Big Tanker, Little Tanker

Speaking about the long-delayed Mobility Capabilities Study, now circulating in draft form, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper believes it will “shift the focus” to a mix of large and smaller tankers. He also expects the inherent cargo-carrying capabilities of tankers to be “counted” in the assessment of mobility capability. Counting tankers against mobility needs, said Jumper, means the Pentagon could come up short of mobility airlift if the tankers are needed to pass fuel at the same time they are expected to haul cargo or troops. “You take that risk,” said Jumper.