Goodbye Future Transport Rotorcraft, Hello Army Future Maneuver Aircraft?

"The ideal troop-carrier combat transport would appear to be a large transport of the twin-boom type for which personnel, artillery, and vehicles could be dropped. It should have a range of two thousand miles and should be equipped with self-sealing tanks, pilot armor, and a retractable track-laying undercarriage. This last feature would permit its landing and take-off in pastures and cultivated areas. It would thus be able to enter the airhead early in an operation, landing and taking off from areas normally suitable only for gliders".

--General James M. Gavin, Airborne Warfare, 1947


The U.S. Army has recently declared that its Future Transport Rotorcraft (FTR) is shelved indefinitely due to a lack of money since most funds are going instead towards buying vulnerable and inferior LAV-III/IAVs and developing the Future Combat System (FCS) rubber-tired armored car command post-on-wheels bombard & occupy fantasy. Fortunately, this may be a blessing in disguise for the U.S. Army.

"Short-runway", not "no-runway" aircraft can solve America's air travel congestion woes

One of the reasons why Congress clings to the troubled V-22 tilt-rotor vertical take-off and landing (V/TOL) aircraft despite its proven fatal unreliability is the hope of decongesting air travel by direct-delivery of passengers to and from smaller airports. What Congress does not understand is that even if the civil V-22 can be made safe and economical as a complex hybrid helicopter-quasi-fixed-wing airplane, it will only fly at turboprop speeds and take too long to cross the vast expanses of the 3,000 mile continental U.S. (CONUS). Realizing this, Boeing has wisely opted to build a near transonic airliner to cut travel times rather than pack 600+ people in like "sardines" in unsafe tube and wing jets like the European A600 deathtrap that flies at the same speeds as today's jet airliners. All civil V-22s would do is feed passengers faster into major airport hubs to clog their jet flights. Space for 10,000 foot runways for jets to speed up to 200 mph for take-off runs in order to generate enough lift for their tiny wings is hard to come by; so we have millions of passengers flocking to too few large airports just to catch a flight on a plane that needs a long runway but is unsafe if anything goes wrong with its small wings causing a crash since its large tubular fuselages generate just weight and drag not strength to survive impacts and fire .

Combined with the inefficiency of feeding passengers from small airports by small prop planes into large airports to fly in larger jumbo jets is the lack of security such an out-of-control situation creates made apparent by the 9/11 suicide airliner terror attacks and the infuriating lack of safety when people surrounded by fuel tanks crash in these jets. The American public is fed up with the airline industry status quo and its lies and excuses using relativity statistics to say "everything is a.o.k". Nobody wants to die in a fiery aircraft crash nor wait in line for hours to make a trip that direct-delivery in their personal ground automobile would almost get them there sooner. The time/speed advantages of air travel over ground travel are being "red-taped" away during the prop plane hops to the major airport hub and the long security check lines.

Is there a solution?

1. Airfoil-shaped Burnelli fuselage eliminates parasite drag of tubular conventional designs while providing more lift. It permits slower take-offs, landing speeds and surrounds passengers with 60% of aircraft structure offering unparalleled crashworthiness.

2. Baggage holds easily accessible for speedy laoding/unloading.

3. Large storage racks for carry on luggage.

4. Central galley facilitates ease of service and secure equipment storage.

5. Greater floor area and cubic volume permit wider, more comfortable seats and wider aisles.

6. Rear facing seats attached to main structure offer best crash protection.

7. Twin doors, both sides, permit fast embarkation/debarkation and emergency evacuation. Close proximity to ground eliminates need for expensive hi-loading, maintenance equipment and emergency slides, etc.

8. Wide screen for films and in-flight video of in-flight scenery.

9. Quadricycle landing gear provides Rolls-Royce like ground handling.

10. Fuel tanks in wings are isolated from engines and landing gear virtually eliminating crash fire hazzards inherent in conventional airlines.

11. In emergency water landing, wings could be jettisoned, the fuselage becomes a boat.

12. Quick detachable engine nacelle. The GB-178 dorsal mounted engines cause jet noise to be deflected skyward, improving environmental operating conditions.

However, right now AirBUS with their 600-passenger deathtrap A380 is killing the American commercial airline industry (re: Boeing). Boeing led by wimps have given up on faster airliners like the Sonic Cruiser in favor of yet another "fuel miserly" and unsafe tube and wing airliner. We are going to lose our shirt to AirBUS who at least have a VISION of passenger comfort (until they crash & burn). Boeing isn't offering a vision. Let us offer one then. ITS AIRLINE SAFETY, STUPID.

