Military airlift is an expensive means of delivering sustainment to troops in combat zones. While some airfields require military aircraft be used due to enemy threat or austere conditions, and airdrop of materiel to FOBs is a uniquely military mission, the vast majority of airlift in the current conflicts could be done much more cheaply using surface lift and contract air carriers. Air Mobility Command is executing 900 to 1000 missions every day. While this represents superb service by thousands of Airmen, it's an unsustainable pace for our aircraft, which will require recapitalization and major repair much sooner in their calendar service lives than planned. The fuel being burned by this amount of airlift is staggering, and represents the single largest line item expenditure for our service. Cutting airlift missions by a third, and requiring DLA to develop the indigenous logistical support required to sustain our troops, would imply enormous savings. Our airmen are spending 150-200 days every year on the road supporting this massiive weight of effort. The travel funds they are expending represent another huge bill. Same for the maintainers, cargo loaders, riggers, planners, coordinators, and supervisory elements required to orchestrate this huge mobility machine.
Idea No. 6864