Strategic Airlift:

Further Air Base Reductions in Europe Could Jeopardize Capability

NSIAD-94-138: Published: Jun 2, 1994. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) whether the Air Force has sufficient capability at six air bases in Europe to support airlift operations to the Middle East; and (2) how reductions in U.S. operations at any of the six bases would likely affect airlift capabilities.

GAO found that: (1) although the operational capabilities at the six key air bases in Europe are sufficient to support airlift operations to the Middle East, planned budget cuts and base closings could jeopardize airlift capabilities and operational readiness; (2) the United States may not be able to timely deliver troops and cargo to the Middle East if it does not have full access to its major European airlift facilities; and (3) the Department of Defense will be forced to rely on less cost-effective and risky alternatives, including aerial refueling, and establish new support capabilities at the time of deployment if further cuts are made to overseas airlift bases.

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