After the 9/11 terror attacks that used airliners as suicide planes, Americans today have an all-time low trust in air travel---and rightly so---its not just terrorist acts, either---its the needless and insufferable aircraft crashes, caused by unimaginative aircraft designs best depicted in the film, "Fearless" and smug, cavalier attitudes by the air travel and aircraft manufacturer industry. Why doesn't America transfer unsafe, unused jet airliners to DoD to solve U.S. military airlift and strategic mobility problems???

The solution is certainly not the V-22 tilt-rotor. The solution can be found in the amazing C-17 Globemaster III turbofan cargo plane that since 1993 has NEVER crashed despite action all over the world in Somalia, Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan. What is its secret to success?

The C-17 is an Extremely Short Take-Off and Landing (ESTOL) turbofan aircraft that uses jet exhaust over its wings and huge flaps and slats to create tremendous lift. The C-17 can slow---almost standing still in flight---to land in just 1,200 feet, under 3,000 feet with loads. But unlike STOL prop planes that can land in short runways found in combat zones or your local airport, but not fly fast, the C-17 can land/take-off from short runways, and fly fast at high speeds (500+ mph) to cross continents and oceans quickly. Thus, the U.S. military finds it can direct-deliver from the continental United States to the battlefield by the C-17 slowing to parachute airdrop or extremely short airland, eliminating the need to use smaller C-130 prop planes if the tactical conditions are right. Thus, the answer to America's airport congestion is to have the U.S. Government sponsor the creation of a C-17 like ESTOL civil airliner that can DIRECT-DELIVER passengers from their short-runway local airport to their destination local short-runway airports, bypassing the major clogged metropolitan airports entirely because long 10,000 foot runways are not needed. What Congress needs to understand is that decongesting air travel requires SHORT runway capable aircraft not no-runway (V/TOL) aircraft; and that these aircraft can then fly at high-speeds across the CONUS or oceans to get passengers and cargo fast.

However, as good as the C-17 is, its a conventional tube fuselage with amazing wing and engines but will not be significantly more crash-survivable to bust the airline crash = fiery death paradigm once and or all. Only one aircraft design type can do this, and that's the Burnelli ESTOL design where the fuselage itself is a lifting body shape and the wings, fuel and engines are segregated away from the passengers. I realize that there is adverse political resistance against Burnelli designs because employing them to solve a problem today is tacit admission that the U.S. government and the aviation industry has screwed up for over 8 decades and murdered thousands of people over petty ego envy against Mr. Burnelli who created this technology in the 1920s.

Well this is too damn bad. Its time to put ideas that work into use and stop worrying about who gets the credit. Burnelli was right, let's adopt his ideas and be glad we had men like him willing to stand up for what's best.

Its time we solve the public's lack of confidence in air travel or there will not be an "aviation industry" to save. A high-speed 300 mph train carrying your hybrid-electric ground car to your destination so you are not stranded, inter-connecting the CONUS makes a lot more economic and safety sense than flying; if we can muster the intestinal fortitude of our forebears who completed the trans-continental railroad in 1870 and put away our computer mouse pads. Nevertheless, an ESTOL Burnelli airliner "GBY-2000" carrying 100 paying passengers could take-off from a local airport and direct-deliver them to another small runway airport across the U.S.. Let the major airports handle intercontinental, across-the-ocean travel with conventional 747 type airliners which need 10,000 foot runways until they need to be replaced by Burnelli-type transonic or supersonic airliners. Furthermore, instead of living in denial and lying statistics, we realize some of these planes are going to crash. The beauty of the Burnelli ESTOL design is that if the engines "conk out" or the pilot makes a mistake, it naturally glides, its entire body creates lift so that the plane can crashland at slower speeds, which coupled with a very strong, robust body means high probability of passenger survival.

With Burnelli ESTOL jet transports we will no longer have to endure the endless series of flaming aircraft crashes leaving burnt pieces of human beings all over our cable fed TV screens, as air travel is decongested reducing the fatigue and confusion that causes aircraft engine and airframe failures, collisions, human errors that result in fatal crashes.

Solving Civilian Airline travel decongestion pays for military Army Future Maneuver Aircraft (AFMA)

Once the basic GBY-2000 civil design is built by an innovative company like Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, the military variant would be ready after some minor military-specifications are met. Both civil and military GBY-2000s would have roll-on/roll-off rear cargo ramps, side paratroop or passenger emergency exit doors, and the military version at least with TRACKED landing gear in order to capitalize on the Burnelli's slow take off and landing speeds to operate from grassy fields as General James Gavin proposed in his book, Airborne Warfare in 1947. The U.S. Army Airborne cannot afford to have to seize enemy-held airfields by direct parachute troop assaults and airlanding, which is the same mistake the Germans airlanding STOL JU-52 prop planes were forced into at Maleme airfield on Crete in 1941. The answer is to force-entry with parachute troops into almost any rural, grassy field undefended by the enemy and then airland with ESTOL aircraft with tracked landing gear with extremely low ground pressures to float over uneven dirt and grassy fields--not to try to make a fixed wing aircraft "morph" in flight into a helicopter as the V-22 tries and fails to do. The answer is ESTOL not V/TOL.

