the reduction of overseas foreign bases in recent years, retaining our
capacity to construct and operate Expeditionary Airfields (EAF) has become
increasingly more important. The EAF supports a continuum of air base operations,
ranging from small, dispersed Forward Arming and Refueling Points to the
establishment of large main bases. The EAF system is unique and flexible,
permitting Naval Aviation to operate from captured or damaged runways,
parking lots, or roads, or to establish bases where none previously existed.
A complete EAF will be part of each Enhanced MPF squadron.
Consequently, the Marine Corps is heavily investing in the modernization
of its EAF capability, especially to replace obsolescent components and
systems fielded in the late 1950s and early to mid-1960s. The Marine Corps
will be acquiring newer, more mobile, and more capable visual landing aids,
arresting gear, and lightweight runway matting. These efforts will enhance
the EAF's capability to function in many different environments, respond
to dynamic operational requirements, and support diverse aviation platforms,
from the STOVL Joint Strike Fighter to the V 22 Osprey.