Military Aircraft Used for Operational Support Airlift

NSIAD-96-181R: Published: Jun 12, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on military aircraft used for operational support airlift (OSA) missions and the Department of Defense's (DOD) response to prior GAO recommendations on the use of such aircraft. GAO noted that: (1) DOD has revised its policies to ensure that senior executive branch officials' use of certain Air Force aircraft is appropriate and consistent; (2) the new policies apply to all military aircraft used for OSA missions and specify when, by whom, and for what purpose the aircraft should be used; (3) DOD also requires documentation of cost comparisons between military and commercial carriers; (4) DOD has developed a common methodology for determining OSA wartime requirements and established a joint requirement for 391 OSA aircraft; (5) DOD plans to consolidate the services' scheduling of OSA aircraft under a single, joint command and reduce OSA flying hours to those needed for pilot training; (6) DOD plans to reutilize or sell 118 excess OSA aircraft; and (7) DOD has issued a new policy that further limits senior officials' use of helicopters in the greater Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan area except in unusual circumstances.

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