Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

Second Advisor

Peter P. Feng, PhD


The United States Air Force’s (USAF) Agile Combat Employment (ACE) strategy relies on host country access and underlying local infrastructure to facilitate airpower. However, numerous factors, including peer-to-peer threats, complex geopolitics, and intricate supply chain management, often complicate site access and thwart site selection decisions. When shaping the battlespace for future conflict, strategists and planners face the difficult task of identifying optimal locations to conduct adaptive basing operations given these complicating factors. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) can help strategists appropriately account for competing objectives and maintain a competitive advantage with theater adversaries. This thesis presents an MCDA model that evaluates ACE site selection alternatives within the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Area of Responsibility (AOR) using a geographic information system (GIS) enabled analytic hierarchy process (AHP) methodology and open-source data pertinent to the theater. The model analyzed 576 airports in 26 countries and compared alternative locations based on runway length, the Fragile States Index (FSI), the population center of the People’s Republic of China, construction equipment dealers, and natural water resources. The results demonstrate the framework’s efficacy and utility in identifying existing airports best suited for the deployment of USAF combat and support assets. The methodology is expected to provide invaluable support to Combatant Commanders as they optimize ACE infrastructure, preserve resources, and minimize risk to United States Armed Forces.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number