Military Airlift:

Changes Underway to Ensure Continued Success of Civil Reserve Air Fleet

NSIAD-93-12: Published: Dec 31, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 31, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program, focusing on: (1) the government and commercial carriers' perspectives on the first activation of CRAF; and (2) changes to the CRAF program that reflect the Department of Defense's force restructuring.

GAO found that: (1) CRAF is an important but inexpensive component of the Air Force's airlift capability; (2) CRAF can provide over 30 percent of the Air Force's cargo airlift capability and over 90 percent of passenger airlift capability; (3) the government does not incur the costs of acquiring and supporting a larger fleet due to the program; (4) CRAF played a significant role in Operations Desert Shield/Storm and is expected to be a major part of the Air Force's airlift capability in the future; (5) many commercial carriers identified problems with the program and suggested that they would reduce participation unless changes were made; and (6) the Air Force and commercial carriers are working to resolve many concerns in negotiations for the next series of CRAF contracts.

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