SECTION C: AIR FORCE

C.1 Introduction

This section reviews all aspects of U.S. Air Force support of missions used to transport, as passengers, senior United States civilian officials classified as Distinguished Visitor (DV) Codes 1 and 2 (President, Vice President, SecState, SecDef, etc.) as tasked by the White House Military Office (WHMO) or appropriate U.S. Air Force agencies. The section focuses on the 89th Airlift Wing (89 AW), since that organization has the mission of supporting the travel of high government officials. However, other USAF units also are involved in DV Codes 1 and 2 travel. The USAF team visited a representative cross section of these units; the results of those visits and other pertinent material are also reviewed in this section of the report.

C.2 Tasking Policy/Process

C.2.1 In the Executive Branch, the current policy for use of military aircraft is outlined in a White House Chief of Staff Memorandum dated 16 September 1994. The policy states that commercial airline accommodations shall generally be used as the most economic means to conduct official travel. In some cases, military aircraft may be used for official White House support missions if commercial travel is not available or appropriate for the particular mission. The memorandum outlines instances where use of DoD aircraft is appropriate. The travel must be one of the following:

a. Defense related

b. In direct support of the President, Vice President, or First Family

c. Specifically directed by the President

d. Required to meet national security concerns

The memorandum provides guidance on how requests will be reviewed/approved as well as the rates to be used for instances where agencies must reimburse the DoD.

C.2.2 In the Department of Defense, policy for using military aircraft is found in a memorandum from the Deputy Secretary of Defense dated 1 October 1995, DoD Policy on the Use of Government Aircraft and Air Travel. This memorandum states "Military aircraft shall not be used if commercial airline or aircraft (including charter) service is reasonably available, i.e., able to meet the traveler's departure and/or arrival requirements within a 24-hour period, unless highly unusual circumstances present a clear and present danger, an emergency exists, use of MilAir is more cost-effective than commercial air, or other compelling operational considerations make commercial transportation unacceptable." The memorandum also outlines which travelers are required to use military aircraft and provides guidance how requests will be handled for other official travel. Currently, this memorandum is considered the "bible" when it comes to policy governing use of DoD aircraft for official travel.

C.2.3 The policy for support of travel by members of Congress is found in DoD Directive 4515.12, Department of Defense Support for Travel of Members and Employees of the Congress dated 12 December 1964. The directive states "...support for approved travel of members and employees of the Congress shall be provided on an economical basis (1) upon request of the Congress pursuant to law, or (2) where necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the DoD." The directive outlines factors which shall be considered when providing DoD support of Congressional travel, as well as the procedures to follow when requesting/approving such travel.

C.2.4 Essentially, U.S. Air Force tasking to transport/support DV Codes 1 and 2 originates from one of three sources: the White House through the White House Military Office (WHMO), other Executive/Judicial agencies, and Congress. In the case of Presidential travel, WHMO tasks the Presidential Pilot Office (PPO) at Andrews AFB, Maryland directly. At roughly the same time, WHMO tasks the Tanker Airlift Control Center (TACC) at Headquarters Air Mobility Command (HQ AMC) for transport of support equipment and personnel. TACC in turn tasks individual airlift wings (could be AMC, Air Combat Command (ACC), National Guard (ANG), or Air Force Reserve (AFRES) wings); depending on load, range, and aircraft availability. These missions are called "Phoenix Banner" (Presidential support), "Phoenix Silver" (Vice Presidential support), and "Phoenix Copper" (Secret Service, non-Presidential/VP support).

C.2.5 With the exception of the President, the Office of the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff/Special Air Missions (CVAM) is the focal point for DV Codes 1 and 2 travel which originates in CONUS. Presidential-directed travel (e.g. SecState) is tasked from WHMO directly to CVAM. In the case of travel by Executive/Cabinet Level DVs, the travel request is reviewed/approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Executive Secretariat and then sent to CVAM. The process is similar for Congressional travel except the request is approved by the OSD Legislative Affairs Office before it goes to CVAM. Service DVs who are eligible and approved either through their "required use" status or appropriate approving authority (e.g. SECAF approves Ass't SECAF) also make their requests to CVAM. Once CVAM receives a request, they validate the request and task the appropriate USAF unit for execution. For DV travel originating overseas (e.g. the traveler flies commercial to Europe and then uses USAF assets in theater), the OSD Executive Secretariat requests support from the Director, Joint Staff, who in turn passes the request to the appropriate Unified Command.

C.2.6 CVAM tasks 89 AW directly, usually by specific aircraft tail number. The 89 AW in turn, selects the crews, prepares the aircraft and flies the mission. In the unlikely event CVAM cannot support the DV mission with 89 AW assets, they look to other USAF units (DV configured KC-10, E-4, CINC support aircraft, etc.) to meet the traveler's requirements. Assuming the MAJCOM/unit agrees to support the DV mission, CVAM passes the appropriate information to the selected MAJCOM/unit.

C.2.7 In some cases, CVAM determines that the mission is best supported by an operational support aircraft (OSA), primarily C-21 and C-22. (NOTE: A European CT-43 was destroyed on 3 April 1996; the Air Force intends to replace it with a C-9 to become part of OSA.) Destination, size of party, and communication requirements are some considerations in making the decision to use OSA. If OSA is deemed the best option, CVAM will validate the OSA request and send it to the MAJCOM as noted above. In this case, the appropriate MAJCOM allocates the mission to a USAF wing. Beginning 1 October 1996, the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center (JOSAC) became the multi-service single manager for CONUS OSA. Figure 1 outlines the tasking process from the originating agency to the appropriate flying unit. NOTE: The tasking process from the wing level down will be assessed later in this report.

Figure 1: DV Tasking

C.3 Safety Overview/Comparison

C.3.1 While absolute safety is not possible, every mission is undertaken with a set of known and unknown risks. Primary DV airlift is provided by 89 AW and PPO at Andrews AFB. It should be noted that no 89 AW aircraft has ever been damaged or destroyed in the performance of a presidential mission. Only two aircraft in 89 AW have been involved in major mishaps; neither was destroyed. The 89 AW and PPO however, are only able to handle a portion of the DV airlift requirement. Additional DV airlift comes from the operational support airlift fleet and from other units with aircraft capable of supporting DV mission requirements.

C.3.2 As a point of reference, Air Force safety performance can be compared to the performance of similar aircraft flying comparable missions in the private sector. Such comparisons are not, however, precise due to differences in the way safety data is captured and analyzed by the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). While there are similarities in the missions, differences exist that can have an impact on safety performance. For example, a large portion of the airlift fleet conducts air refueling and airdrop operations, but civilian carriers do not. It is also important to note that, within the Air Force, one mishap may produce a dramatic change in the system specific mishap rate due to small fleet size and fewer hours flown.

C.3.3 The Air Force flies a number of military versions of commercial aircraft in support of DV airlift missions. Figure 2 compares ten-year accident rates for Air Force passenger carrying aircraft to rates for their commercial equivalents. Although there is no commercial equivalent for some USAF passenger carrying aircraft (C-141, C-130, C-5), mishap data is included for reference. C­17 data is not included because of limited history.
USAF DV Aircraft
Class-A Mishaps per 100,000 flight hours (87-96)
Number of Class-A mishaps/ Number of hours
Commercial Equivalent
Accidents per 100,000 flight hours (Various time periods

87-96)
Number of Accidents/ Number of hours
C-9A/C
0.00
0/271,327
DC-9
0.23
21/9.1M
C-22A
0.00
0/27,104
Boeing 727
0.086
25/28.8M
VC-25A

E-4B
0.00

5.35
0/2,441

1/18,700
Boeing 747
0.075
21/28.4M
C-137

C-135
3.10

0.36
1/32,186

7/2.09M
Boeing 707
1.48
35/23.5M
T-43A
0.88
1/114,297
Boeing 737
0.133
65/48.7M
C-20
0.00
0/71,251
Gulfstream III & IV
0.11

0.00
1/1.09M

0/642,518
C-21
0.39
2/519,210
Lear 35
0.58
8/1.38M
KC-10
0.82
4/489,062
DC-10
0.25*
58/23.2M
C-141
0.17
4/2,37M
C-130
0.38
12/3.15M
C-5
0.35
11/848,393
*Only data available covers 1970-1996Figure 2: USAF and Commercial Mishap Rates

C.3.4 We can also compare accident experience by mission flown. Figure 3 outlines the FAA categories and the USAF aircraft which have similar roles.
Category
General Description
USAF Aircraft Performing Similar Operations

Large Air Carrier
  • Medium to large aircraft
  • Scheduled and nonscheduled operations
  • Longer hauls
VC-25

E-4B

C-137

Commuter Air Carrier
  • Medium to large aircraft
  • Scheduled and nonscheduled operations
  • Shorter hauls
C-135

C-9

CT-43

Air Taxi
  • Fewer than 30 passengers
  • payload less than 7,500 lbs
  • Nonscheduled operations
C-20

C-21
Figure 3: FAA Air Carrier Categories

C.3.5 The following figure compares USAF and commercial accident rates over a ten-year period. When compared by mission type, USAF DV mishap rates are somewhat higher than large air carriers, but better than commuter airlines and air taxi carriers.

Figure 4: Accident Rates

C.4 89th Airlift Wing (89 AW)

C.4.1 Background and Safety Record

C.4.1.1 The mission of 89 AW is to "provide Special Air Mission support for the President and other dignitaries; maintain readiness and ensure quality support for Global Reach." The 89 AW is unique in the Air Force--it is the only wing whose primary mission is the transportation and support of key U.S. and foreign dignitaries. Because of its unique mission, 89 AW has requirements and programs differing in some ways from other Air Force operational wings. However, the lion's share of the way 89 AW does its business is identical to other units throughout the Air Force. This report certainly identifies and assesses areas where 89 AW is different--it's also important to keep in mind that the similarities with "standard" Air Force operations far outweigh the differences.

Figure 5: Chain of Command

Figure 6: 89 AW Organization

C.4.1.2 The 89 AW chain of command runs from HQ USAF through HQ AMC and HQ 21st Air Force to 89 AW commander. For the most part, the wing organization follows the standard USAF objective wing format with five subordinate groups reporting to the wing commander. The Presidential Pilot Office (PPO) is a unique organization. PPO consists of the pilots, other aircrew, and support personnel engaged in direct support of Presidential travel. Figure 5 shows the organizational structure above 89 AW; Figure 6 is 89 AW internal structure to the group level.

C.4.1.3 The 89 AW units having primary responsibility for DV transportation (1st and 99th Airlift Squadrons (AS), 1st Helicopter Squadron (HS), and PPO) are selectively manned. The wing also has a C-21 unit (457 AS) which supports operational support airlift (OSA) transportation of DVs. Essentially, 457 AS is like other USAF OSA C-21 units. For this reason, we will address 457 AS (and other OSA units) in a subsequent section of this report.

C.4.1.4 Safety

C.4.1.4.1 The 89 AW has an enviable safety record. There has never been a mishap with the President, Vice President, or First Family on board. The Wing has flown nearly a million hours without a mishap which destroyed an aircraft or caused a fatality. The last Class A mishap occurred in 1991 when a VC-137 departed the runway after an thrust reverser malfunction. There were no serious injuries. In fact, the mishap was initially classified as a Class B; but was upgraded to Class A because of the dollar cost of the aircraft damage.

C.4.1.4.2 Commanders throughout the wing have a clear understanding of 89 AW's unique mission and are well aware of the particular stress the mission places on the wing's personnel. The wing commander's philosophy is to accomplish the mission, without compromising safety. Aircraft commanders have the final say whether or not a mission is launched and/or continued. The wing commander clearly understands that situations may arise where his personnel are "encouraged" to go beyond prudent levels of risk. His policy is very clear--don't press beyond safe limits. Interviews with wing personnel at all levels indicate the men and women of 89 AW clearly understand that safe transportation is the absolute first priority. The wing Safety Office is fully manned with trained, qualified personnel--all have completed the requisite formal training courses. Their primary challenge is to provide an effective, far reaching, yet detailed program to meet the requirements of 89 AW's unique mission. The wing is responsible for the safe and effective operation of six distinct aircraft, and the safety program is tailored to meet each squadron's specific needs. Throughout 89 AW, commanders are very confident in their people's ability to perform the mission safely, comfortably, and reliably. The biggest safety concern is the age of the aircraft fleet. While commanders, crew members, and maintainers are all confident that safety is not compromised, they see the need for a comprehensive modernization plan to replace or modify aircraft, as required.

C.4.2 Command

C.4.2.1 The 89 AW follows the standard USAF command structure--the wing commander is a brigadier general; subordinate groups are commanded by colonels. The wing commander, operations group commander and subordinate commanders/operations officers are experienced aviators; many have served in 89 AW previously. Figure 7 contains an outline of the experience of key leaders in 89 AW flying operation.
Position
Flying Time
Months in 89 AWTours in 89 AW
Wing Commander
4700
11
1
Ops Gp Commander
3900
3
1
Ops Gp Deputy
2850
1
1
Commander, 1 AS
2618
21
1
Ops Officer, 1 AS
4069
63
2
Commander, 99 AS
4250
36
2
Ops Officer, 99 AS
3800
36
2
Commander, 1 HS
3600
1
1
Ops Officer, 1 HS
3200
9
1
Presidential Pilot
9850
266
1
Figure 7: 89 AW Key Leadership

C.4.2.2 As noted, DV tasking for other than the President comes to the wing from the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff/Special Air Missions (CVAM). The wing assesses the operational feasibility of the mission, schedules the aircrews, prepares the aircraft, and has responsibility for operational execution. For Presidential missions, the overall process is similar, but tasking flows from the White House Military Office (WHMO) directly to PPO.

C.4.3 Operations

C.4.3.1 Organization

C.4.3.1.1 All flying operations in 89 AW fall under the 89th Operations Group (89 OG) or PPO. The 89 OG consists of four flying squadrons. The 1 AS has nine assigned crews and flies five C­137 and two C-135 (Boeing 707) aircraft to meet long range, high capacity (5,000 nm/60 passengers) requirements. The 99 AS has six crews flying three C-9 (McDonnell Douglas DC-9) aircraft to meet medium range, medium capacity (2,100 nm/42 passengers) requirements. In addition, the squadron has 20 crews flying 10 C-20 (Gulfstream III/IV) aircraft for low capacity (3,500 nm/12 passengers) missions. Primary missions for both squadrons include Presidential backup, First Lady and Vice Presidential travel, and support to other senior government officials. As previously noted, 457 AS flies C-21 (Lear 35) aircraft in the OSA role. This squadron will be addressed in a subsequent section with other OSA units. The 1 HS has 26 crews flying 21 UH-1 "Huey" helicopters. The unit maintains alert commitments and provides support of VIP airlift missions in the Washington, D.C. area.

C.4.3.1.2 PPO is organized under 89 AW but is separate from 89 OG. PPO's mission is to provide safe, responsive Presidential airlift worldwide. PPO has two crews flying two VC-25A (Boeing 747) aircraft (6,000 nm range). These are the primary Presidential crews and aircraft. Additionally, each PPO pilot is qualified in another 89 AW aircraft. The pilots maintain dual qualification for occasions when the President travels on an aircraft other than the VC-25. A PPO pilot will always fly in command of the aircraft carrying the President.

C.4.3.2 Recruiting

C.4.3.2.1 The 89 AW is a selectively-manned organization. As such, 89 AW chooses aircrew personnel only after a rigorous screening process. When openings are projected in either 1 AS (C-137) or 99 AS (C-9/C-20), the wing solicits volunteers throughout the Air Force. The minimum qualifications are 2,000 hours flying time (2,500 hours desired), previous instructor experience, and demonstrated leadership abilities. After an initial personnel screening, prospective candidates are invited to 89 AW where they are interviewed by a board comprised of the operations group commander and deputy, squadron commanders and operations officers, and the chiefs of standardization and training. This process has been effective in insuring a highly qualified and experienced crew force--currently, the average flying hours per pilot in 1 AS and 99 AS is over 3,750 hours.

C.4.3.2.2 Hiring procedures in 1 HS are similar to those in 1 AS and 99 AS. All candidates are volunteers, but there is no interview process. The Air Force Personnel Center screens each volunteer's personnel record and forwards the information to the squadron commander. After review, the squadron commander selects the best candidates. Additionally, there are no minimum experience requirements, though most aircraft commanders are experienced from previous assignments. Even so, the relatively small number of Air Force helicopter units requires 1 AS to hire some pilots directly from undergraduate flying training. The flying experience of 1 HS pilots averages 2,100 hours.

C.4.3.2.3 PPO selects presidential crew members from 89 OG squadrons, initially as PPO augmentees. All candidates are instructors in their respective aircraft. PPO screens each candidate's records, choosing the best for interviews. The presidential pilot makes the final decision. Augmentees remain assigned to 89 OG, and fly with PPO when needed on missions. When a permanently-assigned position in PPO opens, the presidential pilot selects the replacement from among PPO augmentees. Personnel assigned full time to PPO serve on assignments of an indefinite length at the presidential pilot's discretion (i.e. permanent assignments).

C.4.3.3 Manning

The 89 AW currently has no problem recruiting highly qualified aircrew personnel, both officer and enlisted, for any squadron, including PPO. The Air Force Personnel Center assigns personnel to the wing on four-year tours and keeps all 89 AW flying organizations fully manned. Additionally, the wing's experience level remains higher than other Air Force wings because many personnel return for second and third assignments. However, airline hiring increases, anticipated to occur in the late 1990s, could impact 89 AW experience levels. The wing's pilots, experienced and qualified in large commercial derivative aircraft, are especially attractive to commercial air carriers.

C.4.3.4 Training

C.4.3.4.1 Aircrew training includes initial qualification, recurring, and upgrade training. All training is administered at the squadron level and in PPO. Requirements are tracked administratively by the 89th Operations Support Squadron (89 OSS) for all aircrew members (including PPO). Training requirements for 89 AW meet Air Force and AMC standards. For example, frequency of recurring training is identical to other AMC units.

C.4.3.4.2 Initial flying training is accomplished using 89 AW aircraft; each squadron has an approved syllabus for initial qualification training. All syllabus courses start with academic classes covering aircraft systems and procedures. Concurrent with the academic phase, pilots receive simulator training that includes Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) training. For 1 AS, initial academic classes for the C­137 are taught at Andrews AFB by instructor flight engineers. These ground school lessons last for two weeks and concentrate on checklist procedures and aircraft systems knowledge. After completing the initial academic phase, 89 AW instructor pilots conduct one week of combined academic and simulator training at the Pan Am simulator facility in Miami, Florida. At this point, the pilot returns to Andrews AFB for flying training which consists of six flights in squadron aircraft with 89 AW instructor pilots, followed by a qualification check ride. Inflight Passenger Service Specialist (IPSS) candidates assigned to 1 AS (C-137) attend a five-day TWA ground course focusing on aircraft evacuation procedures and emergency equipment. After successfully completing the TWA course, they return to Andrews AFB for ten more days of egress and emergency equipment training. Actual hands-on aircraft sessions reinforce academic knowledge. The final IPSS evaluation includes written and oral examinations stressing emergency procedures. The subsequent flight evaluation covers equipment preflight, equipment knowledge, normal IPSS duties, and hypothetical emergency situations. Passing this initial evaluation qualifies the crew member as a Second IPSS. A Second IPSS flies operational missions under the supervision of a First IPSS. The 99 AS (C­9C) IPSS training is similar to 1 AS, but accomplished in the squadron.

C.4.3.4.3 The 99 AS C-9 and C-20 initial pilot qualification is similar to the 1 AS program, but Flight Safety International conducts all academic and simulator instruction. C-9 training is conducted in St. Louis, Missouri while C-20 training occurs in Savannah, Georgia. The Flight Safety International program lasts 3 weeks--evenly divided between systems academics and simulator training. As in all simulator training, students fly mission profiles stressing CRM, complicated by a wide variety of simulated malfunctions. After completing the contractor-provided ground school, C-9 pilots report for flight training/initial aircrew qualification at Scott AFB, Illinois; followed by qualification in the C-9C at Andrews AFB. After completing simulator training, C-20 pilots return to Andrews AFB for additional academic training designed to familiarize them with the unique features of 89 AW's Gulfstream IIIs and IVs. Training in the aircraft is conducted by 89 AW instructors and consists of seven flights followed by a qualification check. Flight training profiles emphasize such mission-specific training as small airfields operations (5,000 ft of runway), limited navigation aid approaches, and short field landings.

C.4.3.4.4 Unless previously UH-1 qualified, 1 HS pilots attend UH-1 qualification training at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. After 2 weeks of systems academics, 4 weeks of flying training, and a successful flight evaluation, the students are fully qualified in the aircraft. At Andrews AFB, newly assigned pilots complete eight more hours of academics covering the Washington, D.C. area route structure. Flying training consists of three local-area orientation flights. Pilots are fully mission qualified after successfully completing 11 mission training flights and a comprehensive mission flight evaluation.

C.4.3.4.5 As previously mentioned, PPO crew members are selected from the already fully­mission qualified PPO augmentees. Those selected to augment PPO attend VC-25 (Boeing-747) contract academic and simulator training at the United Airlines facility in Denver, Colorado. The three-week training program leads to an airline captain-level type rating. Detailed systems training and ten simulator sessions precede a full ground and simulator evaluation. The training course provides an excellent cross flow of information, including CRM, between United Airlines captains and Air Force VC-25 crew members. Basic flight training in the VC-25 consists of four local training sorties followed by a First Pilot (copilot) evaluation. The next phase is mission qualification. It consists of flying an overseas operational mission under the supervision of an instructor.

C.4.3.4.6 Recurring (continuation) training within the wing and PPO uses the same resources as initial qualification training. Annual academic refresher courses are taught by 89 AW instructors and include the Instrument Refresher Course (IRC), CRM training, and classes covering Jeppesen flight publications and Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). The Instrument Refresher Courses consist of six hours of intensive instruction tailored to specific aircraft missions. The VC-25, C­137, C-9C, and C-20B/H course is weighed heavily toward international instrument flying procedures and regulations, while the UH-1 version focuses on helicopter procedures found within the United States. In the mandatory 4-hour CRM class, 89 AW instructors address leadership, crew dynamics, and techniques to safely conduct flight operations in emergency situations. All 89 AW flying squadrons emphasize CRM. The wing training section maintains a close interface with commercial aviation experts to constantly incorporate the latest information possible. Recurring simulator training is contractor provided and occurs semi-annually for the C­137s and annually for all other aircraft. Because all PPO crew members are dual-qualified, pilots and flight engineers (VC-25, C-137) receive two recurring simulators per year--one for each aircraft. The Air Force Aircrew Training Instruction (MCI 10-202) identifies the number and type of events (i.e. takeoff, precision and non-precision approaches, landings, etc.). Crew members must complete semi-annually. Each squadron and PPO determine required training levels for all assigned crew members, the same process as is used throughout the Air Force. The quarterly wing Training Review Panel chaired by the operations group commander assesses crew training trends. The review includes an examination of currency completion rates and crew member readiness for upgrade. All crew members complete yearly refresher training covering life support, emergency equipment, and egress procedures.

C.4.3.4.7 Due to the higher level of experience in 89 AW, the wing is able to raise the minimum requirements for upgrade to aircraft commander, instructor, and flight examiner. For example, USAF minimum requirement to upgrade to aircraft commander in the C-9 is 200 hours in type with 1,700 hours total flying time. However, 89 AW requirement for C­9 upgrade is 100 hours in the aircraft with 2,500 hours total. Until aircraft commander upgrade is complete, pilots fly all operational missions under the supervision of an instructor. Further upgrade to instructor pilot requires six months minimum time as an aircraft commander. Other crew positions in 89 AW also have more stringent requirements for upgrade than their USAF counterparts. Upgrade to aircraft commander in the VC-25 requires a minimum 100 hours in the aircraft and 3,000 hours total flying time. Instructor upgrade candidates require an additional 100 hours and six months VC­25 aircraft commander time before entering the upgrade program. A second IPSS flies with a First IPSS or Instructor IPSSs for 15 to 18 months gaining experience before upgrading to a First IPSS. Due to limited crew size, only a First or Instructor IPSS is assigned to C-20 missions. First IPSS upgrade requires ground training, written examinations, and flight evaluations.

C.4.3.5 Standardization/Evaluation

C.4.3.5.1 The Air Force requires crew members to demonstrate knowledge of aircraft systems, procedures, and governing directives through recurring flight evaluations. The 89 OG standardization/evaluation (stan/eval) program is consistent with Air Force standards and includes a pyramid evaluation system. The pyramid system ensures impartial evaluations and promotes safety and standardization. Under a pyramid evaluation system, each level is examined by the next above. For example, line fliers assigned to the squadron are checked by a squadron evaluator; an evaluator at group checks the squadron evaluators; the group evaluator is checked by the numbered air force (NAF) evaluator. Within 89 OG, the pyramid system mirrors the AMC approved system. Above the wing, 21 AF is now recruiting C­137, C­9, and C­20 pilot evaluators to complete the pyramid structure. Although not in the organizational pyramid, an operations group pilot evaluator administers VC-25 flight evaluations to an evaluator in PPO who, in turn, checks other PPO fliers. Recently, AMC directed the Presidential Pilot to receive annual evaluations from an FAA examiner to better meet the intent of the pyramid evaluation system. In addition to administering flight and ground evaluations, the stan/eval section ensures that applicable flight publications are current, validates local operating procedures, provides subject matter expertise, and advises wing leadership on the "health" of the crew force.

C.4.3.5.2 All 89 AW pilots (except C-21 and UH-1), VC-25 and C-137 navigators and flight engineers, and C-9C and C-20B/H flight mechanics receive their flight evaluations on a 12­month versus the standard Air Force 17-month check cycle outlined in Air Force Instruction 11-408, Aircrew Standardization/Evaluation Program Organization and Administration. The wing senior leadership decided the more stringent 12-month cycle is warranted due to the criticality of the wing's mission. C-21, UH-1 pilots, and IPSS crew members are evaluated on the standard Air Force 17-month evaluation cycle. Flight evaluations in the VC-25, C­137, C-9C, and C­20B/H aircraft are deliberately made more demanding than the average Air Force flight check because of crew members' experience level and the distinguished visitors carried by the unit. All crew positions receive an extensive oral evaluation on aircraft systems, performance, and directives. Additionally, during the inflight evaluation, a less than satisfactory grade in any sub-area results in failure of the entire evaluation. The inflight evaluation is conducted at multiple airfields and requires crews to demonstrate safe operations during various simulated emergencies. The 89 OG meets the Air Force standard for "no-notice" flight evaluations, which means at least 15 percent of evaluations occur without prior notice. However, we found no record of no-notice evaluations administered to any PPO pilots since their assignment to that organization.

C.4.3.5.3 AFI 11-408 directs NAFs to evaluate unit stan/eval programs within their chain of command. Further, this AFI directs NAFs to conduct periodic reviews to ensure the goals of the air crew evaluation program are reached. According to the 89 OG Chief of Stan/Eval, PPO was not involved during the last 21 AF periodic visit to 89 AW in February 1995. When the 21 AF, Director of Operations was questioned regarding this situation, he responded that it was "understood that there would be no contact with PPO…." On further inquiry, he said "we were given guidance on PPO from 89 AW leadership and did not question the policy…." Investigating further, the Air Force team found the PPO navigator and some enlisted crew specialty flight records had been randomly reviewed during 21 AF's visit, but no pilot records were reviewed. Further, the Air Force team found no other documentation showing PPO involvement (e.g. emergency procedures testing, etc.). It is their understanding that 21 AF intends to include the PPO in future reviews.

