties about the future
will want to know how robust a force is across futures. For example, if bomber aircraft as a class
perform well across all the futures, that would suggest that bomber capacity is robust.
Alternatively, if an aircraft class performs well in only one or two of the futures, that is
worrisome. From this perspective, Table S.1 illustrates that no USAF aircraft class in the FY17
force can be considered robust across all four futures. There is no formal threshold for
robustness, but it seems reasonable to expect the force to meet at least 80 percent of demands in
every future (green in our charts). No aircraft class did that. Fighter aircraft came the closest,
meeting 93 percent or more of demands in three futures and 64 percent in the remaining.
C3ISR/BM platforms, reflecting their small fleets and high demand, are the least robust across
the four futures, meeting 84 percent of demands in one future but only 29 percent to 63 percent
in the others. Tanker aircraft are particularly interesting, because they were highly robust (90
percent or more demands met) across three of the futures but met only 32 percent of the demands
for the Peace Enforcement future.

Prolonged Operations Have a Disproportionate Impact on Contingency Demands


Since 1946, the USAF has participated in 46 prolonged operations that lasted longer than one
year. Every U.S. president from Truman to Obama inherited and initiated at least one prolonged
operation.4 These are illustrated in Figure S.1.

4
President Trump also inherited prolonged operations in multiple locations. As of June 2018, there are no named
operations initiated by the Trump Administration that have lasted more than a year.

xiii
Figure S.1. Prolonged Operations, by Presidential Administration

20

18

16
Number of prolonged ops inherited
14
Number of prolonged ops initiated

12

10

0
'45-'53 '53-'61 '61-'63 '63-'69 '69-'74 '74-'77 '77-'81 '81-'89 '89-'93 '93-'01 '01-'09 '09-'17

Truman Eisenhower Kennedy Johnson Nixon Fo rd Carter Reagan H.W. Bush Clinton W. Bush Obama

NOTE: Prolonged operations are defined as those that last more than 365 days.

Operations that last more than a year place great demands on force structure. This is
worrisome because, as will be discussed in Chapter Two, the average length of operations has
grown since the end of the Cold War. In the analytical excursions in which we limited
contingencies to no more than one year in duration, we found large improvements in the
percentage of contingency demands met. With contingencies capped, the USAF FY17 force was
able to meet 80 percent or more of demands in 25 of the 32 cases that we examined (8 classes of
aircraft × 4 futures), and there were no cases in which it met fewer than 68 percent of demands.
Finally, with contingencies capped at one year, there were eight cases in which the force met
100 percent of demands. In contrast, when contingencies were not capped, there were only 14
cases in which the FY17 force met 80 percent or more of demands and only one case in which
100 percent of demands were met. The other 18 cases had significant, and at times extreme,
deficiencies. (See Table 4.4 and Figure 4.1.)
This analysis suggests that prolonged operations are driving contemporary capacity
shortfalls, at least as measured by aircraft availability. This study did not, however, assess
training, manpower, maintenance, supply, or retention shortfalls. The stresses experienced most
profoundly in 2017 at the squadron and wing level are likely the product of some combination of
these various factors. We suspect that prolonged operations are, at minimum, contributing to
these other problems, but measuring their impact was beyond the scope of this study.
As to why prolonged operations are so stressing to the force, one must consider other factors
beyond just the sheer lengths of deployments. The preferred dwell time for forces following a
prolonged operation is two to five times as long as the deployment itself, depending on whether
active or reserve forces are sent. Similarly, the likelihood that a unit is deployed up to its allowed
maximum (and therefore takes the maximum amount of time to recover) increases as the number

xiv
of prolonged operations increase. Of the 888 historical contingencies in our study, only 51 (5.7
percent) of the contingencies lasted a year or longer, but they were responsible for 84,895 of the
111,060 days of demand (76.4 percent). When we ran excursions in which we capped
contingency lengths at a year, we (unsurprisingly) saw considerable increases in the percentage
of contingency demands met, as a one-year deployment would require, at most, two unit
elements of supply per unit element of demand and would thus remove, at most, 36 unit element-
months from the available supply of forces to meet contingencies.
The United States rarely enters into military operations expecting them to go on indefinitely.
Indeed, the opposite is more typically the case. Operations become prolonged because objectives
change, because objectives turn out to be more difficult to achieve than initially anticipated, or
because of adversary actions. USAF leaders have little, if any, control over these factors. That
said, armed with this evidence that prolonged operations are a driver of capacity shortfalls,
USAF leaders can advocate for more force structure, develop alternative force presentation
models that may more efficiently use existing forces, and, perhaps, nudge National Security
Council principals and the President to be more aware of the risks and costs of prolonged
operations.

Deploy-to-Dwell Constraints Are Not Responsible for Contingency Shortfalls


To mitigate the worst effects of continuous rotations over extended periods, the Office of the
Secretary of Defense developed policy guidance on deploy-to-dwell (D2D) ratios. These
stipulate minimum periods at home station before a unit can deploy again. For example, a 1:2
D2D ratio requires that the unit remain at home station for twice as long as the time that it spent
deployed (e.g., a six-month long deployment abroad must be followed by a year at home station).
The policy establishes goals for both the active and reserve components, as well as thresholds
that cannot be crossed without approval by the Secretary of Defense. Similarly, USAF policy
sets 180 days as a maximum rotational deployment.
One question we considered in this analysis is whether these constraints are significant
drivers of capacity shortfalls. If they were relaxed or increased, would the capacity shortfalls
substantially improve or worsen? Our analysis of C3ISR/BM aircraft in the Peace Enforcement
future suggests that current policy constraints are not driving capacity shortfalls. For example, if
D2D constraints were substantially loosened so that active component forces spent as much time
deployed as at home (1:1 D2D ratio) and deployed for 12 months at a time, C3ISR/BM aircraft
would meet roughly 42 percent of demands, as opposed to 29 percent of demands. This is a big
percentage improvement but still leaves the majority of demands unmet. It also would place
extreme and likely unsustainable burdens on units, personnel, and families. It is hard to imagine
service or U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) leaders recommending such a policy change. More
modest (and presumably realistic) reductions in the constraints would yield equally modest
improvements in aircraft availability.

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What if constraints were increased? Would that drastically reduce aircraft availability? This
might happen if ongoing analyses demonstrate that longer dwell periods are necessary to achieve
readiness and retention goals. We found that a shift to longer dwell periods (1:3 for the active
component; 1:6 for the reserve components) would worsen shortfalls for C3ISR/BM platforms
(from 29 percent of demands met to 23 percent). This is almost a 20 percent reduction, but it is
hard to assess how much it would matter, given the dismal starting point.
This assessment suggests that aircraft availability shortfalls cannot easily be corrected
through changes to D2D policies.

Recommendations
This research leads to two recommendations regarding the force planning process.
For USAF and DoD leaders and force planners:
• Supplement DoD and service force planning processes with historically based
simulations of alternative futures. DoD has well-honed processes to identify the force
capabilities and capacities necessary to accomplish U.S. national security objectives
across the spectrum of conflict. These processes are sophisticated but also complex and
time-consuming. As one might expect, these processes focus on the highest-priority
national security objectives, particularly (1) maintaining a credible and survivable nuclear
deterrent force and (2) deterring (and, if necessary, defeating) aggression by a small
number of potential nation-state adversaries. (Counterterror operations are also a national
priority but are not a primary consideration in developing general-purpose force
structure.) Scenario-based analysis and wargaming are used to support these force
planning processes. Some scenario-based analysis and wargaming efforts explore a wide
range of possibilities (e.g., “wild cards”), but most of these activities are deep
explorations of potential conflicts within the priority planning areas. As a result, force
planning tends to be strongest when identifying forces required for the major challenges,
including the possible overlap of large contingencies. The force planning process does
not, however, fully account for all the demands placed on the force during “peacetime”—
the period when it is supposed to be training and preparing to deter or prosecute wars. Of
particular concern is the impact of open-ended and prolonged contingency operations on
force structure, readiness, and retention. The historical-based simulation technique
developed for this study complements other planning techniques by quantifying the day-
to-day capacity demands placed on DoD during distinct and diverse historical periods and
using these to model alternative futures. Shortfalls in capacity can then be identified by
capability class (e.g., aircraft or ship type, light or heavy brigade) and by future. None of
these prior experiences are predictive of the future, but the alternative futures explored in
this report help quantify the unique demands that flow from changes in national strategy
priorities and, especially, the disproportionate effect of prolonged commitments.
For USAF leaders and force planners:
• Develop metrics that more clearly illustrate the force structure consequences for the
USAF of prolonged operations. Although USAF leaders have limited autonomy
regarding whether and how long to deploy forces abroad, they are key participants in

xvi
many of the decisionmaking processes. U.S. national objectives and the particulars of a
given crisis will dominate such decisions, but resource constraints and long-term
consequences deserve more visibility and consideration than current processes allow.
Insufficient consideration of long-term consequences is in part—perhaps in large part—a
product of cognitive biases and limitations associated with crisis decisionmaking
processes.5 Better metrics cannot entirely overcome these biases, but more objective,
quantitative measures of the force structure implications of prolonged operations would
help USAF leaders contribute to force deployment deliberations. Better metrics would
also help USAF leaders make the case for more force structure in interactions with DoD
leadership, Congress, the media, and the public.

5
These points are developed more fully in Alan J. Vick, Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Meagan L. Smith, Sean M. Zeigler,
Daniel Tremblay, and Phillip Johnson, Continuity and Contingency in USAF Force Planning, Santa Monica, Calif.:
RAND Corporation, RR-1471-AF, 2016, pp. 1–4 and pp. 31–32.

xvii
Acknowledgments

We thank study sponsor, Maj Gen Brian Killough, Director, Strategy, Concepts and
Assessments, for commissioning this study and for his guidance and comments.
Nancy Dolan, Deputy Director, Strategy, Concepts and Assessments, generously met with
study team members throughout the course of the study. Her insights, guidance, and feedback
contributed significantly to the success of this analysis. Scott Wheeler in HAF/A5SS provided
critical support and direction as the project monitor. We also thank Col Tyrell Chamberlain and
Kristine Schenck in HAF/A5SS for their helpful comments on various interim products. Col
Michael Pietrucha (HAF/A5SG) shared his expertise on light attack aircraft options.
Project members Raphael Cohen, Caitlin Lee, and David Ochmanek offered valuable
suggestions throughout the course of the study. USAF RAND Fellow Lt Col Brian Ballew
contributed to the force structure analysis.
We also thank RAND colleagues Paula Thornhill, Anthony Rosello, and Michael Mazarr for
helpful suggestions on interim briefings and David Thaler for sharing his expertise on security
cooperation activities. The RAND Project AIR FORCE interactive review team (chair: Chaitra
Hardison; reviewers: Jeff Hagen, Murarrem Mane, and Andrew Radin) offered constructive
criticism and valuable ideas on how to improve our aircraft scheduling simulation. Report
reviewers Jeff Hagen, Andrew Radin, and Christopher Bowie all offered detailed and
constructive suggestions that significantly improved the manuscript.
This analysis would not have been possible without access to the large joint operations
database that RAND colleagues Stacie Pettyjohn and Meagan Smith built for a USAF-sponsored
fiscal year 2016 study titled “Future Force Presentation and Planned Readiness for the Air
Force.”
Finally, we thank editor James Torr for sharpening the narrative, communication analyst
John Godges for his assistance restructuring Chapter Three, and Rosa Meza for preparing the
manuscript.

xviii
Abbreviations

AF-FESS Air Force Future Environment Scheduling Simulation


command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and
C3ISR/BM
reconnaissance/battle management
COIN counterinsurgency
CT counterterrorism
D2D deploy-to-dwell (ratio)
DoD U.S. Department of Defense
HA/DR humanitarian assistance/disaster relief
IFOR Implementation Force (Bosnia peacekeeping)
ISR intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
MDS mission design series
OEF Operation Enduring Freedom
OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom
OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense
PMAI Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory
POW prisoner of war
RRE Relief, Rescue, and Evacuation
SOF Special Operations Forces
SORTS Status of Resources and Training System
TSP theater security package
USAF U.S. Air Force

xix
Chapter One: Introduction

Background
The U.S. military has operated at a high tempo for so long that it is no longer considered odd or
noteworthy, despite the stresses on personnel, readiness,1 and equipment reported by all the
military branches as early as the 1990s.2 U.S. Air Force (USAF) leaders created the Air
Expeditionary Force (AEF) in the 1990s to better meet enduring operational demands while
minimizing disruptions to training and readiness for other contingencies.3 Although the AEF has
proven to be a flexible tool to accomplish these objectives, force management adaptations are
only a partial remedy when operational demands exceed the supply of forces. As a June 2017
U.S. Government Accountability Office report notes, USAF “readiness has steadily declined due
to continuous operations and a smaller inventory of aircraft,” which has led to “overall readiness
. . . at historically low levels.”4 The deleterious effects of these enduring demands have also been
reported by USAF and other service leaders repeatedly over the past two decades. For example,
General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, the recently retired commander of Air Combat Command,
observed in spring 2017 that “the best we have done is [to] stop the decline” in readiness.5
With no end in sight to operational demands in the Middle East and South Asia and growing
concerns about the changing military balance in Europe and Asia, the USAF must continue to
provide forces to meet combatant commander requirements while training and equipping the
force to meet rapidly evolving conventional threats. These dual challenges stress both the
capacity and capability of USAF force structure.

1
Although often treated as a binary variable (i.e., the force is ready or not), measuring readiness is a complex and
often controversial process that rarely offers simple answers. Although the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has
tracked particular aspects of readiness through the Joint Staff’s Status of Resources and Training System (SORTS),
it is not particularly well suited as a means to inform senior policymakers or members of Congress regarding overall
force readiness. See U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Readiness: Reports to Congress Provide Few Details
on Deficiencies and Solutions, Washington, D.C., March 1998.
2
Perhaps the first detailed analysis of the impact of no-fly zone enforcement on fighter crew readiness is John
Stillion’s 1999 Ph.D. dissertation (John Stillion, Blunting the Talons: The Impact of Peace Operations Deployments
on USAF Fighter Crew Combat Skills, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RGSD-147, 1999).
3
See Richard G. Davis, Immediate Reach, Immediate Power: The Air Expeditionary Force and American Power
Projection in the Post Cold War Era, Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1998; Richard
G. Davis, Anatomy of a Reform: The Expeditionary Aerospace Force, Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and
Museums Program, 2003.
4
U.S. Government Accountability Office, Department of Defense: Actions Needed to Address Five Key Mission
Challenges, Washington, D.C., June 2017, p. 9.
5
Quoted in John A. Tirpak, “Combat Forces in Peril,” Air Force Magazine, July 2017. The same issue includes two
other articles chronicling other force shortfalls: Wilson Brissett, “ISR Explosion,” Air Force Magazine, July 2017;
and Brian Everstine, “Meeting the Massive Demand for Refueling and Airlift in the Middle East, Air Force
Magazine, July 2017.

1
The Policy Problem
The USAF and DoD conduct sophisticated analyses to identify the capacity and capability
requirements necessary to achieve U.S. objectives in major wars (e.g., in numbered operational
plans [OPLANS]). Scenario analysis is used primarily to gain a deeper understanding of the
demands of the highest-priority challenges and, to a lesser degree, to test the robustness of the
force against a wider range of problems.6 Acquisition programs and future force planning are
driven primarily by the requirements associated with the most demanding contingencies (along
with DoD guidance regarding the number of simultaneous or overlapping conflicts the force
must be able to wage). In contrast, there are no comparable analytical tools for identifying the
force requirements associated with ongoing, and often prolonged, operations. Additionally, there
are no systematic efforts within DoD to collect data on the nature of operational demands over
time, particularly with respect to operations that in many cases last not just years, but decades. At
best, planners extrapolate force demands from high-profile current operations. Thus, planners are
left with a force planning process that is imbalanced, capturing the demands of large wars with
considerable detail but offering little empirical foundation to guide decisions regarding total
force capacity to meet the full range of steady-state, contingency, and major conflict demands.

Purpose of This Report


This report is intended to help correct the imbalance in force planning analytical tools. It offers
USAF planners a means to explore the force capacity demands associated with four alternative
futures. Planners can choose among these to focus on the futures that they find particularly
worrisome or most likely, and to look across the futures to identify commonalities and
differences in demands.
Using a RAND Project AIR FORCE database of 888 joint operations occurring between
1946 and 2016, we created four alternative futures: two versions of a future cold war with Russia
or China based on operations conducted between 1946 and 1989, a “peace enforcement” future
based on the demands experienced between 1990 and 2000, and a “CT/COIN” future based on
the demands of 2001–2016. The use of these past periods is not intended to be predictive but
rather to use history to help the USAF gain insight into the nature of future demands by
quantifying the type, frequency, duration, and forces associated with the full spectrum of
demands placed on the U.S. military between 1946 and 2016.7 We created an aircraft scheduling

6
For a thoughtful exploration of the risks associated with the use of scenarios to generate requirements, see Carl H.
Builder, Toward a Calculus of Scenarios, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, N-1855-DNA, 1983.
7
The use of historical data to understand future challenges has a precedent in the work of military historian Trevor
N. Dupuy. Dupuy sought to predict battle outcomes by using key variables (e.g., weapon rate of fire, effective
range) from past combat. Dupuy’s work was highly influential in the advance of combat modeling and simulation
methods. See T. N. Dupuy, Numbers, Predictions and War: Using History to Evaluate Combat Factors and Predict
the Outcome of Battles, New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1979.

2
simulation to test the capacity of the USAF fiscal year 2017 (FY17) force to meet the unique
demands of these futures. We identified force shortfalls by future and by aircraft type, providing
planners a series of visual presentations that make clear which classes of aircraft are most
stressed and which futures are most problematic for the force.8 This simulation could also be
used to examine stresses associated with a wide range of alternative futures, not just those based
on historical experience.

Organization
Chapter Two presents an overview of joint operations conducted between 1946 and 2016,
including frequency, duration, and class of activity; discusses prolonged operations (those lasting
more than a year); and provides basic descriptive statistics for those operations. Chapter Three
describes the analytical approach, assumptions, and model inputs. It also introduces the four
alternative futures and the historical periods they draw on. Chapter Four presents the results from
the analysis, including several analytical excursions. Chapter Five presents study conclusions
and recommendations. Appendix A describes the Air Force Future Environment Scheduling
Simulation (AF-FESS) used in our force structure analysis. Appendix B offers some additional
details about the joint operations dataset, as well as some caveats regarding its limitations.
Appendix C lists the 54 joint operations that lasted 365 days or longer (1946–2016). Appendix D
consists of 17 tables that list chronologically the 888 operations in our dataset. These tables
provides basic descriptive data, including name, location, class of activity, start date, end date,
duration in days, and whether the USAF participated. Appendix E provides data on the force
packages used in this analysis (both number of aircraft and squadron equivalents). Appendix F
provides mission design series (MDS)–level model results for the analytical excursions.
Appendix G provides additional details on the method used to calculate the number of aircraft
required to meet a Vietnam War–scale demand in 2017.

8
This analysis does not assess the demands of a conflict with a major power. No such conflicts occurred in the
period (1946–2016) that our database covers. More significantly, war with Russia or China (the only peer or near-
peer opponents on the horizon) would be of such consequence, scale, and risk that it would take precedence over
other operations and commitments. A scheduling simulation such as AF-FESS is not the best tool to consider
capacity requirements associated with such a war.

3
Chapter Two: An Overview of Joint Operations: 1946–2016

Introduction
Since 1946, the U.S. military has conducted at least 888 joint operations; the USAF participated
in 745 of these operations (84 percent).1 In this chapter, we provide a brief overview of these
operations, including their type, frequency, and duration.
To better understand the historical demand (and make it useful for our simulation of future
demands), we organize these operations into nine separate classes. Although this (or any other)
typology of historical events is inherently subjective (particularly the placement of individual
events into bins), our classification system should be reasonably intuitive to most military and
defense community audiences because we use common terms, such as conventional combat, for
our labels. In one case, that of “Relief, Rescue, and Evacuation,” we departed from the more
common humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) terminology because the demands of
HA/DR on the USAF (typically airlift) were similar to those of rescue and evacuation missions.
This allowed us to keep the number of classes limited to the following nine:
• Conventional Combat with Regional Opponent. These are combat operations against a
capable adversary. There are five operations of this type in the dataset: the Korean War,
the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, and the invasion
phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
• Limited Strikes. These operations include relatively circumscribed joint air and missile
operations for coercive purposes. Operations in the category include Operation Desert
Fox (1998 bombing of Iraq) and Operation Odyssey Lightning (the 2016 effort to support
the government of Libya against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] militants in that
country).
• Military Assistance. The United States provides assistance to partner-nation militaries
via Defense Trade and Arms Transfers (including Foreign Military Sales and Foreign
Military Financing), International Education and Training (including but not limited to
International Military Education and Training), and Defense Institution Building. This is
a vast enterprise. For example, in FY15 and FY16, U.S. military training teams
conducted training in at least 44 countries.2 That said, most of these activities do not

1
This dataset is drawn mainly from a joint operations history database that RAND colleagues Stacie Pettyjohn and
Meagan Smith built for a RAND Project AIR FORCE FY16 study. We added some more-recent operations,
combined others that were sub-operations within a larger military campaign, and deleted some operations that
lacked sufficient detail to be used in our analysis. We also added the classification scheme described below.
2
For an introduction to security cooperation, see Jennifer Moroney Joe Hogler, Lianne Kennedy-Boudali, and
Stephanie Pezard, Integrating the Full Range of Security Cooperation Programs into Air Force Planning: An
Analytic Primer, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, TR-974-AF, 2011. For details on USAF and DoD
programs, see Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, United States Air Force Security Cooperation Flight
Plan, Washington, D.C.: Headquarters USAF, June 2016; Defense Security Cooperation Agency, website, undated;
U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State, Foreign Military Training: Fiscal Years, 2015 and 2016,

4
generate heavy demands on general-purpose forces. For that reason, this dataset only
includes activities large enough to generate demands for airlift or other operational
support—a tiny fraction of all security assistance activities. Operation Earnest Will, the
1986–1987 effort to protect Kuwaiti oil tankers from Iranian attack, is an example of
military assistance.
• No-Fly Zone. This post–Cold War operation type denotes the use of American airpower
to preclude an adversary’s unmolested use of airspace. There are four no-fly zones in this
dataset: Deny Flight, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch, and
Operation Odyssey Dawn (the U.S. name for the 2011 NATO operation against Libya).
• Nuclear Alert. This rare type of operation involves increasing the DEFCON level of
nuclear forces during a crisis. There are only two such instances: the DEFCON 2 alert
during the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)3 and the DEFCON 3 alert during the Yom Kippur
War (1973).4
• Raid. We define raids as high-priority, long-range air assault missions of short duration
that require substantial fixed-wing support to the assaulting helicopter force. There are
two in the dataset: the 1970 attempt to rescue U.S. prisoners at the Son Tay prisoner of
war (POW) camp during the Vietnam War and Operation Eagle Claw, the 1980 mission
to rescue American hostages in Iran. The 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden might
also have been included, given the national-level priority. We chose to exclude it because
of the relatively shorter distance and more limited fixed-wing support required. We also
exclude the large number of tactical-level helicopter-borne raids by U.S. special forces
conducted against high-value terrorist and insurgent targets between 2001 and 2017,
primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. To the extent that these missions place demands on
USAF force capacity, we capture that demand in the force packages assigned to OIF and
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
• Rescue, Relief, and Evacuation. This broad category includes operations typically
defined as HA/DR, but also noncombatant evacuation operations and rescues (e.g., of
sailors at sea). For modeling purposes, we have subdivided these operations by length:
Short operations are those that last from 1 to 31 days; medium operations last from 32 to
365 days; and all other rescue, relief, and evacuation operations are deemed long.
• Show of Force. These are instances in which U.S. military forces were deployed to
demonstrate resolve or military capability. One of the largest examples (Operation
Combat Fox, Korea, 1968) involved close to 200 aircraft. In contrast, the more common

Joint Report to Congress, Vols. I and II, Washington, D.C., 2016; Congressional Research Service, Security
Assistance Reform: “Section 1206” Background and Issues for Congress, Washington, D.C., December 8, 2014;
Dafna H. Rand and Stephen Tankel, Security Cooperation and Assistance: Rethinking the Return on Investment,
Washington, D.C.: Center for New American Security, August 2015.
3
Norman Polmar and John D. Gresham, DEFCON-2: Standing on the Brink of Nuclear War During the Cuban
Missile Crisis, Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons, 2006.
4
Bernard C. Nalty, ed., Winged Shield, Winged Sword: A History of the United States Air Force, Volume II, 1950–
1997, Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1997, pp. 387–388; Walter J. Boyne, The Two
O’Clock War: The 1973 Yom Kippur Conflict and the Airlift That Saved Israel, New York: St Martin’s Press, 2002,
pp. 253–254.

5
small shows of force (e.g., a B-2 flyover in Korea in 2013) typically involved fewer than
ten aircraft.5
• Stability Operations. This type of operation includes military activities meant to restore
and preserve order in a foreign country. Operations sometimes labeled peacekeeping
operations have been included in this category. This category includes, among other
operations, the counterinsurgency (COIN) phase of OIF and also OEF.

Descriptive Statistics, 1946–2016


Table 2.1 presents basic statistics for each of the nine classes of operations. Rescue, relief, and
evacuation operations were the most common, accounting for 626 events, approximately
70 percent of the total. In contrast, nuclear alerts and raids were rare, with just two occurrences
of each in the 70 years covered by the dataset. The mean duration data reveal that different types
of operations have different expected lengths. The four no-fly zones have an average length of
more than 2,000 days, or nearly 5.5 years. Military assistance operations, on the other hand, have
an average length of 173 days, or nearly six months.
The Air Force was involved in 84 percent of all operations. Its level of participation varied
from a low of 47 percent of show-of-force contingencies to a high of 100 percent of
contingencies in the following categories: conventional combat with regional opponent, no-fly
zone, nuclear alert, and raid.

5
Other examples of shows of force for the years 1946–1977 can be found in Barry M. Blechman and Stephen
Kaplan, Force Without War: U.S. Armed Forces as a Political Instrument, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution,
1978. For a more conceptual treatment, see Daniel Byman and Matthew Waxman, The Dynamics of Coercion:
American Foreign Policy and the Limits of Military Might, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University
Press, 2002.

6
Table 2.1. Frequency, Duration, and USAF Participation in Joint Operations, 1946–2016

Operations % of Operations
All Mean Length
Type of Operation involving Involving the
Operations (in Days)
the USAF USAF
Conventional Combat
5 5 100% 890
with Regional Opponent
Limited strikes 10 8 80% 24
Military Assistance 49 47 96% 173
No-Fly Zone 4 4 100% 2087
Nuclear Alert 2 2 100% 40
Raids 2 2 100% 5
RRE—Long 15 12 80% 1093
RRE—Medium 104 90 87% 89
RRE—Short 507 476 94% 7
Show of Force 162 76 47% 233
Stability Operations 28 23 82% 815
NOTE: RRE = Relief, Rescue, and Evacuation.

Table 2.2 displays the number of operations occurring for each class for four time periods:
the entire post–World War II era (1946–2016), the Cold War era (1946–1989),6 the Peace
Enforcement era (1990–2000), and the Counterterrorism (CT)/COIN era (2001–2016).

