MOVING U.S. FORCES:
OPTIONS FOR STRATEGIC MOBILITY
 
The Congress of the United States
Congressional Budget Office
 

 
NOTES
 Unless otherwise indicated, all years referred to in this report are fiscal years.
Numbers in the text and tables of this report may not add to totals because of rounding..
 

Preface

What combination of strategic mobility forces--airlift planes, sealift ships, and sets of military equipment prepositioned abroad--best suits the needs of the United States? Since the Department of Defense (DoD) no longer plans to confront a well-armed Soviet Union in a European conflict, some people might argue that its need for mobility forces has declined. But today the Administration envisions a smaller, yet more flexible, set of forces that can counter regional aggressors anywhere in the world. For that reason, proponents say a robust system for transporting military forces over intercontinental distances is more important than ever.

This analysis, conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for the House Committee on National Security, looks at several alternatives for modernizing DoD's strategic mobility forces and compares the costs and capabilities of each option with those of the Administration's plan. In keeping with CBO's mandate to provide objective analysis, the study makes no recommendations.

Rachel Schmidt of CBO's National Security Division prepared the study under the general supervision of Cindy Williams and R. William Thomas. Shaun Black developed CBO's analytic model for sealift analysis and wrote sections of Chapter 3. Nathan Stacy wrote most of the discussion of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet in Chapter 2 and Appendix B. Jo Ann Vines, Jeannette Deshong, and Victoria Fraider of CBO's Budget Analysis Division provided the cost analysis. The author would like to thank Evan Christman, Ivan Eland, Wayne Glass, Frances Lussier, and Doug Taylor of CBO, as well as numerous employees of the Department of Defense and the military services, for their help. Philip Webre and Arlene Holen of CBO, David Kassing of RAND, and Owen Cote of Harvard University's Center for Science and International Affairs provided thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of the study. (The assistance of external participants implies no responsibility for the final product, which rests solely with CBO.)

Christian Spoor edited the manuscript, and Marlies Dunson provided editorial assistance. Judith Cromwell produced drafts of the study. Kathryn Quattrone and Jill Sands prepared the report for publication.

June E. O'Neill
Director
February 1997
 

TABLES

S-1.        The Administration's Plan for Modernizing Strategic Mobilityi
S-2.        Five Alternatives for Modernizing Strategic Mobilityi
S-3.        Comparison of the Costs and Capabilities of Alternatives for Modernizing Strategic Mobility
1.            Changes in Combat and Mobility Forces Under the Administration's Plan, 1990-1999
2.            Strategic Lift Requirements of a Hypothetical Major Regional Conflict
3.            Procurement of C-17s Under the Administration's Plan, 1997-2004
4.            Expected Delivery Schedule for LMSRs, 1996-2001
5.            Comparison of Army and Marine Corps Afloat Prepositioning
6.            The Administration's Plan for Modernizing Strategic Mobility
7.            Five Alternatives for Modernizing Strategic Mobility
8.            Total Costs Under Option I
9.            Total Costs Under Option II
10.          Total Costs Under Option III
11.          Total Costs Under Option IV
12.          Total Costs Under Option V
13.          Comparison of the Costs and Capabilities of Alternatives for Modernizing Strategic Mobility
A-1.       Approximate Lift Requirements for Army Contingency Forces
A-2.       Changes in Number of Personnel in Various Army Combat Units, 1987-1994
B-1.        Value of Air Force Passenger and Cargo Contracts Associated with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet
B-2.        Participation of Commercial Air Carriers in Military Contingencies, 1964-1996
D-1.        Comparison of Assumptions in the MRS BURU and CBO's Analysis
 

FIGURES

S-1.        The Administration's Plan to Preposition Equipment for Two Major Regional Conflicts
S-2.        Airlift Deliveries to a Conflict in the Persian Gulf, Plus Sustaining Operations in Korea, Under the Administration's
               Plan and Five Alternatives
1.            Department of Defense Spending on Mobility Forces, 1962-1997
2.            Theoretical Capacity of the Strategic Airlift Fleet Under the Administration's Plan, 1996-2007
3.            DoD's Strategic Airlift Planes
4.            Sealift Capacity Under the Administration's Plan, 1996-2001
5.            DoD's Surge Sealift Ships
6.            Arrival Times of Army Combat Forces Deployed in the Persian Gulf War
7.            Current Sites of Prepositioned Equipment
8.            Sites for Expanded Prepositioning Under the Administration's Plan
9.            Length of Time That Various Airlift and Sealift Forces Would Take to Complete Deliveries of an Armored Cavalry
               Regiment to the Persian Gulf
10.          Estimated Daily Airlift Deliveries to Two Major Regional Conflicts Versus Actual Deliveries in the Persian Gulf War
11.          Theoretical Airlift Capacity Under the Administration's Plan and Five Alternatives, 1996-2007
12.          Airlift Deliveries to a Conflict in the Persian Gulf, Plus Sustaining Operations in Korea, Under the Administration's
               Plan and Five Alternatives
13.         Airlift Deliveries of Outsize Cargo to a Korean Conflict Under the Administration's Plan and Five Alternatives
A-1.       Changes in Weight of Various Army Combat Units, 1987-1994
B-1.        Participation of Long-Range International Passenger Aircraft in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, Fiscal Years 1990-1997
B-2.        Participation of Long-Range International Cargo Aircraft in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, Fiscal Years 1990-1997 87
 

BOXES

1.            Types of Military Forces: A Summary
2.            Basic Units of Measure and Terms in Airlift Analysis
3.            Activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet
4.            Basic Units of Measure in Sealift Analysis
5.            Readiness Categories for Surge Sealift
6.            Lessons Learned About Afloat Prepositioning from Operation Vigilant Warrior


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