Pentagon Launches New Mobility Study

The Office of the Secretary of Defense has begun a new study of the US military’s mobility capabilities to examine whether the transport enterprise across air, land, and sea is capable of supporting the Obama Administration’s new defense strategy out through the next six years. The so-called “Mobility Capabilities Assessment for 2018” will be a nine-month effort led by OSD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, the Joint Staff, and US Transportation Command, said OSD spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin. “This is one of many future efforts designed to provide senior leaders with insights regarding future capabilities,” she told the Daily Report June 8. In March, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters that service officials think the Fiscal 2013 proposal to reduce the Air Force’s air mobility fleet to 275 strategic transports and 318 theater airlifters would support the new defense strategy, while leaving “slightly” excess capacity, “which is the right place to be.” He said he anticipated that the new assessment would boost the analytical backing for the Air Force’s proposal.