6
The Cold War end date is more typically identified as December 1991, the date when the Soviet Union ceased to
exist. For our purposes, however, 1989 (the date when the Berlin Wall fell) more accurately reflects the end of most
Cold War operational demands. Similarly, 1990 (when Operation Desert Shield occurred) is a better start date for
the decade of peace enforcement operations.

7
Table 2.2. Count of Operations, by Type for Four Time Periods

1946– 1946– 1990– 2001–


Type of Operation
2016 1989 2000 2016
Conventional Combat
5 2 2 1
with Regional Opponent
Limited strikes 10 4 5 1
Military Assistance 49 37 9 3
No-Fly Zone 4 - 3 1
Nuclear Alert 2 2 - -
Raids 2 2 - -
RRE—Long 15 11 4 -
RRE—Medium 104 64 30 10
RRE—Short 507 377 113 17
Show of Force 162 138 20 4
Stability Operations 28 8 15 5

The number of years in each period varies, which makes comparisons across periods
challenging. One method of normalizing the table above is to find the average time in years
between two operations within an operation type. For instance, there were five stability
operations in the period 2001 to 2016, a period of 16 years. If these operations were evenly
spaced temporally, one would expect one stability operation every 3.2 years.
Table 2.3 provides normalized frequency data for each operation type by period. The
normalized frequency table reveals that the frequency of an operation type can vary dramatically
between periods. Short rescue, relief, and evacuation operations occur approximately every 0.1
years in the Cold War periods and during the 1990s, but far less often—about once a year—in
the post-9/11 period.

8
Table 2.3. Years Between Events (Normalized Frequency), by Operation Type for Four Time
Periods

Type of Operation 1946–2016 1946–1989 1990–2000 2001–2016


Conventional
Combat with 14.20 22.00 5.50 16.00
Regional Opponent
Limited strikes 7.10 11.00 2.20 16.00
Military Assistance 1.45 1.19 1.22 5.33
No-Fly Zone 17.75 - 3.67 16.00
Nuclear Alert 35.50 22.00 - -
Raids 35.50 22.00 - -
RRE—Long 4.73 4.00 2.75 -
RRE—Medium 0.68 0.69 0.37 1.60
RRE—Short 0.14 0.12 0.10 0.94
Show of Force 0.44 0.32 0.55 4.00
Stability Operations 2.54 5.50 0.73 3.20
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NOTE: 𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁𝑁 𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹𝐹 = .
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Prolonged Operations
Between 1946 and 2016, there were 54 joint operations that lasted a year or longer.7 The USAF
participated in 44 of these operations. The subsections below provide further information on
prolonged operations: the types of operations that are prolonged, the average length of prolonged
operations by operation type, the simultaneity of these operations, the number of prolonged
operations inherited and initiated by presidential administration, and an analysis of whether U.S.
military operations in general have become longer after the end of the Cold War.

Prolonged Operations by Mission Type


Forty-eight out of the 54 prolonged operations that we document in this study fall into one of
four categories: rescue, relief, and evacuation operations; stability operations; shows of force;
and military assistance. The six other operations are either a no-fly zone, conventional combat

7
The dataset employed for analysis in this section differs slightly from that used for AF-FESS model inputs. We
excluded several prolonged CT operations from model inputs because (as will be discussed in Chapter Three) we
handle CT as a steady-state demand. This section reintroduces three prolonged CT operations to ensure that our list
of prolonged operations is as comprehensive as possible: Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa, OEF-
Philippines, and Operation Inherent Resolve.

9
with a regional opponent, or limited strikes. Figure 2.1 displays prolonged U.S. military
operations by operation type in order of decreasing frequency.

Figure 2.1. Count of Prolonged U.S. Military Operations, by Operation Type, 1946–2016

Length of Prolonged Operations by Mission Type


The length of prolonged operations varies by operation type. The three prolonged no-fly zone
operations have an average length of over seven years. In contrast, prolonged rescue, relief, and
evacuation operations and limited strikes are much shorter, with an average length of three years.
That prolonged shows of force last over six years, on average, can be partially accounted for by
the unusually long duration of the Taiwan Patrol Force, which lasted from 1950 to 1979.
Figure 2.2 displays the average length of prolonged operations by operation type in descending
average length.

10
Figure 2.2. Average Length of Prolonged Operations, by Operation Type, 1946–2016

Simultaneity and Prolonged Operations


Many of the prolonged operations overlapped. Figure 2.3 provides a quick visual reference for
assessing the intensity of simultaneity. Each row is an operation (in chronological order based on
the start year), and each column is a year. The concentration of black in the lower-right quadrant
of the figure, which indicates ongoing operations, does suggest that the 1990s and 2000s were
marked to an unusual degree by simultaneous prolonged operations.

Figure 2.3. All Prolonged U.S. Military Operations, 1946–2016

1946 1989 2000

NOTE: Operations arranged by start year.

11
Finally, Table 2.4 tabulates simultaneous prolonged operations by the major time periods
employed in AF-FESS. The 1990s, again, appear as an era characterized by many prolonged
operations.

Table 2.4. Count of Prolonged Operations and All Operations, by Major Time Periods

Prolonged Operations All Operations


Period
(Count) (Count)
1946-1989 27 645
1990-2000 19 201
2001-2016 8 42
1946-2016 54 888

Prolonged Operations by Presidential Administration


Prolonged operations are not limited to particular presidential administrations or time periods.
Although most common under Presidents Harry Truman, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton,
every administration since Truman’s inherited and initiated at least one prolonged operation. The
results are depicted in Figure 2.4.8
President George H. W. Bush initiated the highest number of prolonged operations (11), and,
unsurprisingly, President Clinton inherited the most. President Clinton also initiated another
eight operations, for a total of 19. In contrast, President Jimmy Carter had the smallest number of
prolonged operations, inheriting only one and initiating just two. President Donald Trump
inherited five ongoing military operations: OEF-Philippines (initiated 2002), Combined Joint
Task Force–Horn of Africa (initiated 2002), Uganda train and advise (initiated 2011), Operation
Inherent Resolve (initiated 2014), and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (as of 2015, the name for
U.S. military activities in support of the government of Afghanistan). As of June 2018, his
administration has not initiated an operation that has lasted more than a year.

8
The analysis for Figure 2.5 includes 1945—the first year that Truman was President. As a result, World War II is
included as an inherited prolonged operation. The analysis in the rest of this report is limited to the years that our
database covers (1946–2016) and, therefore, does not include World War II.

12
Figure 2.4. Prolonged Operations Initiated and Inherited, by Presidential Administration
20

18

16
Number of prolonged ops inherited
14
Number of prolonged ops initiated

12

10

0
'45-'53 '53-'61 '61-'63 '63-'69 '69-'74 '74-'77 '77-'81 '81-'89 '89-'93 '93-'01 '01-'09 '09-'17

Truman Eisenhower Kennedy Johnson Nixon Fo rd Carter Reagan H.W. Bush Clinton W. Bush Obama

Are Operations Becoming Longer?


We also conducted a related but separate analysis of all 888 operations, investigating whether
operations have generally become longer since the end of the Cold War. Figure 2.5 displays a
simple statistical test of significance (a t-test) that found that that post–Cold War (i.e., 1990 and
afterward) operations are statistically significantly longer, on average, compared with Cold War
operations. Post–Cold War operations tend to last approximately eight months, while Cold War
operations generally lasted three months.
Figure 2.5. Comparison of the Length of Pre–Cold War and Post–Cold War Operations

This chapter offered a brief overview of the historical demands on the joint force. We found
that many operations last longer than a year, with no-fly zones the most enduring. We also found
that operations have gotten longer, on average, since the end of the Cold War, a problem that we

13
will return to in Chapter Four. In the next chapter, we describe four alternative futures, each
corresponding to a historical era, that provide insights into how future demands on USAF force
capacity might vary.

14
Chapter Three: Analytical Approach

This chapter describes the analytical approach used in this study—specifically, six phases of the
analysis: (1) derivation of future decremented supply, (2) estimation of future variable demands,
(3) construction of representative force packages, (4) prediction of operational durations,
(5) translation of aircraft demands into squadron demands, and (6) accommodation of key
scheduling constraints. When warranted, we refer to the AF-FESS model design, the model
inputs, and the assumptions embedded within the model. However, this chapter is intended
primarily to provide enough background for planners and policymakers to understand how we
arrived at the research results discussed in the next chapter without having to delve into levels of
methodological detail of interest only to analysts and modelers. Appendix A provides additional
details on AF-FESS for those readers interested in more specifics about the model.

Derivation of Future Decremented Supply


The first phase of our analysis can be reduced to a simple equation:
Total aircraft supply-fixed demand for aircraft = Decremented supply.
From the total supply of Air Force capacity in FY17, we subtract the fixed (or continuous)
demand for capacity that will likely be required to meet enduring demands (e.g., air defense of
the U.S. homeland) in the future. (We worked closely with the study sponsor to ensure that we
neither understated nor overstated this fixed demand, which represents the portion of the force
that would be unavailable for “discretionary” purposes.) The remaining capacity is the future
decremented supply, or the amount that would be available to meet future variable demands. Our
estimates of future decremented supply assume that the total supply of Air Force capacity will
remain at the level of FY17.

Total Supply
We measure total supply using the FY17 USAF force structure for 25 separate aircraft types, or
mission design series (MDSs). As seen in Table 3.1, the 25 aircraft MDSs represent all eight
classes of aircraft in the USAF: attack; bomber; cargo; command, control, communications,
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance/battle management (C3ISR/BM); fighter, Special
Operations Forces (SOF); tanker; and other. Table 3.1 displays each MDS by aircraft quantity
(Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory [PMAI]), aircraft per squadron, and squadron equivalents.1

1
Readers who closely follow the F-35A aircraft program may wonder why it is missing from Table 3.1. It was
excluded because there is only one operational F-35A squadron in the USAF. The inclusion of this one squadron
would have made no difference in our model outcomes. As of June 21, 2017, the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air

15
Table 3.1. Total USAF FY17 Supply, by Major Aircraft Type

Aircraft Aircraft FY 17 Force Number of Aircraft Per FY 17 Force in


Class MDS (PMAI Aircraft) Squadron (PMAI) Squadron Equivalents
Attack A-10 171 18 10
SOF AC-130 20 8 3
Bomber B-1 36 12 3
Bomber B-2 16 8 2
Bomber B-52 44 11 4
Airlift C-5 39 8 5
Airlift C-17 155 16 10
Airlift C-130 244 8 31
SOF CV-22 30 8 4
C3ISR/BM E-3 23 2 12
C3ISR/BM E-8 11 5 2
C3ISR/BM EC-130 10 5 2
Fighter F-15C 156 18 9
Fighter F-15E 138 24 6
Fighter F-16 537 18 30
Fighter F-22 123 21 6
Other HC-130 25 4 6
Other HH-60 72 7 10
Tanker KC-10 41 16 3
Tanker KC-135 277 12 23
SOF MC-130 50 8 6
C3ISR/BM MQ-9 144 8 18
C3ISR/BM RC-135 17 4 4
C3ISR/BM RQ-4 31 16 2
C3ISR/BM U-2 24 6 4
SOURCES: FY17 Combat Air Force inventory estimated using Air Combat Command, Combat Air Force FSW And
AFGSC Bomber Addendum for FY15, Langley Air Force Base, Va., July 15, 2015. Other inventories calculated from
total aircraft inventory (TAI) data in Air Force Association, The Air Force in Facts and Figures: 2016 USAF Almanac,
May 2016, p. 33.
NOTES: PMAI per squadron assumptions based on CAF FSW FY15 spreadsheet (Air Combat Command, 2015) and
unit websites for Mobility Air Force aircraft. Most common PMAI assignment used for aircraft types where PMAI
varies across squadrons (e.g., A-10s).

Fixed Demand
Fixed demand captures ongoing force demands not related to any specific contingency.2 Our
model identifies eight such demand categories, ranging from global CT to Operation Noble
Eagle (the air defense of the United States), and specifies the futures in which they would likely
appear. We developed the specific input assumptions with the assistance of staff in the

Force Base received its 23rd and 24th combat-coded aircraft, giving it the full complement of operational aircraft.
See Donovan K. Potter, 388th Fighter Wing, “First Operational F-35A Squadron Receives Final Aircraft,” Hill Air
Force Base News, June 28, 2017.
2
Working with the sponsor, we tried to capture the major fixed demands, but our treatment is not meant to capture
every possible fixed demand. For example, we did not assess demands of very-important-person (VIP) travel, which
primarily affect specialized VIP aircraft.

16
sponsoring office (HAF/A5SS) and a RAND USAF Fellow.3 Forces required to meet fixed
demands are subtracted from the total supply. We arrived at these fixed demands through an
iterative process working with the study sponsor. The fixed demands represent unclassified
estimates of current demands, which admittedly could change in the future. That said, other than
Global CT—which is relatively new—all the fixed demands reflect U.S. military practices (e.g.,
global intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance [ISR]) that date back to the early days of the
Cold War.
In fact, we rely on U.S. and USAF history since the onset of the Cold War to estimate both
the fixed and variable demands of the future. The post–World War II operational experience of
the U.S. military divides conveniently into three eras, each representing a unique strategic and
operational environment: (1) the Cold War, lasting roughly from 1946 to 1989,4 (2) the period of
intensive peace enforcement operations between 1990 and 2000, and (3) the CT/COIN era,
lasting from 2001 to the writing of this report in the summer of 2017 (and likely beyond).5
Therefore, we use data from these periods as demand inputs for our scheduling simulation to
model future demands.6 (See Appendix A for a detailed description of the AF-FESS model.)
The AF-FESS simulation assesses the capacity of the USAF FY17 force to meet demands in
futures dominated by one of the four following strategic or operational challenges: (1) a new
cold war with Russia or China, with long conventional regional conflicts like the Korean War,
(2) a new cold war with Russia or China, with short conventional regional conflicts similar to
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), (3) renewed peace enforcement commitments, and (4) global
CT/COIN. We include two versions of a future cold war because force capacity demands would
be much greater if the future cold war included prolonged and large conventional conflicts like
the Korea and Vietnam wars, as opposed to shorter operations, like as the conventional phase of
OIF (which lasted 43 days).
Table 3.2 cross-references the eight categories of historically fixed demands with the four
alternative futures. For example, the fixed demand for global CT operations occurs only in the
CT/COIN future (in the top row of the table). Because of the sensitivity and ubiquity of global
CT operations, we model their demand on the USAF as a fixed reduction in the available supply

3
We ran model excursions to ensure that capacity shortfalls were not determined by fixed demand assumptions. Our
excursions confirmed that fixed demands were not the primary cause of capacity shortfalls. See Figure 4.2 in
Chapter Four and associated discussion for details.
4
As noted in Chapter Two, we use 1989 rather than 1991 as the Cold War end date because most Cold War
operational demands ended in 1989. Similarly, 1990 (when Operation Desert Shield occurred) is a better start date
for the decade of peace enforcement operations.
5
Our data for this period end in 2016, so this future is modeled based on operations occurring between 2001 and
2016.
6
Our demand function is composed of historical contingency operations and steady-state activities (or fixed
demand). We define steady-state as current ongoing activities likely to persist in the future. These include the
Continuous Bomber Presence in Guam, Operation Noble Eagle (the air defense of the United States), and a host of
other day-to-day activities. Full details are provided later in this chapter.

17
of Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft and MQ-9s. We postulate that roughly
20 percent of the force would be required for these missions on an ongoing basis, but this fixed
demand would occur only in the CT/COIN future, according to our model.
Nuclear force demands vary across the modeled futures (across the second row of the table).
For the cold war futures, we model a return to nuclear alert practices associated with the period
from 1957 to 1991, when roughly a third of the flying force was on strip alert around the clock,
ready to launch in a few minutes. Our two cold war futures thus stipulate that 25 percent of the
force would remain at this level of alert. For the other two futures, we stipulate that just
10 percent of the bomber and tanker force would be withheld for nuclear missions.7

Table 3.2. Fixed Demand Assumptions, by Future

Steady State Cold War Cold War Peace Enforcement CT/COIN


Demands/ (with long regional (with short
Alternative conflict) regional conflict)
Futures
Global Counter None None None 16 MQ-9, 5 AC-130
Terror 12 MC-130, 7 CV-
22s
Nuclear 25% ground alert 25% ground alert 10% withhold 10% withhold
alert/withhold (2 B-2,4 B-52, (2 B-2,4 B-52,
12 KC-135) 12 KC-135)
Operation Noble 48 fighters, 48 fighters, 48 fighters, 48 fighters,
Eagle 8 tankers, 2 E-3 8 tankers, 2 E-3 8 tankers, 2 E-3 8 tankers, 2 E-3
CBP 8 bombers, 8 bombers, 8 bombers, 8 bombers,
(Guam) 4 tankers 4 tankers 4 tankers 4 tankers
Theater 2 fighter squadrons, 2 fighter squadrons, 2 fighter squadrons, 2 fighter squadrons,
Security 1 tanker squadron 1 tanker squadron 1 tanker squadron 1 tanker squadron
Packages
& Exercises
Global ISR 1 RC-135, 1 E-3, 1 RC-135, 1 E-3, 1 RC-135, 1 E-3, 1 RC-135, 1 E-3,
1 RQ-4, 1 U-2 1 RQ-4, 1 U-2 1 RQ-4, 1 U-2 1 RQ-4, 1 U-2
PACOM IS R 1 RC-135, 1 E-8, 1 RC-135, 1 E-8, 1 RC-135, 1 E-8, 1 RC-135, 1 E-8,
1 U-2 1 U-2 1 U-2 1 U-2
CENTCOM ISR 1 RC-135, 1 E-3, 1 RC-135, 1 E-3, 1 RC-135, 1 E-3, 1 RC-135, 1 E-3,
1 E-8, 1 RQ-4, 1 U-2 1 E-8, 1 RQ-4, 1 U-2 1 E-8, 1 RQ-4, 1 U-2 1 E-8, 1 RQ-4, 1 U-2

In our model, the remaining six categories of fixed demand are invariable across the four
futures. Operation Noble Eagle, in the third row of Table 3.2, is the post-9/11 mission to defend
U.S. airspace. Although this particular manifestation of homeland air defense dates back only to
2001, the USAF has been responsible for homeland air defense since its founding in 1947. This
mission is, therefore, likely to endure. Similarly, the small Continuous Bomber Presence in
Guam might go away if U.S.-China relations improve, although some version of it is likely to
persist in other theaters or elsewhere in the Pacific. Rotations in support of theater security
packages (TSPs) and related exercises have increased in recent years, in part to conduct missions
once accomplished by USAF forces based abroad. TSP and exercise deployments are generally

7
For more on USAF nuclear alert operations, see USAF, Strategic Air Command, Office of the Historian, Alert
Operations and the Strategic Air Command: 1957–1991, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., 1991.

18
viewed by U.S. leaders and planners as a cost-effective means to engage partner nations in
support of broader U.S. foreign and defense policy goals. In our judgment, these deployments
also are likely to continue at the postulated level, and perhaps grow. Finally, the three postulated
ISR commitments (global, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Central Command) reflect
longstanding U.S. military practices that date back to the earliest days of the Cold War. This
estimate captures the broad demands associated with these missions. The particular platforms
and locations will evolve, but the level of demand is unlikely to shrink, short of a fundamental
change in U.S. grand strategy.

Decremented Supply
When the fixed demands from Table 3.2 are subtracted from the total supply of 25 aircraft MDSs
as shown in Table 3.1, the model produces three different estimates of decremented supply. As
noted above, the decrements are constant across the four futures except that (1) CT/COIN
decrements occur only in the CT/COIN future and (2) nuclear decrements are 25 percent of the
bomber and tanker forces on ground alert for the two Cold War futures and 10 percent of the
bomber and tanker forces withheld from operations (but not on alert) for the Peace Enforcement
and CT/COIN futures. We translate this decremented supply in individual aircraft into
decrements in unit equivalents available to meet contingency demands.

Estimation of Future Variable Demands


The estimation of future variable demands is the most complex phase of our analysis. To produce
these estimates, we rely on recent historical precedents that portend very different future worlds.
The hypothetical futures are thus extensions of recent historical eras. For each of the alternative
futures, the model estimates the amount of Air Force capacity that would be required to satisfy
the future variable demands—above and beyond the future fixed demand. The model estimates
the future variable demands for eight classes of aircraft across the four posited futures.
Although the model posits just four futures to estimate the future variable demands, the
model actually runs a total of 4,000 scenarios. For each of the four futures, the model runs 1,000
plausible futures of variable demand. Each model run covers a hypothetical span of 20 years.
Each modeled world thus represents the average of 1,000 model runs covering a 20-year time
horizon.
The purpose of this phase of the analysis is to show whether the four historically based
projections of variable demand could be met by their respective decremented supplies (in unit
equivalents). The AF-FESS model thus can help identify potential capacity shortfalls, indicate
which aircraft platforms might or might not be placed in short supply under different scenarios,
suggest where capacity increases could enhance force robustness, and inform force planning
more generally. This method is also intended to help policymakers and planners explore the
force structure implications of the futures that they view as most likely or important.

19
Table 3.3 maps prominent policymaker concerns onto the four alternative futures. The next
three sections describe the variable demands associated with each alternative future.

Table 3.3. Mapping Policymaker Concerns to Historical Periods and Alternative Futures

“I think the force will be most Relevant Alternative Future


stressed by… Historical
Period
…a new Cold War with Russia or China” 1946-1989 New Cold War (long
regional conflicts)

…a new Cold War with Russia or China” 1946-1989 New Cold War (short
regional conflicts)

…open ended No Fly Zones & peace 1990-2000 Peace Enforcement


enforcement ops.”

…enduring global CT/COIN operations.” 2001-2016 CT/COIN

Futures 1 and 2: New Cold War


The Cold War is rightly remembered as a dangerous and demanding era that saw superpower
proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam and severe crises over Berlin and Cuba. Any of these conflicts
or crises could have escalated into direct conflict between the Soviet Union and the United
States. Yet, ironically, the Cold War did not stress USAF capacity as much as more-recent
periods. The force was large, and substantial elements were forward deployed in Europe and
Asia. As a result, day-to-day alert and routine operations could be handled without creating
personnel tempo or readiness problems. Also, although the Korean and Vietnam wars together
lasted roughly 12 years, the other 31 years of the Cold War were free of major conflicts.
Moreover, the force was sufficiently large that even the Vietnam War demanded the deployment
of a relatively small percentage of the total USAF. For example, in 1969, 523 USAF fighter
aircraft were deployed to Vietnam or Thailand, only 14 percent of the 3,838 fighters in the USAF
inventory that year.8 Although the deployments involved only a small percentage of the total
force, the long duration of the Vietnam War did greatly multiply the force-wide impacts of the
deployments, a point we return to in the next chapter. In summary, though, the Cold War
demands on USAF force capacity, which would have been extremely high if a war with the
Soviet Union had come to pass, were, on average, modest by today’s standards.

8
According to USAF data, the USAF force committed to the Vietnam War in 1969 was exceeded only by the 1968
force commitment—by 11 aircraft (1,761 versus 1,772). For the USAF order of battle in Vietnam and Thailand in
1969, see USAF, Southeast Asia Review: Calendar Years 1961–1973, Washington, D.C.: Directorate of
Management Analysis, Department of the Air Force, February 28, 1974 (declassified by USAF Office of History in
1994). For USAF total force data for 1969, see USAF, United States Air Force Statistical Digest, Fiscal Year 1969,
Washington, D.C.: Comptroller of the Air Force, February 2, 1970.

20
Table 3.4 provides an overview of joint operations during the Cold War for each of the nine
classes of variable demand that were introduced in Chapter Two. The most common operations
during the Cold War were relief, rescue, and evacuation operations, with 452 such operations,
each lasting an average of 41 days. A prominent example of this class of demand (although much
longer than the norm) was the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949. Shows of force were the next most
common, with 138 operations. Although most were small, Combat Fox, an operation associated
with the 1968 Pueblo incident in Korea, involved more than 180 aircraft.9 Military assistance
activities were the next most common, including Operation Earnest Will, the U.S. protection of
Kuwaiti-owned tankers from Iranian attacks in 1987 and 1988 (during the Iran-Iraq War).

Table 3.4. Variable Demands During the Cold War (1946–1989)

Demand Class Number of Mean Examples


Operations Length (days)
Relief, Rescue & 452 41 Berlin Airlift, 1948-49
Evacuation
Show of Force 138 175 Combat Fox, Korea, 1968
Military Assistance 37 159 Operation Earnest Will, 1987-88
Stability Operations 8 226 Dominican Republic, 1965-66
Limited Strikes 4 23 Operation Eldorado Canyon, 1986
Conventional Combat 2 2143 Vietnam War, 1965-73
w/ regional foe
No Fly Zone 0 NA NA
Raids 2 5 Son Tay, Vietnam, 1970
Nuclear Alert 2 40 Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962

The other six classes of variable demand were less common, all in the single digits. Notable
examples of these include the 1965 U.S. intervention in the Dominican Republic, a relatively
rare Cold War stability operation; Operation Eldorado Canyon, the 1986 USAF and U.S. Navy
strike against Libya; the Son Tay Raid, a 1970 attempt to rescue U.S. POWs in North Vietnam;
and the 1962 nuclear alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which saw almost 2,500 USAF
bombers and tankers on alert along with almost 200 intercontinental ballistic missiles.10 Note that
no-fly zone enforcement did not occur until after the Cold War ended, so this class of demand
has zero entries.

9
John A. Okonski, Operation Combat Fox—The USAF Response, Osan Air Base webpage, January 17, 2012.
10
Bernard Nalty, The Air Force Role in Five Crises: 1958–1965, USAF Historical Division Liaison Office, June
1968, declassified, p. 43.

21
As mentioned earlier, we model two versions of a future cold war, one characterized by
regional conflicts of the size and prolonged duration of the Korean and Vietnam wars, and
another characterized by OIF to reflect the possibility that the conventional combat phase in
future regional conflicts will be short-lived.

Future 3: Peace Enforcement


The Peace Enforcement era differed greatly from the Cold War. This period is best characterized
as one in which the supply of available forces shrank while operational demands grew. On the
supply side, the end of the Cold War led to reductions in U.S. military force structure, including
the withdrawal of most forces in Europe and the closure and consolidation of associated bases.
Despite the expectation of and desire for a “peace dividend” that would allow a shift of resources
and attention to domestic problems, U.S. leaders were instead confronted by a host of
international problems necessitating military action. Thus, rather than shrink, the military
experienced both unusual contingency demands and new steady-state demands unlike any it had
experienced during the Cold War.
This period began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. The Iraqi aggression
triggered a massive and rapid deployment of U.S. and coalition forces to the Persian Gulf under
Operation Desert Shield, which was followed five months later by Operation Desert Storm.
Following an intensive air campaign that struck every element of Iraqi power, a short ground
campaign led by U.S. forces evicted Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The air and ground campaigns
decimated the Iraqi Air Force and Army. Although the Iraqi military was defeated rapidly and at
much lower cost than expected, no one in 1991 imagined that peace enforcement commitments
related to that war (in the form of no-fly zones) would persist for another 12 years. The conflict
with Iraq was followed in 1993 by peace operations gone awry in Somalia, particularly the
October “Battle of Mogadishu” that saw the deaths of 18 U.S. commandos. Also by 1992, the
post–Cold War unraveling of Yugoslavia had turned into a destructive civil war in Bosnia and
Herzegovina. This led to multiple NATO and U.S. peace operations that included no-fly zones,
coercive bombing campaigns, and, by 1999, war with Serbia. The combination of smaller force
structure and the surprising number and diversity of demands on the USAF and U.S. military
more broadly led to readiness challenges, aircraft carrier “gaps,” and a recognition that
organizational innovation was called for to meet the demands of recurring rotations to the Middle
East and the Balkans. It was during this period that USAF leaders created the Air Expeditionary
Force (AEF) to better manage these rotations and mitigate their impacts on readiness, personnel
tempo, and retention. In brief, the AEF is a force generation and force management system that
draws on the entire USAF to meet rotational demands for capabilities of all types.11 This Peace

11
For more on the structure and history of the AEF, see the previously cited USAF historical program papers by
Richard Davis (1998 and 2003).

