|Excerpts From Air Mobility Master Plan|
Operations UPHOLD DEMOCRACY (Haiti), SUPPORT HOPE (Rwanda), and JOINT ENDEAVOR (Bosnia) demonstrate how the previously outlined mobility concepts, organizations, and tasks integrate into the total mobility system.
In Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, Air Mobility Command supported US objectives of fostering democratic institutions and reducing the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. Despite the pledges of a military-backed regime in Haiti to return power to the democratically elected government it had ousted, the regime did not relinquish authority but became increasingly repressive and presided over a deteriorating economy. As the result of deteriorating conditions, tens of thousands of impoverished Haitians fled the country, many attempting to enter the United States. In September 1994, the United States responded with Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, the movement of forces to Haiti to support the return of Haitian democracy. In preparation for this contingency, the Air Mobility Command simultaneously planned for an invasion and for the peaceful entry of forces into Haiti. The command executed portions of both scenarios. For the invasion, an airdrop was planned involving 3,900 paratroopers. Most of this force was airborne when Haitian officials agreed to a peaceful transition of government and permissive entry of American forces. The US peace negotiation team, led by former President Jimmy Carter, had been transported to Haiti by an AMC passenger plane. Following the agreement, the command switched strategies and began airland operations to deploy ground forces. Through March 1995, when the United States transferred the peacekeeping responsibilities to United Nations functions, strategic and tactical airlifters flew 1,779 missions carrying 51,000 passengers and 22,600 short tons of cargo. AMC contract civil carriers flew 74 passenger missions, moving 19,330 US troops to Port-au-Prince and Roosevelt Roads. Seven civil air cargo missions moved 126 pallets to Port-au-Prince and three cargo missions delivered ballots for the Haitian national election. Two additional missions moved the outgoing head of state, his family, and household staff to Panama and Miami. UPHOLD DEMOCRACY succeeded both in restoring the democratically elected government of Haiti and in stemming emigration.
UPHOLD DEMOCRACY was an example of a "near-shore" operation that had many aspects of an intercontinental contingency. Air refueling was used extensively for reconnaissance and combat air patrol missions, with 297 sorties and 1,129 flying hours logged by KC-135 and KC-10 tankers. To transport personnel and materiel from the continental United States to the Caribbean basin, strategic airlift relied on three stage bases close to onload locations: C-5s staged at Dover AFB, Delaware, primarily, and also at Griffiss AFB, New York, while C-141s staged at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. In Haiti, Port-au-Prince was the destination of the strategic airlifters. Airfield conditions at another offload site, Cap Haitien, precluded its use by C-5s and C-141s. C-5s and C-141s delivered troops and cargo to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, where the personnel and supplies were transloaded to C-130s for movement to Cap Haitien and other Haitian locations. The international aspect of UPHOLD DEMOCRACY was evident at Roosevelt Roads, since strategic airlifters transported forces to Roosevelt Roads from Bangladesh and Nepal, who were subsequently airlifted to Haiti. An Air Mobility Element (AME) and Director of Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR) deployed to Pope AFB, North Carolina, the principal launch site for the air invasion of Haiti. They were incorporated into the Air Operations Center. The DIRMOBFOR with a support staff then moved to Port-au-Prince soon after the arrival of the first American forces in Haiti. At various points during the operation, Tanker Airlift Control Elements were established at Cap Haitien and Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Roosevelt Roads and Boringquen, Puerto Rico; and Homestead and MacDill AFBs, NAS Cecil Field, and Opa Locka, Florida. AMC contract civil air carriers flew 78 missions, returning 17,914 US troops to their duty stations.
UPHOLD DEMOCRACY was a true total force operation. Air Force Reserve (AFRES) forces flew 112 sorties and 348.5 hours by the end of FY94. The National Guard (NGB) responded by involving 1,250 Army and Air Guard volunteers, including 22 combat communications specialists.
Ethnic hatred intensified in Rwanda in 1994 leading to mass slaughter and the subsequent flight of two million Rwandans who settled in refugee camps in several central African locations. With over one million refugees, the camp at Goma, Zaire, was the largest. Conditions in the camps were appalling with starvation and disease exacting a tremendous toll. By July 1994, 3,000 refugees a day died at Goma. The United States spearheaded a humanitarian operation to stop the dying called Operation SUPPORT HOPE. Mobility operations from July through September 1994 consisted of 871 missions to carry 8,100 passengers and 16,200 short tons of cargo. The success of SUPPORT HOPE could be measured quantitatively: within the first month of the operation, the death rate in Goma fell below 500 per day, and the rate continued to diminish.
