Two if by Air

Both the continuing resupply of US forces in Afghanistan and the “retrograde”—or return of equipment from that theater—will depend on the Air Force for the foreseeable future, said Lt. Gen. Judith Fedder, the Air Staff’s top logistics official, May 17. “Since we don’t have access” to Pakistani roads and rails right now, which would allow ground and sea transportation of goods and equipment, “we will have to have robust capability at our air terminals” for some time to come, she said during an AFA-Air Force Breakfast Program address in Arlington, Va. Rail supply of northern Afghan facilities relieves some of the burden, but apparently those rail lines can’t be used to ship US equipment—like Humvees and MRAP vehicles—to pre-positioning sites elsewhere in the Middle East. “I don’t expect we’ll have an opportunity to reduce that [air resupply] capability anytime soon,” said Fedder, adding that there are “many, many months of equipment—mostly Army equipment—that we have the responsibility of bringing out of that theater.” The United States will rely on “aerial ports there for a considerable amount of time,” she noted. (See also Air Force Feels Bump in Fuel Costs.)