22
Enforcement era, therefore, represents a distinct set of operational demands, offering an
empirical basis for a third alternative future.
Table 3.5 presents summary statistics of variable demand from the Peace Enforcement
period. As during the Cold War, the most common variable demands were relief, rescue, and
evacuation operations, followed by shows of force. In contrast to the Cold War, however,
stability operations were much more frequent, with 15 in a single decade. This period also saw
more frequent, albeit shorter, regional wars. Some notable examples across the variable demand
classes include Operation Desert Shield, a show of force that was also preparation for offensive
operations; military assistance in the form of the 1995 airlift of peacekeepers to Haiti; stability
operations in Bosnia conducted by the International Force (IFOR) in 1995–1996; Operation
Desert Storm, a large joint operation designed to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait; and
Operation Deny Flight, one of three no-fly zones conducted during this period.

Table 3.5. Variable Demands During the Peace Enforcement Era (1990–2000)

Demand Class Number of Mean Example


Operations Length (days)
Relief, Rescue & 147 66 Philippine Earthquake, 1990
Evacuation
Show of Force 20 664 Operation Desert Shield, 1990
Military Assistance 9 21 Airlift UN peacekeepers to Haiti,
1995
Stability Operations 15 842 IFOR, 1995-96
Limited Strikes 5 2 Operation Desert Fox, 1998
Conventional Combat 2 61 Operation Desert Storm, 1991
w/ regional foe
No Fly Zone 3 2710 Operation Deny Flight, 1993-98
Raids 0 NA NA
Nuclear Alert 0 NA NA

Future 4: Global Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency Operations


The third and final historical era, that of CT and COIN operations, began on September 11, 2001,
with the al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. homeland. This era has yet to end.12 This era has been
dominated by prolonged COIN activities in Iraq and Afghanistan and global CT operations. (As

12
For the purposes of this analysis, we characterize the demands of the CT/COIN future based on operational data
from 2001 through 2016. Because CT operations are usually small and highly sensitive, we estimate the demands of
CT on the USAF in the model rather than attempt to document the hundreds of discrete small unit actions that make
up the bulk of global CT activity.

23
noted in Chapter Two, our database does not include most CT operations, which are sensitive
and too numerous to count. Instead, we measure the CT demand on the USAF in our steady-state
assumptions.) There also have been three operations (Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and
Odyssey Dawn) that have involved conventional air operations for a limited period. In addition
to ongoing COIN and CT operations in Afghanistan, the USAF has, since 2014, been flying daily
combat sorties in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. This era has also seen
a significant increase in CT-related activities in Africa and Yemen.13 As of the summer of 2017,
there is talk of increasing force levels in Afghanistan. This era differs from the other two in its
commitments to prolonged (and ongoing) COIN in the Middle East and South Asia as well as the
global nature (and nearly constant combat) associated with global CT. These dissimilar demands
provide yet another perspective on force capacity stresses that the USAF may face in the future.
Table 3.6 presents an overview of variable demands during the CT/COIN era. As in the
previous eras, the most common variable demands have been relief, rescue, and evacuation
operations, which have been the only operation type in double digits since 2001. Stability
operations have been the next most common, followed by shows of force. Although there have
been fewer total operations in this period (at least in our dataset), Operations Enduring Freedom
and Iraqi Freedom have more than made up for that with their sheer length and size. Other
notable examples of operations from this period include a flight of B-2 bombers to Korea in 2013
as a show of force; an extended period of military assistance to the Ugandan Army between 2011
and 2016; Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the stability operation successor to OEF in
Afghanistan; the conventional phase of OIF in 2003; and the one example of a no-fly zone,
Operation Odyssey Dawn, in 2011.

13
DoD Press Release NR-083-17, Statement by Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis on U.S. Strikes Against
AQAP in Yemen, March 2, 2017; DoD Press Release NR-219-17, Pentagon Statement on Somalia Strike, June 11,
2017; DoD Press Release NR-286-16, Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on U.S. Air Strike in
Libya, August 1, 2016.

24
Table 3.6. Variable Demands During the Counterterrorism/Counterinsurgency Era (2001–2016)

Demand Class Number of Mean Example


Operations Length (days)
Relief, Rescue & 27 34 Operation Unified Assistance, 2004
Evacuation
Show of Force 4 69 B-2s to Korea, 2013
Military Assistance 3 797 Support to Uganda Army against
LRA, 2011-16
Stability Operations 5 1679 Operation Freedom’s Sentinel,
2015-present
Limited Strikes 1 140 Operation Odyssey Lightning, 2016
Conventional Combat 1 43 Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003
w/ regional foe
No Fly Zone 1 218 Operation Odyssey Dawn, 2011
Raids 0 NA NA
Nuclear Alert 0 NA NA
NOTE: Our dataset for this period ends in 2016. The Counterterrorism/Counterinsurgency era may continue
for many more years.

Construction of Representative Force Packages


The four remaining phases of our analysis are all attempts to modify specific inputs to the AF-
FESS model so that it can generate results that reflect the future Air Force capacities,
capabilities, and constraints as realistically as possible. The various model inputs have to do with
force packages, operational durations, squadron demands, and scheduling constraints.
In an ideal world, for instance, our dataset for estimating future variable demands would
include detailed descriptions of the force packages involved in each of the historical operations.
The model could then randomly pull all of its demand inputs from specific events rather than
from generic classes of events.14 In most cases, however, our sources did not specify aircraft
quantities and types, although the order of battle information was available for some operations.
Even when the order of battle data were available, however, there often were aircraft types used
(e.g., C-141s during Operation Desert Storm) that are no longer in the USAF. Thus, to model
future capacity demand, we have had to postulate (or modify) the force packages for each
capacity class.15 The historical basis for our force packages for each demand class and for each
future are shown in Table 3.7.

14
The AF-FESS model does this random pull for duration inputs. See Appendix A.
15
For more additional detail on our postulated force packages, see Appendix E.

25
Table 3.7. Historical Basis for Force Packages for Each Demand Class and Each Future

Class of Demand/ Cold War Cold War Peace CT/COIN


Alternative Futures (with long regional (with short Enforcement
conflict) regional conflict)

Relief, Rescue & Postulated based on Postulated based Postulated based Postulated based
Evacuation 1947-1996 data on 1947-1996 data on 1947-1996 data on 1947-1996 data
Show of Force Large and small, 1:4 Large and small, Large and small, Large and small,
ratio 1:4 ratio 1:4 ratio 1:4 ratio
No Fly Zone NA NA Deny Flight Deny Flight
Military Assistance Early Call Early Call Early Call Early Call

Limited Strikes Desert Strike Desert Strike Desert Strike Desert Strike
Raids Eagle Claw Eagle Claw NA NA
Stability Operations Dominican Republic Dominican IFOR OEF
1965 Republic 1965

Conventional Vietnam OIF (Mar-April 03) OAF OIF (Mar-April 03)


Combat w/regional
opponent

Nuclear Crisis Alert Cuba 1962 Cuba 1962 NA NA

For example, we postulate a force package demand of two C-17s, two C-130s, and two MC-
130s for relief, rescue, and evacuation operations. This package captures the range of airlifters
typically used in such operations, the increase in the role of SOF aircraft in HA/DR-type
missions, and the historical experience, in which 82 percent of such operations involved six or
fewer aircraft.16 For shows of force, we use both large and small packages in a ratio of 1:4. The
large package is an updated force of 162 aircraft based on Combat Fox, the 1968 deployment to
Korea. The small package is based on the 2013 use of two B-2s and supporting tankers to signal
North Korea during a 2013 period of tensions.17 For no-fly zones, we base our calculations on
the Deny Flight (Balkans 1993–1998) order of battle. No-fly zones do not apply to the cold war
futures.18
Military assistance demands are based on Early Call, a 1983 mission to support Egypt during
a time of tension with Libya. In this mission, the USAF flew E-3 Airborne Warning and Control
System (AWACS) aircraft to monitor Libyan flight operations. The operation involved one C-5,

16
This calculation is based on data for 1947–1996 found in Alan Vick, David T. Orletsky, Abram N. Shulsky, and
John Stillion, Preparing the U.S. Air Force for Military Operations Other Than War, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND
Corporation, 1997, MR-842-AF, Table A.1.
17
The aircraft flew round-trip from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, to Korea. The number of tankers used in
that mission was not publicly available, but a similar 2017 B-2 mission against ISIS (also round-trip from
Whiteman) used ten KC-135s and five KC-10s. Thus, our postulated small show of force package is two B-2s, ten
KC-135s, and five KC-10s. For more on the 2013 mission, see CBS News, “U.S. Flies B-2 Stealth Bombers to
South Korea in Extended Deterrence Mission Aimed at North,” April 5, 2013, online. For details of the 2017
mission, see David Cenciotti, “Everything We Know (and No One Has Said So Far) About the First Waves of Air
Strikes on Syria,” The Aviationist, April 14, 2018.
18
Deny Flight order of battle from Kurt F. Miller, Deny Flight and Deliberate Force: An Effective Use of
Airpower? master’s thesis, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., 1997, p. 36.

26
one C-141 (replaced by one C-17 in our package), four E-3s, and three KC-10s.19 To represent
the limited strike category, we rely on Operation Desert Strike, a 1996 coercive air strike against
Iraq. This operation involved two B-52, one C-5, and nine KC-10 aircraft.20 Raids are
represented in our model by Eagle Claw, the 1980 Iranian hostage rescue attempt. Raids apply
only to the cold war futures.21
For stability operations, we vary the force packages across the futures, drawing from each
historical era for its own representative demands. For both cold war futures, we use Operation
Power Pack, the 1965 intervention in the Dominican Republic, as the representative stability
operation.22 For the Peace Enforcement future, we use IFOR in Bosnia as the representative
operation. For the CT/COIN future, we use OEF in Afghanistan. We also vary the force
packages for conventional combats with regional opponents. For the cold war future with a long
regional conflict, we use the USAF 1969 order of battle from the Vietnam War to calculate
comparable percentages for each class of combat aircraft (e.g., attack, fighter, tanker).23 For the
cold war future with a short regional conflict and also for the CT/COIN future, we use the
conventional phase of OIF (March–April 2003) as representative of regional combat demands.
For the Peace Enforcement future, we use Operation Allied Force in Kosovo as representative of
these demands.24 Finally, for nuclear crisis alerts, we use the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 to
calculate representative force demands for the two cold war futures only.25

19
Vick et al., 1997.
20
Vick et al., 1997.
21
James H. Kyle, The Guts to Try, New York: Orion Books, 1990, pp. 205–212; A. Timothy Warnock, Short of
War: Major USAF Contingency Operations, Maxwell Air Force Base: Air University Press, 2000, pp. 125–134.
22
See Nalty, 1968, pp. 50–56; Lawrence A. Yates, Power Pack: U.S. Intervention in the Dominican Republic,
1965–1966, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College,
1988, pp. 68–70; Vick et al., 1997, Table B1.
23
We organize the USAF order of battle (1969) for Vietnam by aircraft class (e.g., fighter, attack), then divide this
by the total USAF force structure (1969) to determine the percentage of each aircraft class assigned to Vietnam. We
then use these percentages to identify the number of USAF FY17 aircraft by class required for a Vietnam-like
conflict. Sources for USAF Vietnam order of battle and overall force structure are USAF 1970 and USAF 1974 (see
references).
24
See Benjamin S. Lambeth, NATO’s Air War for Kosovo: A Strategic and Operational Assessment, Santa Monica,
Calif.: RAND Corporation, MR-1365-AF, 1999, Figure 6.4; William J. Begert, “Kosovo and Theater Air Mobility,”
Aerospace Power Journal, Winter 1999, pp. 11–21.
25
These were calculated by taking the percentage of the 1962 bomber, tanker, and ICBM forces on crisis alert on
November 4 and applying that to the USAF FY17 force to identify comparable demands. See Norman Polmar,
Strategic Air Command: People, Aircraft, and Missiles, Annapolis, Md.: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing
Company of America, 1979, pp. 79–81; Polmar and D. Gresham, 2006, pp. 1 and 16; Nalty, 1968, pp. 42–43; James
C. Ruehrmund Jr. and Christopher J. Bowie, Arsenal of Airpower: USAF Aircraft Inventory, 1960–2009, Arlington,
Va.: Mitchell Institute Press, 2010.

27
Prediction of Operational Durations
The length of a given operation is a critical variable in our model, because our opening
hypothesis is that prolonged operations (which we define as lasting 365 days or longer) impose
unique stresses on force structure. Therefore, as we generated a number of futures stochastically
to represent future variable demands, we needed to specify distributions for both the frequency
and duration of contingencies for each historical era. Once again, we derived both distributions
directly from the historical frequencies and durations of the contingencies for each relevant era.
Table 3.8 describes in detail how we arrived at the duration inputs for the four alternative
futures. For each class of variable demand and for each future, the table identifies the number of
historical contingencies used to generate the modeled duration, the average duration, and, in
cases with few historical examples, the names of the operations used as inputs.

Table 3.8. Sources of Operational Duration Inputs for Alternative Futures

Class of Demand \ Cold War Cold War Peace Enforcement CT/COIN


Futures (with long regional conflict) (with short regional conflict)
Show of Force Drawn from 138 Same as Cold War (w proxy) Drawn from 20 contingencies Drawn from 4 contingencies (average
contingencies (average (average duration 664 days) duration 69 days)
duration 176 days)
Limited strikes Drawn from 4 contingencies Same as Cold War (w proxy) Drawn from 5 contingencies Operation Odyssey Lightning (140 days)
(average duration 23 days) (average duration 3 days)

Military Assistance Drawn from 37 contingencies Same as Cold War (w proxy) Drawn from 9 contingencies Drawn from 3 contingencies: Airlift
(average duration 160 days) (average duration 21 days) Peacekeepers to Darfur (14 days),
Operation New Dawn (470 days), Search
for Lord’s Resistance Army (1907 days)
No-Fly Zone Drawn from 3 contingencies: Deny Operation Odyssey Dawn Unified
Flight/Decisive Edge/Deliberate Protector (218 days)
Guard/Deliberate Forge (1923 days),
ONW (2266 days), OSW (3942 days)
Nuclear Alert Drawn from 2 contingencies: Same as Cold War (w proxy)
Cuban Missile Crisis (38 days)
and Yom Kippur War Show of
Force (42 days)
Raids Drawn from 2 contingencies: Same as Cold War (w proxy)
Son Tay Raid (1 day) and
Operation Eagle Claw (9 days)
RRE Short Drawn from 375 Same as Cold War (w proxy) Drawn from 113 contingencies Drawn from 17 contingencies (average
contingencies (average (average duration 8 days) duration 6 days)
duration 7 days)
RRE Med Drawn from 63 contingencies Same as Cold War (w proxy) Drawn from 30 contingencies Drawn from 10 contingencies (average
(average duration 78 days) (average duration 115 days) duration 81 days)

RRE Long Drawn from 11 contingencies Same as Cold War (w proxy) Drawn from 4 contingencies
(average duration 1003 days) (average duration 1342 days)

Conventional Drawn from 2 contingencies: 2003 OIF duration (43 days) Drawn from 2 contingencies: Desert 2003 OIF duration (43 days)
Combat w/ Regional Korean War (1128 days) and Storm (43 days) and OAF (78 days)
Opponent Vietnam War (3158 days)
Stability Ops Drawn from 8 contingencies Same as Cold War (w proxy) Drawn from 15 contingencies Drawn from 5 contingencies (average
(average duration 226 days) (average duration 843 days) duration 1679 days)

To illustrate our approach, consider the far-right column in Table 3.8, which describes
duration inputs for the CT/COIN future. The inputs are drawn from operations that occurred
between 2001 and 2016. For instance, there were three military assistance contingencies in this

28
timeframe: airlifting peacekeepers to Darfur (14 days), Operation New Dawn (470 days), and the
search for Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa (1,907 days). Thus, the frequency of
military assistance contingencies for this era was three per 16 years, or 0.1875 contingencies per
year. When such a contingency was included in a notional future as a random stochastic
possibility, its duration was equally likely to be either 14, 470, or 1,907 days.
The cold war futures (columns one and two) differ with each other only in the assumption
regarding the length of conventional combat with a regional opponent. For the Cold War future
with a long regional conflict, the model includes equally likely durations of 1,128 days or 3,158
days, reflecting the Korean and Vietnam War lengths, respectively. For the cold war future with
a short regional conflict, the model includes just one benchmark: the 2003 OIF (43 days).
We assess the impact of prolonged operations on variable force demands by running
excursions in which no operation is allowed to be longer than 365 days. Thus, for those
analytical cases in which we truncate contingency demand length, all drawn durations that are
greater than 365 days are reduced to 365 days.

Translation of Aircraft Demands into Squadron Demands


The model assesses the capacity of the USAF FY17 force to meet demands measured in
squadron equivalents.26 However, the most precise data on historical demands and current supply
are presented in terms of quantity of aircraft by MDS (e.g., 12 A-10 aircraft). Thus, before
running the model, we had to translate aircraft quantities into squadrons. (These translations into
squadron equivalents apply to both the fixed and variable demand calculations in the model.)
Table 3.9 illustrates how we convert aircraft quantities into squadron equivalents. Consider
the first row—i.e., for A-10 aircraft. First, we use Air Combat Command data for FY15 to
estimate the total supply of 171 A-10s in the FY17 force. Since the PMAI varies by squadron,
we use the most common PMAI number (18) for the A-10.27 Dividing 171 aircraft by 18 per
squadron produces 9.5 equivalent squadrons, which we round up to a supply of 10 A-10
squadron equivalents.28 On the demand side, our data for a regional conventional conflict
(Operation Allied Force) show a historical demand of 40 aircraft, which is 2.2 squadron
equivalents. In the final column, we round this up to a requirement of 3 squadron equivalents. As
previously indicated, rounding up helps capture the negative consequences of partial unit
deployments. This final number is the demand input for the model for this one contingency.
Similar calculations are made for all 25 MDS modeled in our simulation.

26
AF-FESS actually models supply and demand as “unit elements.” For fighter and attack aircraft, these are
synonymous with squadrons; but for larger aircraft that routinely deploy and employ individually or in pairs, we
stipulate smaller unit elements for modeling.
27
Seven A-10 squadrons have 18 PMAI, one has 21 PMAI, and one has 24 PMAI. See Air Combat Command,
2015.
28
Note that the supply calculations round up or down for squadron equivalents.

29
Table 3.9. Total Historical Supply and Demand in Aircraft and Squadron Equivalents

Conventional Combat
Number of Aircraft FY 17 Force in Conventional Combat Conventional Combat w w regional opponent
Per Squadron Squadron w regional opponent regional opponent in squadrons (rounded
Aircraft FY 17 Force (PMAI) Equivalents (OAF) (aircraft) (fractions of squadrons) up)
A-10 171 18 10 40 2 3
AC-130 20 8 3 2 0 1
B-1 36 12 3 5 0 1
B-2 16 8 2 6 1 1
B-52 44 11 4 18 2 2
C-5 39 8 5 0 0 0
C-17 155 16 10 12 1 1
C-130 244 8 31 31 4 4
CV-22 30 8 4 8 1 1
E-3 23 2 12 4 2 2
E-8 11 5 2 2 0 1
EC-130 10 5 2 2 0 1
F-15C 156 18 9 18 1 1
F-15E 138 24 6 32 1 2
F-16 537 18 30 99 6 6
F-22 123 21 6 21 1 1
HC-130 25 4 6 0 0 0
HH-60 72 7 10 2 0 1
KC-10 41 16 3 24 2 2
KC-135 277 12 23 151 13 13
MC-130 50 8 6 3 0 1
MQ-9 144 8 18 4 1 1
RC-135 17 4 4 5 1 2
RQ-4 31 16 2 0 0 0
U-2 24 6 4 5 1 1

Accommodation of Key Scheduling Constraints


Two further complications in estimating both the fixed and variable demands for Air Force
squadron equivalents are the two key scheduling constraints placed on squadrons by the Office
of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the USAF. The first of these constraints is OSD’s
“deploy-to-dwell” (D2D) policy guidance. The second is the USAF deployment length, as
stipulated in USAF personnel deployment policies.
For our baseline calculations in the model, we use the D2D guidance found in the November
1, 2013, OSD policy memo. This memo states the Secretary of Defense’s goals for both the
active and reserve components. For the active component, the D2D ratio is 1:2 or greater. The
memo states that “Secretary of Defense approval is required to deploy a unit, detachment or
individual with a 1:1 ratio or less . . .” For the reserve components, the mobilization-to-dwell

30
goal is 1:5 or greater.29 For our baseline calculations of maximum deployment length,
meanwhile, we use 180 days, the USAF standard for rotations.30
Figure 3.1 illustrates how the model handles these scheduling demands and constraints. The
horizontal axis (at top) is deployment time measured in months. The upper panel shows
contingency demands in red; the lower panel shows force rotations in green (for ready to
deploy), dark blue (deployed), and light blue (recovering from deployment).

Figure 3.1. Illustration of Air Force Future Environment Scheduling Simulation Scheduling Logic

Time (months) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

No Fly Zone

Regional Conflict
Contingencies

Stabilization operation

Deploy-to-Dwell (D-to-D) Ratio of 1:2, 12-Month Deployment Cap


Unit 1 Deployed Unit 1 Recovering Unit 1 Ready Unit 1 Deployed

Forces Unit 2 Ready Unit 2 Deployed Unit 2 Recovering Unit 2 Ready

Unit 3 Ready Unit 3 Deployed Unit 3 Recovering


NOTES: Red = contingency demand; green = ready to deploy; dark blue = deployed; light blue = recovering from
deployment.

In other words, Figure 3.1 describes a notional future that experiences three contingencies
over a period of 36 months: the establishment of a no-fly zone in months 2–8, a regional conflict
in months 7–14, and a stabilization operation in months 16–36. Assuming that all contingencies
require a single unit to fulfill demands, a minimum of three (active component) units are
necessary under the constraints of a notional 12-month maximum deployment and a minimum
D2D ratio of 1:2. One unit deploys to fulfill the no-fly zone requirement for seven months, at
which point it dwells/recovers for a minimum of 14 months. A second unit fulfills the regional
conflict demand for eight months, recovering for a minimum of 16 months. When the
stabilization operation begins in month 16, neither of the first two units is available, so a third is
required. However, it has a maximum deployment length of 12 months, so it finishes at the end
of month 27, requiring a different unit to take its place. Unit 1 is available, so it replaces Unit 3
while it recovers for a minimum of 24 months. If the minimum D2D ratio was, at most, 1:1
(allowed only with approval from the Secretary of Defense), two units would be sufficient

29
Jessica Wright, Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), Deployment-to-Dwell,
Mobilization-to-Dwell Policy Revision, Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments, Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, November 1, 2013.
30
Air Force Association, 2016, p. 24.

31
(because Unit 1 would be ready starting in month 16). Thus, the model takes these scheduling
constraints into account when determining how much Air Force capacity could be made
available to meet either fixed or variable demands.
The next chapter presents analytical results for the four alternative futures.

32
Chapter Four: Force Structure Implications of Alternative Futures

This chapter presents and discusses the results of our simulation of four alternative futures: two
versions of a future cold war, a future where peace enforcement operations dominate, and a
CT/COIN future. For each future, we measure the percentage of demands that can be met by the
USAF FY17 force as represented by the 25 MDSs introduced in the previous chapter. We first
discuss the results from the base case analysis, then explore the impact of changes in a key input
assumption: whether prolonged operations (those exceeding 365 days in length) occur during this
period. We also assess (1) the effect of steady-state demands on the ability of the force to fulfill
contingency demands and (2) the impact of changes to D2D constraints on the ability of the force
to fulfill contingency demands.

Base Case
Our base case for all four futures (1) allows contingencies to extend beyond one year, (2) uses
OSD D2D constraints of 1:2 for the active component and 1:5 for the reserve component,1 and
(3) limits USAF units (per policy) to 180 day deployments.2
Table 4.1 presents model results by aircraft class for the base case. The color coding is
broadly construed and intended to highlight shortfalls: Green indicates that 80–100 percent of
demands are met, yellow indicates 51–79 percent met, and red indicates 0–50 percent met.

1
D2D policies, waivers, and practice vary across MDSs and units in the USAF. To make the analysis manageable,
we differentiate only between active and reserve force D2D constraints.
2
Although contingency length is not limited in our base case, individual units may only deploy for 180 days (per
DoD policy).

33
Table 4.1. Percentage of Demands Met, by Aircraft Class (FY17 Force)

Cold War Cold War


Peace
(with long (with short CT/COIN
Enforcement
regional conflict) regional conflict)
Airlift 65% 67% 97% 99%
Attack 62% 100% 53% 92%
Bomber 73% 72% 46% 76%
C3ISR/BM 50% 84% 29% 63%
Fighter 93% 100% 64% 98%
Other 91% 91% 40% 66%
SOF 53% 98% 40% 54%
Tanker 92% 92% 32% 90%
NOTES: No limits to contingency length. D2D constraints: active component: 1:2, reserve components1:5,
180-day max unit deployments. Green = 80–100 percent of demands are met, yellow = 51–79 percent met,
red = 0–50 percent met.

