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TABLE 4.3 Percent of Resupply Requirements Met by Air Deliveries (7,000-Marine Landing Force Using All Planned V-22 and CH-53 Aircraft)
Portion of Force Supported
Full MEF (FWD)
MEF (FWD) less ACE
MEF (FWD) less ACE and CE
Landing force only
NOTE: See Appendix C for data and computations. MEF (FWD), Marine expeditionary unit (forward); ACE, air combat element; CE, combat element.
SOURCE: Adapted from Appendix C, Table C.1, McAllister, Keith R. 1998. MPF 2010 Ship-to-Shore Movement and Sea based Logistics Support, Volume I: Report and Volume II: Appendices, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, Va., March, and Tables C.2 and C.3 by David Kassing, committee member.
requirements, as already suggested, probably require changes in the structure of the combat force.
If the OMFTS concept is to be implemented with large, mechanized task forces operating long distances inland, additional air transport capabilities will be needed. Several alternatives are possible: more V-22s and CH-53s; reliance on intratheater airlift; development of a new-design, ship-capable, fixed-wing STOL transport; or development of a new-design, longer-range, heavy-lift helicopter.
More V-22s and CH-53Es. More means either buying additional aircraft or committing a larger proportion of planned purchases to sustainment needs. In either case, sufficient ships for basing the aircraft would need to be factored into the equation.
Intratheater airlift. C-17 and C-130 aircraft provide the joint intratheater airlift capabilities available to naval forces. The Marines should be prepared by organizational structure and training to fully exploit these capabilities. The issue here, however, is the extent to which naval expeditionary warfare doctrine and capabilities should depend on joint capabilities. Furthermore, if support of large forces well inland requires use of intratheater airlift, then an airfield or suitable terrain for rapid creation of a suitable airstrip must be an early planning objective in operational planning, and lack of such an airfield or suitable terrain will constrain the type of operations that can be supported.
Heavy-lift helicopter. Although the CH-53 can lift heavy loads, its capability drops off quickly with distance. A new, heavy-lift helicopter—perhaps a crane-type design—could provide the heavy-lift capability at longer ranges, say 15 to 20 tons at an operating radius of 250 miles.