HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

Civil Reserve Air Fleet

Civil Reserve Air Fleet

Civil Reserve Air Fleet

A unique and significant part of the nation's air mobility resources is the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, or CRAF. Selected aircraft from U.S. airlines, contractually committed to CRAF, augment Department of Defense airlift requirements in emergencies when the need for airlift exceeds the capability of military aircraft. 

The CRAF has two main segments: international and national. The international segment is further divided into the long-range and short-range sections and the national segment satisfies domestic requirements. Assignment of aircraft to a segment depends on the nature of the requirement and the performance characteristics needed. 

The long-range international section consists of passenger and cargo aircraft capable of transoceanic operations. The role of these aircraft is to augment the Air Mobility Command's long-range intertheater C-5s and C-17s during periods of increased airlift needs, from minor contingencies up through full national defense emergencies. 

Medium-sized passenger and cargo aircraft make up the short-range international section supporting near offshore and select intra-theater airlift requirements.

The airlines contractually pledge aircraft to the various segments of CRAF, ready for activation when needed. To provide incentives for civil carriers to commit aircraft to the CRAF program and to assure the United States of adequate airlift reserves, the government makes peacetime DOD airlift business available to civilian airlines that offer aircraft to the CRAF. DOD offers business through the CRAF Charter Airlift Services contract. 

To participate in the international segments of CRAF, carriers must maintain a minimum commitment of 30 percent of its CRAF capable passenger fleet and 15 percent of its CRAF capable cargo fleet. Aircraft committed must be U.S.-registered and carriers must commit and maintain at least four complete crews for each aircraft.

Carriers with aircraft whose performance does not meet minimum CRAF requirements are issued a certificate of technical ineligibility so they can still compete for government airlift business. 

As of June 2014, 24 carriers and 553 aircraft are enrolled in CRAF. This includes 517 aircraft in the international segment with 391 in the long-range international section and 126 in the short-range international section. There are 36 aircraft in the national segment. These numbers are subject to change on a monthly basis. 

Three stages of incremental activation allow for tailoring an airlift force suitable for the contingency at hand. Stage I is for minor regional crises and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HADR) efforts, Stage II would be used for major theater war and Stage III for periods of national mobilization. 

The commander, U.S. Transportation Command, with approval of the Secretary of Defense, is the activation authority for all three stages of CRAF. During a crisis, if AMC has a need for additional aircraft, it would request the commander of USTRANSCOM to take steps to activate the appropriate CRAF stage. 

Each stage of the CRAF activation is only used to the extent necessary to provide the amount of civil augmentation airlift needed by DOD. When notified of call-up, the carrier response time to have its aircraft ready for a CRAF mission is 24 to 48 hours after AMC assigns the mission, depending on which CRAF stage is activated. The air carriers continue to operate and maintain the aircraft with their resources; however, AMC controls the aircraft missions.

Safety is the paramount concern, and numerous procedures are in effect to ensure that the air carriers with which AMC contracts afford the highest level of safety to DOD passengers. Prior to receiving a contract, all carriers must demonstrate that they have provided substantially equivalent and comparable commercial service for one year before submitting their offer to fly for the Defense Department. All carriers must be fully certified Federal Aviation Administration carriers and meet the stringent standards of FAA regulations pertaining to commercial airlines (FAR Part 121).

A DOD survey team, composed of experienced pilots and skilled maintenance personnel, performs an on-site inspection of the carriers. This team conducts a comprehensive inspection that includes the carrier's aircraft, training facilities, crew qualifications, maintenance procedures and quality control practices. After passing this survey, the Commercial Airlift Review Board approves the carrier to provide charter airlift services before receiving a contract. 

The DOD Commercial Airlift Division continues to monitor the carrier's safety record, operations and maintenance status, contract performance, financial condition and management initiatives, summarizing significant trends in a comprehensive review every six months. In addition to this in-depth review, there are several other surveillance initiatives. These include safety preflight inspections of commercial aircraft by DOD designated inspectors and periodic cockpit observations on operational flights by highly experienced pilots from AMC's DOD Commercial Airlift Division. This Division maintains close coordination with the FAA for the flow of information on all DOD approved carriers.