The left column in Table 4.1 lists the eight aircraft classes assessed in the model. The top row
lists the four alternative futures. By way of illustration, consider the Peace Enforcement future.
This future creates the most capacity demands on the force, with five cells coded red, two coded
yellow, and only one coded green. In contrast, the Cold War with Short Regional Conflict future
meets the most demands, with six green cells and two yellow. Why would a future characterized
by peace enforcement operations be so much more stressful and a new cold war the least? The
answer lies in the historical demands associated with these futures.
Contingency demands during the Peace Enforcement future reflect the experience between
1990 and 1999, when no-fly zones in the Middle East and Balkans required prolonged
deployments of fighter, tanker, and C3ISR/BM platforms. Operation Allied Force occurred
during this period, creating additional demands for force structure. In contrast, there were no
prolonged operational deployments during the Cold War other than the two wars in Korea and
Vietnam.
The Cold War with Short Regional Conflict future uses data from 1946 to 1989 for all classes
of demand except regional conflicts. In this future, we consider the possibility that a future cold
war would be similar to the historical data, but without the long proxy wars like those in Korea
and Vietnam. For the regional conflict variable, this future uses the short conventional phase of
OIF (lasting only 43 days) to reflect a different demand set. We take no position on whether a
new cold war would be characterized by Korea/Vietnam War–like demands, OIF-like demands,
or perhaps something altogether different. We include both futures to explore the impact that
long regional wars have on force demands. If a future cold war includes conflicts as large and
long as the Korean and Vietnam wars, it greatly increases force demands for attack, C3ISR/BM,
and SOF platforms.
This analysis also helps identify which aircraft classes are most stressed or robust across the
futures. For example, bomber and C3ISR/BM aircraft are relatively few in number but in high

34
demand. These two classes of aircraft have the greatest capacity shortfalls across all futures. The
simulation found that the FY17 fighter force was the most robust across the four futures, stressed
only in the Peace Enforcement future.
The relatively high capacity of the fighter force seems at odds with a widely held view that
this force is as stressed or more stressed than other parts of the USAF. One possible explanation
has to do with the location of the stress. The model output suggests that there are enough aircraft
to meet demands associated with three of the four futures. The simulation does not explicitly
model readiness, retention, pilot shortages, or personnel tempo problems. It simply measures
whether there are enough unit elements in the FY17 force to meet the steady-state and
contingency demands described in Chapter Three, using OSD and USAF D2D and maximum
deployment constraints as caps. The model assumes that when a unit has fulfilled the OSD-
determined dwell requirement, it is in fact fully ready to deploy. This may not be the case. Also,
a unit may be ready to deploy for CT/COIN and similar missions but not be fully ready for
combat against the most-capable adversaries. Finally, a unit may have sufficient aircraft to meet
demands but be undermanned (as is reportedly often the case). AF-FESS results, like any model
findings, need to be taken in context. They provide insights into the number of aircraft and units
required to meet a wide range of demands but offer no direct measure of the other factors that
determine unit health and readiness.
Table 4.2 presents the same model results by aircraft type rather than class of aircraft. This
provides additional details regarding challenges associated with specific aircraft. There are,
however, limits to MDS-level model results. First, the force packages used in the model were
primarily drawn from historical experience, some of it quite old. In those cases, the particular
aircraft used are no longer in the fleet. For example, there are no perfect analogues in the FY17
force for the F-105, F-4, or F-100 aircraft that played such large roles in the Vietnam War. We
had to make judgments about substitutions, and these were typically made at the aircraft class
level. For example, if an operation used a wing of attack aircraft, we typically modeled the future
version of the conflict using a similar force. For large conflicts, such as the Vietnam War, we
calculated the percentage of USAF total force (by aircraft class) devoted to the conflict, then
used the same percentage of the USAF FY17 force (by aircraft class) to model a future Vietnam
War–class conflict.3 Since the model operates at the level of MDS, we then had to translate these
demands by class into the actual aircraft in the force today. Where aircraft in a class have
overlapping capabilities (e.g., F-16s and F-15Es), we had to develop substitution rules that may
over or understate real-world demands on a specific MDS. Additional MDS-level model outputs
are found in Appendix F.

3
See Appendix G for more details on how we estimate the demands of Vietnam War–scale conflict.

35
Table 4.2. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force (by Aircraft Type)

Cold War Cold War Peace


MDS\Future CT/COIN
(with long regional conflict) (with short regional conflict) Enforcement

A-10 62% 100% 53% 92%


AC-130 52% 94% 21% 38%
B-1 100% 99% 97% 76%
B-2 62% 62% 30% 100%
B-52 99% 98% 94% 58%
C-130 51% 52% 100% 99%
C-17 81% 99% 96% 100%
C-5 100% 100% 100% 100%
CV-22 46% 98% 43% 56%
E-3 58% 87% 25% 78%
E-8 59% 72% 19% 38%
EC-130 73% 72% 13% 38%
F-15C 100% 100% 100% 100%
F-15E 92% 100% 81% 99%
F-16 94% 100% 42% 97%
F-22 99% 99% 91% 100%
HC-130 99% 99% 49% 100%
HH-60 100% 100% 71% 95%
KC-10 97% 98% 67% 96%
KC-135 87% 89% 14% 85%
MC-130 57% 100% 97% 99%
MQ-9 41% 100% 100% 100%
RC-135 54% 88% 70% 55%
RQ-4 63% 90% 81% 70%
U-2 32% 67% 43% 24%
NOTES: No limits to contingency length. D2D constraints: active component: 1:2, reserve components: 1:5, 180-
day max unit deployments.

Analytical Excursions
To complement the base case analysis, we also explored three excursions: (1) Operations are
capped at 12 months, (2) steady-state demands (handled as decrements to available forces) are
varied from 100 percent met (the base case) to 0 percent met, and (3) D2D and maximum
deployment constraints are increased or lessened.

Contingencies Capped at One Year


As noted earlier in the report, this study sought to better understand the role of prolonged
operations (those lasting more than a year) in generating force structure demands. Our entering
hypothesis was that the growth in prolonged operations since the end of the Cold War was the

36
primary driver of force capacity shortfalls. Table 4.3 presents results for model runs when no
contingency is allowed to extend beyond 365 days. If we compare these results with those in
Table 4.1 (where contingency duration was based on historical data, including many multiyear
operations), we find striking differences. The greatest improvement in percentage of demand met
was in the Peace Enforcement future, which went from five red, two yellow, and only one green
cell, to zero red, four yellow, and four green. More generally, we see improvements in all
futures. Where there were six cells coded red in Table 4.1, there are none in Table 4.3. There
were 12 cells coded yellow in Table 4.1 but only seven in Table 4.3. Similarly, where the earlier
table had 14 green cells, Table 4.3 displays 25 green cells. Finally, in Table 4.1, there was only
one case where 100 percent of demands were met; in Table 4.3, there are eight such cases.

Table 4.3. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force (Contingencies Are Capped at 365 Days)

Cold War Cold War


Peace
(with long (with short CT/COIN
Enforcement
regional conflict) regional conflict)
Airlift 74% 73% 100% 100%
Attack 98% 100% 98% 100%
Bomber 84% 84% 79% 99%
C3ISR/BM 80% 93% 68% 90%
Fighter 100% 100% 100% 100%
Other 96% 96% 74% 89%
SOF 82% 99% 75% 88%
Tanker 95% 94% 85% 99%

To better visualize the impact of prolonged operations on force structure, Figure 4.1
compares the percentage of demands met by the FY17 force by aircraft class for the Peace
Enforcement future.

37
Figure 4.1. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force: Prolonged Versus Shorter Contingencies

100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Airlift Attack Bomber C3ISR/BM Fighter Other SOF Tanker

No Cap on Contingency Length (Peace Enforcement Future)

Contingencies Capped at 1 Year In Length (Peace Enforcement Future)

The blue bars display model results when contingency duration comes from historical data,
including many operations exceeding one year in length. The red bars display model results
when contingencies are capped at 365 days. Substantial improvements are visible for all stressed
classes of aircraft. For example, fighter aircraft go from meeting 64 percent to 100 percent of
demands. That said, despite significant improvements, bomber, C3ISR/BM, and SOF platforms
still face significant shortfalls. These model results suggest that prolonged operations are a
significant driver of capacity shortfalls.
As to why prolonged operations are so stressing to the force, one must consider other factors
beyond just the sheer lengths of deployments. The preferred dwell time for forces following a
prolonged operation is two to five times as long as the deployment itself, depending on whether
active or reserve forces are sent. Similarly, the likelihood that a unit is deployed up to its allowed
maximum (and therefore takes the maximum amount of time to recover) increases as the number
of prolonged operations increase. Of the 888 historical contingencies in our study, only 51 (5.7
percent) of the contingencies lasted a year or longer, but they were responsible for 84,895 of the
111,060 days of demand (76.4 percent). When we ran excursions in which we capped
contingency lengths at a year, we (unsurprisingly) saw considerable increases in the percentage
of contingency demands met, because a one-year deployment would require, at most, two unit
elements of supply per unit element of demand and would thus remove, at most, 36 unit element-
months from the available supply of forces to meet contingencies.
The United States rarely enters into military operations expecting them to go on indefinitely.
Indeed, the opposite is more typically the case. Operations become prolonged because objectives
change, because objectives turn out to be more difficult to achieve than initially anticipated, or

38
because of adversary actions. USAF leaders have little, if any, control over these factors. That
said, armed with this evidence that prolonged operations are a driver of capacity shortfalls,
USAF leaders can advocate for more force structure, develop alternative force presentation
models that may more efficiently used existing forces, and, perhaps, nudge National Security
Council principals and the President to be more aware of the risks and costs of prolonged
operations.

Trade-Offs Between Steady-State and Contingency Demands


In the previous chapter, we noted that demand inputs come from two sources: contingencies
(drawn from historical experience) and steady-state demands. We described the steady-state
assumptions and provided specific force demands by future. One concern we mentioned (likely
shared by some readers) was that the contingency shortfalls found in modeling results might be
the result of the steady-state demands that were postulated as opposed to historically derived. To
investigate that possibility, we varied the percentage of steady-state demands met from the base
case level (100 percent) all the way to 0 percent. This is not just a modeling excursion; planners
might choose to reduce resources committed to steady-state demands in order to better meet
contingency requirements.
Figure 4.2 displays the trade-offs between steady-state and contingency demands for
C3ISR/BM platforms, the most stressed class of aircraft. The percentage of contingency
demands met is displayed on the vertical axis; the percentage of steady-state demands met is
displayed on the horizontal axis. For example, the lowest line shows the Peace Enforcement
future. The far right of that line represents the base case; 100 percent of steady-state demands are
met, while only 29 percent of contingency demands are met. If steady-state demands were
driving contingency shortfalls, one would see a significant improvement as one follows the line
to the left. The modest slope of the line tells the story: Steady-state demands are not responsible
for the contingency shortfalls. Even at the far left point on the line (where there are zero steady-
state demands being met), C3ISR/BM platforms would meet less than 40 percent of the
contingency demands. The other futures tell similar stories: All fare somewhat better if steady-
state demands are reduced to zero, but the improvements are all under 10 percentage points. This
is an underwhelming outcome. It is hard to imagine circumstances in which national leaders
would walk away from these steady-state missions (most high-priority) to achieve minor
reductions in contingency shortfalls.

39
Figure 4.2. Trade-Offs Between Steady-State and Contingency Demands for C3ISR/BM Aircraft (All
Futures)

Peace Enforcement Cold War w/ Long RC CT/COIN Cold War w/ Short RC

100%

90%

80%
% Contingency Requirements Met

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
% Steady State Requirements Met

NOTE: Assumes D2D ratio of 1:2 for active component, 1:5 for reserve components, 180-day max unit deployment
per rotation.

Impact of Deploy-to-Dwell Constraints on Contingency Shortfalls


As noted in Chapter Three, the base case used OSD D2D constraints of 1:2 for the active
component and 1:5 for the reserve component and USAF 180-day deployment caps. To what
extent are these constraints driving shortfalls? We consider three cases: the base case described
in the previous sentence, a less constrained case (D2D ratios of 1:1 [active component] and 1:2
([reserve component]; 365-day deployment caps), and a more constrained case (D2D ratios of
1:3 [active component] and 1:6 [reserve component]; 180-day deployment caps). Neither of
these alternative cases is recommended as a policy option. They simply are used to illustrate the
impact of D2D constraints.
Figure 4.3 illustrates the impact of these D2D assumptions for C3ISR/BM platforms in the
Peace Enforcement future, with the blue line representing the base case, green the least
constrained, and red the most constrained.

40
Figure 4.3. Impact of Deploy-to-Dwell Constraints on Availability of C3ISR/BM Aircraft (Peace
Enforcement Future)

Legend

Green
AC: 1:1, 12 month cap
RC: 1:2, 12 month cap

Blue (Baseline)
AC: 1:2, 6 month cap
RC: 1:5, 6 month cap

Red
AC: 1:3, 6 month cap
RC: 1:6, 6 month cap

The less constrained green line reduces contingency shortfalls between 12 and 14 percentage
points. Few readers are likely to view these D2D and deployment caps as realistic. At the other
extreme, the more constrained red line may be a more realistic policy option if readiness or
retention problems worsen. This more constrained case would, of course, reduce the number of
available forces to meet contingency demands. For C3ISR/BM platforms in the Peace
Enforcement future, the more constrained case would worsen the already dismal picture by 7 to 8
percentage points. This analysis suggests that although D2D constraints have some impact on
contingency shortfalls, the assumptions used in this simulation are not causing contingency
shortfalls. Indeed, even fairly radical changes (such as moving to a 1:1 D2D ratio for the active
component) do not greatly reduce contingency shortfalls. More modest options that policymakers
would consider realistic and practical presumably fall between the red and green lines in Figure
4.3, offering equally modest benefits. If steady-state demands were reduced to zero and D2D
constraints were reduced simultaneously to those on the green line, a roughly 20 percentage
point improvement from the base case would be achieved for C3ISR/BM platforms. That
improvement, although significant in percentage points, would not change the bottom line: A
little over 50 percent of contingency demands are met even after these draconian changes. Thus,
half of demands still go unfilled, at the cost of dropping all steady-state missions and placing
rotational demands on the force that are extreme and likely infeasible.

41
Summary of Alternative Futures Analysis
This chapter presented the findings from our analysis of four alternative futures. Each future is
empirically grounded in an operationally unique prior period. We used AF-FESS, a RAND-
created aircraft scheduling model, to determine what percentage of demands could be met with
the USAF FY17 force.
Several research findings are important for force planners and policymakers:
• Every aircraft class experiences significant shortfalls in at least one future.
• Every future faces significant capacity shortfalls in at least two aircraft classes.
• Prolonged operations (those lasting more than a year) have a disproportionate impact on
capacity demands.
• When contingencies are capped at 365 days, the percentage of demands met by the FY17
force soars.
• Steady-state demands postulated in this analysis have little impact on contingency
shortfalls.
• OSD D2D and USAF deployment duration constraints are not drivers of shortfalls.
In the next, and final, chapter of the report, we discuss these findings in greater depth,
consider their policy implications, and offer recommendations for USAF leaders and force
planners.

42
Chapter Five: Findings and Recommendations

The U.S. military has operated at a high operational tempo for most of the post–Cold War era.
Although the demand for forces ebbed and flowed, peaking during large combat operations such
as Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, and OIF, the “ebb” periods never quite
returned to the low levels taken for granted during much of the Cold War.
It is hardly news to the USAF that small continuous rotations are demanding. USAF leaders
invented the Air Expeditionary Force construct two decades ago to better manage these demands.
Similarly, the other services have adapted their force presentation models in response to this new
reality, and the Global Force Management system has evolved to better support Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense decisionmaking processes. These adaptations
(along with the willingness of American service members to make the personal sacrifices
associated with frequent deployments) have mitigated or postponed the worst effects of constant
deployments. These measures were, however, never meant to be anything other than temporary
fixes.
Although service leaders and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been
increasingly candid and direct about the readiness and retention problems caused by overtasking
and underresourcing of the military, as of May 2018 there appears to be no significant reduction
in demand on the horizon.
This study sought to help the USAF understand the implications for aircraft force structure of
four distinct, empirically derived futures. In particular, this study is the first to quantify the
degree to which the open-ended and prolonged operations mentioned above increase demands on
USAF force structure. Our hope is that this research will provide additional analytical evidence
of the gap between the demands of U.S. national security strategy and the resources that the
services have to meet these demands. Although this study focused on the USAF, a similar
analysis could be done for the other services using our joint operations database and appropriate
service-specific scheduling models.
In this final chapter, we present research findings, make recommendations for USAF leaders
and planners, and offer some final thoughts.

Findings

The USAF FY17 Force Experiences Capacity Shortfalls in All Four Futures
Whether the future bears similarities to the Cold War years, to the 1990s era of peace
enforcement operations, or to the CT and COIN demands of today, the USAF FY17 flying force
faces force structure shortfalls. Ironically, the best case in terms of capacity requirements would

43
be a new cold war—but only if the new cold war experienced operational demands similar to the
historical cold war except with respect to regional conflicts. This version of a new cold war
would not see proxy wars like those in Vietnam and Korea but rather more limited and short
regional conflicts. Operation Allied Force or the conventional phase (March–April 2003) of OIF
are models for this type of regional conflict. In this case, the USAF FY17 force can meet
between 84 percent and 100 percent of demands for six classes of aircraft. It faces shortfalls for
airlift and bomber aircraft, for which it can only meet 67 percent and 72 percent of demands,
respectively. In contrast, a new cold war that included long regional conflicts like the Vietnam or
Korean wars would face shortfalls in five of the eight aircraft classes, with unmet demands as
high as 50 percent (for C3ISR/BM platforms). Perhaps the most surprising result is that a future
characterized by peace enforcement operations is most stressful to capacity. This is because that
period was characterized by prolonged no-fly zones in the Balkans and Middle East, which
required continuous rotations of fighter, tanker, and C3ISR/BM platforms. Airlift is the only
class of aircraft without significant shortfalls, meeting 97 percent of demand. The other classes
face massive shortfalls. Five classes meet only 29 percent to 46 percent of demands; another two
meet 53 percent to 64 percent of demands.
A future characterized by CT/COIN operations presents a mixed story. Four aircraft classes
meet over 90 percent of contingency demands, but the other four classes can meet only between
54 percent and 76 percent of demands.

No Class of Aircraft Is Robust Across All Four Futures


A second critical issue for planners is the robustness of the force across futures. For example, if
bomber aircraft as a class perform well across all the futures, that would suggest that bomber
capacity is robust. Alternatively, if an aircraft class performs well in only one or two of the
futures, that is worrisome. From this perspective, no USAF aircraft class in the FY17 force can
be considered robust across all four futures. There is no formal threshold for robustness, but it
seems reasonable to expect the force to meet at least 80 percent of demands in every future
(green in our charts). No aircraft class did that. Fighter aircraft came the closest, meeting
93 percent or more of demands in three futures and 64 percent in the remaining. C3ISR/BM
platforms, reflecting their small fleets and high demand, are the least robust across the four
futures, meeting 84 percent of demands in one future but only 29 percent to 63 percent in the
others. Tanker aircraft are particularly interesting, because they were highly robust (90 percent or
more demands met) across three of the futures but met only 32 percent of the demands for the
Peace Enforcement future.

Prolonged Operations Have a Disproportionate Impact on Contingency Demands


Operations that last more than a year place great demands on force structure. This is worrisome
because, as discussed in Chapter Two, the average length of operations has grown since the end
of the Cold War. In the analytical excursions in which we limited contingencies to no more than

44
one year of duration, we found large improvements in the percentage of contingency demands
met. With contingencies capped, the USAF FY17 force was able to meet 80 percent or more of
demands in 25 of the 32 cases that we examined (8 classes of aircraft × 4 futures), and there were
no cases where it met fewer than 68 percent of demands. Finally, with contingencies capped at
one year, there are eight cases where the force meets 100 percent of demands. In contrast, when
contingencies are not capped, there are only 14 cases in which the FY17 force meets 80 percent
or more of demands and only one case in which 100 percent of demands are met. The other 18
cases have significant, and at times extreme, deficiencies. (See Table 4.4 and Figure 4.1.)
This analysis suggests that prolonged operations are driving contemporary capacity
shortfalls, at least as measured by aircraft availability. We did not, however, assess training,
manpower, maintenance, supply, or retention shortfalls. The stresses experienced most
profoundly in 2017 at the squadron and wing level are likely the product of some combination of
these various factors. We suspect that prolonged operations are, at minimum, contributing to
these other problems, but measuring their impact was beyond the scope of this study.
As to why prolonged operations are so stressing to the force, one must consider other factors
beyond just the sheer lengths of deployments. The preferred dwell time for forces following a
prolonged operation is two to five times as long as the deployment itself, depending on whether
active or reserve forces are sent. Similarly, the likelihood that a unit is deployed up to its allowed
maximum (and, therefore, takes the maximum amount of time to recover) increases as the
number of prolonged operations increase. Of the 888 historical contingencies in our study, only
51 (5.7 percent) of the contingencies lasted a year or longer, but they were responsible for 84,895
of the 111,060 days of demand (76.4 percent). When we ran excursions in which we capped
contingency lengths at a year, we (unsurprisingly) saw considerable increases in the percentage
of contingency demands met, because a one-year deployment would require, at most, two unit
elements of supply per unit element of demand and would thus remove, at most, 36 unit element-
months from the available supply of forces to meet contingencies.
The United States rarely enters into military operations expecting them to go on indefinitely.
Indeed, the opposite is more typically the case. Operations become prolonged because objectives
change, because objectives turn out to be more difficult to achieve than initially anticipated, or
because of adversary actions. USAF leaders have little, if any, control over these factors. That
said, armed with this evidence that prolonged operations are a driver of capacity shortfalls,
USAF leaders can advocate for more force structure, develop alternative force presentation
models that may more efficiently use existing forces, and, perhaps, nudge National Security
Council principals and the President to be more aware of the risks and costs of prolonged
operations

Deploy-to-Dwell Constraints Are Not Responsible for Contingency Shortfalls


To mitigate the worst effects of continuous rotations over extended periods, OSD developed
policy guidance on D2D ratios. The policy establishes goals for both the active and reserve

45
components, as well as thresholds that cannot be crossed without approval by the Secretary of
Defense. Similarly, USAF policy sets 180 days as a maximum rotational deployment.
One question we considered in this analysis is whether these constraints are significant
drivers of capacity shortfalls. If they were relaxed or increased, would the capacity shortfalls
substantially improve or worsen? Our analysis (see Figure 4.3) of C3ISR/BM aircraft in the
Peace Enforcement future suggests that current policy constraints are not driving capacity
shortfalls. For example, if these constraints were substantially loosened so that active component
forces spent as much time deployed as at home (1:1 D2D ratio) and deployed for 12 months at a
time, C3ISR/BM aircraft would meet roughly 42 percent of demands, as opposed to 29 percent
of demands. This is a big percentage improvement but still leaves the majority of demands
unmet. It also would place extreme and likely unsustainable burdens on units, personnel, and
families. It is hard to imagine service or DoD leaders recommending such a policy change. More
modest (and presumably realistic) reductions in the constraints would yield equally modest
improvements in aircraft availability.
What if constraints were increased? Would that drastically reduce aircraft availability? This
might happen if ongoing analyses demonstrate that longer dwell periods are necessary to achieve
readiness and retention goals. We found that a shift to longer dwell periods (1:3 for the active
component; 1:6 for the reserve components) would worsen shortfalls for C3ISR/BM platforms
(from 29 percent of demands met to 23 percent). This is almost a 20 percent reduction, but it is
hard to assess how much it would matter, given the dismal starting point.
This assessment suggests that aircraft availability shortfalls cannot easily be corrected
through changes to D2D policies.

Recommendations
This research leads to two recommendations regarding the force planning process.
For USAF and DoD leaders and force planners:
• Supplement DoD and service force planning processes with historically based
simulations of alternative futures. DoD has well-honed processes to identify the force
capabilities and capacities necessary to accomplish U.S. national security objectives
across the spectrum of conflict. These processes are sophisticated, but also complex and
time-consuming. As one might expect, these processes focus on the highest-priority
national security objectives, particularly (1) maintaining a credible and survivable nuclear
deterrent force and (2) deterring (and, if necessary, defeating) aggression by a small
number of potential nation-state adversaries. (CT operations are also a national priority
but are not a primary consideration in developing general-purpose force structure.)
Scenario-based analysis and wargaming are used to support these force planning
processes. Some scenario-based analysis and wargaming efforts explore a wide range of
possibilities (e.g., “wild cards”), but most of these activities are deep explorations of
potential conflicts within the priority planning areas. As a result, force planning tends to
be strongest in identifying forces required for the major challenges, including the possible

46
overlap of large contingencies. The force planning process does not, however, fully
account for all the demands placed on the force during “peacetime”—the period when it
is supposed to be training and preparing to deter or prosecute wars. Of particular concern
is the impact of open-ended and prolonged contingency operations on force structure,
readiness, and retention. The historical-based simulation technique developed for this
study complements other planning techniques by quantifying the day-to-day capacity
demands placed on DoD during distinct and diverse historical periods and using these to
model alternative futures. Shortfalls in capacity can then be identified by capability class
(e.g., aircraft or ship type, light or heavy brigade) and by future. None of these prior
experiences are predictive of the future, but the alternative futures explored in this report
help quantify the unique demands that flow from changes in national strategy priorities
and, especially, the disproportionate effect of prolonged commitments.
For USAF leaders and force planners:
• Develop metrics that more clearly illustrate the force structure consequences for the
USAF of prolonged operations. Although USAF leaders have limited autonomy
regarding whether and how long to deploy forces abroad, they are key participants in
many of the decisionmaking processes. U.S. national objectives and the particulars of a
given crisis will dominate such decisions, but resource constraints and long-term
consequences deserve more visibility and consideration than current processes allow.
Insufficient consideration of long-term consequences is in part—perhaps in large part—a
product of cognitive biases and limitations associated with crisis decisionmaking
processes.1 Better metrics cannot entirely overcome these biases, but more objective,
quantitative measures of the force structure implications of prolonged operations would
help USAF leaders contribute to force deployment deliberations. Better metrics would
also help USAF leaders make the case for more force structure in interactions with DoD
leadership, Congress, the media, and the public.

Final Thoughts
Since the 1990s, when the post–Cold War force drawdown began, the U.S. military has operated
at a tempo more akin to war than peace. This was initially viewed as temporary and related to
anomalous demands (i.e., peace enforcement operations) in the Middle East and Balkans. It was
expected that these would soon pass, ushering in a period of U.S. dominance and modest defense
spending. Events have proven otherwise. A much smaller military, based primarily on U.S.
territory, has been asked to support continuous rotations abroad and fight several small wars
along the way. The demands of ongoing global CT and COIN operations are now compounded
by growing tensions with capable nation-states. The latter require new capabilities, reinvigorated
alliances, expanded forward basing, and, as important, the time and resources to train for the
unique and difficult demands of operations in anti-access, area denial environments.

1
These points are developed more fully in Alan J. Vick, Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Meagan L. Smith, Sean M. Zeigler,
Daniel Tremblay, and Phillip Johnson, Continuity and Contingency in USAF Force Planning, Santa Monica, Calif.:
RAND Corporation, RR-1471-AF, 2016, pp. 1–4 and pp. 31–32.

47
In the face of this growing gap between the demands of U.S. strategy (or at least the choices
of multiple administrations) and the resources DoD has to execute that strategy, the American
people face a choice. They can advocate for a less ambitious strategy, they can support funding
increases necessary to execute the current strategy, or they can support some combination of the
two. As the country wrestles with these choices, the costs and consequences of prolonged
military commitments need to be better understood, quantified, and integrated into programmatic
and budgetary deliberations and decisions. It is our hope that this analysis can contribute to these
deliberations by quantifying the unintended consequences of long-duration contingencies.

48
Appendix A: Air Force Future Environment Scheduling Simulation
(AF-FESS) Model Description

Introduction
The Air Force Future Environment Scheduling Simulation (AF-FESS) is a model that takes as
inputs (1) the current status of the USAF programmed force (plus possible modifications), (2)
constraints regarding maximum deployment times and D2D ratios, and (3) assumptions about the
frequencies of various types of contingencies, along with their durations and force demands.
Using these inputs, the model generates a large number of potential futures and determines how
often the programmed force (plus modifications) is able to address all future contingencies
without exceeding force availability or scheduling constraints. The model was originally
implemented in Microsoft Excel, but now only the data management for a set of runs is handled
by Excel. Simulation files are then output and used with an AF-FESS executable written in
VB.NET. This appendix will describe the inputs and outputs of the model and the underlying
logic of the scheduler. The structure of the model is shown in Figure A.1, and each model
element is described in detail below.

Figure A.1. AF-FESS Model Structure

Inputs: Programmed Force


The programmed force is composed of units of different types. For each unit type, forces will be
broken down into the smallest deployable size for that unit type, called a unit element. Typically,

49
this unit element is a squadron, but for certain classes of aircraft it was appropriate to drop to a
smaller set of aircraft. Each unit element will have the following parameters.