The C-17 and C-130 are large aircraft that in civil settings achieve ESTOL capabilities when compared to the normal 10,000 foot runways. But for a military ESTOL capability the standard is much higher, these aircraft must be able to land at will, anywhere to include Army Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and this is not possible due to their rubber-tire landing gear and large size. In the early 1960s, the U.S. Army's Air Assault pioneers realized this during actual tests that USAF C-130 Hercules with rubber tire landing gear require a much larger piece of ground smoothed over, compacted etc. by engineers and defended to airland than a smaller ESTOL aircraft like the CV-2 Caribou.What force planners must keep in mind is that every inch of ground your aircraft has to land on has to be bought and paid for by the blood and lives of Army Soldiers in order for America to control the ground and defeat enemies with decisive maneuver. Thus, in Vietnam, the U.S. Army owned and operated Caribou ESTOL prop aircraft that were extremely effective at resupplying Army FOBs even under enemy fire, more quickly and economically than suspending fuselages under spinning rotor blades (helicopters). This all came to a halt when USAF ego and turf became threatened by the Caribou and the OV-1 Mohawk acting as supply and Close Air Support platforms for the Army. The AF insisted they be given the Caribous, the Army relented and the AF then retired the aircraft when no one was looking. So now the Army has to pay in blood for large (in military terms) 3,000 foot runways to airland USAF C-130s and C-17s. By not having fixed-wing aircraft and relying on the AF, the Army has had to make do with inefficient (can lift 11 tons maximum) and slow (100 mph) helicopters (have to be flown overseas by USAF airlifters) to effect battlefield 3D maneuvers to flank, encircle and surround fleeting enemies like recently demonstrated in Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda. During the time it takes to fly the Army in, the enemy may have escaped the area to launch future 9/11 type asymmetric attacks on America. With its Vietnam-era helicopters needing replacement at some point, the Army created the "Future Transport Rotorcraft" (FTR) program effort as its stay-in-your-lane, don't anger the AF helicopter replacement. When you consider the U.S. Army is dominated by officers who want to fight no-risk warfare using stand-off firepower bombardment from AF bombers, mouse-clicked from vulnerable and road-bound 20+ ton Interim and Future Combat System (FCS) armored cars; its not suprising that decisive 3D air/ground maneuver is not a priority and there is no money left to create and buy FTRs.

This is why we propose that we upgrade Army helicopters with Piasecki wings and ducted thrust propellers (making them into compound helicopters) to invigorate today, not 10-20 years from now---so they can fly at 200+ mph and 2,000 mile ranges so they can self-deploy across oceans from CONUS without need of USAF airlifters to decisively power project ground maneuver force to defeat national and sub-national enemies. The USAF's 510 x C-130s should be outfitted with air-to-air refueling, "J" model propfans for 400+ mph speeds and tracked landing gear to also direct-deliver Army under 17-ton class light tracked armored fighting vehicles (AFVs---upgraded M113A3 Gavins, M8 Buford Armored 105mm Gun System light tanks and M973A2 Ridgway recon and helo air assault vehicles) to bolster 3D forced-entry forces with armored vehicle shock action, mobility and protection to overcome enemy surveillance strike complexes. This here-and-now "Air-Mech-Strike" (AMS) capability; the parachute and helicopter delivery of light tracked AFV equipped forces has proven decisive in maneuver combat in Czechoslovakia, Panama, Afghanistan by the Russians and the U.S.

However, why limit our Army's helicopter replacements to just rotor technology to appease the AF which does not have the job of 3D ground maneuver combat, other than forcing entries and Airborne parachute assaults usually at the strategic and operational but not tactical level of war? Certainly the C-130 replacement, the Advanced Tactical Transport (ATT) can and should be a Burnelli lifting body with ESTOL capabilities via tracked landing gear. It should also be pod-equipped so Army units can have their vehicles and supplies pre-loaded so all the aircraft has to do is snatch the pod and fly to the battlefield. Much of the Army's deployment time is wasted not unlike America's passengers waste countless hours---loading and unloading. Mission pods for the ATT would get every Army unit into the 3D air movement game not just elite fixed-wing parachute Airborne and helicopter Air Assault units. Therefore, why not recognize the true mission of the Army's helicopters is MANEUVER and designate their replacement as the "Army Future Maneuver Aircraft" (AFMA) and leave all aerodynamic design options open?

