The Gulf War of 1990–91 revealed a logistical gap between the US military’s small, overnight airlift capabilities and its immense, but far-from-overnight sealift capabilities. Those first combat troops to arrive had no way to sustain combat operations until supplies arrived weeks later, via “fast” surface ships. Fortunately, their Iraqi enemy gave them months to build up their forces, and 95 percent of American materiel eventually arrived via sealift.
This need for mid-term transport led Lieutenant Colonel Donald E. Ryan, Jr., of the USAF to consider the airship’s potential for airlift. In his estimation, a modern Hindenburg would be able to carry roughly as much as a cargo jet, would be able to reach anywhere on the globe within 10 days, and would cost just a fraction of what a jet costs.
Further, airships can land without an airstrip, they can carry “outsized” cargo, they’re almost invisible to radar, and they’re surprisingly robust:
For example, the only US airship lost in combat during World War II, the K-74, took three 88mm gun hits and 200 rounds of 20mm cannon fire from a submarine it was attacking before finally going down.