Status Quo In Intratheater Airlift

Having both the Air Force and Army operate fleets of C-27J transports offers the most value to the joint force of all options considered as ways to maximize the use of these intratheater airlift assets, according to the Pentagon’s newly issued Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review Report. Indeed, the services’ responsibilities for intratheater airlift are “appropriately aligned,” states the report (full document; caution large file), which was issued yesterday. Nonetheless, the review found that there are still areas for improvement to increase joint synergy and avoid duplication of effort, based on the lessons of recent operations. As a result, the Air Force, Army, and US Transportation Command are updating the C-27 concept of operations and revising the two services’ memorandum of agreement. Specifically, “the Air Force will make necessary adjustments to ensure the Air Force C-27J can conduct Army direct support missions when requested, and the Army will make certain its C-27J variant can be fully integrated into a common-user airlift system when available/allocated,” states the report. The Defense Department examined options ranging from having the Air Force operate all C-27Js to the Army having ownership of all of them, the report said. Stay tuned for more on the report’s complete findings.