The AFMA can easily be the militarized GBY-2000 ESTOL aircraft, paid for by civil-government airliner development not the Army.

Why the U.S. Army needs ESTOL AFMA now and V/TOL AFMA later?

The U.S. Army is "losing its shirt" (spending billions of dollars) keeping vibrating helicopters flying and paying for a ride to the battlefield at $7500 hour from the USAF out of fixed-wing political paranoia. Clearly the Army needs its own strategic maneuver capability not subject to AF politics to use airlift instead to try to win wars by its own service precision firepower without decisive ground maneuver. The AF does not provide responsive CAS when A-10 Warthogs are not sent to the fight as the early days of Afghanistan showed and their goal is to have an armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) take the risks of flying under 15,000 feet to render doubtful ground firepower to Army troops. Several RAND think-tankers are petrified over low-level flight under 15, 000 feet derived from their "doomsday" computer simulations to justify their firepower-centric world-view that 3D air-ground maneuver is "too hard to do" and we should stand off and bombard with allegedly "precision" firepower despite the fact that the enemy has walked easily away from it unharmed in Iraq, Kosovo and now Afghanistan. Wars are only won short of nuclear annihilation firepower with decisive ground maneuver that compels the enemy to moral collapse, physical destruction, changes governments and controls peoples. However, the Army not being able to self-deploy or fly above 15K is a self-imposed handicap since it can make its helicopters fly faster and farther, can use lighter under 17-ton class light tracked AFVs that efficiently fly in USAF airlifters and leased cargo 747s several-at-a-time, and can make its M113A3s inside APS-3 sealift ships swim themselves to shore. The Army's low-cost AFMA can be the militarized version of the GBY-2000 civil airliner which can fly above 15K at 500 mph to avoid enemy air defenses and then slow down for precision parachute airdrop or spiral down to low-altitude parachute airdrop or airland with tracked landing gear to effect battlefield tactical 3D maneuvers, delivering up to one 17-ton class M8 Buford AGS light tank or two 10-ton lightweight M113A3 Gavins and two infantry squads.

Flying tracked landing gear AFMAs will create new experiences in where and where not to land, greatly expanding the potential landing areas to virtually anywhere. The point is that a transport plane that can land through experience and skill in 300 feet like a prop spotter plane is "good enough" for Air Assaults since even helicopters when they land in formation require large landing ZONES. The perception that helicopters can land in a circular area little larger than their rotor's reach is only true when landing in ones and twos. In fact, the false perception that we can land directly on top of the enemy into large open areas the enemy can easily anticipate as LZs must stop immediately. Airlanding any aircraft is NOT forced-entry. We must get back into the habit of parachuting Pathfinders to secure drop zones and survey and mark them into assault landing zones for Army AFMA ESTOL aircraft to airland with the immediate approach and departure routes clear of enemy air defense weapons. This will end "Blackhawk Downs!" at least in rural fights. The Army will still need hovering compound helicopters for restricted terrain fights where larger openings are not available embodied throughout every Army Division having an AMS 3D air-ground component. Smaller AMS AFVs under 8 tons provided by the M973A2 armored SUSV (BV-206S) family will provide ground vehicle capability to all Army Divisional recon troops and 101st Air Assault Division units.

Another bad reality is that when you land high-ground pressure rubber tired aircraft onto dirt assault zones, they rut the surface. As shown above from the southern Afghan airbase, engineers will have to constantly resurface the runways, taking time and effort. Refer to the report at the bottom of this page. So while wheeled aircraft can land onto dirt assault zones, it would be much better if they had TRACKED or ideally air cushion landing systems so the surface condition of the area will not be a limiting factor.

The Lockheed-Martin X-35B selected to be the Joint Strike Fighter uses lift-fans creating positive vertical lift rather than resting on a hot air cushion like the unsafe AV-8B Harrier II uses. Lift-Fan technology could be applied to the AFMA's wings to create hovering take-off and landing capability to attain V/TOL insertion/extraction capability without the drawbacks of rotary-wing flight. V/TOL lift-fan technologies could be applied to AFMAs when its time to Service Life Extend Program (SLEP) them.