C.4.3.6 Tasking & Mission Execution

C.4.3.6.1 As mentioned previously, CVAM often tasks 89 AW directly by specific tail number for DV missions in the C-137, C-9 and C-20. They select specific aircraft based on passenger load, distance, destination, required communications support, and DV preference. CVAM and 89 OG coordinate daily on aircraft availability. Upon notification of a potential tasking, 89 OG's Mission Operations section begins a feasibility study. This study examines all mission details, including routing, airfield suitability, operating hours, performance limits, enroute refueling requirements, obstacles, and runway length. After determining feasibility, CVAM loads potential mission details into an 89 AW-developed custom software program (SAMMS). The Current Operations section runs a "change history" to the SAMMS data base every hour and notifies the appropriate squadron of a tasking.

C.4.3.6.2 Once the mission "confirms," the crew finalizes routing, obtains an intelligence briefing for overseas destinations, sends their routing message and requests diplomatic clearances if needed. Mission planning for all 89 AW operational missions is in accordance with AMC Instruction 11­202, Volume I, 89th Airlift Wing Distinguished Visitor and Special Airlift Mission (Airlift Operations), and the local 89 AW supplement. As part of mission planning, crews regularly view airfield information video tapes, study instrument approach procedures, and review previous crew reports for planned destinations prior to departing home station. As with many commercial air carriers, 89 AW crews use Jeppeson Flight Planning Service flight plans for the mission. Mission execution is virtually identical for 1 AS (C­137) and 99 AS (C-9, C-20) aircrews.

C.4.3.6.3 After the mission departs home station, the aircraft commander coordinates enroute mission details with the DV party's designated point of contact and updates 89 AW Command Post with mission progress. DV missions often require itinerary changes enroute. The aircraft commander relays mission change requests to 89 AW Current Operations and CVAM. CVAM must approve all mission changes to avoid aircraft or mission scheduling conflicts. When CVAM approves the change, Current Operations coordinates with Mission Operations for any support the crew requests (i.e. new diplomatic clearances, flight plans, airport information, etc.).

C.4.3.6.4 For Presidential travel, taskings originate in WHMO and by-pass the wing and operations group, going directly to PPO. PPO performs all mission planning functions internally, including coordination for diplomatic clearances. All changes required after a Presidential mission departs are also coordinated directly between WHMO and the Presidential crew. Mission changes are planned internally by the crew.

C.4.3.7 Crew Rest

A common problem for 89 AW crews is that short-notice pre-departure and enroute mission changes often interrupt crew rest. An 89 OG survey designed to improve operating procedures found 45 percent of assigned crews experienced crew rest interruptions due to changes requested by the DV party. However, no crew members reported flying a mission without enough crew rest to ensure safe aircraft operation. In an effort to mitigate the problem, 89 AW is building a program to include a mission coordinator on C-137 overseas missions. This officer will work mission changes for the aircraft commander. While the C-137's passenger capacity allows for the extra crew member, the limited seating capacity of the C-9 (approximately 22 seats on overseas missions) and C-20 (12 seats) does not. Another initiative to facilitate crew rest is having 89 AW Mission Operations section coordinate flight plan and clearance changes for the aircraft commander during crew rest periods or when the aircraft commander requests assistance. With just under 30 percent of the C­20 missions going to overseas locations, this option provides a workable solution when the wing is unable to put a mission coordinator on board. PPO did not report similar crew rest problems as those noted by the 89 OG squadrons. Presidential missions flown by PPO are less susceptible to enroute changes. Further, the WHMO contacts are very knowledgeable about the crew's schedules and avoid crew rest interruptions.

C.4.3.8 FAA/Air Force Qualifications and Standards

C.4.3.8.1 FAA standards are considered by many to be the benchmark for experience, qualification, and safety in flight operations. While the FAA and the Air Force both strive for the common goal of safe aviation, a general comparison between the two systems reveals some significant differences. One obvious difference is the fact it is not unusual for a commercial pilot to have more total hours than an Air Force pilot performing the same or a similar mission. For example, the FAA Air Transport Pilot (ATP) rating requires a minimum of 1,500 hours total flight time. On the other hand, a USAF C-9 pilot needs about half as much time to upgrade to aircraft commander. These differences are possible because the FAA and the Air Force have distinctly different systems to produce the "proficient aviator." Generally speaking, the FAA relies upon flying experience to gauge proficiency for a particular rating (private pilot, commercial pilot, ATP etc.). The FAA mandates broad categories of standards, but there is little day-to-day oversight of individual pilots. A similar situation exists in civilian aircrew training. The FAA sets standards, certifies that a particular training operation meets the standards, and checks the results through both written examinations and flight evaluations. However, the FAA does not have a "hands on" role in the system which produces the individual pilot, and has little impact on that pilot's daily activities. In a nutshell, any candidate with the requisite flight time and required physical may (after successful completion of the appropriate exam/flight check) be awarded an FAA license. This process has been successful; in fact it has produced the world's safest commercial aviation system.

C.4.3.8.2 The Air Force faces a different set of challenges. First, it must recruit most of its pilots "off the street" and then prepare them for worldwide flight operations--including combat. For these reasons, the Air Force takes a different approach to producing its "proficient pilot." Compared to the civilian sector, the Air Force places a great deal more emphasis on the system that trains/certifies its aviators. Formal training courses are very structured and standardized, with definite objectives and frequent evaluations. Qualification standards are high and uniform, minimizing the difference in proficiency among graduating pilots. Follow-on training is also structured. Mandated specific maneuvers must be completed within a certain period of time in order for the pilot to retain qualification. Training and performance are frequently reviewed at all levels of the operational chain of command, and supervisors are actively involved in day-to-day decisions such as crew composition, mission assigned, and rest/relaxation. In fact, the FAA recognizes the quality of Air Force (and other military) flight training by permitting pilot training graduates to obtain a commercial pilot license/instrument rating simply by completing a competency exam. No FAA flight evaluation is required.

