Paired with Air Mobility Command’s initiative to cut cost through fuel efficiency, US Transportation Command uses airlift in conjunction with surface fleets for best effect, said TRANSCOM Commander Gen. Duncan McNabb. During the surge of troops into Afghanistan last year, the Pentagon leadership tasked TRANSCOM with raising the monthly delivery rate of mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles, or M-ATVs, from 500 to 1,000. The command was able to save an average of $110 million to $116 million a month, mostly on fuel, by using seaborne assets to ship the M-ATVs from the US to the Persian Gulf and then using C-17s only for the “last leg into Bastion or Kandahar or Bagram,” said McNabb during his speech this week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Lighter fuel loads allowed the C-17s to carry five M-ATVs instead of just three per trip, thereby accelerating the vehicles’ delivery, while saving taxpayer dollars, he accentuated.
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.