Unit ID: Self-explanatory, and is distinct for each unit element.

Unit Type(UType): Each element of the programmed force will be some type of unit or
mission design series (MDS). The MDS of aircraft and their categories are shown in Table A.1.
It should be noted that future aircraft types, such as the OA-X and B-21, can also be added into
the model easily.

Table A.1. Categorized List of MDS

Airlift Attack Bomber C3ISR/BM Fighter Other SOF Tanker


C-130 A-10 B-1 E-3 F-15C EC-130 AC-130 KC-10
C-17 B-2 E-8 F-15E HC-130 CV-22 KC-135

C-5 B-52 MQ-9 F-16 HH-60 MC-130

RC-135 F-22

RQ-4 F-35

U-2

DepOrDwell: The unit element’s current state at the beginning of the simulation, either
deployed or dwelling (returned from deployment).

DepTimeTot: If the unit element is currently deployed, the total length of the deployment.
This is used to set the length of the dwell time following the initial deployment upon its
completion. The time unit used in AF-FESS is flexible and can represent anything from days to
years.2 The run time of the model is inversely proportional to the size of the time unit.

DepTimeRem: If the unit element is currently deployed, the amount of time remaining in its
deployment. This parameter is used to set the time at which the unit element returns from its
initial deployment.

2
In the model runs in this appendix, we assume a time unit of length 7.5 days. So, for example, the maximum
deployment length is 24 time units (24 × 7.5 = 180 days). All contingency lengths are rounded up to the nearest time
unit. In tests comparing runs in which the time units were 1 day versus 7.5 days, the result differences were
negligible, so we chose this time unit to speed up model runs.

50
DwellTimeRem: If the unit element is currently dwelling, the amount of time until it can be
deployed again. This parameter is used to set the time at which the unit element is first available
for deployment.

MaxDeploy: The maximum time that a unit element can be deployed to a contingency. For
the model runs in this appendix, all deployments are capped at 180 days.

MaxDtoD: Maximum D2D ratio: after a deployment of T time units, a unit element cannot
deploy for another T / MaxDtoD time units. For the baseline runs in the model, a maximum 1:2
ratio was used for active component forces, while a 1:5 ratio was used for reserve component
forces.

For simplicity, the final two parameters are constant for all unit elements of a given type.

Inputs: Steady-State Demands

AF-FESS handles two types of demands: steady-state and contingency. Steady-state demands
reflect ongoing demands on the forces, such as Operation Noble Eagle, or holdouts for nuclear
alerts, theater security packages (TSP), or Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) in the Pacific Air
Forces. These are treated as fixed reductions from the available forces to apply to contingencies.
Forces assigned to handle steady-state demands cannot be reallocated to handle contingency
demands.

Inputs: Contingency Demands

Contingency Type(CType): Self-explanatory: one of show of force, no-fly zone, limited


strikes, nuclear alerts, raids, military assistance, relief/rescue/evacuation, conventional combat
with regional opponent, and stability operations. The type of contingency sets the composition of
the forces that respond to it.

Frequency(CType): How often contingencies of this CType are expected to occur. This
frequency is used in a Poisson distribution, which gives the amount of time between successive
contingencies of that type.

Duration(CType): How long contingencies of this CType are expected to last. This value can
be entered as a fixed value (representing the mean or median of already observed contingencies,
for example), or can be represented by a probabilistic distribution. In our runs, we randomly
drew durations from historical contingency lengths in each era of interest.

51
ForceReq(CType,UType): Number of each unit element of type UType required for a CType
contingency in this Region. It is assumed that units are entered into the model such that the force
demands are integer multiples of the unit element size.

Subst(UType1, UType2): Forces of certain types can be substituted to fulfill demands (e.g., F-
35s for F-15s, but not vice versa). The Subst table gives an ordered priority list of which unit
types can be used to fulfill a demand requirement.

Model Structure and Outputs

There are two main pieces to the model: (1) generating the contingencies in potential futures
and (2) scheduling forces to fulfill as many contingencies as possible. Generating futures (within
a given window of time from t = 0 to t = T) is straightforward:

1. Let n(CType) denote the time of the next contingency of type CType. Initialize all values
n(CType) = Poisson(Frequency(CType)), that is, draw a Poisson random variable for each
contingency type to note the time of the first instance of a contingency of that type.
2. Find the contingency type for which n(CType) is minimized, say CType*.
3. Add a contingency of type CType* to the future that occurs at time n(CType*) rounded to
the nearest time unit.
4. Increment n(CType*) by Poisson(Frequency(CType)) to generate the time of the next
contingency of this type.
5. Repeat Steps 2–4 until n(CType) > T for all contingency types.

This process is repeated for every potential future. For each given future, the model steps
through time, and, as demands appear in a notional future, available unit elements will be
assigned to fulfill those demands until all unit elements are assigned or all new demands are
satisfied. Additionally, if no unit elements of a particular type are available, AF-FESS will
attempt to assign unit elements of substitute unit types as allowed.
Contingencies are prioritized by start time, and contingencies with identical start times are
prioritized by a user-selected ordering of the contingency types. Additionally, once a unit
element is assigned to a contingency it cannot be reassigned, so it continues to fulfill that
demand until either the contingency is over or the unit element’s maximum deployment time is
reached. In either case, the unit element then reverts to dwelling (unable to deploy) for a period
of time depending on its deployment length and minimum D2D ratio. If a unit element reaches
its maximum deployment times but the contingency is unfinished, the model will attempt to
assign new a unit element to take its place.
The main metric to be gathered for each unit type for each future is the fraction of
contingency demands fulfilled by the available forces. These can then be aggregated into

52
distributions over all futures into the percentage of futures for which all demands are fulfilled, or
the average fraction of contingencies fulfilled, both for individual aircraft types and aircraft
categories (such as bomber and fighter).
A notional future covering 20 years (240 months) showing demands (in number of
squadrons) across all MDSs is shown in Figure A.2. The contingency frequencies were derived
from the 2001–2016 CT/COIN era, and, for simplicity, all contingencies are assumed to have
identical durations equal to the average duration for each contingency type.

Figure A.2. Notional Future from CT/COIN Era

Figure A.3 focuses on the KC-135 MDS demand in this notional future. There are 29
squadrons of KC-135s available, and 1 squadron is demanded for each no-fly zone and stability
operations contingency. Each squadron is tracked through its deployments (green) and
dwell/recovery time (in red, which is twice the length of each squadron’s deployment). Because
the maximum simultaneous KC-135 demand is 3 squadrons (as seen in the demand chart at the
bottom in tan), there are more than enough KC-135s available to fulfill all demands. In addition,
there are sufficient aircraft available to substitute in for other tanker demands (shown at the
bottom of Figure A.3 in blue).

53
Figure A.3. KC-135 Demand from Notional Future

Figure A.4 shows a partially filled demand example for the MC-130. There were 3.75
squadrons available, and a demand of one-quarter of a squadron for each relief, rescue, and
evacuation and 1 squadron for each stability operations contingency. Accordingly, each unit
element consisted of one-quarter of an MC-130 squadron. Although the maximum MC-130
demand in this future is 3.5 squadrons (14 unit elements), because of the time needed for units to
recover after deployments, there are times where not all demands can be fulfilled. In total, 58
percent of MC-130 demands were fulfilled in this notional future.

54
Figure A.4. MC-130 Demand from Notional Future

55
Appendix B: Notes on the Joint Operations Dataset, 1946–2016

The type, frequency, and duration of operational demands placed on the Air Force are key inputs
for this analysis. To provide an empirical basis for this assessment, we used a dataset of U.S.
joint operations occurring between 1946 and 2016. The dataset was created for an FY16 RAND
Project AIR FORCE study on force presentation constructs and modified for this analysis.1
This appendix describes the dataset and notes some of its limitations, both empirical and
conceptual.

Description of Modified Joint Operations Dataset


The 888 operations in this dataset represent U.S. military activities from 1946 to 2016. (See
Appendix D for a chronological listing and some basic statistics for these operations.) Defining
discrete operations is, of course, difficult, but the project has created a list that future researchers
can modify and improve should deficiencies be identified. The original dataset included
variables on operation location, region, start and end dates, participation by each military service,
and forces involved. Collecting data on many of these variables is difficult, given the spottiness
of historical records, but there is sufficient information available for description of several basic
variables, described in the next section.
The modified list of operations does differ from the original list. Operations associated with
terrorism or minesweeping or containing incomplete source information were dropped.2 The
revised dataset also omits operations that were solely ISR operations because the AF-FESS
model treats ISR operations as a steady-state demand. The modified dataset also contains some
additional operations not included in the original list, and some of the operations in the original
dataset were subdivided to better represent the actual nature of operations.
Admittedly, many operations possess characteristics of more than one operation type. The
Vietnam War, for instance, had both a COIN component in South Vietnam and an intense
conventional war component, both on the ground and in the air. This dataset codes the Vietnam
War, as mentioned earlier, as conventional combat with a regional opponent. We hope that the
transparency of our coding decisions will allow future analysts to change the coding or
classification system as they deem appropriate for future scholarly or policy purposes.

1
The database was created by RAND colleagues Stacie Pettyjohn and Meagan Smith.
2
Terrorism operations are represented in the model as a steady-state demand. Because minesweeping operations
have no direct role for the Air Force and because AF-FESS is intended to represent demands on the Air Force,
minesweeping operations are excluded from the dataset.

56
Limitations of the Modified Joint Operations Dataset
Although this dataset contains a large number of events, we are under no illusion that it captures
every operation conducted by the U.S. military during this period. Indeed, as explained
elsewhere, we deliberately excluded CT and ISR operations from the dataset. Even for the
categories that we do include, information on some operations is not publicly available; other
operations were so small that they were not documented in source materials. Furthermore,
operations often segue into others; whether they should be counted separately or as one is a
subjective choice. Finally, other researchers might classify operations differently. We do not
believe that any of these limitations biased the research.
On the other hand, one data limitation suggests that we proceed with caution in drawing
conclusions regarding trends over time. Most of the operations listed in the dataset come from
just four documents, one of which was published in 1991, a second that only covered events up
to 2003, a third that covered events up to 2007, and a fourth that was published in 2015 but was
limited to U.S. Marine Corps operations. Thus, the dataset may undercount operations after
1990, especially those occurring between 2004 and 2016. Because this last period was focused
on CT and COIN and we account for CT elsewhere, we believe that the limitation has minimal
impact on our model.3
Perhaps the largest limitation is not empirical but theoretical. One might argue that the nature
of military operations has changed in recent decades. Operations are no longer discrete and
bounded temporally and spatially. The rise of terrorism and the use of special forces has been a
key element of this change. Defining an operation is therefore no simple endeavor. Partly in
recognition of this change in the nature of military operations, we therefore created a steady-state
demand in the AF-FESS model to represent CT operations. All terrorism-related operations are
excluded from the dataset. ISR operations are similar in that they have become nearly
continuous. As a result, we also treat ISR operations as a steady-state demand. Additionally,
long-term U.S. military deployments to Europe, South Korea, Japan, and elsewhere are not
treated as operations in this dataset.

3
The four sources are Adam B. Siegel, The Use of Naval Forces in the Post-War Era: U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine
Corps Crisis Response Activity, 1946–1990, Alexandria, Va.: Center for Naval Analyses, 1991; Daniel L. Haulman,
Wings of Hope: The U.S. Air Force and Humanitarian Airlift Operations, Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and
Museums Program, 2007 edition; W. Eugene Cobble, H. H. Gaffney, and Dmitry Gorenburg, For the Record: All
U.S. Forces’ Responses to Situations, 1970–2000 (with additions covering 2000–2003), Alexandria, Va.: Center for
Naval Analyses, 2005; and Annette D. Amerman, The Marines Have Landed: Eighty Years of Marine Corps
Landings, 1935–2015, Quantico, Va.: History Division, U.S. Marine Corps, 2016.

57
Appendix C: Prolonged Joint Operations, 1946–2016

Table C.1. Joint Operations That Lasted 365 Days or Longer, 1946–2016

Length Start
Operation Operation Type
(Days) Year
China Civil War/Marines in Northern China Post-WWII
1348 Military Assistance 1946
(Operation Beleaguer)*
Greek Civil War* 412 Show of Force 1947
Security of Turkey 396 Show of Force 1947
Berlin Airlift (Operation Vittles)* 493 RRE--Long 1948
Arab-Israeli War 466 RRE--Long 1948
Taiwan Patrol Force (Korean War Formosa Straits) 10415 Show of Force 1950
Conventional Combat
Korean War* 1128 1950
with Regional Opponent
Security of Yugoslavia 962 Show of Force 1951
Operation Spray Gun* 853 RRE--Long 1951
Tachen Islands Evacuation* 398 RRE--Long 1954
Cuban Civil War 435 RRE--Long 1956
Operation Sahara/ New Tape* 1453 RRE--Long 1960
Transport equipment to Peru* 1096 RRE--Long 1961
Advisory Assistance Vietnam* 1096 Military Assistance 1961
Conventional Combat
Vietnam War* 3158 1964
with Regional Opponent
Dominican Republic/Operation Power Pack* 515 Stability Operations 1965
Fly Swatter* 2054 RRE--Long 1966
Commando Domino/F-4Cs to Taiwan* 940 Military Assistance 1972
Project Scoot* 736 RRE--Long 1973
Lebanon Civil War 367 RRE--Long 1975
Afghanistan/Iran Hostage Crisis* 472 Show of Force 1979
Iran-Iraq War Elf One* 3119 Show of Force 1980
U.S. Military Support Element Grenada* 586 Stability Operations 1983
Lebanon Peacekeeping Force 419 Stability Operations 1983
Afghan Refugees* 2679 RRE--Long 1986
Operation Earnest Will* 484 Military Assistance 1987
Reinforcements to Panama* 628 Show of Force 1988
Iraq MIO 3423 Show of Force 1990
Desert Falcon/Desert Vigilance 2206 Show of Force 1991
Operation Provide Comfort* 2101 RRE--Long 1991
Sharp Guard/Decisive Enhancement/Maritime Monitor* 1999 Show of Force 1991
Provide Comfort II* 1987 Show of Force 1991
Haitian Refugees* 1035 RRE--Long 1991
No-Fly Zone Over Southern Iraq (Operation Southern
3942 No-Fly Zone 1992
Watch)*
Operation Provide Promise* 1286 RRE--Long 1992
Provide Hope* 943 RRE--Long 1992
Operation Restore Hope/Continue Hope* 820 Stability Operations 1992
Operation Restore Hope II* 474 Stability Operations 1992
Deny Flight/Decisive Edge/Deliberate Guard/Deliberate
1923 No-Fly Zone 1993
forge*
Operation Safe Border* 1333 Stability Operations 1995
UNMIH 381 Stability Operations 1995
IFOR (Operation Joint Endeavor)* 365 Stability Operations 1995
SFOR (Operations Joint Guard, Joint Forge NATO,
2904 Stability Operations 1996
Deliberate Guard, Deliberate Forge)*
Deterrent Presence Kuwait (Operations Intrinsic Action
2378 Show of Force 1996
and Desert Spring)*
Operation Northern Watch* 2266 No-Fly Zone 1997
Joint guardian/ KFOR (Task Force Falcon)* 5401 Stability Operations 1999
War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom)* 4833 Stability Operations 2001
CJTF Horn Of Africa* 5238+ Military Assistance 2002
OEF Phillipines* 4788 Military Assistance 2002
OIF COIN* 2680 Stability Operations 2003
New Dawn* 470 Military Assistance 2010
Search for Lord's Resistance Army* 2012+ Military Assistance 2011
Operation Inherent Resolve* 1005+ Limited Strikes 2014
Freedom's Sentinel* 835+ Stability Operations 2015
+ denotes that operation is ongoing
The length of ongoing operations was calculated as of
4/15/2017
* Indicates USAF was involved

58
Appendix D: Joint Operations Chronology, 1946–2016

This appendix provides a chronological listing of the joint operations used in our analysis. For
each operation, the following characteristics are presented: operation name, location, type, start
and end dates, duration (in days), and USAF participation (yes or no).

Table D.1. Joint Operations Starting Between 1946 and 1951

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Coup in Haiti Haiti Show of Force 1/12/46 1/14/46 2 Y
Security of Turkey Turkey Show of Force 3/22/46 4/10/46 19 Y
China Civil War China Military Assistance 4/1/46 12/9/49 1348 Y
Greece, Pol. Conflict Greece Show of Force 4/10/46 4/15/46 5 N
Security of Trieste Italy Show of Force 6/3/46 8/7/46 65 Y
Security of Trieste Italy Show of Force 6/3/46 8/7/46 65 Y
Security of Trieste Italy Show of Force 6/3/46 8/7/46 65 Y
Turkish Strait Crisis Mediterranean Show of Force 8/7/46 10/26/46 80 N
Albania Albania RRE--Medium 10/1/46 11/16/46 46 N
Chilean Inauguration Chile Show of Force 11/1/46 11/7/46 6 N
Lebanon Lebanon Show of Force 12/1/46 12/5/46 4 N
Lebanon Lebanon Show of Force 12/1/46 12/5/46 4 N
Uruguayan Inauguration Uruguay Show of Force 2/22/47 3/3/47 9 Y
Greek Civil War Greece Show of Force 4/16/47 6/1/48 412 Y
Security of Turkey Turkey Show of Force 5/2/47 6/1/48 396 N
Cuban Sup, Anti-Truj. Cuba Show of Force 7/31/47 9/29/47 60 N
Egyptian Cholera Epidemic Egypt RRE--Short 9/1/47 10/1/47 30 Y
Elections in Italy Italy Show of Force 11/2/47 2/4/48 94 N
Arab-Israeli War Israel RRE--Long 1/5/48 4/15/49 466 N
Makkovik Fire Canada RRE--Short 1/31/48 1/31/48 1 Y
Security of Norway Norway Show of Force 4/29/48 5/3/48 4 N
Operation Vittles Germany RRE--Long 6/24/48 10/30/49 493 Y
Relations w/Argentina Argentina Show of Force 11/1/48 11/8/48 7 N
Panamanian Yellow Fever Outbreak Panama RRE--Short 1/16/49 1/16/49 1 Y
Ecuadoran Earthquake Ecuador RRE--Short 8/10/49 8/19/49 9 Y
Gov Change, China China Show of Force 12/9/49 1/16/50 38 N
Conventional Combat w
Korean War Korea 6/25/50 7/27/53 1128 Y
regional opponent
Taiwan Patrol Force Taiwan Show of Force 6/27/50 1/1/79 10415 N
Himalayan Earthquake India RRE--Medium 8/1/50 10/30/50 90 Y
Lebanon Lebanon Show of Force 8/14/50 8/15/50 1 N
Christmas Kidlift South Korea RRE--Short 12/20/50 12/21/50 1 Y
Security of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia Show of Force 3/15/51 11/1/53 962 N
Operation Spray Gun South Korea RRE--Long 6/1/51 10/1/53 853 Y
Indian Pestilence India RRE--Short 7/1/51 July 1951 1 Y
Costa Rican Yellow Fever Epidemic Costa Rica RRE--Short 9/7/51 9/25/51 18 Y
Po River Valley Flood Italy RRE--Short 11/1/51 11/1/51 1 Y
Camiguin Island Volcano Philippines RRE--Short 12/1/51 12/1/51 1 Y

59
Table D.2. Joint Operations Starting Between 1952 and 1955

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Lebanese Food Airlift Lebanon RRE--Short 3/1/52 3/1/52 1 Y
Operation Warm Clothes Japan RRE--Short 3/1/52 3/1/52 1 Y
Operation Ricelift Japan RRE--Short 3/27/52 3/28/52 1 Y
British Airliner Crash Mediterranean RRE--Short 7/27/52 7/27/52 1 Y
Operation Magic Carpet/Hajji Baba Lebanon and Saudi RRE--Short 8/24/52 8/29/52 5 Y
Typhoon Olive Wake Island RRE--Short 9/1/52 9/1/52 1 Y
Dutch Flood Relief (Operation
Netherlands RRE--Short 2/2/53 2/17/53 15 Y
Humanity)
Japanese Shipwreck Tori Shima RRE--Short 3/18/53 3/18/53 1 Y
Turkish Earthquake Turkey RRE--Short 3/21/53 3/22/53 1 Y
Ecuadoran Flood Ecuador RRE--Short 3/28/53 4/14/53 17 Y
Kyushu Flood Relief Japan RRE--Short 7/1/53 7/3/53 2 Y
Operation Foodlift South Korea RRE--Short 7/1/53 8/1/53 31 Y
Wakayama Flood Japan RRE--Short 7/1/53 7/1/53 1 Y
Mediterranean Airplane Crash Gulf of Sidra RRE--Short 7/22/53 7/23/53 1 Y
Ionian Isles Earthquake Relief Ionian Isles, Greece RRE--Short 8/1/53 8/17/53 16 Y
Austrian Avalanches Austria RRE--Short 1/13/54 1/16/54 3 Y
Tachen Islands Evacuation Tachen Islands RRE--Long 1/26/54 2/28/55 398 Y
Juist Island Airlift Germany RRE--Short 2/12/54 2/17/54 5 Y
Dien Bien Phu Vietnam Military Assistance 3/13/54 7/12/54 121 Y
Iraqi and Syrian Floods Iraq and Syria RRE--Short 4/2/54 4/16/54 14 Y
Casablanca Shipwreck French Morocco RRE--Short 4/3/54 4/4/54 1 Y
Thessalian Earthquake Greece RRE--Short 5/14/54 5/22/54 8 Y
Triton Island, South China
Chinese Shipwreck RRE--Short 5/16/54 5/17/54 1 Y
Sea
Honduras-Guatemala Honduras Show of Force 5/20/54 6/29/54 40 Y
Rio Grande Floods Mexico RRE--Short 6/27/54 7/1/54 4 Y
Central European Floods Germany and Austria RRE--Short 7/8/54 7/15/54 7 Y
PRC Shootdown Philippines Show of Force 7/24/54 7/30/54 6 N
Evacuation from Vietnam (Passage to
Vietnam RRE--Medium 8/1/54 6/2/55 305 Y
Freedom)
Operation Mercy India and Pakistan RRE--Short 8/1/54 9/1/54 31 Y
Algerian Earthquake Algeria RRE--Short 9/11/54 9/17/54 6 Y
Operation Salud (Honduran Flood) Honduras RRE--Short 9/29/54 10/7/54 8 Y
Honduran Elections Honduras Show of Force 10/1/54 10/12/54 11 Y
Hurricane Hazel Haiti and Bahamas RRE--Short 10/1/54 10/2/54 1 Y
Accord on Trieste Italy Show of Force 10/7/54 10/27/54 20 N
Nagoya Fire Japan RRE--Short 10/16/54 10/17/54 1 Y
Mindanao Earthquake Philippines RRE--Short 4/3/55 4/4/55 1 Y
Volos Earthquakes Greece RRE--Short 4/30/55 5/1/55 1 Y
Hiroshima Maidens Japan RRE--Short 5/5/55 5/8/55 3 Y
Shizunai Flood Japan RRE--Short 7/4/55 7/5/55 1 Y
Hokkaido Pestilence Japan RRE--Short 7/21/55 8/13/55 23 Y
Lyons Hailstorm France RRE--Short 8/31/55 9/1/55 1 Y
Indian and Pakistani Flood India and East Pakistan RRE--Short 9/1/55 9/2/55 1 Y
Tampico Flood Relief Mexico RRE--Medium 9/20/55 10/28/55 38 Y
Typhoon Louise Relief Iwo Jima RRE--Short 9/26/55 10/1/55 5 Y
Costa Rican Flood Costa Rica RRE--Short 10/15/55 10/16/55 1 Y
Magdalena River Flood Colombia RRE--Short 11/30/55 12/6/55 6 Y
Tanada Maru Shipwreck Japan RRE--Short 12/27/55 12/28/55 1 Y

60
Table D.3. Joint Operations Starting Between 1956 and 1959

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Red Sea Patrols Red Sea Show of Force 2/1/56 8/2/56 183 N
Operation Snowbound (Italian
Italy and Greece RRE--Short 2/12/56 2/19/56 7 Y
Blizzards)
Jordan Crisis Jordan Show of Force 3/1/56 5/2/56 62 N
Argentinean Polio Epidemic Argentina RRE--Short 3/6/56 3/17/56 11 Y
Operation Butterball Turkey RRE--Short 3/11/56 3/21/56 10 Y
Suez Crisis show of force Egypt Show of Force 7/26/56 10/9/56 75 Y
Iranian Floods Iran RRE--Short 8/1/56 8/2/56 1 Y
Suez War Noncombatant Evacuation Egypt and Israel RRE--Medium 10/1/56 11/7/56 37 Y
Evacuation Cuban Civil War Cuba RRE--Short 10/23/56 10/30/56 7 Y
Hungarian Refugee Supplies Central Europe RRE--Short 11/1/56 12/1/56 30 Y
Post-Suez Crisis with USSR Egypt RRE--Medium 11/6/56 12/14/56 38 N
Port Lyautey/French-Moroccan
Morocco Show of Force 11/29/56 2/7/57 70 Y
Tensions
Cuban Civil War Cuba RRE--Long 12/1/56 2/9/58 435 N
Safe Haven I and II Central Europe RRE--Medium 12/11/56 6/30/57 201 Y
Project Gohan Japan RRE--Short 12/22/56 12/23/56 1 Y
Jordan Unrest Jordan RRE--Short 4/25/57 5/4/57 9 Y
Haiti Coup Haiti Show of Force 6/14/57 7/2/57 18 N
Operation Locust Insecticide I Northwestern Africa RRE--Short 6/27/57 6/30/57 3 Y
PRC-ROC Tension Taiwan Show of Force 7/1/57 9/30/57 91 N
Kyushu Flood Japan RRE--Short 7/28/57 8/4/57 7 Y
Syrian Crisis Syria Show of Force 8/18/57 12/17/57 121 Y
Flood Relief in Valencia Spain RRE--Short 10/1/57 10/21/57 20 Y
Operation Locust Insecticide II Morocco RRE--Short 11/22/57 11/24/57 2 Y
Ceylon Flood Relief Ceylon (Sri Lanka) RRE--Short 12/1/57 1/1/58 31 N
Indonesian Uprisings Indonesia RRE--Medium 12/10/57 6/2/58 174 N
West Iranian Earthquakes Iran RRE--Short 12/19/57 12/20/57 1 Y
Venezuelan Revolution Venezuela Show of Force 1/21/58 1/23/58 2 N
Morocco Earthquake Morocco RRE--Short 4/1/58 4/2/58 1 N
Venezuela Attack Nixon Motorcade Venezuela Show of Force 5/13/58 5/16/58 3 Y
Lebanon Lebanon Show of Force 5/15/58 7/2/58 48 N
Thai Cholera Epidemic Thailand RRE--Short 6/1/58 6/2/58 1 Y
Operation Blue Bat Lebanon Show of Force 7/1/58 10/23/58 114 Y
Quemoy Taiwan Show of Force 8/1/58 10/7/58 67 Y
Hirosaki Flood Japan RRE--Short 8/11/58 8/12/58 1 Y
2nd Taiwan Strait Crisis Taiwan Show of Force 8/28/58 12/18/58 112 Y
Santa Maria Island,
Arnel Shipwreck Rescue RRE--Short 9/19/58 9/20/58 1 Y
Azores
Typhoon Ida Japan RRE--Short 9/27/58 10/4/58 7 Y
Ceylon Flood Relief Ceylon RRE--Short 12/1/58 1/1/59 31 N
Moroccan Flood Morocco RRE--Short 12/25/58 12/26/58 1 Y
Panama incursion Panama Show of Force 4/30/59 5/5/59 5 N
Guatemalan Polio Epidemic Guatemala RRE--Short 6/21/59 6/22/59 1 Y
Operation Hotfoot Laos Military Assistance 7/1/59 10/12/59 103 Y
PRC-ROC Taiwan Show of Force 7/5/59 7/11/59 6 N
Panama Panama Show of Force 8/1/59 11/2/59 93 N
Panama Panama Show of Force 8/1/59 11/2/59 93 N
Typhoon Vera Japan RRE--Medium 9/1/59 2/1/60 153 Y
Moroccan Food Poisoning Morocco RRE--Short 11/1/59 12/1/59 30 Y
French Dam Collapse France RRE--Short 12/1/59 12/2/59 1 Y