Tanker air bridges proved critical to getting relief supplies to the refugees. Due to the danger of epidemics spread by contaminated water, the immediate deployment of a water purification system was essential. A C-5, carrying an outsize load consisting of a portable water supply system made up of water purification units and fire trucks used to pump water flew non-stop from Travis AFB, California, to Goma in 22 hours. The 10,000-mile mission was made possible by three air refuelings. Most missions to central Africa flew via Europe. CONUS-based missions transiting the Atlantic for Moron AB, Spain, or Rhein Main AB, Germany, were air refueled as necessary. Flights from these bases were refueled over the Mediterranean to overcome the lack of fuel on the ground in central Africa. Delays preventing landing at Goma increased fuel consumption by aircraft aloft, necessitating establishment of a refueling orbit in the region, which was covered by KC-10s based at Harare, Zimbabwe. Because of the low fuel supply at Entebbe, the KC-10s also offloaded fuel into storage tanks there for use by US European Command C-130s. After delivering cargo and personnel in Zaire, Rwanda, or Uganda, airlifters proceeded to Mombasa, Kenya, to stage before returning to Europe. The DIRMOBFOR was located at Entebbe, Uganda, while TALCEs (Tanker Airlift Control Element) were established at Entebbe; Mombasa and Nairobi, Kenya; Goma, Zaire; Harare, Zimbabwe; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Kigali, Rwanda.
AFRES provided 18 medical personnel and various airlift units flew medical supplies and equipment and food into Rwanda. In less than 72 hours from notification, NGB volunteers from four states deployed a 160 person provisional squadron with 6 aircraft to Mombasa, Kenya. They flew 414 sorties and delivered 2,000 tons of relief supplies.
Following a surge of violence in the three-year conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina among ethnic groups, international pressure on the warring factions led to the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. Beginning in December 1995, the United States and allied nations deployed peacekeeping forces to Bosnia and neighboring states of the former Yugoslavia in Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR to implement the peace settlement. As of the end of May 1996, intertheater airlift consisted of 444 missions, which carried nearly 13,000 personnel and over 13,500 short tons of cargo. Commercial aircraft played an important part in this intertheater move, flying 42 passenger missions and transporting over a third of the passengers delivered. As of July 1996, AMC contract civil air carriers flew nearly 150 cargo charter missions in support of the operation. The intratheater shuttle involved 4,025 sorties, carrying over 20,000 passengers and 42,000 short tons of cargo.
These statistics reflect the presence of the C-17, which was systematically employed in a major contingency for the first time. The numbers demonstrate the ability of the C-17 to carry large payloads into small airfields: the limited airfield at Tuzla, was the major port of debarkation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the first critical month of operations, the C-17 flew slightly more than 20 percent of the missions into Tuzla but delivered over 50 percent of the cargo. The aircraft provided the only means to airlift outsize cargo into some of the remote locations in Southeastern Europe and carried such cargo as the M-2 Bradley fighting vehicle and the M-109 self-propelled 155mm Paladin howitzer. The C-17 also provided the critical link necessary for the main American ground force to move into Bosnia. Flooding on the Sava River prevented the Army from completing the pontoon bridge that would span the route needed to move 20,000 troops from the north. The components necessary to complete the bridge could not be transported expeditiously over land or water routes, but could be quickly lifted by C-17s. Only 3 C-17s were needed to pick up 25 bridge sections and the flatbed trailers that would carry the sections once the aircraft landed. The C-17s delivered the cargo to Taszar, Hungary, where the parts were immediately driven to the bridge site and installed, permitting the movement of the troops.
