Military Airlift:

Observations on the Civil Reserve Air Fleet Program

NSIAD-96-125: Published: Mar 29, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program, focusing on: (1) the extent that participation by commercial carriers in the CRAF program meets wartime requirements; (2) Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to ensure future carrier participation; and (3) the C-17 Defense Acquisition Board's (DAB) review of the CRAF program.

GAO found that: (1) the extent of carrier participation varies in different segments of the CRAF program; (2) commercial carriers have committed only 19 of the 44 aircraft required for aeromedical evacuation; (3) as a result, AMC could have difficulties evacuating casualties from an overseas contingency operation; (4) carriers have committed 114 of the 120 wide-body equivalent aircraft required for cargo airlift; (5) however, this shortage of aircraft has not affected DOD's ability to quickly deploy troops and equipment; (6) participation in passenger airlift exceeds requirements--a commitment of 161 wide-body equivalent aircraft to meet a requirement of 136; (7) to encourage continued carrier participation, AMC has proposed making the award of additional DOD and other government airlift business contingent on some form of commitment to the CRAF program; (8) additionally, AMC is addressing carriers' concerns about war risk insurance coverage; (9) the recent C-17 DAB decision, recognizing the importance of the CRAF program, directed that DOD study ways to stabilize carrier participation and increase commitment of B-747-400 freighter aircraft; and (10) the final results are not due until June 1, 1996.

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