Why Doors and Floors?

Air Mobility Command has put together an 18-page white paper explaining the Air Force rationale for considering “floors and doors” in its KC-X tanker replacement program an essential requirement. The document—which just recently appeared unheralded on the AMC Web site—runs through the tanker/airlift discussion from the last Mobility Capabilities and offers a preview of the MCS-06 results, which “show that tankers are least in demand when airlift assets are stretched most thin during the early deployment phase of a conflict.” The white paper also provides a short history of the use of the service’s current tankers—the KC-135 and KC-10—in their alter ego roles as cargo haulers. A recent Government Accountability Office report criticized what analysts perceive as a lack of analysis behind the “doors and floors” key performance parameter. Some lawmakers, however, see the common sense side of seeking a dual mission aircraft.