AMC personnel deployed to seven European countries during this contingency. Strategic airlift aircraft departing the CONUS that would not arrive at their European destinations during the crew duty day flew from on-load stations to stage bases: Dover AFB, Delaware, for C-5s; McGuire AFB, New Jersey, for C-141s and KC-10s; and Charleston AFB, South Carolina, for C-17s. Air refueling permitted air bridge operations over the Atlantic, with fuel supplied by aircraft from the Northeast Tanker Task Force or European Tanker Task Force. The primary offload location was Rhein Main AB, Germany, which was the hub for intratheater airlift and a stage base. Ramstein AB, Germany, primarily used for C-130 missions down range, also became a destination for flights from the CONUS and eventually took over hub responsibilities from Rhein Main.
Some intertheater missions flew direct to Italy and Eastern Europe. Strategic aircraft joined C-130s to fly shuttle missions from Germany: C-17s and C-141s carried cargo and personnel to locations in Italy, Hungary, and states of the former Yugoslavia, Tuzla being the hub for American operations in Bosnia. (Eventually, some C-5s flew into Tazsar, Hungary.) The Director of Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR) deployed to Vecenza, Italy, where he became the defacto single manager for theater airlift. The AME; NATOs Regional Air Movement Coordination Center, for which the DIRMOBFOR was dual-hatted as commander; and the Airlift Coordination Cell function were collocated and essentially integrated into one organization, serving as the DIRMOBFORs staff. TALCE locations included Tuzla, Bosnia; Zagreb, Croatia; Ramstein AB and Rhein-Main AB, Germany; Budapest and Taszar, Hungary; Aviano, Brindisi, and Pisa, Italy; Belgrade, Serbia; and Gulfport, Mississippi.
To provide US troops an opportunity for rest and recuperation (R&R), between 15 April and 30 September 1996, an AMC contract civil air carrier flew 118 missions (five missions per week) between Tuzla or Taszar and Germany. During approximately the same period, two other carriers flew 23 weekly missions between Philadelphia and Frankfurt, Germany in support of JOINT ENDEAVOR.
During JOINT ENDEAVOR, deployed intelligence personnel provided aircrews and staffs at several locations with critical threat information and airfield data. Taking advantage of the Combat Intelligence System (CIS) capabilities and an emerging global connectivity to military networks and databases, intelligence personnel provided the best and most timely support ever to air mobility forces. This improvement was particularly evident during the Mission Report (MISREP) process, when intelligence analysts used CIS to provide MISREP data very quickly to aircrews and staffs, ensuring the people in need of this intelligence received it while the data was still useful.
Air Force Reserve airlift units flew more than 502 sorties while transporting more than 662,300 pounds cargo and 993 people. As of 28 May 96, 1238 reservists have been on active duty in support of the Bosnia peacekeeping efforts. About 154 Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs) have volunteered for active duty since December 1995, with about 30 currently in support. The NGB had 10 air refueling wings participate in the Northeast Tanker Task Force which provided fuel for strategic airlift aircraft headed to the Southeastern European theater. In addition, Guard units airlifted over 975 tons to Bosnia in December 1995 alone.
Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR was the first large-scale contingency test of the C-17, and its success clearly validated its airlift and air refueling concept of operation. However, it was not a risk-free operation from the perspective of aircrews who flew into Bosnia and surrounding areas. They faced various threats including small arms fire, small rockets, and other hazards. It is in this operational environment with all its dangers that national military strategy is implemented by AMC personnel.
Today's MHE is a mixture of several types and models. This composition creates a critical drain on airlift capability. Having to use enormous amounts of airlift to put these loaders into position at various contingency locations prohibits movement of other time-sensitive cargo.
Additionally, the overall health of the MHE fleet limits our current capability. The average age of the 40K loader is 23 years, using original registration numbers, while their life expectancy, when purchased, was 8 years. Sixty-nine percent of the 25K loader fleet is comprised of old, deteriorating Emerson and Con Diesel loaders that are reaching the end of their service life extension. Heavy usage over the last few years has led to structural metal fatigue and frame cracks. The fleet requires intensive maintenance programs to meet normal equipment standards.
Configuration of a modern, common core fleet with multi-loading capabilities will enhance cargo handling productivity, reduce the repositioning burden, and free valuable airlift capacity for other critical supplies and equipment. An acquisition strategy was started in the mid-80s for a new super loader (60K), one that could replace the 40K, yet reach wide-body aircraft.
To keep the current MHE fleet operational for the short-term, WR-ALC is pursuing an aggressive overhaul program. Overhaul programs currently exist for the 40K and older 25K loaders and will continue until 1999. These programs will ensure adequate coverage until the new 60K loader and new small loader are on board.
The 60K loader will replace the aging 40K loader fleet and a portion of the WBELs. It will be able to service both military and wide-body aircraft and is air transportable on the C-5, C-17, and C-141. In April 1994, the contract for the 60K loader was awarded to Southwest Mobile Systems Corporation. Requirements for the 60K loader were reviewed and validated after the May 1994 Worldwide 463L MHE Conference and are projected at 318 loaders. The 60K delivery profile runs from 1996 to 2003. We plan to begin retirement of the 40K loaders when we no longer have a K-loader shortfall, in approximately 1999.
A challenge for the mid-range is finding a replacement for the aging 25K loader. Current 25K models in the fleet are logistically more supportable than the 40K, but old technology andoperating limitations give them increasingly less utility as time goes on. The next generation small cargo loader (NGSCL), a replacement strategy for the 1960's vintage 25K loaders, will be air transportable on the C-130 and capable of servicing both military and wide-body aircraft. The Mission Need Statement for the NGSCL was approved by CSAF in July 1994. The acquisition plan is being finalized and recommends procurement funding in FY98 with deliveries to begin in FY99. AMC is currently exploring a Non-developmental Item (NDI) loader as the NGSCL.
In the long-range, changes in user profiles, aircraft configurations, and expected operating parameters will likely make it necessary to identify and procure follow-on replacements for all loader types.
Air Traffic Control functions apply to all deploying military and civil missions for both terminal and en route services. In the en route arena, air traffic controllers, qualified as combat airspace managers, work with host nation and the ICAO for ingress and egress routes and procedures and with neighboring nations for clearance authority. They also work with them to determine instrument approach capability and with the FAA for flight inspection of navigational aids. They provide expertise for airfield assessment and survey as well. In the terminal environment, air traffic control operates deployed navigational aids while controllers provide both visual and instrument landing capability at air bridge, staging, and destination locations. These controllers may operate from fixed bases, using in-place or deployed equipment to augment theater and host nation controllers, or at austere airfields using mobile air traffic control and landing systems (ATCALS) equipment. They depend heavily on communications links, HF, SATCOM, and land lines to coordinate the transit of missions through adjacent airspace.
Air Traffic Control And Landing Systems (ATCALS) Fixed Base
Today, ATCALS support meets mission requirements; however, concerns surface regarding equipment modernization and acquisition. USAF involvement in the National Airspace modernization/upgrade process will be crucial for system integration with the FAA. For our aircraft to be compatible with worldwide travel/navigation, our airframes must be equipped with systems like Mode S, Data Link, Automated Dependent Surveillance, and other satellite based systems. Concurrently, we must pursue the related ground based systems to support the advanced technology avionics systems.
As the FAA continues to phase out TACANs and our precision landing systems reach obsolescence, these aging systems must be replaced with state-of-the-art technology. The FAA determined Global Positioning Systems will be the standard for navigation systems under the Future Air Navigation System.
In the short-range, Global Positioning System (GPS) is the preferred navigational aid with differential GPS for precision approach and landing guidance. AMC avionics and associated ground equipment must keep pace with FAA and ICAO requirements and capabilities implementation. In the long-range, GPS is technologically sound. AMC aircraft and ground systems will be in place and efficient. With the envisioned changes and growths in technology, ATCALS will meet future Global Reach requirements.
Since AMC currently owns no mobile assets, the command relies on ACC to supply mobile ATCALS equipment. AMC/DOA has initiated action to utilize ANG air traffic control cells to provide mobile ATCALS in support of AMC GRL. Additionally, CRAF and civilian airline contract support for contingency operations require navigational aids compatible with their avionics. Today's incompatibility validates the need for mobile VORTACs. Currently, no mobile VORTACs exist in the DOD inventory; however, AMC has submitted a CSRD to acquire two mobile VORTACs.
AMC must pursue acquisition and ownership of mobile ATCALS resources to be truly in control of contingency operations. Along with this comes the responsibility to establish mobile units where equipment can be used for training or, stored and maintained in a deployment ready state. This will require a large expenditure of people and money.