C.4.3.8.3 An example will illustrate the differences between the civilian and the Air Force systems. An FAA­certified pilot with an ATP rating flying a DC-9 for a commercial carrier needs to accomplish six takeoffs and landings every 180 days to maintain currency per Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR 121.441). This requirement may be accomplished in an FAA-approved simulator. No other events are mandatory, although most civilian pilots exceed these minimums to varying degrees. An Air Force C-9 (USAF equivalent of the DC-9) aircraft commander must accomplish these events over the same 180-day period: 18 takeoffs and landings, 2 practice engine failure takeoffs, 3 practice single engine go arounds, 2 practice single engine approach/landings, and 20 instrument approaches. Except for approaches, none of these events may be accomplished in the simulator (MCI 10-202).

C.4.3.8.4 A second example: A civilian crew flying a commercial airliner from New York to Chicago will be selected based upon seniority and qualification. Few other considerations go into the crewing decision. A similar Air Force crew will likely not have the same experience as their commercial counterparts. However, they will be selected based upon a "hands on" decision by a supervisor charged with knowing their suitability for this specific mission. In selecting the crew, the supervisor is also expected to consider issues such as demonstrated ability, communication skills, and recent experience.

C.4.3.8.5 In summation, the FAA and USAF systems are different because they accommodate different sets of conditions. The Air Force relies on structured and rigorous training; careful and comprehensive continuous supervision; and aggressive standardization/evaluation programs. The FAA meets essentially the same qualification levels through experience mandates--flying experience washes out anomalies in training and supervision. Both systems produce a safe, capable, "proficient" pilot--they merely use different paths to arrive at the same end.

C.4.4 Maintenance

Safe reliable aircraft are provided by 89 AW maintenance personnel. The on-time departure rate is outstanding: 99.7 percent in FY95; 99.3 percent in FY96. In addition, aircraft availability rates meet or exceed AMC standards. Figure 8 is 89 AW aircraft mission capability rates for FY95 and FY96. NOTE: The mission capable rate is the percentage of time aircraft are available to perform the assigned mission.

Type Aircraft
AMC Standard
FY 96
FY 95
C-9C
89.0%
90.8%
90.0%
C-20B
87.0%
90.1%
91.0%
C-20H
80.0%
88.5%
92.8%
C-137B
80.0%
86.0%
81.4%
C-137C
85.0%
84.4%
85.9%
VC-25A
93.0%
93.2%
95.5%
Figure 8: 89 AW Mission Capable Rates

C.4.4.1 Organization

The 89th Logistics Group (LG) Commander has direct oversight over all maintenance performed on C-137, C-135, C-9, C-20, and 89 AW C-21 aircraft. Within 89 LG, the 89th Aircraft Generation Squadron (89 AGS), 89th Maintenance Squadron (89 MXS), and the 89th Logistics Support Squadron (89 LSS) directly support aircraft maintenance. The 89 AGS is responsible for all flightline on-equipment maintenance for C-137, C-135, C-9, and C-20 aircraft. The 89 MXS is responsible for off-equipment, back shop maintenance support. The 89 LSS is responsible for the Logistics Group's maintenance staff functions, policy and management. Also assigned to 89 AW, but not aligned under 89 LG, are the maintenance personnel assigned to the Presidential Pilot Office and 1 HS. PPO maintenance personnel work directly for the presidential pilot and are responsible for both VC-25 aircraft. Maintenance personnel in 1 HS are assigned to that squadron commander and are responsible for 21 UH-1N helicopters.

C.4.4.2 Manpower/Equipment/Facilities

C.4.4.2.1 The 89 LG is currently manned at 103 percent of authorizations. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between 89 AW and the Air Force Personnel Center to man the Group at 100 percent is the primary reason for the healthy manpower situation. Additionally, 89 LG is a selectively-manned unit with supervisors having "veto" power over any candidate for assignment. Personnel are assigned for a four-year controlled tour with an option for longer. In fact, many individuals remain at Andrews AFB for an extended period of time, while others often return for subsequent tours of duty. Supervisors at all levels indicate the work is challenging and the hours are often long, but due to the high priority of the passengers, the duty is also very rewarding. The combined result is an experienced, well trained senior group of maintainers with exceptional skills. The Presidential Pilot Maintenance Section (PPM) draws its replacements from the already highly qualified personnel in 89 LG. PPM maintains a list of augmentees who support VC-25 operations during peak maintenance periods. The augmentee system gives the PPM an opportunity to evaluate candidates' performance under actual conditions and provides a pool of qualified augmentees to fill PPM vacancies.

C.4.4.2.2 Equipment and facilities within 89 LG are adequate for the job. Flightline equipment for 89 LG is maintained by Air Force personnel assigned to 89 MXS. Flightline equipment for PPM is maintained under a Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) contract with Boeing Corporation. The 89 LG facilities are adequate for safe and efficient operations. All facilities are well maintained with numerous self-help projects evident.

C.4.4.3 Maintenance Policy and Procedures

C.4.4.3.1 Although aircraft operated by the military are exempt from Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) maintenance requirements, Air Force policy (AFI 21-107, Maintaining Commercial Derivative Aircraft) is to maintain its commercial derivative aircraft to FAA-approved civilian airworthiness standards. The 89 AW complies with this policy. The Air Force uses the respective FAA-approved Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) as the cornerstone for building each program maintenance plan. The Air Force then institutes maintenance procedures tailored to meet FAA certification specifications as closely as possible. For example, the Air Force uses FAA­approved technical manuals from the OEM to meet commercial airworthiness standards. In many cases Air Force maintainers use the actual commercial technical manual. These aircraft also continue to use the original OEM for depot level engineering services and FAA-approved repair stations to accomplish overhaul/heavy maintenance requirements. The majority of Air Force generated modifications on commercial derivative aircraft have been certified by the FAA as meeting airworthiness standards. Some military-specific modifications (e.g., E-4 and VC-25 air refueling systems) have been exempted. When the civilian maintenance manuals change, the OEM and Air Force engineering/technical staffs work together to ensure the new requirements are appropriately reflected in Air Force guidance. As commercial MPD updates are issued and modifications are installed, the Air Force updates its weapon system maintenance plan in accordance with FAA policy.