61
Table D.4. Joint Operations Starting Between 1960 and 1962

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Arequipa Earthquake Peru RRE--Short 1/15/60 1/16/60 1 Y
Agadir Earthquake Morocco RRE--Medium 3/1/60 6/23/60 114 Y
Brazilian Floods Brazil RRE--Short 3/31/60 4/30/60 30 Y
Amigos Airlift Chile RRE--Short 5/23/60 6/23/60 31 Y
Yamanashi Relief Japan RRE--Medium 6/1/60 12/1/60 183 Y
Operation Sahara/ New Tape Congo RRE--Long 7/8/60 6/30/64 1453 Y
Congolese Mercy Airlift Republic of the Congo RRE--Medium 7/15/60 10/3/60 80 Y
Hokkaido Polio Epidemic Japan RRE--Short 8/21/60 8/28/60 7 Y
Luzon Flood Philippines RRE--Short 9/1/60 9/2/60 1 Y
East Pakistan
East Pakistani Cyclone Relief RRE--Short 11/1/60 11/2/60 1 Y
(Bangladesh)
Guatemala and Nicaragua Unrest Guatemala and Show of Force 11/14/60 12/11/60 27 N
1961 Laos Crisis Laos Show of Force 1/1/61 11/1/61 304 Y
Famine relief in Congo Congo RRE--Short 1/1/61 1/2/61 1 N
Korean Orphanage Airlift South Korea RRE--Short 1/1/61 1/2/61 1 Y
Niigata Blizzard Japan RRE--Short 1/1/61 1/2/61 1 Y
Yemeni Fire Yemen RRE--Short 1/1/61 1/2/61 1 Y
SS Santa Maria Brazil RRE--Short 1/23/61 1/31/61 8 N
Bakwanga Famine Relief Republic of the Congo RRE--Short 1/26/61 2/9/61 14 Y
Evacuation in Congo/Gulf of Guinea-
Congo RRE--Medium 2/1/61 3/8/61 35 N
Congo
Jordanian Relief Jordan RRE--Short 2/4/61 2/5/61 1 Y
Benghazi Flood Libya RRE--Short 2/9/61 2/10/61 1 Y
Transport equipment to Peru Peru RRE--Long 3/1/61 3/1/64 1096 Y
Laos Laos Show of Force 3/21/61 6/14/61 85 N
SS Western Union Cuba RRE--Short 3/31/61 4/1/61 1 N
Bay of Pigs Cuba Show of Force 4/1/61 6/2/61 62 Y
Earthquake relief in Turkey Turkey RRE--Short 5/1/61 5/2/61 1 N
Trujillo Assassination Dominican Republic Show of Force 5/30/61 6/10/61 11 Y
Zanzibar Zanzibar Show of Force 6/1/61 7/2/61 31 N
Kuwait Crisis Kuwait Show of Force 7/4/61 7/8/61 4 N
Big Truck Exercise Taiwan Show of Force 8/1/61 9/30/61 60 Y
Advisory Assistance Vietnam Vietnam Military Assistance 8/5/61 8/5/64 1096 Y
Egyptian Pestilence United Arab Republic RRE--Short 8/12/61 8/14/61 2 Y
Federal Republic of
Berlin Crisis Show of Force 8/13/61 7/1/62 322 Y
Germany
Thai Flood Thailand RRE--Short 9/5/61 9/6/61 1 Y
Cambodian Flood Cambodia RRE--Short 10/4/61 10/13/61 9 Y
Elizabethville Refugee Relief Republic of the Congo RRE--Short 11/1/61 11/2/61 1 Y
Hurricane Hattie Relief British Honduras RRE--Short 11/1/61 11/14/61 13 Y
Kenyan Flood and Famine Kenya RRE--Medium 11/12/61 12/19/61 37 Y
Dominican Republic Crisis Dominican Republic Show of Force 11/18/61 12/20/61 32 N
Somali Flood Relief Somalia RRE--Medium 11/18/61 1/15/62 58 Y
South Vietnam South Vietnam Military Assistance 12/1/61 8/2/62 244 Y
Mindanao Flood Philippines RRE--Short 2/8/62 2/23/62 15 Y
North German Flood Relief Germany RRE--Short 2/18/62 2/20/62 2 Y
Guatemala Riots Guatemala Show of Force 3/1/62 4/1/62 31 N
Tanganyikan Flood Relief Tanganyika RRE--Medium 4/25/62 6/6/62 42 Y
Nam Tha Crisis Laos Show of Force 5/6/62 6/12/62 37 Y
Mideast Locust Plague Iran and Afghanistan RRE--Short 5/10/62 6/1/62 22 Y
Support for Thai Government Thailand Military Assistance 5/10/62 8/8/62 90 N
Guantanamo Harassment Cuba Show of Force 7/25/62 7/28/62 3 N
Haiti Civil Disorder Haiti Show of Force 8/1/62 8/15/62 14 N
Taiwanese Cholera Epidemic Taiwan RRE--Short 8/8/62 8/15/62 7 Y
Colombian Flood and Famine Colombia RRE--Short 8/20/62 9/15/62 26 Y
Yemen Revolution Yemen Show of Force 9/1/62 4/15/63 226 N
Operation IDA Iran RRE--Medium 9/3/62 11/12/62 70 Y
Congolese Food Airlift Congo RRE--Short 10/11/62 10/12/62 1 Y
Cuban Missile Crisis Cuba Nuclear Alert 10/14/62 11/21/62 38 Y
Marcus Island Typhoon Pacific Ocean RRE--Short 10/15/62 10/16/62 1 Y
Typhoon Karen Relief Guam RRE--Short 11/1/62 11/30/62 29 Y
Operation Long Skip India Military Assistance 11/2/62 8/31/63 302 Y

62
Table D.5. Joint Operations Starting Between 1963 and 1964

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Moroccan Flood (Clear Lens) Morocco RRE--Short 1/9/63 1/15/63 6 Y
Honduran Medical Lift Honduras RRE--Short 1/26/63 1/27/63 1 Y
Japanese Blizzard Japan RRE--Short 2/3/63 2/4/63 1 Y
Indonesian Flood Indonesia RRE--Short 2/7/63 2/17/63 10 Y
Cheju Do Island Relief Cheju Do Island RRE--Short 2/8/63 2/9/63 1 Y
SS Anzoatequi Dominican Republic Show of Force 2/12/63 2/21/63 9 N
Spanish Flood Spain RRE--Short 2/17/63 2/18/63 1 Y
Libyan Earthquake Libya RRE--Short 2/21/63 2/28/63 7 Y
Turkish Flood Turkey RRE--Short 2/23/63 2/24/63 1 Y
Santa Maria Island,
Santa Maria Island Food Drop RRE--Short 3/15/63 3/16/63 1 Y
Azores
Indonesian Food Airlift Indonesia RRE--Short 4/1/63 4/2/63 1 Y
Laos Laos Show of Force 4/1/63 5/6/63 35 N
Operation Lifeline Republic of Vietnam RRE--Medium 4/1/63 9/1/63 153 Y
Haitian Unrest Haiti RRE--Medium 4/26/63 6/3/63 38 N
Saigon Fire Republic of Vietnam RRE--Medium 5/1/63 7/1/63 61 Y
Alazan Famine Mexico RRE--Short 5/3/63 5/4/63 1 Y
Laotian Medical Airlift Laos RRE--Short 7/1/63 7/2/63 1 Y
Blue Boy (Yugoslavian Earthquake) Yugoslavia RRE--Short 7/27/63 8/8/63 12 Y
Haiti Civil War Haiti Show of Force 8/6/63 8/23/63 17 N
Midori Maru Disaster Ryukyu Islands RRE--Short 8/17/63 8/20/63 3 Y
Vietnam Civil Disorder Vietnam Show of Force 8/25/63 11/26/63 93 N
Locust Infestation Thailand RRE--Short 8/31/63 9/16/63 16 Y
Parana Fires Brazil RRE--Short 9/10/63 9/12/63 2 Y
PRC-ROC Taiwan Show of Force 9/20/63 9/26/63 6 N
Typhoon Gloria Taiwan RRE--Medium 9/20/63 10/24/63 34 Y
Korean Cholera South Korea RRE--Short 9/28/63 9/29/63 1 Y
Haiti Floods Haiti RRE--Short 10/1/63 10/2/63 1 N
Indonesia-Malaysia Singapore Show of Force 10/1/63 12/18/63 78 N
Hurricane Flora Trinidad and Tobago RRE--Short 10/9/63 10/10/63 1 Y
Lakonia Rescue Atlantic Ocean, Portugal RRE--Short 12/23/63 12/24/63 1 Y
Operation Kunsan South Korea RRE--Short 1/1/64 1/2/64 1 Y
Panama Panama Show of Force 1/1/64 4/11/64 101 Y
Thai Medical Airlift Thailand RRE--Short 1/1/64 1/2/64 1 Y
Costa Rican Volcano Costa Rica RRE--Short 1/2/64 1/9/64 7 Y
Costa Rican Volcano Costa Rica RRE--Short 1/2/64 1/9/64 7 Y
Zanzibar Coup Zanzibar RRE--Short 1/12/64 1/14/64 2 Y
Carib. Surveillance Caribbean Islands Show of Force 1/15/64 4/16/64 92 N
Vietnamese Cholera Epidemic Republic of Vietnam RRE--Short 1/19/64 2/6/64 18 Y
Tanganyika Tanganyika RRE--Short 1/20/64 1/27/64 7 N
Cyprus Cyprus Show of Force 1/22/64 10/17/64 269 N
Bahia Flood Brazil RRE--Short 1/23/64 2/4/64 12 Y
Nicaraguan Medical Lift Nicaragua RRE--Short 2/12/64 2/13/64 1 Y
São Jorge Earthquakes Azores RRE--Medium 3/19/64 8/3/64 137 Y
Brazil Brazil Show of Force 3/31/64 4/4/64 4 N
Cyprus Peacekeepers Cyprus Military Assistance 4/3/64 6/13/64 71 Y
Panamanian Forest Fires Panama RRE--Short 4/4/64 4/5/64 1 Y
Laos Laos Limited strikes 4/21/64 6/2/64 42 Y
Guantanamo Harassment Cuba Show of Force 5/1/64 5/8/64 7 Y
Bolivian Epidemic Bolivia RRE--Short 6/1/64 7/1/64 30 Y
Niigata Earthquake Japan RRE--Short 6/16/64 6/19/64 3 Y
Pakistani Flood Pakistan RRE--Short 6/26/64 7/24/64 28 Y
Conventional Combat w
Vietnam War Vietnam 8/5/64 3/29/73 3158 Y
regional opponent
Hurricane Cleo West Indies RRE--Short 8/26/64 8/27/64 1 Y
Bocas del Toro Storm Response Panama RRE--Short 9/14/64 9/15/64 1 Y
Yugoslavian Flood Yugoslavia RRE--Short 10/29/64 11/14/64 16 Y
South Vietnamese Flood Republic of Vietnam RRE--Medium 11/11/64 1/1/65 51 Y
Operation Dragon Rouge DRC RRE--Short 11/19/64 12/2/64 13 Y
Tunisian Bridge Collapse Tunisia RRE--Short 11/25/64 11/29/64 4 Y
Operation Warmth South Korea RRE--Short 12/1/64 12/2/64 1 Y
Hospital Ship Hope Guinea RRE--Short 12/3/64 12/4/64 1 Y
Somalian Famine Relief Somalia RRE--Short 12/31/64 1/13/65 13 Y

63
Table D.6. Joint Operations Starting Between 1965 and 1967

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Venezuela-Colombia Caribbean Islands Show of Force 1/1/65 4/2/65 91 N
Tunisian Flood Tunisia RRE--Short 1/7/65 1/8/65 1 Y
Tunisian Flood Tunisia RRE--Short 1/7/65 1/8/65 1 Y
Tanzania Tanzania RRE--Short 1/17/65 1/18/65 1 N
Dependent Evacuation Republic of Vietnam RRE--Short 2/9/65 3/9/65 28 Y
Airlift for Danish UN Peacekeepers Cyprus Military Assistance 3/30/65 5/23/65 54 Y
British Guiana Guiana RRE--Short 4/1/65 4/12/65 11 N
Operation Barrel Bottom Dominican Republic RRE--Medium 4/1/65 5/31/65 60 N
Central Chilean Earthquake Chile RRE--Short 4/2/65 4/13/65 11 Y
Operation Power Pack Dominican Republic Stability Operations 4/24/65 9/21/66 515 Y
El Salvadoran Earthquake El Salvador RRE--Short 5/5/65 5/13/65 8 Y
Muroran Ship Fire Japan RRE--Short 5/24/65 5/26/65 2 Y
Ryukyus Rescue Ryukyu Islands RRE--Short 5/26/65 5/27/65 1 Y
South Korean Drought South Korea RRE--Short 6/30/65 7/2/65 2 Y
Anthrax Epidemic Japan RRE--Short 8/1/65 8/2/65 1 Y
Food Airlift Republic of Vietnam RRE--Short 8/1/65 8/2/65 1 Y
Leper Airlift Okinawa, Japan, Taiwan RRE--Short 8/1/65 8/2/65 1 Y
Vietnamese Orphan Airlift Republic of Vietnam RRE--Short 8/1/65 8/2/65 1 Y
Cyprus Cyprus Show of Force 8/3/65 9/2/65 30 N
Typhoon Lucy Ryukyu Islands RRE--Short 8/26/65 8/27/65 1 Y
Italian Flood Rescue Italy RRE--Short 9/1/65 9/2/65 1 Y
Indo-Pakistani War Evacuation Pakistan RRE--Short 9/11/65 10/6/65 25 Y
Honduran Flood Honduras RRE--Short 9/28/65 9/29/65 1 Y
Taal Eruption Philippines RRE--Short 10/1/65 10/2/65 1 Y
Indonesia Indonesia Show of Force 10/2/65 10/10/65 8 Y
Project Refugee Republic of Vietnam RRE--Medium 10/19/65 11/25/65 37 Y
Operation Paraplegic Republic of Vietnam RRE--Short 11/8/65 11/9/65 1 Y
Korat Fire Thailand RRE--Short 12/12/65 12/31/65 19 Y
Moroccan Flood Morocco RRE--Short 12/30/65 12/31/65 1 Y
Misawa Fire Japan RRE--Short 1/11/66 1/12/66 1 Y
Samoan Typhoon American Samoa RRE--Short 2/1/66 2/3/66 2 Y
Ghanaian Milk Run Ghana RRE--Short 3/29/66 3/30/66 1 Y
Sudanese Cholera Threat Sudan RRE--Short 4/5/66 4/6/66 1 Y
Orphan Evacuation South Vietnam RRE--Short 5/24/66 5/25/66 1 Y
Turkish Earthquake Turkey RRE--Short 8/20/66 8/25/66 5 Y
Brisk Cargo (Chadian Famine Relief) Chad RRE--Short 8/29/66 9/21/66 23 Y
Laotian Flood Laos RRE--Short 9/1/66 9/2/66 1 Y
Hurricane Inez Dominican Republic RRE--Short 10/10/66 10/12/66 2 Y
Bold Party Mexico RRE--Short 10/14/66 10/18/66 4 Y
Fly Swatter South Vietnam RRE--Long 10/17/66 6/1/72 2054 Y
Peruvian Earthquake Peru RRE--Short 10/20/66 10/21/66 1 Y
Quibdó Fire Colombia RRE--Short 10/27/66 10/28/66 1 Y
Panamanian Flood Panama RRE--Short 11/4/66 11/6/66 2 Y
Northern Italian Floods Italy RRE--Short 11/11/66 11/12/66 1 Y
Bao Loc Milk Run South Vietnam RRE--Short 11/17/66 11/18/66 1 Y
Greek Coup Greece Show of Force 4/21/67 5/14/67 23 N
Creek Haven Libya RRE--Short 6/6/67 6/10/67 4 Y
Six Day War Sinai Border RRE--Short 6/6/67 6/12/67 6 Y
Creek Dipper Jordan RRE--Short 6/10/67 6/11/67 1 Y
Venezuelan Earthquake Venezuela RRE--Short 7/31/67 8/4/67 4 Y
Typhoon Sarah Wake Island RRE--Short 9/17/67 9/26/67 9 Y
Bonny Date Mexico RRE--Short 9/29/67 10/7/67 8 Y
DD Eilat Sinking Egypt Show of Force 10/21/67 11/2/67 12 N
Cyprus Cyprus RRE--Short 11/15/67 12/9/67 24 N
Refugee and Orphan Aid South Vietnam RRE--Short 12/1/67 12/2/67 1 Y
Pleiku Orphan Relief South Vietnam RRE--Short 12/10/67 12/11/67 1 Y

64
Table D.7. Joint Operations Starting Between 1968 and 1971

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Nicaragua, Costa Rica,
Savage Fly RRE--Medium 1/15/68 3/31/68 76 Y
Panama
Sicilian Earthquakes Italy RRE--Short 1/16/68 1/27/68 11 Y
USS Pueblo/Operation Combat Fox Korea Show of Force 1/23/68 12/23/68 335 Y
Bolivian Floods Bolivia RRE--Short 2/26/68 2/29/68 3 Y
Typhoon Jean Mariana Islands RRE--Short 4/1/68 4/2/68 1 Y
Philippine Shipwreck Philippines RRE--Short 4/10/68 4/11/68 1 Y
Ecuadoran Drought Ecuador RRE--Short 4/26/68 4/27/68 1 Y
Ethiopian Flood Ethiopia RRE--Short 5/15/68 5/17/68 2 Y
Tokachi-Oki Earthquake Japan RRE--Short 5/16/68 5/20/68 4 Y
Nigerian Civil War Nigeria RRE--Short 6/7/68 6/9/68 2 Y
Mount Arenal Eruption Costa Rica RRE--Short 7/30/68 8/1/68 2 Y
Manila Earthquake Philippines RRE--Short 8/4/68 8/12/68 8 Y
Nicaraguan Flood Nicaragua RRE--Short 8/21/68 8/26/68 5 Y
Minami Daito Airlift Okinawa RRE--Short 9/6/68 9/7/68 1 Y
Iranian Earthquake Iran RRE--Short 9/9/68 10/10/68 31 Y
Typhoon Della Ryukyu Islands RRE--Short 9/25/68 9/26/68 1 Y
Combat Locust Saudi Arabia RRE--Medium 2/27/69 4/23/69 55 Y
Search and Rescue Shot Down EC- North Korea RRE--Short 4/14/69 5/10/69 26 Y
Combat Mosquito Ecuador RRE--Short 5/14/69 5/30/69 16 Y
Curacao Civil Unrest Curacao RRE--Short 5/31/69 6/1/69 1 N
Honduran Refugees Honduras RRE--Medium 7/20/69 9/5/69 47 Y
Hurricane Francelia Guatemala RRE--Short 9/10/69 9/12/69 2 Y
Tunisian Flood Relief Tunisia RRE--Medium 9/30/69 11/4/69 35 Y
Operation Chad Chad RRE--Short 10/9/69 10/21/69 12 Y
Lebanon-Libya Ops Lebanon Show of Force 10/26/69 10/31/69 5 N
Central American Floods Panama and Costa Rica RRE--Short 1/10/70 1/11/70 1 Y
Moroccan Flooding Morocco RRE--Short 1/20/70 1/21/70 1 Y
Nigerian Relief Airlift Nigeria RRE--Short 1/27/70 2/10/70 14 Y
Trinidad mutiny Trinidad RRE--Short 4/21/70 4/28/70 7 Y
Peruvian Earthquake Peru RRE--Medium 6/1/70 7/3/70 32 Y
Jordan Hostages/PFLP Hijacking Jordan RRE--Short 6/9/70 6/18/70 9 Y
Manila Floods Philippines RRE--Short 8/30/70 9/7/70 8 Y
Typhoon Georgia Philippines RRE--Short 9/1/70 9/2/70 1 N
Black September (Jordan Crisis) Jordan Show of Force 9/2/70 11/1/70 60 Y
Fig Hill Jordan RRE--Short 9/27/70 10/28/70 31 Y
Typhoons Joan and Kate Philippines RRE--Short 10/1/70 10/27/70 26 Y
Batan Island Earthquake Philippines RRE--Short 10/8/70 10/9/70 1 Y
Genoa Flash Flood Italy RRE--Short 10/18/70 10/19/70 1 Y
Tong Lam Shipwreck Philippines RRE--Short 10/27/70 10/28/70 1 Y
Colombian Flood Colombia RRE--Short 11/16/70 11/24/70 8 Y
East Pakistan
East Pakistani Cyclone RRE--Short 11/18/70 12/16/70 28 Y
(Bangladesh)
Son Tay Raid in Vietnam Vietnam Raids 11/20/70 11/20/70 1 Y
Typhoon Patsy Philippines RRE--Short 11/21/70 11/24/70 3 Y
Costa Rican Flood Relief Costa Rica RRE--Short 12/5/70 12/15/70 10 Y
Ecuadoran Earthquake Ecuador RRE--Short 12/11/70 12/20/70 9 Y
Malaysian Floods Malaysia RRE--Short 1/7/71 1/11/71 4 Y
Bolivian Flood Bolivia RRE--Short 2/13/71 2/28/71 15 Y
Hostage Evac Uruguay RRE--Short 3/1/71 3/2/71 1 Y
Typhoon Yolling Ryukyu Islands RRE--Short 3/4/71 3/5/71 1 Y
Project Volcan Nicaragua RRE--Short 3/18/71 3/28/71 10 Y
Haiti Succession Haiti Show of Force 4/22/71 5/29/71 37 N
Bingol Earthquake Turkey RRE--Short 5/25/71 5/26/71 1 Y
Bonny Jack India RRE--Short 6/17/71 7/17/71 30 Y
Chilean Double Disaster Chile RRE--Short 7/1/71 7/21/71 20 Y
Mexican Flash Flood Mexico RRE--Short 7/1/71 7/2/71 1 Y
Chadian Cholera Epidemic Chad RRE--Short 7/7/71 7/11/71 4 Y
Hurricane Edith Republic of Nicaragua RRE--Short 9/12/71 9/17/71 5 Y
Tropical Storm Fern Mexico RRE--Short 9/15/71 9/16/71 1 Y
Kee Lung Shipwreck Philippines RRE--Short 10/7/71 10/8/71 1 Y
Scarborough Shoal Shipwrecks South China Sea RRE--Short 11/30/71 12/1/71 1 Y
Yakal Shipwreck Pacific Ocean RRE--Short 11/30/71 12/2/71 2 Y
Indo-Pakistani War Bangladesh RRE--Short 12/10/71 1/9/72 30 N
Bahama Lines Bahamas/Cuba Show of Force 12/15/71 2/5/72 52 N

65
Table D.8. Joint Operations Starting Between 1972 and 1975

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Peruvian Floods and Earthquake Peru RRE--Short 3/25/72 4/3/72 9 Y
Pleiku Evacuation South Vietnam RRE--Short 4/1/72 4/30/72 29 Y
Typhoon Relief in Luzon Philippines RRE--Short 7/1/72 7/2/72 1 N
Operation Saklolo Philippines RRE--Short 7/21/72 8/15/72 25 Y
Typhoon Celeste Johnston Island RRE--Short 8/17/72 8/29/72 12 Y
Han River Flood South Korea RRE--Short 8/19/72 8/20/72 1 Y
Commando Domino/F-4Cs to Taiwan Taiwan Military Assistance 11/1/72 5/30/75 940 Y
Managua Earthquake Nicaragua RRE--Medium 12/23/72 1/30/73 38 Y
Icelandic Volcano Iceland RRE--Medium 1/23/73 3/27/73 63 Y
Operation Homecoming Vietnam RRE--Short 2/12/73 2/28/73 16 Y
Sudan Hostage Crisis Sudan RRE--Short 3/1/73 3/2/73 1 Y
Eagle Pull Alert Cambodia RRE--Medium 4/1/73 5/31/73 60 N
Lebanon Stability Operation Lebanon Stability Operations 4/1/73 4/2/73 1 N
Nicaraguan Medfly Nicaragua RRE--Medium 4/2/73 5/19/73 47 Y
Project Scoot Cambodia RRE--Long 4/11/73 4/17/75 736 Y
Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Short 5/3/73 5/10/73 7 N
Mali, Chad and
Authentic Assistance RRE--Medium 5/15/73 11/10/73 179 Y
Mauritania
Guatemalan Flood Guatemala RRE--Short 6/29/73 6/30/73 1 Y
Panamanian Encephalomyelitis
Panama RRE--Short 7/14/73 7/26/73 12 Y
Outbreak
Pakistani Flood Pakistan RRE--Medium 8/20/73 9/22/73 33 Y
Cambodian Rice Airlift Cambodia RRE--Medium 10/1/73 12/1/73 61 Y
Capiz Province Flood Philippines RRE--Short 10/1/73 10/2/73 1 Y
Yom Kippur War Show of Force Israel Nuclear Alert 10/6/73 11/17/73 42 Y
Colombian Flood Colombia RRE--Short 10/12/73 10/20/73 8 Y
Resupply of Israel Operation Nickel
Syria/Mediterranean Military Assistance 10/14/73 11/14/73 31 Y
Grass
Middle East Force Red Sea Escort Red Sea/Yemen Show of Force 10/24/73 11/15/73 22 N
Night Reach Sinai Military Assistance 11/2/73 12/30/73 58 Y
Western Panamanian Flood Panama RRE--Short 11/19/73 11/21/73 2 Y
Tunisian Flood Relief Tunisia RRE--Short 12/1/73 12/2/73 1 N
Australian Flood Australia RRE--Short 2/1/74 3/1/74 28 Y
Bolivian Flood Bolivia RRE--Short 2/9/74 2/10/74 1 Y
Mali, Mauritania, and
King Grain RRE--Medium 6/13/74 10/21/74 130 Y
Chad
Response to Cyprus Crisis Cyprus RRE--Medium 7/1/74 8/23/74 53 N
Chilean Flood Chile RRE--Short 7/3/74 7/6/74 3 Y
Colombian Mud Slides Colombia RRE--Short 7/10/74 7/31/74 21 Y
Bangladeshi Flood and Famine Bangladesh RRE--Medium 8/1/74 12/1/74 122 Y
Typhoon Nadine Relief Philippines RRE--Short 8/1/74 8/2/74 1 N
Cypriot Refugees Cyprus RRE--Short 8/7/74 9/1/74 25 Y
Burmese Flood Burma RRE--Short 8/26/74 8/27/74 1 Y
Hurricane Fifi Honduras RRE--Short 9/19/74 10/15/74 26 Y
Cyclone Tracy Australia RRE--Short 12/26/74 1/3/75 8 Y
Thai Flood Thailand RRE--Short 1/12/75 1/27/75 15 Y
Singaporean Oil Spill Strait of Malacca RRE--Short 1/14/75 1/16/75 2 Y
Cyprus Unrest/ Show of Force Cyprus Show of Force 1/18/75 1/22/75 4 N
Eagle Pull, Cambodia Cambodia RRE--Medium 2/1/75 4/12/75 70 Y
Ethiopia Civil War Ethiopia RRE--Short 2/3/75 2/7/75 4 N
Mauritian Cyclone Western Indian Ocean RRE--Short 2/13/75 2/14/75 1 Y
South Vietnam, Thailand,
Frequent Wind/Vietnamese Evacuation Philippines, Guam, and RRE--Medium 4/4/75 9/16/75 165 Y
Wake
Mayaguez Rescue Cambodia RRE--Short 5/12/75 5/15/75 3 Y
Dengue Vector Control Guam RRE--Short 5/13/75 6/1/75 19 Y
Recife Flood Brazil RRE--Short 7/26/75 7/29/75 3 Y
Lebanon Civil War Lebanon RRE--Long 8/1/75 8/2/76 367 N
Romanian Flood Romania RRE--Short 8/7/75 8/8/75 1 Y
Angolan War of Independence
Angola RRE--Medium 9/7/75 11/3/75 57 Y
Evacuation