In the short-term, the mobile/tactical systems in the ACC inventory are rapidly approaching obsolescence. Mobile radars, towers, and TACANs will be required at increasing rates to fulfill wartime/contingency requirements. Our two mobile VORTACs will be high demand items.
In the mid-term, AMC must continue to stay closely attuned to mobile assets required to successfully conduct contingency operations worldwide. AMC's mobile unit's readiness must be fine tuned in preparation for deployment to worldwide locations.
In the long-term, GPS must be added to the inventory of mobile ATCALS equipment. When mobile radars and towers have been improved and AMC owns/control mobile ATCALS, our Global Reach requirements will best be met.
Airfield management functions apply to both terminal and en route services in support of any DOD deploying aircraft, CRAF mission, or Allied military aircraft. The services provided include domestic and international flight plan processing and diplomatic clearance coordination. These services are sound and will continue to meet mission requirements into the foreseeable future.
Although hardly a new problem, the difficulty of landing in low-visibility, adverse weather was highlighted during the 1995 deployment to Bosnia. Aircraft, including the C-17, were unable to land in the low-visibility conditions typical in the Balkans, which were especially severe that season. (C-130s with special equipment and a navigator experienced more success, but not all which could be desired.)
Instrument Landing System/Precision Approach Radar systems, which are typically unavailable at forward operating locations, could have relieved the problem; however, these systems require 6-7 C-130 loads of equipment and are not at all what could be termed "portable." They also require a good deal of time and personnel to deploy, setup, and operate and don't contribute to "first-in" capability. These systems lack full multiservice interoperability, and thus fall short of the ideal in a deployed expeditionary force environment.
AMC began its search for a solution in Jan 1996. Advocating the start of the long-unfunded Joint Precision Approach and Landing System program, AMC/CV initiated discussion with SAF/AQ. The program was subsequently funded for FY96. That effort is searching for a replacement for ILS/PAR systems DoD-wide and is a Category I-D (major) acquisition program.
To provide a quicker, incremental fix, the C-17 SPO has accelerated efforts to test the C-17 GPS mission computer nonprecision approach capability. Successful conclusion of testing and post-test analysis should yield confidence that decision heights of 4-500 feet are feasible. Planned upgrades to mission computer software should result in the 99.9 percent integrity required by the FAA for such non-precision GPS approaches.
Simultaneously, AMC, in partnership with Electronic Systems Center and Air Force Flight Standards Agency, began the search for technologies to provide at least a Category I (200 ft decision height) precision approach capability within the next 24 months. This effort is part of JPALS, and is meant to be compatible with, or at least complementary to, the outcome of the overall JPALS program.
Though AMC desires a fully autonomous system requiring no local ground equipment, it is likely no near-term fix has that configuration. Another sticky issue is flight checking; even with a fully aircraft-autonomous system, it's doubtful the first landing can be made without an in-advance flight check (implying an overflight). Naturally, AMC is concerned with the flight check issue as its conduct delays the initiation of landings and also alerts hostile forces as to increased ops tempo at that location.
Another complicating factor: Regardless of technology, the landing zone must be precisely known. (It is of little utility to know precisely where you are if you don't know where you're going.) Thus, the early discussion about "first-in" capability (requiring no advance ground survey or ground equipment for the first aircraft to land) yielded to a desire to minimize logistics and setup. AMC/DO further articulated the need by stating that AMC needed a system which was not vulnerable to local weather conditions. One way to provide that characteristic is to locate your ground equipment far from the airfield. That suggests wide-area systems.
In April 1996, AMC/CC received a briefing sponsored by Dr. Gene McCall, Chairman of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board, regarding the technical feasibility of a wide-area differential GPS (WADGPS) precision landing capability on the C-17. Dr. McCall's proposal, based on the SRI WADGPS concept, was endorsed by CSAF; scoping of the effort is now underway. WADGPS requires four ground stations located in a continent-sized area to provide correction to GPS signals. Theoretically, WADGPS is sufficient for Category IIIa (50 ft) decision height. Outcome of the demonstration will be used as proof of concept as well as data for the JPALS effort.
