New Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Arthur Lichte so far hasn’t gotten a straight answer about the next round of mobility studies. He told reporters Wednesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference that he doesn’t know whether it will be performed by AMC, a Pentagon agency or an external group, although his staff tells him that it probably would be a combined capabilities and requirements analysis and that it’s supposed to start in February. The last full requirements study was completed in 2001 and was immediately rendered obsolete by 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Mobility Capabilities Study conducted as part of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review only assessed what the force is able to do, not what it should be able to do. The needs imposed by special operations and the changing nature of intratheater airlift have never been gauged. Lichte said to check back later.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.