66
Table D.9. Joint Operations Starting Between 1976 and 1979

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Jamaican Unrest Jamaica RRE--Short 1/1/76 1/2/76 1 Y
Soviet Support for Polisario Rebels Morocco Show of Force 1/5/76 1/23/76 18 Y
Kingston Homeless Jamaica RRE--Short 1/26/76 1/27/76 1 Y
Operation Earthquake Guatemala RRE--Medium 2/4/76 6/30/76 147 Y
Italian Earthquake Italy RRE--Short 5/11/76 5/13/76 2 Y
Typhoon Pamela Guam RRE--Short 5/23/76 6/9/76 17 Y
Typhoon Olga Philippines RRE--Short 5/26/76 5/31/76 5 Y
Ontario Forest Fire Canada RRE--Short 6/1/76 6/2/76 1 Y
Lebanon Evacuation Lebanon RRE--Medium 6/20/76 7/27/76 37 Y
Kenya-Uganda Post Entebbe Raid Mombassa, Kenya;
Show of Force 7/8/76 7/28/76 20 Y
Tension Uganda
Balinese Earthquake Indonesia RRE--Short 7/21/76 7/26/76 5 Y
Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Short 7/27/76 7/28/76 1 N
Libya-Tunisia Libya, Tunisia Show of Force 7/27/76 8/21/76 25 N
Paul Bunyan South Korea Show of Force 8/18/76 9/9/76 22 Y
Bolivian Airplane Crash Bolivia RRE--Short 10/15/76 10/21/76 6 Y
Turkish Earthquake Turkey RRE--Medium 11/26/76 1/22/77 57 Y
Uganda Uganda Show of Force 2/25/77 3/3/77 6 N
Romanian Earthquake Romania RRE--Short 3/7/77 3/8/77 1 Y
Tenerife Airliner Disaster Canary Islands RRE--Short 3/27/77 3/30/77 3 Y
Ethiopia Evacuation Ethiopia RRE--Short 4/23/77 4/29/77 6 Y
Djibouti Relief Djibouti RRE--Short 10/14/77 10/15/77 1 Y
Eniwetok Evacuation Marshall Islands RRE--Short 12/26/77 12/29/77 3 Y
Ogaden War Somalia Show of Force 2/1/78 3/23/78 50 N
Zaire I and Zaire II/Shaba II Zaire Military Assistance 5/16/78 6/16/78 31 Y
Sea of Okhotsk/Sea of Japan Sea of Japan Show of Force 6/15/78 6/25/78 10 N
Afghanistan Unrest Afghanistan Show of Force 7/1/78 8/1/78 31 N
Airlift UN Mission to Namibia Namibia Military Assistance 8/1/78 8/8/78 7 Y
Sudanese Flood Sudan RRE--Short 8/2/78 8/16/78 14 Y
Hurricane Greta Honduras and Belize RRE--Short 9/24/78 10/5/78 11 Y
Costa Rican Flood Costa Rica RRE--Short 10/23/78 10/24/78 1 Y
Guyanese Disaster Guyana RRE--Medium 11/19/78 12/22/78 33 Y
Sri Lankan Cyclone Sri Lanka RRE--Short 11/27/78 11/29/78 2 Y
Iranian Revolution Iran RRE--Medium 12/6/78 3/2/79 86 Y
Operation Prize Eagle Saudi Arabia Show of Force 1/1/79 1/30/79 29 Y
Tropical Storm Alice Marshall Islands RRE--Short 1/1/79 1/2/79 1 Y
PRC Invasion of Vietnam South China Sea Show of Force 2/25/79 3/15/79 18 Y
Operation Flying Star Saudi Arabia Show of Force 3/1/79 6/6/79 97 Y
Yemen Conflict Yemen Show of Force 3/6/79 6/7/79 93 Y
Ta Lai Shipwreck Yellow Sea RRE--Short 3/30/79 3/31/79 1 Y
Typhoon Meli Fiji RRE--Short 4/3/79 4/6/79 3 Y
Zairean Famine Zaire RRE--Short 4/9/79 4/12/79 3 Y
Saint Vincent Volcano Saint Vincent RRE--Short 4/14/79 4/22/79 8 Y
Liberian Riots Liberia RRE--Short 4/18/79 4/19/79 1 Y
Yugoslavian Earthquake Yugoslavia RRE--Short 4/18/79 4/20/79 2 Y
Strait of Hormuz Patrol Persian Gulf Show of Force 6/9/79 6/28/79 19 N
Nicaraguan Evacuation Nicaragua RRE--Medium 7/1/79 8/31/79 61 Y
Zaire airlift Zaire Military Assistance 8/8/79 8/17/79 9 Y
Dominica, Hispaniola,
Jamaica, Barbados,
Caribbean Storms RRE--Medium 8/31/79 11/21/79 82 Y
Martinique, Guadeloupe,
and Puerto Rico
Soviet Troops in Cuba Cuba Show of Force 10/2/79 11/17/79 46 Y
Afghanistan/Iran Hostage Crisis Iran Show of Force 10/9/79 1/23/81 472 Y
Park-Chung Hee Assassination South Korea Show of Force 10/26/79 12/26/79 61 Y
Bolivian Civil Unrest and Evacuation Bolivia RRE--Short 11/7/79 11/8/79 1 Y
Panamanian Flood Panama RRE--Short 11/15/79 11/17/79 2 Y
Project Valentine Assist Marshall Islands RRE--Short 12/2/79 12/28/79 26 Y
Cambodian Famine Relief Singapore RRE--Short 12/3/79 12/9/79 6 Y
Colombian Earthquake Colombia RRE--Short 12/14/79 12/17/79 3 Y
Nicaraguan Flood Nicaragua RRE--Medium 12/16/79 3/12/80 87 Y
Belizean Flood Belize RRE--Short 12/19/79 12/20/79 1 Y
Zimbabwe Ceasefire/Election
Zimbabwe Stability Operations 12/19/79 12/27/79 8 Y
Monitoring

67

Table

D.10. Joint Operations Starting Between 1980 and 1982

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Azores Earthquake Terceira Island, Azores RRE--Short 1/2/80 1/4/80 2 Y
Cyclone Claudette Mauritius RRE--Short 1/10/80 1/11/80 1 Y
Soviet Intercept Philippines Show of Force 2/25/80 2/28/80 3 Y
Airlift UN Peacekeepers From Zimbabwe Military Assistance 3/5/80 3/7/80 2 Y
Operation Eagle Claw Iran Raids 4/15/80 4/24/80 9 Y
Post Kwangju Korean Unrest/Korean
South Korea Show of Force 5/25/80 6/28/80 34 Y
Air
Hurricane Allen Haiti and Saint Lucia RRE--Short 8/7/80 8/16/80 9 Y
Saudi Arabia, Persian
Iran-Iraq War Elf One Show of Force 9/30/80 4/15/89 3119 Y
Gulf; Indian Ocean; Iraq
Algerian Earthquake Relief Algeria RRE--Short 10/1/80 10/23/80 22 Y
Coco River Flood Nicaragua RRE--Short 10/20/80 10/23/80 3 Y
Italian Earthquake Italy RRE--Short 11/26/80 12/2/80 6 Y
Polish Solidarity Crisis (Operation Poland and West
Show of Force 12/9/80 5/1/81 143 Y
Creek Sentry) Germany
Airlift Military Supplies to El Salvador El Salvador Military Assistance 1/1/81 1/2/81 1 Y
Iranian hostages Algeria RRE--Short 1/20/81 1/25/81 5 Y
Morocco show of force Morocco Show of Force 1/29/81 2/8/81 10 Y
Greek Earthquakes Greece RRE--Short 3/6/81 3/7/81 1 Y
Liberia Deployment Liberia Show of Force 4/1/81 5/10/81 39 Y
Tito dies, Yugoslav unrest FRY Show of Force 4/5/81 4/11/81 6 N
Egypt request Egypt Show of Force 5/1/81 5/2/81 1 Y
Syrian-Israeli Bekaa Crisis Syria Show of Force 5/3/81 9/15/81 135 N
Peruvian Earthquake Peru RRE--Short 7/14/81 7/15/81 1 Y
Gulf of Sidra FONOPs Libya Show of Force 8/1/81 8/21/81 20 N
Gambian Unrest and Evacuation Gambia RRE--Short 8/8/81 8/9/81 1 Y
Philippine Shipwreck Calayan Island RRE--Short 9/22/81 9/23/81 1 Y
Elf Sentry 1 Egypt Show of Force 10/6/81 10/31/81 25 Y
Sadat Assassination Sudan RRE--Short 10/7/81 10/31/81 24 Y
Rebel shipments to El Salvador El Salvador and Show of Force 10/16/81 12/2/81 47 N
Chad Civil War Chad Military Assistance 11/16/81 6/7/82 203 Y
DPRK Mobilization Crisis Korea Show of Force 12/1/81 12/2/81 1 Y
Elf Sentry 2 Egypt Show of Force 3/19/82 12/31/82 287 Y
Project ELSA/Resupply El Salvador El Salvador Military Assistance 3/31/82 5/31/82 61 Y
Peace Rapid/Falklands War Argentina Military Assistance 5/1/82 6/1/82 31 Y
Panamanian Bridge Collapse Panama RRE--Short 5/21/82 5/26/82 5 Y
Lebanon Evacuation Lebanon RRE--Short 6/1/82 6/2/82 1 Y
Israeli invasion of Lebanon Israel RRE--Medium 6/8/82 7/23/82 45 N
Resupply El Salvador El Salvador Military Assistance 6/21/82 8/1/82 41 Y
Chad Withdrawal Chad Military Assistance 6/23/82 7/2/82 9 Y
Somalia Somalia Military Assistance 7/2/82 8/30/82 59 Y
Chadian Flood Airlift Chad RRE--Short 7/6/82 7/14/82 8 Y
Evacuation of PLO from Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Medium 8/1/82 9/9/82 39 N
Sinai Peacekeeping Operation Egypt Military Assistance 8/6/82 9/5/82 30 Y
Lebanese Refugee Relief Lebanon RRE--Short 8/23/82 8/24/82 1 Y
Multinational Force in Lebanon Lebanon Stability Operations 9/22/82 2/11/83 142 N
Southern Arabian
Yemeni Earthquake RRE--Short 12/17/82 12/26/82 9 Y
peninsula

68
Table D.11. Joint

Operations

Starting Between 1983 and 1985

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Nigerian Fire Nigeria RRE--Short 2/1/83 2/2/83 1 Y
Libya threatens Sudan Libya Show of Force 2/14/83 2/28/83 14 Y
Lebaonon Peacekeeping Force Israel Stability Operations 2/15/83 4/9/84 419 N
Burmese invasion/Airlift Supplies to
Thailand Military Assistance 4/1/83 4/2/83 1 Y
Thailand
Popayan Earthquake Colombia RRE--Short 4/1/83 4/8/83 7 Y
US embassy bombing Lebanon RRE--Short 4/18/83 4/19/83 1 Y
Operation Bat Caribbean Military Assistance 5/1/83 5/2/83 1 Y
Turks Bahamas Military Assistance 5/1/83 5/2/83 1 Y
Honduras-Nicaragua Honduras Show of Force 6/14/83 10/23/83 131 N
Peruvian Flood Peru RRE--Short 6/26/83 7/1/83 5 Y
Ecuadoran Flood Ecuador RRE--Short 7/24/83 8/10/83 17 Y
Assistance to Chad and Sudan Chad and Sudan Military Assistance 7/25/83 12/31/83 159 Y
KAL Flight 007 Sea of Japan Show of Force 9/1/83 11/6/83 66 Y
Airlift to Support Lebanese
Lebanon Military Assistance 9/3/83 9/25/83 22 Y
Peacekeepers
Airlift Supplies to El Salvador El Salvador Military Assistance 10/1/83 10/2/83 1 Y
Urgent Fury Grenada Stability Operations 10/1/83 12/14/83 74 Y
Iran-Iraq War Iran/Iraq Show of Force 10/8/83 1/8/84 92 N
Korea-Burma North Korea Show of Force 10/11/83 10/14/83 3 Y
Beirut Bombing medevac Lebanon RRE--Medium 10/23/83 12/9/83 47 Y
Turkish Earthquake Turkey RRE--Short 11/1/83 11/5/83 4 Y
U.S. Military Support Element Grenada Grenada Stability Operations 11/3/83 6/11/85 586 Y
Antiaircraft Fire Syria Syria/Lebanon Limited strikes 12/3/83 1/9/84 37 N
Withdrawal of US Forces from Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Medium 2/21/84 4/26/84 65 Y
Tense Elections in El Salvador El Salvador/Nicaragua Show of Force 3/13/84 12/2/84 264 Y
Airlift to Egypt (Operation Eagle Lift) Egypt Show of Force 3/19/84 4/9/84 21 Y
Persian Gulf Persian Gulf Show of Force 4/1/84 12/2/84 245 N
Additional Deployments to Saudi Saudi Arabia Show of Force 6/1/84 6/2/84 1 Y
Typhoon Keli Johnston Island RRE--Short 8/19/84 8/20/84 1 Y
Korean Flood South Korea RRE--Short 9/2/84 9/3/84 1 Y
Heightened Alert at US Embassy in
Lebanon Show of Force 9/21/84 11/1/84 41 Y
Beirut
Pines Hotel Fire Philippines RRE--Short 10/23/84 10/24/84 1 Y
Saudi Hijacking Arabian Sea Show of Force 11/6/84 11/7/84 1 N
Rescue of US vessel off coast of Cuba Cuba RRE--Short 11/30/84 12/1/84 1 Y
Kuwait Kuwait RRE--Short 12/11/84 12/12/84 1 Y
African Famine Relief Sudan, Niger, Mali RRE--Medium 12/22/84 3/9/85 77 Y
Typhoon Eric Fiji RRE--Short 1/19/85 1/21/85 2 Y
Sung Bock Oh Sinking Yellow Sea RRE--Short 1/28/85 1/29/85 1 Y
Mozambican Relief Mozambique RRE--Short 2/1/85 2/2/85 1 Y
Argentinean Earthquake Argentina RRE--Short 2/3/85 2/4/85 1 Y
Embassy Evacuation in Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Medium 3/1/85 4/2/85 32 Y
Chilean Earthquake Chile RRE--Short 3/15/85 3/18/85 3 Y
Bahamas/Caribbean Drug Interdiction Bahamas Military Assistance 4/5/85 4/20/85 15 Y
Project Raft Mali RRE--Short 5/1/85 5/2/85 1 Y
Sudanese Famine Relief Sudan RRE--Short 8/12/85 8/15/85 3 Y
Persian Gulf Escorts Persian Gulf Show of Force 9/13/85 10/2/85 19 N
Mexican Earthquakes Mexico RRE--Short 9/19/85 9/30/85 11 Y
Puerto Rican Mudslides Relief Puerto Rico RRE--Short 10/9/85 10/16/85 7 Y
Marcos Faberes Shipwreck Pacific Ocean RRE--Short 10/16/85 10/17/85 1 Y
Colombian Volcano Colombia RRE--Short 11/15/85 11/28/85 13 Y
Asunción Cinco Shipwreck South China Sea RRE--Short 12/18/85 12/20/85 2 Y

69
Table D.12. Joint Operations Starting Between 1986 and 1988

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Yemen Civil War Yemen RRE--Medium 1/1/86 2/2/86 32 Y
Persian Gulf Escort Persian Gulf Show of Force 1/12/86 6/2/86 141 N
Freedom of Navigation Gulf of Sidra II Gulf of Sidra Show of Force 1/26/86 4/28/86 92 N
Afghan Refugees Pakistan RRE--Long 3/1/86 7/1/93 2679 Y
Lebanon Hostages Lebanon RRE--Short 3/1/86 3/2/86 1 N
Osan Fire South Korea RRE--Short 4/5/86 4/6/86 1 Y
El Dorado Canyon Libya Limited strikes 4/9/86 4/19/86 10 Y
Guadalcanal Typhoon Solomon Islands RRE--Short 5/1/86 5/2/86 1 Y
Jamaican Flood Jamaica RRE--Short 6/8/86 6/10/86 2 Y
Operation Blast Furnace Bolivia Military Assistance 7/1/86 11/15/86 137 Y
Syria Syria RRE--Short 7/27/86 7/28/86 1 Y
Cameroonian Lake Disaster Cameroon RRE--Short 8/27/86 8/29/86 2 Y
Pakistan Hijacking and Evacuation Pakistan RRE--Short 9/1/86 9/6/86 5 Y
Philippine Airlift Philippines RRE--Short 9/18/86 9/23/86 5 Y
Show of Force in Korea during Asian
Korea Show of Force 9/20/86 10/5/86 15 Y
Games
El Salvadoran Earthquake El Salvador RRE--Short 10/10/86 11/7/86 28 Y
Typhoon Kim Mariana Islands RRE--Short 12/7/86 12/8/86 1 Y
Persian Gulf Escorts pre Earnest Will Persian Gulf Show of Force 1/1/87 7/21/87 201 N
Hostages in Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Short 2/1/87 3/2/87 29 N
Typhoon Uma Vanuatu RRE--Short 2/13/87 2/15/87 2 Y
Ecuadoran Earthquakes Ecuador RRE--Short 3/8/87 3/13/87 5 Y
Response to Attack on USS Stark Saudi Arabia RRE--Short 5/26/87 5/27/87 1 Y
Operation Earnest Will Persian Gulf Military Assistance 7/22/87 11/17/88 484 Y
Philippines and
Typhoon Nina RRE--Short 12/5/87 1/1/88 27 Y
Federated States of
Haiti unrest Haiti Show of Force 1/1/88 1/31/88 30 Y
Jittery Prop El Salvador Show of Force 1/8/88 12/14/88 341 Y
Philippine Medical Airlift Philippines RRE--Short 1/25/88 1/28/88 3 Y
Typhoon Roy Marshall Islands RRE--Short 2/19/88 2/22/88 3 Y
Golden Pheasant Honduras Show of Force 3/17/88 3/31/88 14 Y
Issue Forth Pakistan Military Assistance 4/1/88 4/30/88 29 Y
Reinforcements to Panama Panama Show of Force 4/1/88 12/20/89 628 Y
Valiant Boom Panama Show of Force 4/5/88 4/11/88 6 Y
USS Roberts mine strike Bahrain RRE--Short 4/8/88 4/9/88 1 Y
Operation Praying Mantis Iran Limited strikes 4/18/88 4/19/88 1 Y
Sudanese Airlift Sudan RRE--Medium 6/1/88 8/1/88 61 Y
Transport UNIMOG Iran/Iraq Military Assistance 8/10/88 8/25/88 15 Y
Somalian Medical Relief Somalia RRE--Short 8/25/88 8/31/88 6 Y
São Tomé Medical Airlift Sao Tome and Principe RRE--Short 8/28/88 9/3/88 6 Y
Burma Unrest Burma Show of Force 9/1/88 10/2/88 31 N
Summer Olympics South Korea Show of Force 9/1/88 10/2/88 31 Y
Bangladeshi Flood Relief Bangladesh RRE--Short 9/10/88 9/15/88 5 Y
Hurricane Gilbert Jamaica and Haiti RRE--Medium 9/13/88 2/7/89 147 Y
Operation Strong Support Central America RRE--Short 10/1/88 11/1/88 31 Y
Hostage Release Damascus RRE--Short 10/3/88 10/4/88 1 Y
Typhoon Ruby Philippines RRE--Short 10/25/88 10/26/88 1 Y
Central African Medical Airlift Cameroon and Chad RRE--Short 11/1/88 11/2/88 1 Y
Nigerois Medical Airlift Niger RRE--Short 11/9/88 11/10/88 1 Y
Senegalese Locust Plague Northwestern Africa RRE--Medium 11/16/88 2/1/89 77 Y
Maldives Coup Maldives Show of Force 11/17/88 11/18/88 1 N
Sudanese Refugee Relief Kenya RRE--Short 12/1/88 12/2/88 1 Y
Armenian Earthquake Armenia RRE--Medium 12/9/88 2/9/89 62 Y
Selina Shipwreck Pacific Ocean RRE--Short 12/12/88 12/13/88 1 Y

70
Table D.13. Joint Operations Starting Between 1989 and 1991

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Medflag, '89 Liberia RRE--Short 1/7/89 1/20/89 13 Y
Lebanese Civil War Lebanon Show of Force 2/1/89 3/18/89 45 N
UN Airlift to Namibia/Election district Namibia, Angola Military Assistance 3/5/89 5/31/89 87 Y
The Gambia, Equatorial
Africa I RRE--Short 4/1/89 4/2/89 1 Y
Guinea, and Chad
Panama Elections/Blade Jewel Panama RRE--Medium 5/11/89 6/29/89 49 Y
China Civil Unrest China Show of Force 6/1/89 7/2/89 31 N
Soviet Rail Disaster USSR RRE--Short 6/9/89 6/11/89 2 Y
Hostages in Lebanon/Higgins Killed Lebanon RRE--Medium 7/30/89 9/2/89 34 N
Colombia transport Colombia Military Assistance 9/1/89 9/2/89 1 Y
Sierra Leone, Liberia,
Africa II RRE--Short 9/29/89 10/15/89 16 Y
Niger, Cameroon, Chad
Operation Classic Resolve Philippines Show of Force 12/1/89 12/9/89 8 Y
Operation Just Cause Panama Stability Operations 12/15/89 2/14/90 61 Y
Romanian Medical Airlift Romania RRE--Short 12/29/89 12/31/89 2 Y
Liberian War Refugees Liberia RRE--Short 2/1/90 2/2/90 1 Y
Western Samoa and
Typhoon Ofa RRE--Short 2/6/90 3/1/90 23 Y
American Samoa
Medflag Senegal ’90 Senegal RRE--Short 2/23/90 3/6/90 11 Y
Lebanon Syria Leb/Syria RRE--Short 4/1/90 4/2/90 1 Y
Operation Sharp Edge Liberia RRE--Medium 4/28/90 1/9/91 256 N
Philippine Earthquake Philippines RRE--Short 7/17/90 8/1/90 15 Y
Iraqi Pressure on Kuwait Persian Gulf Show of Force 7/24/90 8/2/90 9 N
Operations Desert Shield Persian Gulf Show of Force 8/2/90 1/16/91 167 Y
Iraq MIO Iraq Show of Force 8/17/90 12/31/99 3423 N
Jordan NEO Jordan RRE--Short 9/1/90 9/2/90 1 Y
Kuwaiti Invasion Refugees Jordan RRE--Short 9/18/90 9/28/90 10 Y
Panamanian Shipwreck Yellow Sea RRE--Short 12/1/90 12/2/90 1 Y
Operation Eastern Exit Somalia RRE--Short 1/1/91 1/11/91 10 Y
Sudan NEO Sudan RRE--Short 1/1/91 1/2/91 1 Y
Patriot Defender Israel Military Assistance 1/15/91 2/28/91 44 N
Conventional Combat w
Operation Desert Storm Iraq 1/17/91 3/1/91 43 Y
regional opponent
Sierra Leonean Airlifts Sierra Leone RRE--Medium 2/21/91 11/14/91 266 Y
Kuwaiti Reconstruction Kuwait RRE--Medium 3/1/91 7/1/91 122 Y
Romanian Relief Romania RRE--Medium 3/1/91 12/1/91 275 Y
Operation Provide Comfort Turkey/Northern Iraq RRE--Long 4/1/91 12/31/96 2101 Y
Peruvian Cholera Epidemic Peru RRE--Short 4/1/91 4/7/91 6 Y
Operation Sea Angel Bangladesh RRE--Short 5/1/91 6/1/91 31 Y
Ethiopian Drought Ethiopia RRE--Medium 6/1/91 9/1/91 92 Y
Operation Fiery Vigil Philippines RRE--Short 6/1/91 7/2/91 31 Y
Kenyan Food Airlift Kenya RRE--Short 6/25/91 6/26/91 1 Y
Albanian Relief Albania RRE--Short 7/1/91 8/1/91 31 Y
Sharp Guard Yugoslavia Show of Force 7/1/91 12/20/96 1999 Y
Chadian Relief Chad RRE--Short 7/7/91 7/8/91 1 Y
Mongolian Medical Mission Mongolia RRE--Short 7/22/91 7/23/91 1 Y
Provide Comfort II Iraq Show of Force 7/24/91 12/31/96 1987 Y
Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Medium 8/1/91 12/1/91 122 Y
Chinese Flood Relief China RRE--Short 8/6/91 8/9/91 3 Y
Desert Falcon/Desert Vigilance Saudi Arabia Show of Force 9/1/91 9/15/97 2206 N
Quick Lift Central Africa RRE--Short 9/27/91 10/3/91 6 Y
Angolan Airlift Angola RRE--Short 10/1/91 11/1/91 31 Y
Evacuation of Haiti (Operation Victor
Haiti RRE--Medium 10/2/91 11/11/91 40 Y
Squared)
Mongolian Medical Airlift Mongolia RRE--Short 10/2/91 10/3/91 1 Y
Ukrainian Relief Ukraine RRE--Short 10/23/91 10/24/91 1 Y
Arctic Crash Greenland RRE--Short 11/1/91 11/2/91 1 Y
Cuba, Jamaica, and the
Haitian Refugees RRE--Long 11/1/91 9/1/94 1035 Y
Bahamas
Tropical Storm Zelda Marshall Islands RRE--Short 12/1/91 12/2/91 1 Y
American Samoa and
Typhoon Val RRE--Short 12/1/91 1/1/92 31 Y
Western Samoa
Russia, Byelorussia, and
Soviet Shortages RRE--Short 12/17/91 12/22/91 5 Y
Armenia

