TEHRAN, Iran — An Air Force feasibility study has revealed that Iran has no hotels that meet the high standards for housing U.S. Air Force airmen should they be deployed in response to the country's recent turmoil. The study was reported to congress by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein earlier this week.
Although plans to enter Iran have not been released, recent Iranian escalation in Iraq caused Goldfein to question the amenities available if airmen are deployed.
The study was conducted by an elite team of Air Force general officers pulled from their daily work compiling PowerPoint slides for more senior generals. Upon spending days browsing popular sites such as Booking.com and Expedia, they were concerned over the lack of suitable 5-star hotels and a surplus of 3- and 4-star hotels. Poor reviews on an existing 5-star Hilton property, the Parsian Esteghlal International Hotel, also were concerning. Many pilots prefer to stay with Hilton on long deployments to accumulate reward points.
"The Air Force has ongoing concerns that—with so few luxury hotels in the region—our ability to deploy airman and sustain airpower operations will be limited," Gen. Goldfein told Congress. "If the U.S. is considering Iranian intervention, this is the first problem we need to address."
Adding to the concern are the disrupted shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz, which will make it difficult to deploy the air conditioning units necessary for Air Force facilities. This issue was brought to the Air Force's attention by a group of Anthony’s Pizza franchise owners, who have ruled out the possibility of expanding into Iran, even if escorted through the strait by the military.
Although Goldfein has already set a travel advisory on his Hilton rewards card for Iran, he assures airmen that they won’t be deployed until suitable hotels are available.
Lieutenant Dan contributed to this post.