Air Transportation: July 31, 2001

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The Knothole In The Shaft- A new GAO report has found a knothole in the stout oak shaft that supports the military's warfighting spearpoint. Due to overseas base closures and the lack of money to keep up the remaining facilities since the end of the Cold War, there are not enough overseas airbases to support two wars (or one war and one peacekeeping mission) if they were fought in the same general area (e.g., Israel and the Gulf, or Taiwan and Korea). The degraded capacity of the airlift system would create chokepoints en route to the wars, places where there was not enough ramp space to park and service aircraft going down one "pipeline segment" and/or not enough bases to support the tankers that would have to refuel the transports. The Pentagon says it is reviewing plans to deal with the situation but that all of them will require money and the cooperation of foreign allies.--Stephen V Cole

 


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