Date of Award
Master of Science
This study examines tactical military airlift operations conducted during three historical battles - Stalingrad, Dien Bien Phu, and Khe Sanh. Aspects of tactical military airlift operations are identified from these scenarios. The list of important issues that results can be considered when employing tactical military airlift in the future. Using inductive reasoning, tactical military airlift operations in each scenario, and their success or failure, are examined to develop a pattern for recognizing and describing similar situations in the future. Experiences at Stalingrad, Dien Bien Phu, and Khe Sanh indicated that there are nine elements that should be considered when employing tactical military airlift. Those elements are command and control, aircraft availability and capabilities, technology, location and weather, logistical requirements, support and defense intelligence gathering, training, and political considerations. Command and control, aircraft availability and capabilities, support and defense, and intelligence gathering are identified as crucial elements for success in tactical military airlift operations. The remaining five elements may have an impact on the crucial elements. Historical experience at Stalingrad, Dien Bien Phu, and Khe Sanh indicate that successful application of simple concepts is not automatically achieved. Recognition of the crucial elements and their secondary elements is important to the future of tactical military airlift operations.
DTIC Accession Number
Donoho, James H., "An Analysis of Tactical Military Airlift" (1997). Theses and Dissertations. 6029.