- iii - PREFACE


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This report is submitted as a dissertation to the RAND Graduate

School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy in Policy Analysis. It was produced as part of a larger project sponsored by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space

Operations, HQ USAF. The larger project investigated the creation of a new, integrated readiness assessment and management system for the Air

Force under the Resource Management and System Acquisition program within Project AIR FORCE.

This larger project is designed to provide an analytic structure and support to the Air Force in developing its own, improved system for reporting and managing readiness information for near term readiness assessment.

One of its goals is to provide a structure and implement a system that can use the best available information and models to provide readiness assessments for internal Air Force use and for external reporting on the status of the Air Force. Continuing complex operational requirements and tight budgets demand improved readiness assessment and management. Because air power is so effective and flexible, because it can be used quickly and at great distances, and because these attributes are so important to U.S. national interests, the Air Force should stand out in its ability to assess its readiness quickly and accurately.

The new readiness system needs to provide decision makers with the opportunity to address proactively the policy implications of changes in specific parameters such as:

Manning levels and experience mix

Key resources such as flying hours and range/airspace availability

Unit taskings to include deployment, exercise and contingency requirements

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This report investigates how a particular type of contingency requirement – peace operations deployments – impacts the air-to-ground and air-to-air combat skills of USAF fighter crews.

Project AIR FORCE, a division of RAND, is the Air Force federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for studies and analyses.

It provides the Air Force with independent analyses of policy alternatives affecting the development, employment, combat readiness, and support of current and future aerospace forces. Research is being performed in three programs: Strategy and Doctrine; Force Modernization and Employment; and Resource Management and System Acquisition.