In the area of way point navigation, the AMC Air Traffic Control and Landing System office continues its efforts in conjunction with Sacramento Air Logistics Center to develop and field two deployable VHF Omni-Range Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) systems, thus providing a transportable way point navigation capability. Funds were requested in the POM beginning in FY97 for two years to integrate the VORTACs into deployable shelters.
In summary, although AMC is vigorously pursuing austere field, adverse weather approach and landing capability, the issue requires a systems approach to the problem. Way point navigation is one issue; landing in adverse weather is another. Threats must be considered. Further, AMC must consider the concept of operations, training, and logistics of precision approach capabilities to choose the right systems for both near- and long-term use.
AMC weather personnel use a wide range of equipment to provide weather observing and forecasting services. In the future, more automated systems will improve the accuracy and timeliness of the weather products. Air Weather Service, as the standard systems manager for weather equipment, programs for and oversees the acquisition of most weather equipment used by AMC.
Fixed-Base Weather Systems
Airfield observing equipment includes sensors and associated hardware needed to determine weather conditions that may impact air and ground operations. These systems operate independently and do not share common processors or display hardware. This configuration requires excessive time to make and disseminate observations.
State-of-the-art automated observing methods will soon become more efficient than the manual methods now in use and will provide a continuous weather watch with real-time automatic notification of critical weather events. In addition to replacing existing sensors, future weather observing capabilities will provide lightning detection for ground refueling and support to base computer facilities, measurement of wind and temperature vertical profiles for wind shear detection and warning, and measurement of slant range visibility to improve flight safety. Conversion to integrated, automatic observing systems is set to occur by the early 2000s under the Meteorological Operations Capability (MOC) program. MOC is in the early planning stages and program funding is in doubt. Program delays could leave AMC dependent on aging equipment with decreasing reliability.
Already, MOC program delays have magnified a shortfall in AMC weather observing capability. Lightning detection and thunder ranging have long relied on human observation, which has proven inadequate. With the advent of lightning detection equipment and a national lightning network, subjective determination of lightning potential and range is being replaced by precise identification. Although most AMC bases have purchased lightning detection equipment and network services, implementation of this capability has been piecemeal and is currently restricted to in garrison.
All AMC bases have weather radars to detect and display storms. Some of the radars are based on 1960s technology and have minimal storm analysis capability. All AMC bases will have the WSR-88D Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) by the end of 1996. NEXRAD uses Doppler technology to enhance storm detection and severe weather prediction. Projected radar initiatives include replacement of obsolete components using upgraded technology on the WSR-88D. Upgrades should include modifications to system software to improve weather detection algorithms. These algorithms identify characteristic radar signatures associated with tornadoes, hail, downburst wind shear, aircraft turbulence, and icing. The WSR-88D, with periodic life cycle and technological upgrades, should satisfy the weather radar detection needs at fixed bases through the year 2015.
The Automated Weather Distribution System (AWDS) provides weather stations the capability to disseminate forecasts, warnings, and advisories locally and longline. It also allows the forecaster to analyze and manipulate worldwide weather data, prognostic charts, and satellite imagery on a graphics work station to prepare and display forecasts and briefings. Near-term enhancements to AWDS include a faster processor, an out-of-station briefing capability, improved and more frequent weather satellite imagery displays, and an interface to user C4I systems. As a backup to AWDS, forecasters can access AF and Naval dial-up weather services to obtain forecast products via microcomputers.
In addition to an automated observing capability, MOC includes a replacement for AWDS. This aspect of the MOC program will transition forecast support capabilities fielded in the late 1990s for deployed environments back into the base weather station to ensure combat and peacetime support systems are as similar as possible. Reaching final operational capability by FY04, the MOC forecast system will replace or upgrade existing meteorological data manipulation and display systems and will include an integrated platform dedicated to the collection, assimilation, processing, and dissemination of all required weather information.
Deployable Weather Systems
Deployable weather observing systems currently include semi-automated and manually operated sensing equipment. While only recently fielded, many of these systems experienced excessive failure rates during DESERT STORM and RESTORE HOPE and continue to be plagued with problems. System modifications underway at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center should provide a sufficient number of reliable sensors to meet AMC requirements for the next several years.
