Accession Number : ADA320328

Title :   Strategic Brigade Airdrop: Past. Present. Future?

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH

Personal Author(s) : Klumpp, Richard A., Jr

PDF Url : ADA320328

Report Date : NOV 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 57

Abstract : In November of 1995, the Defense Acquisition Board completed its Milestone IIIB review of the C-17 Globemaster procurement program. The Board decided to procure 80 more C-17's, for a total of 120, and defer any procurement of the Nondevelopmental Airlift Aircraft (NDAA). One of the driving factors in this decision was the Army's requirement to maintain a capability to accomplish a strategic brigade airdrop (SBA). An SBA involves taking a brigade of airborne troops from the CONUS and deploying them directly into a combat zone several thousand miles away. (The actual distance is classified by the Defense Planning Guidance.) This research paper examines the historical roots of airborne operations, from before World War II through the Vietnam War. It then examines the airlift issues leading to the procurement of the C-17, along with the parallel evolution of the current SBA doctrine. Finally, it examines several issues in the form of questions that must be answered before the U.S. can actually expect to accomplish an SBA mission. Serious problems exist with the C-17 as an airdrop platform; the full fleet of 120 C-17's plus 50 additional C-SBA's would be required to accomplish an SBA; and there may not be many situations in the post Cold War world where the National Command Authorities would be willing to risk a fleet of $300 million airplanes. Until these issues are resolved, SBA as a mission remains very much up in the air.

Descriptors :   *BRIGADE LEVEL ORGANIZATIONS, *AIR DROP OPERATIONS, *ARMY PLANNING, *TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT, MILITARY OPERATIONS, REQUIREMENTS, WARFARE, GLOBAL, RISK, AIRBORNE, PLATFORMS, COLD WAR, EVOLUTION(GENERAL), AIRLIFT OPERATIONS, DEFENSE PLANNING, POSTWAR OPERATIONS, VIETNAM, COMBAT AREAS.

Subject Categories : Transport Aircraft
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE