The United States Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), A Brief History; Formation, Functionality and Future

The government of the United States and its defense components rely upon a civilian fleet of aircraft which is used to supplement its needs in times of national emergency. Air mobility has always been a force multiplier used by the United States from the onset of aircraft carriers, to strategic bases world-wide. This paper will review the historical and legal development of the fleet while exploring the geo-political actions taken by the government in support of global needs and posture both real and perceived. Discussion will evolve around a conceptualization of the governments goals and the realities of the on the ground situations encountered. The policy and funding events that squandered millions of dollars on behalf of taxpayers will be discussed. The US forces world-wide, although ready to deploy rapidly must be supported logistically with all of the needs and consumables that any military force must have from food and ammunition to medical and communications gear. This national policy tool, CRAF gives the United States the ability for timely responses, agility to complex situations and a far reaching forward hand in any conflict or situation. This paper will focus on the cargo/freight aspect of CRAF and not become involved with the MAC troop and logistical movements under the defense department and sometimes confused with specific needs. The research will focus on true civilian aircraft in CRAF use and omit any discussion of military hardware and components of the command, looking into the future in terms of both need and demand.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 14p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763867
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01345
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:13AM