71
Table D.14. Joint Operations

Starting Between 1992 and 1994

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Mongolian Medical Relief Mongolia RRE--Medium 1/20/92 9/17/92 241 Y
Promote Liberty Panama Stability Operations 2/1/92 3/1/92 29 Y
Provide Hope CIS RRE--Long 2/1/92 9/1/94 943 Y
Snow Eagle Turkey RRE--Short 2/1/92 2/2/92 1 Y
Lithuanian Relief Lithuania RRE--Short 2/6/92 2/7/92 1 Y
Turkish Earthquake Turkey RRE--Short 3/1/92 4/1/92 31 Y
Operation Hot Rock Italy RRE--Short 4/1/92 4/2/92 1 N
Uzbekistan Oil Fires Uzbekistan RRE--Short 4/1/92 4/2/92 1 Y
Sarajevo Relief Bosnia-Herzegovina RRE--Short 4/16/92 5/16/92 30 Y
Bolivian Epidemic Bolivia RRE--Short 4/21/92 4/24/92 3 Y
Operation Silver Anvil Sierra Leone RRE--Short 5/3/92 5/4/92 1 Y
Operation Provide Promise Bosnia-Herzegovina RRE--Long 7/2/92 1/9/96 1286 Y
Operation Southern Watch Iraq No-Fly Zone 8/2/92 5/19/03 3942 Y
Provide Transition Angola Stability Operations 8/12/92 10/9/92 58 Y
Provide Relief/Restore Hope I Somalia and Kenya RRE--Medium 8/14/92 12/8/92 116 Y
Lithuanian Medical Airlift Lithuania RRE--Short 8/26/92 8/29/92 3 Y
Typhoon Omar Guam RRE--Short 8/29/92 9/25/92 27 Y
Belarus Children Belarus RRE--Short 8/31/92 9/1/92 1 Y
Operation Impressive Lift I Somalia RRE--Short 9/12/92 10/2/92 20 Y
Operation Silver Compass Liberia RRE--Short 10/23/92 10/25/92 2 Y
Evacuation from Tajikistan Tajikistan RRE--Short 10/25/92 10/26/92 1 Y
Georgian Medical Relief Georgia RRE--Short 10/26/92 10/28/92 2 Y
Armenian Flour Airlift Armenia RRE--Short 11/1/92 11/11/92 10 Y
Operation Restore Hope/Continue
Somalia Stability Operations 12/1/92 3/1/95 820 Y
Hope
Pakistani Flood Pakistan RRE--Short 12/6/92 12/20/92 14 Y
Operation Restore Hope II Somalia Stability Operations 12/8/92 3/27/94 474 Y
Panamanian Orphan Relief Panama RRE--Short 12/12/92 12/13/92 1 Y
Nicaraguan Airlift Nicaragua RRE--Short 1/1/93 1/2/93 1 Y
Strikes Against Iraqi targets Iraq Limited strikes 1/13/93 1/17/93 4 Y
Provide Refuge Marshall Islands RRE--Short 2/13/93 3/9/93 24 Y
Deny Flight/Decisive Edge/Deliberate
Yugoslavia No-Fly Zone 4/12/93 7/18/98 1923 Y
Guard/Deliberate forge
ISR Ecuador Ecuador Military Assistance 4/19/93 4/24/93 5 Y
Operation Continue Hope Somalia Stability Operations 5/4/93 3/23/94 323 Y
UN Monitors to Cambodia Cambodia Military Assistance 5/17/93 5/29/93 12 Y
Bolivia Bolivia RRE--Short 5/26/93 5/30/93 4 Y
TLAM Strikes Against Iraq Iraq Limited Strikes 6/26/93 6/27/93 1 N
Operation Support Democracy Haiti Show of Force 7/1/93 8/1/93 31 N
Operation Able Sentry Macedonia Stability Operations 7/5/93 7/12/93 7 Y
Nepalese Flood Nepal RRE--Short 8/11/93 8/15/93 4 Y
Indian Earthquake India RRE--Short 10/2/93 10/4/93 2 Y
Guatemalan Airlift Guatemala RRE--Short 11/1/93 11/2/93 1 Y
Operation Distant Runner Rwanda, Burundi RRE--Short 4/1/94 4/16/94 15 Y
Indian Airlift India RRE--Short 5/1/94 5/2/94 1 Y
Liberia Liberia RRE--Short 5/1/94 5/2/94 1 Y
Yemeni Evacuation Southern Arabian penn. RRE--Short 5/7/94 5/9/94 2 Y
Burundi, Tanzania, Zaire,
Provide Assistance, Support Hope RRE--Medium 5/11/94 9/1/94 113 Y
Kenya, and Uganda
Korea Tensions N. Korea Show of Force 6/1/94 7/31/94 60 Y
Uganda/Transport UN Peacekeepers Uganda Military Assistance 6/22/94 6/30/94 8 Y
Operation Support Hope DRC RRE--Medium 7/22/94 10/1/94 71 Y
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Show of Force 8/7/94 10/23/94 77 Y
Distant Haven Surinam RRE--Medium 8/19/94 10/31/94 73 N
Uphold/Restore Democracy Haiti Stability Operations 9/8/94 4/17/95 221 Y
Operation Safe Haven Panama RRE--Medium 9/10/94 3/3/95 174 Y
Operation Vigilant Warrior Kuwait Show of Force 10/7/94 12/31/94 85 Y
Siberian Flood Russia RRE--Short 10/30/94 10/31/94 1 Y
Egyptian Flood Egypt RRE--Short 11/6/94 11/8/94 2 Y
Project Sapphire Kazakhstan RRE--Short 11/21/94 11/23/94 2 Y
Albanian Relief Albania RRE--Short 12/1/94 12/2/94 1 Y

72
Table D.15. Joint Operations Starting Between 1995 and 1997

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Operation United Shield Somalia RRE--Medium 1/7/95 3/25/95 77 Y
Earthquake at Kobe Japan RRE--Short 1/19/95 1/20/95 1 Y
Operation Safe Passage Panama RRE--Short 2/1/95 2/20/95 19 Y
Airlift UN Peacekeepers to Haiti Nepal, Haiti Military Assistance 2/3/95 2/10/95 7 Y
Operation Safe Border Ecuador, Peru Stability Operations 3/1/95 10/24/98 1333 Y
UNMIH Haiti Stability Operations 3/31/95 4/15/96 381 N
N. Korea reactor negotiations N. Korea Show of Force 4/1/95 4/30/95 29 Y
Relief supplies to Paraguay Paraguay RRE--Short 4/1/95 4/2/95 1 Y
Iceland Blizzard Iceland RRE--Short 4/3/95 4/4/95 1 Y
Ebola virus epidemic in Zaire Zaire RRE--Short 5/10/95 5/17/95 7 Y
Bosnia airstrikes Bosnia Limited strikes 5/25/95 5/26/95 1 Y
Eritrea/Ethiopia Eritrea and Ethiopia RRE--Medium 5/30/95 9/30/95 123 Y
Vladivostok Relief Operation Russia RRE--Medium 6/13/95 10/17/95 126 Y
Operation Quick Lift Bosnia Stability Operations 6/30/95 8/10/95 41 Y
Operation Prompt Return Wake Island RRE--Short 7/21/95 8/10/95 20 Y
Medical Supplies to Belarus Belarus RRE--Short 7/23/95 7/24/95 1 Y
Operation Vigilant Sentinel Iraq Show of Force 8/1/95 3/22/96 234 Y
Relief supplies to war victims in Croatia Croatia RRE--Short 8/20/95 8/21/95 1 Y
Deliberate Force/Strikes Against Bosnia Stability Operations 8/29/95 12/20/95 113 Y
Vietnam Medical Supply Airlift Vietnam RRE--Short 9/1/95 9/2/95 1 Y
Hurricane Marilyn Response Caribbean Islands RRE--Medium 9/16/95 10/31/95 45 Y
Typhoon Angela Philippines RRE--Short 10/1/95 11/1/95 31 Y
Hurricane Roxanne Response Gulf of Mexico RRE--Short 10/16/95 10/17/95 1 Y
MEDFLAG 95 Zimbabwe RRE--Short 12/1/95 12/2/95 1 Y
IFOR (Operation Joint Endeavor) FRY Stability Operations 12/21/95 12/20/96 365 Y
Costa Rica Flood Response Costa Rica RRE--Short 2/1/96 2/2/96 1 Y
Operation Sentinel Lifeguard Cuba Show of Force 2/1/96 3/1/96 29 Y
Taiwan Strait Crisis Taiwan Show of Force 3/1/96 4/17/96 47 N
Airlift to Israel Israel RRE--Short 3/5/96 3/6/96 1 Y
Operation Assured Response Liberia RRE--Medium 4/8/96 8/3/96 117 Y
Operation Quick Response Central African Republic RRE--Medium 5/1/96 6/22/96 52 Y
NAVCENT security Bahrain Show of Force 7/3/96 12/15/96 165 N
Desert Strike Iraq Limited strikes 9/3/96 9/4/96 1 Y
Evacuation of Burundi Burundi RRE--Short 9/4/96 9/5/96 1 Y
Operations Intrinsic Action and Desert
Kuwait Show of Force 9/12/96 3/18/03 2378 Y
Spring
Evacuation of Kurdish Refugees Iraq, Guam RRE--Medium 9/15/96 4/30/97 227 Y
Operation Marathon Pacific Wake Island RRE--Medium 10/10/96 11/21/96 42 Y
Operation Quick Transit II Iraq RRE--Short 10/15/96 10/22/96 7 Y
Operation Guardian Assistance Rwanda, Zaire RRE--Medium 11/14/96 12/27/96 43 Y
SFOR FRY Stability Operations 12/20/96 12/2/04 2904 Y
Humanitarian Cargo to Cancun, Mexico Mexico RRE--Short 1/1/97 1/2/97 1 Y
Operation Northern Watch Iraq No-Fly Zone 1/1/97 3/17/03 2266 Y
Airlift to Warsaw Poland RRE--Short 1/29/97 1/30/97 1 Y
Lift Peacekeepers to Liberia Liberia Military Assistance 2/18/97 3/3/97 13 Y
Operation Monitor Cuba Show of Force 2/24/97 2/25/97 1 N
Operation Guardian Retrieval Zaire RRE--Medium 3/1/97 5/1/97 61 Y
Operation Silver Wake Albania RRE--Medium 3/1/97 7/1/97 122 Y
Operation Noble Obelisk Sierra Leone RRE--Short 5/27/97 6/5/97 9 Y
Operation Firm Response Congo Brazzaville RRE--Short 6/8/97 6/18/97 10 Y
Operation Bevel Edge Cambodia RRE--Short 7/1/97 7/31/97 30 Y
Response to Cuban Flotillas Cuba RRE--Short 7/1/97 7/31/97 30 Y
Operation High Flight Namibia RRE--Short 9/15/97 9/17/97 2 Y
Italian Earthquake Relief Italy RRE--Short 9/26/97 9/27/97 1 Y
Operation Desert Thunder Iraq Show of Force 10/1/97 5/27/98 238 Y
Medical Relief for Bulgaria Bulgaria RRE--Short 10/3/97 10/4/97 1 Y
Indonesia Forest Fires Response Indonesia RRE--Medium 10/12/97 12/4/97 53 Y
Operation Silent Assurance Qatar Military Assistance 11/4/97 11/17/97 13 Y
Typhoon Linda Response Vietnam RRE--Short 11/12/97 11/13/97 1 Y
Typhoon Paka Response Guam RRE--Short 12/27/97 1/4/98 8 Y
Merchant Patriot Rescue UK RRE--Short 12/30/97 12/31/97 1 Y

73
Table D.16. Joint Operations Starting Between 1998 and 2003

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Chinese Earthquake Relief China RRE--Short 1/1/98 1/2/98 1 Y
Operation Noble Safeguard Israel Military Assistance 2/16/98 4/13/98 56 Y
Conventional combat w
Operation Allied Force Kosovo 3/24/98 6/10/98 78 Y
regional opponent
Flood and Landslide Response Ecuador RRE--Short 5/1/98 5/2/98 1 Y
Operation Bevil Incline Indonesia RRE--Short 5/15/98 5/24/98 9 N
Operation Safe Departure Eritrea RRE--Short 6/6/98 6/17/98 11 Y
Shepherd Venture Guinea-Bissau RRE--Short 6/10/98 6/17/98 7 Y
Tsunami Response Papua New Guinea RRE--Short 7/1/98 7/2/98 1 Y
Flood Relief South Korea RRE--Medium 8/1/98 9/6/98 36 Y
Operation Determined
Kenya and Tanzania RRE--Medium 8/7/98 10/18/98 72 Y
Response/Resolute Response
Flood Relief China RRE--Short 8/8/98 8/10/98 2 Y
Operation Autumn Shelter DRC RRE--Short 8/9/98 8/16/98 7 Y
Operation Silver Knight Albania RRE--Short 8/14/98 8/23/98 9 Y
Resolve Resolute Albania Show of Force 8/17/98 11/15/98 90 N
Hurricane Georges Caribbean Islands RRE--Short 9/1/98 10/1/98 30 Y
Operation Keiko Lift Iceland RRE--Short 9/9/98 9/10/98 1 Y
Operation Shadow Express Liberia RRE--Short 9/24/98 10/13/98 19 Y
Flood Relief South Korea RRE--Short 10/1/98 10/2/98 1 Y
Operation Strong Support Central America RRE--Short 10/1/98 11/1/98 31 Y
Eritrea NEO Eritrea RRE--Short 11/3/98 11/19/98 16 N
Operation Desert Viper/Desert Thunder Iraq Show of Force 11/4/98 11/19/98 15 Y
Operation Shining Presence Israel Military Assistance 12/10/98 1/6/99 27 Y
Operation Desert Fox Iraq Limited strikes 12/16/98 12/20/98 4 Y
Evacuation of Christmas Island Christmas Island RRE--Short 1/9/99 1/10/99 1 Y
Albania, Macedonia,
Operation Shining Hope RRE--Medium 4/3/99 6/1/99 59 Y
Montenegro
Joint guardian/ KFOR (TF Falcon) Kosovo Stability Operations 6/4/99 3/18/14 5401 Y
Operation Avid Response Turkey RRE--Short 8/18/99 9/10/99 23 Y
Operation Stabilise East Timor Stability Operations 9/20/99 2/28/00 161 Y
Evacuation of Antartica Antarctica RRE--Short 10/16/99 10/17/99 1 Y
Operation Balkan Calm II Kosovo RRE--Medium 10/16/99 11/18/99 33 Y
Flood Relief Vietnam RRE--Short 11/11/99 11/12/99 1 Y
Flood Relief Venezuela RRE--Short 12/1/99 1/1/00 31 Y
Earthquake Response India RRE--Short 1/31/00 2/1/00 1 Y
Operation Allied Response Mozambique RRE--Short 3/1/00 3/2/00 1 Y
Operation Fiery Relief Philippines RRE--Short 3/1/00 3/2/00 1 Y
Operation Valiant Return China RRE--Short 4/12/00 4/13/00 1 Y
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone RRE--Short 5/12/00 5/13/00 1 Y
Bold Samaritan Indonesia/East Timor RRE--Medium 8/14/00 2/13/01 183 N
Japan medevac Japan RRE--Short 8/19/00 8/20/00 1 Y
USS Cole Response Yemen RRE--Short 10/12/00 10/15/00 3 Y
Afghanistan Food Drop Afghanistan RRE--Medium 10/7/01 5/31/02 236 Y
Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan Stability Operations 10/7/01 12/31/14 4833 Y
Ivorian Civil War Ivory Coast RRE--Short 9/25/02 10/4/02 9 Y
Conventional Combat w
OIF - Invasion Iraq 3/20/03 5/2/03 43 Y
regional opponent
North Korea Nuclear Crisis North Korea Show of Force 5/1/03 11/1/03 184 N
OIF COIN Iraq Stability Operations 5/1/03 9/1/10 2680 Y
Algerian Earthquake Relief Algeria RRE--Short 5/31/03 6/5/03 5 Y
Operation Shining Express Liberia RRE--Medium 6/1/03 9/30/03 121 Y
Operation Sheltering Sky Liberia RRE--Medium 7/1/03 10/1/03 92 Y
Iranian Earthquake Relief Iran RRE--Short 12/1/03 1/1/04 31 Y

74
Table D.17. Joint Operations Starting Between 2004 and 2016

Duration USAF
Operation Name Location Type Start Date End Date
(days) Participation
Operation Secure Tomorrow Haiti Stability Operations 2/1/04 6/1/04 121 Y
Morocco Earthquake Response Morocco RRE--Short 2/28/04 2/29/04 1 Y
Typhoon Sudal Response Yap Islands RRE--Short 4/11/04 4/16/04 5 Y
Elementary School Siege Relief Russia RRE--Short 9/6/04 9/7/04 1 Y
Airlift Peacekeepers to Darfur Sudan Military Assistance 10/22/04 11/5/04 14 Y
Operation Unified Assistance Indonesia, Thailand RRE--Medium 12/31/04 2/1/05 32 Y
Sea Horse Iraq Stability Operations 7/1/05 8/1/05 31 N
Hurricane Stan Response Central America RRE--Short 10/1/05 10/2/05 1 Y
Pakistan Earthquake Response Pakistan RRE--Medium 10/9/05 12/2/05 54 Y
Leyte Mudslides Response Philippines RRE--Short 2/17/06 2/25/06 8 Y
Indonesia Earthquake Response Indonesia RRE--Short 6/1/06 6/2/06 1 Y
Evacuation from Lebanon Lebanon RRE--Medium 6/14/06 8/22/06 69 Y
Ethiopia Flood Relief Ethiopia RRE--Short 11/1/06 11/2/06 1 Y
Stennis and Eisenhower South Korea Show of Force 3/28/07 6/26/07 90 N
Operation Sea Angel II Bangladesh RRE--Short 11/19/07 12/6/07 17 N
Operation Caring Response Myanmar RRE--Short 5/1/08 5/2/08 1 N
Georgian Relief/Assured Delivery Georgia RRE--Medium 8/13/08 9/15/08 33 Y
Airlift to Darfur (Operation Nimble Star) Sudan RRE--Short 1/14/09 1/17/09 3 Y
Sumatra Earthquake Relief Indonesia RRE--Short 10/1/09 10/2/09 1 N
Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon
Philippines RRE--Short 10/1/09 10/2/09 1 N
Parma Relief
Operation Unified Response Haiti RRE--Medium 1/1/10 3/1/10 59 Y
Pakistan Floods Pakistan RRE--Medium 8/1/10 10/1/10 61 Y
New Dawn Iraq Military Assistance 9/1/10 12/15/11 470 Y
Typhoon Megi Relief Philippines RRE--Short 10/21/10 10/23/10 2 N
Operation Tomodachi Japan RRE--Medium 3/12/11 5/4/11 53 Y
Operation Odyssey Dawn Unified
Libya No-Fly Zone 3/19/11 10/23/11 218 Y
Protector
Abidjan Ivory Coast Embassy
Ivory Coast RRE--Short 4/2/11 4/3/11 1 Y
Evacuation
Uganda, South Sudan,
Search for Lord's Resistance Army Military Assistance 10/12/11 Ongoing Ongoing Y
CAR
B-2 to ROK South Korea Show of Force 3/28/13 3/29/13 1 Y
Freedom's Sentinel Afghanistan Stability Operations 1/1/15 Ongoing Ongoing Y
Operation Odyssey Lightning Libya Limited strikes 8/1/16 12/19/16 140 Y
B-1 to ROK South Korea Show of Force 9/13/16 9/14/16 1 Y

75
Appendix E: Force Packages Used in AF-FESS

This appendix provides additional information about the forces packages used in the model,
including numbers of aircraft and squadron equivalents by MDS for each class of demands.
Table E.1 displays the number of aircraft by MDS for each demand. In cases where the
historical demand used an aircraft no longer in the USAF inventory (e.g., C-141 transport
aircraft), a comparable aircraft (e.g., C-17) was substituted. See Chapter Three for additional
details regarding the historical cases and sources.
Table E.2 displays the force packages in equivalent squadrons by MDS for each class of
demand.

76
Table E.1. Force Packages in Number of Aircraft, by Class of Demand

Aircraft Relief, Small show Large show No-Fly Military Limited Raids Stability Ops Stability Ops Stability Ops Conventional Conventional Conventional Crisis Cold War
Rescue & of force of force Zone Assistance strikes (for Cold (for Peace (for Combat w Combat w Combat w Nuclear Day to Day
Evacuation War future) Enforcemen CT/COIN regional regional peer Alert Nuclear
t future) future) opponent opponent Alert
(OAF) (OIF)
A-10 12 12 12 40 60 0
AC-130 2 4 2 3 2 2 8 0
B-1 11 5 11 15
B-2 2 4 0 6 4 16 12 5
B-52 8 2 0 18 28 37 33 13
C-5 1 1 2 0 0 43
C-17 2 20 1 8 28 6 12 7 176
C-130 2 204 12 31 124 240
CV-22 8 2 8 2 8 0 13
E-3 4 8 4 1 2 1 4 19 9
E-8 4 2 1 2 7 9
EC-130 4 5 3 2 2 2 8 9
F-15C 12 0 18 42 60
F-15E 48 8 8 20 32 48 150
F-16 18 12 18 12 13 99 60 90
F-22 21 0 21 0 125
HC-130 2 2 0 0 8 7
HH-60 4 3 5 2 16 31
KC-10 5 10 5 3 9 0 5 9 24 33 51 41 12
KC-135 10 10 10 0 0 11 4 10 9 151 149 206 277 83
MC-130 2 7 2 2 3 26 0
MQ-9 4 8 4 0 0
RC-135 1 2 5 9 10
RQ-4 2 2 2 0 1 5
U-2 2 2 5 15 8
Totals 6 17 162 62 9 12 41 279 69 123 494 683 1310 364 114

77
Table E.2. Force Packages in Squadron Equivalents, by Class of Demand

78
Appendix F: MDS-Level Simulation Results

This appendix provides MDS-level model outputs for analytical excursions.

Table F.1. Percentage of Demands Met by FY17 Force When Contingencies Are Capped at 365
Days

Cold War Cold War


Peace
MDS\Future (with long regional (with short regional CT/COIN
Enforcement
conflict) conflict)

A-10 98% 100% 98% 100%


AC-130 81% 97% 58% 79%
B-1 100% 99% 99% 99%
B-2 79% 79% 71% 100%
B-52 100% 99% 99% 94%
C-130 62% 63% 100% 100%
C-17 99% 100% 100% 100%
C-5 100% 100% 100% 100%
CV-22 75% 100% 80% 93%
E-3 86% 94% 72% 93%
E-8 85% 87% 45% 80%
EC-130 89% 87% 39% 78%
F-15C 100% 100% 100% 100%
F-15E 100% 100% 100% 100%
F-16 100% 100% 99% 100%
F-22 100% 100% 100% 100%
HC-130 100% 100% 93% 100%
HH-60 100% 100% 100% 100%
KC-10 99% 99% 94% 100%
KC-135 92% 91% 80% 99%
MC-130 87% 100% 100% 100%
MQ-9 69% 100% 100% 100%
RC-135 82% 94% 91% 90%
RQ-4 85% 95% 95% 93%
U-2 67% 85% 87% 80%

79
Appendix G: Estimating a Vietnam War–Level Demand on the
USAF FY17 Force

This appendix describes how we estimate the demands of a Vietnam War–scale conflict on the
FY17 force. Many of the platforms used during the Vietnam War are no longer in the USAF
inventory, but the various classes of aircraft (e.g., attack, fighter, bomber) remain in the force.
Thus, we estimate demands using these classes of aircraft rather than individual aircraft type.
No one knows how the United States would fight a Vietnam War–like conflict in 2017. For
our comparison, we stipulate that the USAF would use the same percentage of each aircraft
class. Thus, if 5 percent of the bomber force was used in Vietnam, that is the percentage of the
FY17 force we commit. We have no reason to believe that this would be the case, but it is the
only objective way we have to assess the impact of a Vietnam War–scale conflict on the FY17
force without detailed combat modeling (i.e., refighting the war with modern weapons).
This approach gives a rough approximation of the demand but makes no attempt to account
for differences in capability between the two forces, changes in operational concepts, and other
factors. We note, however, that although the FY17 force is vastly superior on most dimensions,
the FY 1969 force did have some advantages. For example, the FY 1969 force included 302
attack aircraft, a capability particularly well suited to the demands of the ground war in South
Vietnam.
Table G.1 displays the FY 1969 USAF order of battle in Vietnam by class of aircraft, the
USAF total force by class of aircraft, and the percentage of the total force committed to the
conflict. Although the conflict placed heavy demands on some parts of the force, such as SOF,
the demands on the tanker and bomber fleets were quite small, certainly compared with modern
operations.

80
Table G.1. Vietnam War Order of Battle as a Percentage of the USAF Total Force, 1969

Total Force % of Total


Vietnam 1969 June 30 1969 Force
Attack 137 302 45%
Fighter 523 3838 14%
Bomber 39 774 5%
Airlift 262 2287 11%
Tanker 37 687 5%
C3ISR/BM 636 1093 58%
SOF 41 60 68%

Total 1675 9041


SOURCES: RAND calculations based on data from USAF, 1970; USAF, 1974.

Table G.2 displays our calculations using Vietnam War demands to estimate a similar
demand on the FY17 force. For example, 45 percent of attack aircraft were deployed to
Southeast Asia in 1969. A similar percentage of the USAF FY17 force (171 A-10s) yields 78
aircraft.

Table G.2. Vietnam War–Scale Demand on FY17 Force (by Aircraft Class)

Vietnam war
demand on total FY 17 force Modern VN war
USAF by aircraft by class of demand on FY 17
Class class (1969) aircraft force (# of ac)
Attack 0.45 171 78
Fighter 0.14 954 130
Bomber 0.05 96 5
Airlift 0.11 438 50
Tanker 0.05 318 17
C3ISR/BM 0.58 310 180
SOF 0.68 100 68
Totals 528
SOURCES: RAND calculations based on data from USAF, 1970; USAF, 1974.

The Cold War with Long Regional Conflict future uses the Vietnam War order of battle (as a
percentage of the FY17 force) for the regional conflict demand. In contrast, the Cold War with
Short Regional Conflict future uses the OIF order of battle from the 43 days of conventional
combat for its regional conflict demand. Table G.3 compares the Vietnam War and OIF
demands.

81
Table G.3. Vietnam War and OIF Demands as Percentage of USAF Total Force in 1969 and 2017

Vietnam war
demand on
total USAF by OIF demand
aircraft class as % of total
Class (1969) FY 17 force
Attack 45% 35%
Fighter 14% 15%
Bomber 5% 45%
Airlift 11% 30%
Tanker 5% 57%
C3ISR/BM 58% 23%
SOF 68% 48%

82
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89
The U.S. military has mostly operated at a high operational tempo since the end of the Cold War, and there
appears to be no significant reduction in demand on the horizon. However, the U.S. military has few analytical tools
for identifying the force requirements associated with ongoing operations, and there are no systematic efforts within
the Department of Defense to collect data on the nature of operational demands over time. This report is intended to
help address this imbalance.

Drawing on a dataset of U.S. military operations since 1946, the authors quantify historical demands placed on the
U.S. Air Force (USAF). They then use this historical evidence to estimate demands on the USAF flying force in four
possible futures: two futures in which the United States enters a new cold war with Russia or China; one in which
United States renews peace enforcement commitments like those between 1990 and 2000; and one in which U.S.
military operations are dominated by global counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, as they have been
since 2001.

The authors find that the current USAF force experiences capacity shortfalls in all four futures, and that no class
of aircraft performs well across all four futures. The analysis suggests that prolonged operations are particularly
stressing to the force, which is significant given that the average length of operations has been increasing since the
end of the Cold War. The authors also find that the identified shortfalls cannot easily be corrected through changes
to deploy-to-dwell policies and policies that set a maximum deployment length. Drawing on these findings, the
authors provide recommendations for USAF and Department of Defense leaders and force planners.

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