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Military Airlift: Comparison of C-5 and C-17 Airfield Availability
(Letter Report, 07/11/94, GAO/NSIAD-94-225).

The Air Force has greatly overestimated the number of airfields
worldwide that can accommodate the wide-bodied, C-17 cargo plane; when
runway strength is considered, the C-17's wartime advantage over its C-5
predecessor shrinks from 6,400 to about 900 airfields. The C-17
advantage dwindles even further when only airfields that have been
determined by the Air Force to be suitable for military operations are
considered. So far, the Air Force has surveyed about 2,800 airfields as
suitable for military operations. When wartime landing requirements,
including minimum runway strength, are considered, the C-17's wartime
airfield advantage is 145. When airfields in the United States, Canada,
and Mexico are excluded, the C-17's wartime advantage falls to 95
airfields. Although the Air Face claims that the C-17's ability to land
at small, austere airfields during wartime is a significant military
advantage, the Defense Department has identified only three such
airfields that the C-17 would use in major regional contingency
scenarios; two are in Korea and one is in Saudi Arabia.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  Military Airlift: Comparison of C-5 and C-17 Airfield 
      DATE:  07/11/94
   SUBJECT:  Defense contingency planning
             Military airlift operations
             Military aircraft
             Defense capabilities
             Strategic mobility forces
             Military bases
             Operations analysis
             Military systems analysis
             Airborne operations
IDENTIFIER:  C-17 Aircraft
             C-5 Aircraft
             Saudi Arabia
             DOD Mobility Requirements Study

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