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Commercial Intratheater Airlift

Commercial Intratheater Airlift: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Use in U.S. Central Command

Ronald G. McGarvey
Thomas Light
Brent Thomas
Ricardo Sanchez
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 100
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  • Book Info
    Commercial Intratheater Airlift
    Book Description:

    Intratheater airlift delivers critical and time-sensitive supplies to deployed forces. Traditionally, military aircraft have provided this airlift. However, in recent years, commercial carriers provided a significant amount of airlift within U.S. Central Command. The authors examine whether the use of commercial airlift was more cost-effective than using organic U.S. Air Force aircraft for these historical movements.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8120-9
    Subjects: Technology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    Since 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) has sustained a large deployment of military personnel and equipment to the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). Much of these deployed forces’ demands for critical and time-sensitive supplies, such as blood products for transfusions or repair parts for vehicles, are delivered using intratheater airlift (ITA). By ITA, we are referring to an aircraft sortie whose origin and destination are both in the same geographic region; in this case, the USCENTCOM AOR.

    ITA within a combat theater of operation has traditionally been assumed to be provided by military aircraft. Air Force...

    (pp. 3-10)

    Excluding the specialized movements mentioned in the previous chapter (e.g., deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables), there are two broad categories of ITA in support of combat operations. General support refers to ongoing sustainment of military units, in which requests for airlift are approved and prioritized by a joint force commander. USAF C-130s typically provide such ITA, although C-17s have also provided a significant amount of general support airlift to USCENTCOM, through the Theater Direct Delivery program. Direct support refers to immediate support for U.S. Army units, which circumvents the delays associated with the joint approval and prioritization process by...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Determining Cost-Effectiveness of CITA Movements
    (pp. 11-20)

    CITA cost-effectiveness can be evaluated by contrasting the cost to perform a set of ITA movements via commercial airlift with the cost to move the same cargo using USAF aircraft.¹ This requires the determination of appropriate “cost” metrics for each option. However, it is not readily apparent how one should construct such metrics, both in the selection of which data elements to include and in the form of the model that transforms these data elements into a cost.

    For CITA, one can obtain the costs paid by the government to the commercial provider for a set of historical movements.² The...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Results
    (pp. 21-38)

    We applied the optimization models described in Chapter Three to the set of 2009 USCENTCOM ITA cargo and passenger movements to determine whether the expenditures on commercial movements were cost-effective, relative to the cost of having USAF-organic aircraft perform these movement.¹ In the model, we allowed for four different airlift options: C-130s, C-17s, TEP tenders, and IL-76 charters.

    Table 4.1 presents the total amount of intra-USCENTCOM cargo and passengers that each of these airlift options moved in 2009, computed as described in Chapter Two. This table also presents the ton-miles and passenger-miles associated with each airlift option, which we determined...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions and Potential Extensions to Research
    (pp. 39-42)

    The analysis presented in this report examines the cost-effectiveness of DoD’s use of CITA within USCENTCOM. We developed a set of models to determine the cost of obtaining ITA from commercial sources and to identify the marginal cost associated with increasing the deployed FH performed by USAF aircraft. An optimization model was then built to identify the minimum ITA cost that could be achieved given a set of airlift resources. We applied this analytic framework to the set of ITA cargo and passenger movements that were performed in USCENTCOM in 2009, and then examined the model outputs.

    Our examination of...

  14. APPENDIX A Data Merging
    (pp. 43-44)
  15. APPENDIX B Evaluation of the Theater Express Program
    (pp. 45-54)
  16. APPENDIX C Estimating the Full Marginal Costs of Utilizing C-130 Aircraft
    (pp. 55-70)
  17. APPENDIX D The Commercial Intratheater Airlift Optimization Model
    (pp. 71-80)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 81-82)