The following air carriers are members of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (subject to change monthly) 

International Segment - Long Range Section: 
ABX Air 
Air Transport International 
American Airlines 
Atlas Air 
Delta Air Lines 
Federal Express Airlines 
Hawaiian Airlines 
Kalitta Air Cargo
National Air Cargo Group dba National Airlines 
Omni Air International 
Polar Air Cargo 
Sky Lease I
Southern Air 
United Air Lines 
United Parcel Service
US Airways 

International Segment - Short Range Section: 
Alaska Airlines 
American Airlines
Delta Air Lines 
Jet Blue Airways
Lynden Air Cargo 
Miami Air International 
MN Airlines dba Sun Country
Northern Air Cargo 
United Air Lines

National Segment - Domestic Section: 

Allegiant Air
Southwest Airlines 


Point of Contact 
Air Mobility Command, Public Affairs Office; 402 Scott Drive, Unit 1-M-8; Scott AFB, Ill. 62225-5335;
DSN 779-7843 or (618) 229-7843. 
email: amc-pao@us.af.mil



(Current as of July 2014)

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Thanks to the conservation upgrades, Keesler AFB expects an annual savings of 113,840 million British Thermal Units, a 15.8 p…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@Spangdahlem_AB was the first wing in @HQUSAFEAFAF capable of Agile Combat Employment. Being agile & persistent is a m…
Twitter
After catastrophic flooding in Germany & Belgium, @Spangdahlem_AB volunteers provide relief. “80% of people on Sp… https://t.co/6roLIRoFT0
Twitter
RT @Southcom: Supporting our partners in #Suriname: A @usairforce C-17 from @TeamCharleston delivered a field hospital to Suriname July 1…
Twitter
Congratulatons! 🎓 https://t.co/dzK8o0E9rK
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: On the latest edition of the Air Force Starts Here Podcast, we discuss the modernization of the @usairforce Career Developm…
Twitter
F-16s from the 555th Fighter Squadron fire munitions at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base range during Thracian Star 21 i… https://t.co/aYEY5PoEWD
Twitter
The #AirForce Civil Engineer Center, in partnership with the USAF Installation Contracting Center, has streamlined… https://t.co/8iFGwfrYHR
Twitter
A-10 Thunderbolt II's auxiliary power unit insulation is on the path of modernization as the Ogden Air Logistics Ce… https://t.co/3vWCDmV8Sf
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr made his first trip to Europe as CSAF, to visit European counterparts in France, and virtually at th… https://t.co/fnK8dTaHA4
Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Have you ever had that lightbulb 💡 moment where a new game changing idea pops into your head? Well the @usairforce, @S
Twitter
RT @SecDef: We train to win future conflicts. @NORADCommand and @USNorthernCmd are currently leading #GIDE3 with all 11 combatant commands…
Twitter
“Our human capital is our ultimate weapon.” - Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, @AFSpecOpsCmd deputy commander, remarked recentl… https://t.co/SijxHO8VVX
Twitter
.@Hanscom_AFB introduces newly designed female body armor. “It’s exciting to feel represented as a female, and it’… https://t.co/fniK9XlzDh
Twitter
ICYMI: @amccommander Gen Van Ovost approves the Centerline Drogue System as the KC-46A Pegasus’ first Interim Capab… https://t.co/ACrozwmm1e
Twitter
The 128th Air Refueling Wing with the Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard is supporting #TeamTyndall's F-22 Raptors @NASKeyWesthttps://t.co/uRlpW1Jmt3
Twitter
.@EielsonAirForce Airmen are conducting Agile Combat training, aimed at developing combat habit patterns for use in… https://t.co/8BoWN2gE2I
Twitter
RT @USNationalGuard: Airmen from the @109thAW hosted two @USAFReserve Airmen while they completed their hands-on training as aerial port sp…
Twitter
.@Creech_AFB's 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron completed successful testing of the MQ-9 Reapers' Automatic Takeo… https://t.co/BnckGjqO76
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Air Force Chief of Staff, @GenCQBrownJr, has a message for those considering a career in the @usairforce: Regardless…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,353,952
Follow Us