SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., – U.S. Transportation Command and the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) organization within the Office of the Secretary of Defense began a critical assessment of the number of tanker aircraft, airlift aircraft and sealift ships needed to meet future combatant commander requirements on March 8, 2018.
The study, known as the Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study, or MCRS-18, was directed by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018.
Gen. Darren McDew, commander, USTRANSCOM testified before the House Armed Services committee earlier this month, emphasizing growing concern over the potential gaps between air refueling and organic sealift requirements and capacity. MCRS-18 will detail those requirements.
“America’s air refueling fleet is the most stressed of our air mobility forces. The combination of an aging fleet, increasing demand, and global tanker distribution puts a significant strain on this scarce national resource,” said McDew.
McDew also emphasized the importance of continuing a recapitalization strategy to address the U.S. Navy’s aging organic sealift fleet.
MCRS-18 will estimate fleet requirements needed to meet the demands of the latest National Defense Strategy.
“Our ability to deploy decisive force is foundational to the National Defense Strategy. The size and lethality of the force is of little consequence if we can’t get it where it needs to go when we want it there,” said McDew.
The study is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018.