The Civil Reserve Air Fleet and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Issues for the Future.
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Shortly after midnight on August 18, 1990 Zulu time, the military Airlift Command MAC activated the Civil Reserve Air Fleet CRAF for the first time in its history. This action gave MAC access to 17 commercial long-range international passenger jets and 21 long-range cargo transports. Volunteered aircraft boosted MACs capability even higher. Five months later, on January 17, 1991 Zulu time, MAC sent the airlines another activation message, this time without warning. It announced the call-up of additional aircraft by activating the second stage of the CRAF program. With both stages, the military could use up to 77 passenger and 39 cargo commercial aircraft in addition to volunteered airlift. MAC and CRAF assets- both activate and volunteered-from August 1990 to May 1991 to support the massive deployment of U.S. troops and supplies to the Gulf region, sustain the operation, and return them home again. Long-range international commercial aircraft and crews flew more tham 5000 missions for MAC. In fact, more than 60 percent of the troops and 25 of the cargo airlifted into or out of the theater went by airliners. Perhaps the single most important lesson learned from recent experience is that CRAF works. But the operation also indicates that some changes are necessary to ensure a robust CRAF for the future.
- Civilian Aircraft
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics