Use of Air National Guard Aircraft To Transport Personnel to and From a Bowling Tournament

AFMD-81-44: Published: Mar 27, 1981. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 1981.

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A survey was conducted to inquire into the effectiveness of controls over the use of National Guard aircraft in transporting personnel to sporting events. Questions were raised about the propriety of the Air National Guard's use of many of its aircraft to transport Guard personnel to and from a bowling tournament held in Nashville, Tennessee.

GAO found that these flights were made despite messages sent by the National Guard Bureau to State units forbidding such use. According to Air Force policy, only previously scheduled valid training flights may airlift space-available passengers to participate in sporting events. It is inappropriate to schedule flights to airlift space-available passengers to a sporting event and then justify the flights as training missions. The National Guard policy regarding the airlifting of personnel for purposes of competition or nonoperational functions is that special flights will not be generated to accommodate the schedules of competitive teams. GAO identified 12 military aircraft which were used to airlift space-available passengers to the 1980 bowling tournament.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status:

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to (1) investigate the circumstances surrounding the flights in question; (2) issue formal reprimands to those who authorized the flights contrary to Defense and National Guard policy; (3) seek reimbursement, where appropriate, from those passengers who were on unauthorized flights to and from the Nashville bowling tournament; and (4) arrange for periodic internal audits of the use of aircraft to transport passengers to and from sporting events. Auditors should arrange to visit the sites of widely attended sporting events.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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