Aerial refuelling is a significant force multiplier and extends the reach of a military force. The USAF is looking at innovative ways of managing aerial refuelling.


The new USAF Chief of staff Gen. Charles Brown, has challenged his team to radically improve Operational Reach. Aerial refuelling is a vital force-multiplier, and this article argues for Agile Combat Employment to cover the extensive Pacific Region. It also notes that leaders need to understand the problem of refuelling combat aircraft to enhance USAF Capability. Although the USAF has the world's largest tanker fleet, USAF tankers are basically commercial aircraft with a fuel bladder. Further, they need long runways and are very vulnerable on the ground. Given then that an attack on refuelling aircraft could ground USAF's pacific combat force—the USAF needed to find a solution. One solution is to build more dispersed forward operating bases. Australia also has to deal with the tyranny of distance. How might the USAF experience inform how our Air Force operates in the region?