Relocation of Carrier Air Wing FIVE for USMC
Modeling multiple air unit relocation scenarios
Navy Carrier Air Wing FIVE squadrons were identified to be moved from NAF Atsugi, near Tokyo, to MCAS Iwakuni in rural southwest Japan. The USMC was also considering the relocation of an Okinawa-based KC-130 squadron to MCAS Iwakuni. At the same time, Iwakuni was undergoing major modifications to the airfield: moving the main runway, relocating fuel pits and arms loading areas, and building new taxiways and ramps. Additionally, the Japanese government was considering placing a commercial air carrier terminal at the airfield. U.S. military commands in Japan raised concern over the operational viability of the massive reorganization of the Iwakuni Air Station.
In 2006, ATAC customers: Marine Corps Forces, Pacific; Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and the Department of the Navy required the application NASMOD to model 12 different scenarios simulating different combinations of units relocated to the base and various runway and taxiway configurations. Training airspace was also studied for capacity and suitability to complete required training missions. Runway throughput was studied for capacity and identification of any potential bottlenecks, and the new base infrastructure was studied for operations efficiency and capacity. Using NASMOD results, U.S. Forces, Japan and the USMC were able to tailor construction requirements and uncovered a serious deficiency of training airspace.
Using the defensible, quantitative results, U.S. Forces, Japan was able to plan for air training needs years in advance. Operational training requirements were used to negotiate with the Government of Japan for new airspace in the region, specifically designed to address identified shortfalls. In 2008, ATAC was again asked to model the Iwakuni operations using newly designated special use airspace. NASMOD results verified that the planned airfield and airspace infrastructure now meets current and future requirements including F-35 operations.
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