Civil Reserve Air Fleet Enhancement Program: a study of its viability in today's environment
Wales, William S.
Brown, David G.
Hocevar, Susan P.
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During the 1970s and 1980s, there existed a gap between the strategic mobility requirement and the nation's cargo assets to meet this requirement. Consequently, the Military Airlift Command developed and implemented the Civil Reserve Air Fleet Enhancement Program (CEP) to bridge this gap. Civilian airlines were given monetary and other incentives to modify their existing wide- body passenger aircraft enabling them to carry military-sized cargo in the event of military necessity. This study examines the National Defense Airlift System, the concept behind the CEP's development and reasons for its failure. It also discusses whether the current military, Congressional, and airline environments are conducive to a revitalization of the CEP. It was determined that the current environments do not favor a re-birth of the CEP. However, if a CEP were deemed necessary to meet a potential gap in the strategic mobility requirement, actions could be taken by AMC, Congress, and the airlines to aid its success. Some of these actions are: developing adequate incentives enticing airline participation, ensuring even distribution of enhanced aircraft among CEP participants, investigating use of medium-sized aircraft, investigating benefits of placing financial liens on enhanced aircraft, and reducing CRAF activation concerns among participants.
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