Air-Mech-Strike Air/Ground Cavalry on each coast

400 x AFMA (militarized GBY-2000s) tracked landing gear jet ESTOL aircraft should be purchased at about $40 million each (half the price delivering 5 times the cargo/passengers at twice the speed of a prop V-22) for a total cost of $16 billion dollars; a one-time acquisition cost. 200 x AFMAs on each coast: 200 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska with the 172nd Arctic Brigade, 200 at Forts Campbell, Bragg Kentucky/North Carolina, 50 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Italy, with 50 at Fort Rucker, Alabama for flight training. The AFMAs when forward-deployed can maneuver a conventional AMS Brigade for operational/tactical missions or specially insert/extract a small Special Forces force at strategic distances. AFMAs can also shuttle vital supplies from C-17s and C-130s into Army FOBs well forward or deep inside enemy held areas. If Army Aviation and Armor branches were merged into one Air/Ground Cavalry Branch; the AFMA units would be the "Air Cavalry" and the FCS units the "Ground Cavalry". In our opinion, FCS should be in two forms; a FCS-2D derived by upgrading M1/M2s airlifted by C-17s and APS-3 sealift ships, and a FCS-3D made by upgraded M113A3s, M8 AGSs and M973A2s airlifted by leased cargo 747s (winged APS-6), C-17s, C-130s, Army helicopters and eventually the brand-new AFMA. A one-size-fits-all FCS 20-ton armored car is neither optimized for heavy 2D battering ram movement "red zone" nor fast 3D air maneuver in the enemy's rear "blue zone". The benefits of "starting over" with a new design FCS made of non-metallic composite materials only increases kinetic energy (KE) projectile armor protection slightly and is moot point because applique' armor is needed to defeat shaped-charge RPGs and ATGMs, and when fitted to existing aluminum alloy armored vehicles automatically achieves the same level of KE protection as a new composite hull.

What about landing in the water?

The Vincent Burnelli lifting body design could be applied to a seaplane....British designer H. Roxbee Cox proposed this 6-engined flying wing seaplane just before WWII...with an unlimited take-off run and the 100% lift efficiency of a flying wing, the SEAPLANE deserves another examination with modern technologies....

Also imagine if a Burnelli-type Extremely Short Take-Off and Landing (ESTOL) aircraft had air cushion landing gear?

Concept courtesy of Mr. Ernest Zavala who is writing a book on the history of Burnelli aircraft...

It would become a defacto seaplane, able to land in oceans, rivers and lakes...and it would be able to land almost anywhere on land without actually needing hard surfaces for wheels to roll on....the russians have already put into production such a combination airplane/hovercraft even though it was Bel Aircraft in the 1960s/70s that first conceived of flying prototyle aircraft with this revolutionary landing/take-off system.....who needs costly, unsafe V/TOL hybrids if you can land almost anywhere in an extremely short distance irrespective of the terrain type?

Imagine setting up our troops anywhere around the world in less than 12 hours after leaving their U.S. home base and deploying them to surround the enemy in all terrain? Ride on a cushion of air and set them down without having to "daisy" bomb an area for landing an aircraft. Talk about them not knowing where we will strike!

Conclusion: Army can afford a New Future Aircraft for Decisive Maneuver if its got civil applications

The role of government is the public welfare of its people, the power of free market greed alone cannot overcome personal pettiness in either public or private life to achieve the best results; especially when the problems are on a national scale requiring the full power of our people to solve them. We are calling on the U.S. government to organize American air travel into a better system and insist on ESTOL and safe airliners be used by sponsoring an American consortium of aircraft makers to build the Burnelli GBY-2000 as the model for the future. By regulation, these safer designs will be obtained by the airline holding banks and leased to the airlines, with older designs transferred to the U.S. military to improve winged APS-6 airlift.The Army will then at a reasonable price obtain militarized GBY-2000s to be its AFMAs.















ATCD-SL (70) 21 Aug 98



SUBJECT: Strategic Brigade Airdrop (SBA) in a Small Austere Airfield (SAAF) Joint Integrated Concept Team (JICT) Meeting Minutes


1. On 22 Jul 98, an SBA/SAAF JICT meeting was held to address a tasker from the 1997 Warfighter Talks. The meeting was co-chaired by representatives from the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC). A list of JICT members is at enclosure 1.

2. The Air Mobility Command provided full release for C-17 operations into SAAF's in Nov 97. Dimensional criteria and guidance for planning, design, construction and evaluation of assault landing zones was documented to conduct training and contingency operations with C-130 and C-17 aircraft in Engineer Technical Letter (ETL) 98-5. Appropriate changes to FM 5-430-00-02/AFJPAM 32-8013, Volume II, Planning and Design of Roads, Airfields, and Heliports in the Theater of Operations - Airfield and Heliport Design and AFJMAN 32-1013/E1 02C013 (TM 5-803-7), Airfield and Heliport Planning and Design are in process.

3. The topic which the JICT was tasked to address was the employment of the SBA into a SAAF. Specifically, the JICT addressed the issue as defined in the Warfighter Talks minutes, "...determine the true SBA requirement for austere field operations, and address how to meet the requirement through a combination of C-17 or other lift aircraft."