AMC weather teams need a long-term replacement for existing deployable observing systems. The Manual Observing System (MOS), formerly part of the Combat Weather System (CWS) program, will partially satisfy this requirement. The lightweight MOS features substantial state-of-the-art improvements over the existing handheld systems for providing basic weather measurements (temperature, wind, pressure) and will be available for deploying forces in 1996. In addition, the more durable deployable sensors, originally scheduled for replacement as the Tactical Ground Observing System, are now slated for modification only beginning in FY98 due to budget reductions in the CWS program. Finally, as mentioned in the previous section, a deployed lightning detection capability is completely lacking in AMC.
As a first-in capability, AMC weather personnel may also deploy with a laptop/notebook microcomputer equipped with a modem to access textual and graphical analysis and forecast products and data from CONUS Naval and AF dial-in systems using phone capabilities at the deployed location. Additionally, some weather teams deploy with a Quick Reaction Communications Terminal (QRCT) which can receive textual and graphical facsimile weather analysis and forecast products from military and civil HF weather broadcasts.
Transportable AWDS (TAWDS) is the deployable version of the fixed-base AWDS and provides sustainment capability. Functionality is similar to the AWDS with the additional capabilities of the QRCT, voice HF, and a Pilot-to-Metro Service (PMSV) radio. AMC presently does not own any TAWDS but would task up to three if needed.
The AF Meteorological Information Terminal (AFMIT) provides the capability to receive, display, and manipulate processed geostationary imagery and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) polar orbitor imagery in the deployed environment. The more robust AF Small Tactical Terminal (STT) program will provide the capability to receive both processed geostationary and direct-readout Defense Meteorological Satellite Program and NOAA polar orbiting satellite imagery and data beginning in FY96.
The Tactical Forecast System (TFS) will take advantage of advanced data processing capabilities to enhance support to deployed operations. TFS will receive, ingest, fuse, and process differing weather data sets, and disseminate weather and space environmental forecasts. The system will be lightweight, modular, and rapidly deployable, and will include a link to user C4I and mission planning systems. The system will also provide weather personnel the ability to display, manipulate, and develop forecast products. TFS configurations will be flexible to meet specific deployment requirements. The TFS should incorporate all functionality of TAWDS and the QRCT, and also have an in-theater, stand-alone weather analysis and prognosis modeling capability. With time and technological upgrades, these analyses and prognoses should be accurate enough and on a resolution fine enough to provide deployed users high quality forecasts with minimal human input or modification. Fielding of TFS is planned to begin during FY96 and continue through FY97. The TFS, with periodic life cycle and technological upgrades, should satisfy the weather forecasting needs at deployed locations through the year 2015.
Four categories of people combine to make up the air mobility team--active duty military, Air Reserve Component (ARC) military, in-service civilian employees, and civilian contract service workers. Active duty military fill positions directly contributing to the conduct of war (combat or direct combat support). They are subject to overseas rotation or are required by law to be military. ARC personnel traditionally fill wartime surge positions with part-time guardsmen and reservists and full-time Guard Technicians, Active Guard Reserve (AGR), and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel. ARTs are responsible for peacetime training and management of ARC units. All other functions may be performed by military personnel, in-service civilian employees, or contract services workers, depending on factors such as wartime requirements, legal considerations, management responsibilities, and cost. In addition, the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) is called upon to augment AMC's organic fleet during both peacetime and wartime.
The AMC total force is shown below. AMC-gained ARC assets are 49 percent of AMC's total force. Civilians are employed by both the active and ARC components. This does not include the thousands of people who make up the contractor portion of the total force or CRAF.
Active Duty Military
Active duty force end strengths are at their lowest levels since December 1947. The current mix of 43 percent active and 49 percent ARC personnel will likely change, with an even greater percentage of ARC personnel performing AMC missions and duties in the future.
Air Reserve Component (ARC) Military
As the ARC contribution to the total force increases, it will be the continue to represent a substantial portion of AMC capabilities. The majority of C-5, C-141, and KC-135 aircrews, as well as aeromedical and aerial port personnel, now reside in the ARC. The C-141 fleet is currently programmed for transition to the ARC by FY03 prior to complete retirement in FY06. This transfer of force structure to the ARC increases the command's non-mobilized contingency response time, and continuing mobility requirements will result in a greater demand for ARC personnel. As the ARC role increases, new operational concepts and employment issues will be explored to further maximize the ARC's day-to-day contributions.