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Tanker-Force Structure

Recapitalization of the KC-135

Juan C. Narvid
2004, 37 pages
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Cost: $0, AU Press Code: MP-32

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In Tanker-Force Structure: Recapitalization of the KC-135, Col Narvid challenges air mobility warriors to develop a tanker-force structure that overcomes the thinking of old to launch new concepts and capabilities for the future tanker. He argues that the future of warfare will require a tanker that is able to operate as a force enabler across the full spectrum of operations. This research is very timely with the Boeing 767 being looked at as a replacement for some of the older KC-135s. In contrast to some of the 767’s capabilities, he outlines a conceptual tanker that combines airlift and aerial-refueling capabilities and is able to survive in a combat environment, and he leverages its ability to act as a platform to enhance network-centric warfare. He points out that while the “Cadillac” of all tankers may only be conceived in the minds of Airmen, the tanker of the future cannot resemble the single-role tanker of the past.

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