4. The JICT determined that, while there were currently no documents which contained a specific written requirement to insert an SBA into a SAAF, the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) implies a requirement to be capable of such by its direction to provide a certain sized force anywhere within a defined timeline.

5. To determine this requirement, briefings and definitions were presented by members of the JICT to establish a common frame of reference for the JICT to work from. A copy of the meeting agenda is at enclosure 2. Further, the JICT addressed the specific questions as follows:

a. Is there a requirement to perform an SBA in a paved SAAF?

b. If so, can it be accomplished within the timelines/resources given by DA/Corps?

c. If there is a requirement to perform in a paved SAAF and it can't be operationally met, why not?

d. What changes/actions can be taken to meet the SBA requirement?

e. Is there a requirement to perform an SBA in a semi-prepared runway (SPR)?

f. If so, can it be accomplished within the timelines/resources given by DA/Corps?

g. If there is a requirement to perform in a semi-prepared runway and it can't be operationally met, why not?

h. What changes/actions can be taken to meet the SBA requirement?

6. A distinction was made between a paved and an unpaved SAAF, based on the joint service common definitions and the fact that the personnel and equipment demands to insert an SBA in a semi-prepared (dirt, gravel runway) are greater. The abbreviated definitions used by the JICT are at enclosure 3. It was discovered that the definitions used in the Engineer Technical Letter 98-5 which were forwarded for Joint publication updates were not consistent with the commonly agreed upon joint definitions. The ETL does not use the term "SAAF" nor define a SAAF, and contains a definition for a "Semi-prepared Assault Landing Zone (ALZ)" which is relatively close to the joint service agreed upon definition of an SPR.

7. To help establish a further frame of reference and common ground, the JICT used planning factors and assumptions in the performance of an SBA. These planning factors and assumptions are based on the results of the Joint Integrated Process Team (JIPT) for Strategic Brigade Airdrop, which was initiated by the respective Service Deputy Chiefs of Staff for Operations and Plans. In addition, the planning factors and assumptions are based on input from the XVIII Abn. Corps G-3 staff. A list of the planning factors and assumptions are at enclosure 4. It was identified early by the 82d Abn. Div. representatives that the Commander of the 82d had initiated a review of the composition of the SBA to redefine the SBA as only the Alpha Echelon (airdrop) element along with 10 airland sorties from the Bravo Echelon, which would insert the Immediate Ready Company (IRC) of tracked and other vehicles. However, it was the consensus of the JICT that since Corps and DA have not approved this idea, we would adhere to the current known planning factors. In addition, Corps/82d representatives stated the order of priorities for a target airfield was: 1.) international airport, 2.) paved SAAF, 3.) semi-prepared SAAF.

8. Discussions ensued using the questions as a guide to direct the JICT. As a result of these discussions, the following was agreed to by all JICT members:

a. There is an implied requirement, based on the verbiage in the DPG, to insert an SBA into a paved SAAF. This requirement can be met in the future with the current SBA assumptions/ planning factors as a guide, given sufficient C-17 aircraft. In the interim, it will require reliance on C-141's for personnel airdrop and a portion of the equipment airdrop, as well as an intermediate staging base (ISB) from which C-17's will shuttle the remaining airland portion. This concept is outlined by the JIPT for SBA to perform an SBA from FY 9704 to FY 0404. Use of an ISB is a short-term response since it is the only viable alternative available (ISB use introduces a greatly increased timeline outside of the SBA requirements and adds additional complexity and risk to the operation).

b. There is an implied requirement, based on the verbiage in the DPG, to insert an SBA into an unpaved SAAF (SPR). However, it was the consensus that, based on the current resources and time constraints, this could not be met with C-17 and/or other airlift. The reason for this is as follows:

(1) Based on previous testing on a semi-prepared runway, the time requirement to prepare a site could take from several hours to several days. This is not within the time line established for an SBA.

(2) Given the shearing force of C-17 braking and its effect on the runway surface, an SPR will have to be shut down for periodic maintenance. Because of the ambitious time line for the airland portion of the SBA (46 airland sorties within 20 hours to close the force within 24 hours; this equates to 26 minutes per aircraft to land, unload, refuel if needed, and takeoff), it was determined that there is no time to stop operations to perform runway maintenance.

(3) Engineers questioned the availability of an SPR that can accommodate at least a maximum on ground (MOG) of 4 aircraft.

