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Civil Reserve Air Fleet Stage I Deactivation Announced

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --- The commander, U.S. Transportation Command has determined that continuation of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet call up is not required and has notified CRAF carriers that all aircraft called up will be released on June 18, 2003. The projected civil air passenger and cargo support required for Operation Iraqi Freedom can be met through carrier volunteers.

Air Force General John W. Handy activated the passenger portion of CRAF Stage 1 on February 8, 2003 to provide the Department of Defense with additional airlift to move U.S. troops and military cargo during the buildup of U.S. forces in the Arabian Gulf region. CRAF aircraft are U.S. commercial passenger and cargo aircraft that are contractually pledged to move passengers and cargo when DOD's airlift requirements exceed the capability of U.S. military aircraft.

The CRAF activation included authorization for both passenger and cargo aircraft but only the passenger portion was actually used. Voluntary participation by the airlines was at such a high level that cargo requirements were met without additional CRAF assets.

General Handy said, “Even before we activated CRAF, our commercial carriers volunteered their tremendous capability to airlift troops and cargo for DOD. We are thankful to these airlines that have played a major role in supporting U.S. military forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom. We simply could not have met the massive, fast-paced demands of our troop deployment without the dedication and determination of the men and women of CRAF.”

From February 8, 2003 to June 9, 2003, 11 CRAF commercial carriers flying 51 passenger aircraft, completed over 1,625 missions and airlifted over 254,143 troops to destinations around the world. The majority of these missions were to the Middle East. During this same period, voluntary participation by 16 commercial carriers moved 11,050 short tons of cargo in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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