Most defense blogs, including those at Early Warning, focus on weapons systems, things that do violence. Yet, were it not for an incredibly sophisticated logistics and support system, including specialized vehicles, aircraft and ships, the United States would not be able to wield its military power to much effect. In fact, along with the most capable and sophisticated weapons systems of any country in the world, the U.S. military also has an array of support systems that is the envy of the world. These include the C-17 or C-130 aircraft, the CH-47 helicopter and V-22, Maritime Prepositioning Force and the families of medium and heavy trucks.
One aircraft key to the ability of the U.S. Navy to operate in crisis or war is the C-2 Greyhound. The Greyhound is a logistics aircraft that transports critical supplies and personnel to and from U.S. aircraft carriers. The C-2 is a derivative of the E-2 Hawkeye, the world’s premier carrier-based surveillance and C2 aircraft. Both the E-2 and the C-2 are undergoing major upgrades and life extensions that will add to their commonality, thereby reducing the overall logistics burden on the Navy.
The C-2 does not just support the carrier strike group in wartime. It has a major role to play in humanitarian assistance missions. Along with other U.S. transport and ISR platforms, the C-2 has been busy ferrying relief supplies and humanitarian workers to Haiti. Operating from Guantanamo Bay, C-2s ferried critical medical supplies to the quake ravaged island. Because of the requirement to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, the C-2 can handle the short, often rough runways that are typical in many parts of the world. The range of the C-2 and its ability to land and take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier enables this platform to provide assistance and support over long distances and can extend the operational range of the carrier strike group.
The value of the U.S. military resides not just in its superior combat capability but also in its capability to support and sustain that combat power — as well as that of coalition partners — around the world. Moreover, platforms such as the C-2 give the U.S. military a unique ability to aid the victims of natural and manmade disasters around the world.
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