(4) The division engineers may require augmentation from corps engineers to prepare and maintain the runway, since the current planned engineer runway package is insufficient for this task. This augmentation will be reflected in an increase in sorties to carry the additional equipment and personnel, thus increasing the overall time to perform an SBA.

c. An evaluation of the alternative courses of action to insert an SBA in an SPR was undertaken. The results are as follows:

(1) Increase the size of the airdrop package (echelon A) to reduce the airland package (echelon B). It was thought that since this option would reduce reliance on the runway and therefore reduce the frequency to perform runway maintenance, it presented a good case for meeting the SBA time line. However, the Corps and the 82d expressed concern over the increase in airdrop time and/or increased drop zone size or potential for increased equipment damage that could result from concentrating more equipment on the drop zone. Therefore, this option was ruled out.

(2) Increase the amount of engineer equipment and personnel. This option would allow for a greater number of engineering assets to prepare and repair the runway in a shorter amount of time. However, it was felt that the trade-off to this would be an increase in sorties to carry this equipment, which would increase the SBA time and may offset any time gained in the area of runway preparation/repair. In addition, even with additional engineering assets, given the rapid pace of the airland sorties it is unlikely the runway would not be closed for a time that would impact the current SBA time line.

(3) Use of alternate airlift instead of C-17. The C-141 and C-5 do not posses the capability to land in an austere runway or an SPR and were thus ruled out. In the future, there will be sufficient C-17's to perform the SBA mission into an SPR. However, because of runway maintenance requirements, the SBA timeline will not be met. In the interim, use of an ISB with C-17 shuttling the airland equipment as outlined in para. 8.a. above is the most viable option. Regardless of the timeframe, use of C-130's will require an ISB due to the nature of the C-130 and its cargo (approximately 4-5 C-130's for every C-17 load), speed, and range limitations (it is also questionable as to whether or not the number of C-130's needed at the ISB could be positioned in a timely manner overseas). The need to transload cargo will greatly expand the timeline and risk as previously mentioned. In addition, oversized and overweight loads (i.e. M-1 tanks, M-2 Bradleys, helicopters, etc.) will still require C-17's for the airland portion. Both C-130 and C-17 will require runway preparation, and even if C-17 delivered only the oversize/ overweight equipment, the runway would still need to be shut down for repair. Even if only C-130's could be used, it is highly likely the runway will need to be shut down for repair. This means the SBA timeline will not be met. Because of these reasons, in the near term there did not appear to be an advantage to using C-130's versus C-17's to perform sorties from an ISB to the SPR, and its use was therefore rule out.

(4) Extend the time line for an SBA in a SPR. This option to extend the time line to insert an SBA into an SPR beyond the 24 hours planned seemed to be the most logical and obtainable given the current scenario and resources available. While there is an inherent risk involved by increasing the time to mass the SBA in a threat environment, it was the most palatable option to the Corps and Division representatives, and was viewed by all as the only viable option.

9. The following recommendations came from the JICT:

a. DPG. During discussion of the SBA requirement, it was discovered that there is an inconsistency between the time stated for deployment of forces in the DPG and that which the Corps/82d is capable of and is planned for in the SBA. Recommend the Army staff elevate this to correct the time line in the DPG.

b. JIPT for SBA. The final meeting of the JIPT for SBA was held in Sep 97. However, several issues surrounding the SBA that are beyond the scope of this JICT still remain open. A time line for performing the SBA into an SPR that is acceptable to the XVIII Airborne Corps and DA needs to be established or the requirement deleted/redefined in the DPG. Issues surrounding aircraft refueling both in the air and on the ground remain, as well as a review of the tactics of getting the aircraft safely to the drop zone in such a large formation and aircraft spacing/delays for runway maintenance of an SPR. Recommend the Army staff resurrect the JIPT for SBA to draw these issues to closure and document the SBA concept, specific requirements and responsibilities in various joint and service specific publications.

c. On 4 Aug 98, TRADOC sent a memorandum to the Warfighting CINC's to solicit their comments on any currently scheduled or planned use of an SBA in a SAAF environment.

d. An attempt should be made to reach a common definition of terms once again, since those listed in the ETL are not consistent with previously published terms. This could be an action for the SBA IPT.

10. In summary, the verbiage in the DPG implies a requirement to insert an SBA into a SAAF, to include an SPR, through its directive to deploy a certain sized force anywhere within a defined time frame. This requirement can be met in a paved SAAF in the future, when sufficient C-17's are available. An SBA cannot be delivered into an SPR under the existing SBA assumptions, due to an inability to meet the time line for the airland portion. The inability to meet the time line is driven by the need to prepare and maintain the SPR, which will interrupt the airland aircraft flow. For this reason, it is recommended that the JIPT for SBA be resurrected to address these and other issues.

