GAO Tells Pentagon to Re-examine CRAF Demand Post Afghanistan

A recent Government Accountability Office report has directed the Secretary of Defense to shift some of its peacetime airlift workload to commercial sources to buttress the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. The Defense Department exceeded the flying hours needed to meet military training requirements for mobility aircrews from Fiscal 2002 through Fiscal 2010 due to increased operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the report, released on June 20. However, with the Afghanistan drawdown looming, demands on airlift are projected to decline by at least 66 percent to pre 9/11 levels, which will reduce both training opportunities for military aircrews and business opportunities for participants in the CRAF, states the report. Because there is no linkage between DOD’s process for monitoring flight hours and its allocation of eligible airlift missions to CRAF participants, GAO said “it cannot determine whether (DOD) is using CRAF to the maximum extent practicable,” (GAO report)