10. The POC for this action is LTC Svisco, DSN 986-9401, Comm. (937) 656-9401.





(as) LTC, GS

Director, Army C-17 Requirements











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LTC Thomas Svisco TRADOC/C-17 SPO DSN 986-9401

LTC John Miller G-3 XVIII Abn Corps DSN 236-6805

Mr. Jim Sova HQ TRADOC DSN 680-3005

MAJ Michael Bouie HQDA, ODCSOPS DSN 227-5093

MAJ Jim Daniel G-3 Air, 82d Abn Div DSN 239-0784

CPT Tim Frederick 20th Eng Bde DSN 396-5861

1LT Stephen Rhudy 20th Eng Bde DSN 396-5861

MAJ Dave Kasberg HQ, AMC/Tactics DSN 576-8416

LTC Eli Rosner HQ, 82d Abn Div DSN 239-0632

MAJ Mark Hunter HQ, AMC DSN 576-6458

LTC Kevin Lindsay HHC/20th Eng Bde S-3 DSN 236-2830

MAJ Mark Acker HQ, TRADOC DSN 680-2469

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JICT Meeting Agenda (Draft)

22 July 98


Time Subject POC

0900-0915 Introduction LTC Svisco

Purpose of the JICT


0915-0945 Current/Future Army Requirements MAJ Bouie


0945-1005 Corps Mission Requirements LTC Miller

1005-1020 C-17 Capabilities/Planning MAJ Hunter


1020-1040 SAAF/Semi-prepared Runway LTCLindsay


1040-1055 Break

1055-1130 Discussion of Issues/Answer LTC Svisco


1130-1300 Lunch

1300-1600 Continued Discussion of Issue as


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The SBA is the responsibility of the XVIII Airborne Corps and is a division ready brigade task force, capable of rapid response time, surprise and rapid build-up of combat power, while reducing risk to air assets and providing operational flexibility. It consists of an Alpha Echelon (airdrop personnel & equipment) and a Bravo Echelon (airland personnel & equipment). Under the current CONOPS, the Alpha echelon will assault, seize and secure an area for the introduction of the Bravo Echelon. Ideally, this concept targets an area capable of handling up to four aircraft on ground simultaneously (maximum on ground - MOG) for a total of 46 aircraft in a 20-hour period.

Small, austere airfield (SAAF)

A SAAF is an unsophisticated, short airfield, incapable of C-141 or C-5 operations. It is usually in a forward operating area. SAAF's may have various surfaces including paved (prepared) or unpaved semi-prepared compacted surface (dirt, gravel, sand) runways and are typically limited in one or a combination of the following: material handling equipment, fueling capability, maintenance facilities, taxi ways, navigational aids, and parking space for aircraft ground operations.

Semi-prepared runways (SPR)

A subset of a SAAF, an SPR is an unpaved runway that has been prepared to safely support required aircraft maneuvers. The amount of engineering effort required to prepare an SPR depends upon the planned operations (i.e. number of landings), type of aircraft, the existing and required weight bearing capacity, and the existing soil and weather conditions. Runway preparation could take from a few hours to as long as several days. Consideration should also be given to periodic maintenance and resurfacing of an SPR during operations.

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The following planning factors/assumptions were used by the SBA/SAAF JICT to establish a framework for team members to work with.

1. The SBA delivers - via airdrop (echelon A) and airland (echelon B) - a brigade-sized Army force of the 82d Airborne Division directly from CONUS (whenever possible) to any target area in the world.

2. The mission of the SBA is to seize an area and establish a lodgment for expanded combat operations, as necessary.

3. An SBA could be employed as part of a larger combat operation or as a stand-alone mission to accomplish a Non-Combatant Evacuation operation or show of force.

4. Ultimately, the force package will be tailored to a specific mission, with the Division Ready Brigade (DRB) medium the optimum force for planning.

5. Items contained in the echelon B include some items that are too large to airdrop, such as equipment from the Immediate Ready Company (IRC).

6. Time constraints for the SBA are as follows:

- P-hour is first airdrop aircraft time over target.

- P+30 minutes is last echelon A aircraft airdrops load.

- P+4 hours is first echelon B aircraft lands at target area.

- P+24 hours is last echelon B aircraft lands at target area.

7. Target area characteristics included short, austere areas; likely with no organic air traffic control or cargo handling capability; were not compatible with C-141/C-5; and ideally should possess at least a maximum on ground (MOG) of four C-17's.

8. Airfield selection, requirements, and SBA composition will be METT-T (mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and support available, time available) driven.

9. Runway preparation and maintenance that exceeds the Rapid Runway Repair capabilities of the DRB force would require additional equipment be added to the SBA and heavy dropped. This equipment could come from either the airborne, light equipment company attached to the 82d Airborne Division (618th EN CO) or one of the two combat, airborne engineer battalions (27th and 37th EN BN's) under the 20th Engineer BDE.

10. Echelon B will require a total of 46 C-17 sorties.