C.4.4.3.2 The 89 AW follows AMC standards on maintenance quality assurance programs. AMC maintenance units use a Total Quality Management (TQM) based Process Improvement Program (PIP) to verify maintenance quality. This program focuses attention on the process used to train personnel, manage programs, and repair aircraft. Assessments of processes, including actual maintenance inspection and repair actions, are conducted by peer and supervisory personnel. If problems are discovered, immediate attention is placed on correcting the process which led to the problem. Both maintenance squadrons have Process Improvement (PI) functions; 89 LG/PI section provides oversight and direction for subordinate units. PPO and the 1 HS have their own organic maintenance and perform PI functions internally without oversight from 89 LG.

C.4.4.3.3 Comprehensive aircraft management programs, normally accomplished at the major command level, are also done at 89 AW. The 89 LG Phoenix Star section assigns program managers for each wing aircraft to manage modification, configuration, and depot programs. The result is a more flexible and responsive process that better meets user requirements.

C.4.4.4 Training

C.4.4.4.1. Within the Air Force, aircraft maintenance training follows a building block process. Shortly before enlistment, each person is administered an Air Force Qualification Test to assess their aptitude for different career fields. A high score on mechanical aptitude is required to be selected for aircraft maintenance. Once training begins, the philosophy is to first train the individual as a generalist, then follow up with more detailed training tailored to a specific aircraft and/or system. Initially, aircraft maintenance personnel undergo rigorous general academic and hands-on maintenance training at Air Force technical schools. The apprentice mechanic then transitions into aircraft specific training through Air Force or commercial technical courses. More system-specific training is provided through on-the-job-training (OJT) and the Maintenance Qualification Training Program (MQTP). The end product is a "journeyman" mechanic, qualified to perform maintenance without direct supervision. This process requires approximately 24 months of training and experience. However to be qualified to perform and supervise maintenance on both engines and airframe systems normally requires an additional 24-30 months of training and experience. Maintenance personnel annually attend recurring training to hone and revalidate their skills. Re­certification of critical skills such as running engines, servicing oxygen and fuel, and aircraft towing are but a few tasks which must be evaluated annually. Re­certification normally requires passing of a written examination and a practical evaluation.

C.4.4.4.2 Mechanics working on civil aircraft must undergo a training and certification process conducted under FAA guidelines. Only a certified mechanic or supervised repairman may perform maintenance on civil aircraft. The FAA identifies two basic types of mechanic rating certificates: Airframe and Powerplant (A&P). The basic eligibility requirements are: the person must be at least 18 years of age, and able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language. Prior to taking the appropriate test and receiving the certificate, the candidate must meet certain experience, knowledge, and skill requirements. Experience requirements may be satisfied by presenting proof of graduation/completion from a certified aviation maintenance technician school or by some other proof of practical experience. At least 18 months practical experience is required for a single rating (airframe or powerplant); 30 months experience is needed to qualify for both ratings at the same time. In addition to the minimum experience requirements, the mechanic must pass a written test covering the aircraft, operating regulations, preventive maintenance, and alterations. Finally, the mechanic must also demonstrate hands-on skill by successfully completing a practical test for the rating. The mechanic is awarded his/her certificate after satisfactorily completing all experience, knowledge, and skill requirements.

C.4.4.4.3 Though somewhat different than the civilian system, Air Force maintenance training and procedures produce a maintenance capability comparing favorably to FAA-approved programs. In fact, the training and experience Air Force maintenance personnel receive is accepted by the FAA for credit towards airframe and powerplant certification.

C.4.4.4.4 The 89 LG administers the maintenance training program through the Logistics Training Flight (LTF) under 89 LSS. The LTF provides oversight of all logistics training activities and is the functional manager for all aircraft maintenance training. The LTF is also tasked to manage the wing's critical task certification. The LTF accomplishes these tasks for 89 LG organizations but not for PPM and 1 HS. These organizations perform the training management function internally without oversight from 89 LG.

C.4.5 Resources

C.4.5.1 Overview of 89 AW Resources

The 89 AW is currently assigned 27 fixed and 21 rotary wing aircraft, ranging in age from 38 years to less than 1 year. Many of the wing's aircraft are no longer in production. Spare parts for older aircraft are becoming difficult to obtain. The shortage is due to production line shut down, depleted vendor sources, and limited commercial aircraft in service. The time and effort to keep the aircraft mission capable is also increasing with age. Engines used on the older aircraft are less efficient and are becoming increasingly costly to operate and maintain. Additionally, only the VC­25 and the C-20H meet FAA Stage III noise criteria; a situation that often limits airports in which 89 AW can operate. Figure 9 outlines the age and average flying time of 89 AW aircraft.
Type AircraftRole
First Delivered
Avg Aircraft Hours
VC-25 (B-747)Presidential
1990
2,403
VC-137 (B-707)Long range, high volume
1959
28,521
C-135E (B-707)Long range, med volume
1960
20,400
C-9 (DC-9)Med range, med volume
1975
11,708
C-20B (Gulfstream G3)Med range, low volume
1983
6,474
C-20H (Gulfstream G4)Long range, low volume
1994
905
UH-1NShort range, low volume
1969
7,772
Figure 9: 89 AW Aircraft

C.4.5.2 Safety Equipment

89 AW aircraft used to transport DV Codes 1 and 2 have safety equipment similar to their civilian counterparts. The equipment includes fire/smoke detectors, strip lighting and escape systems. Figure 10 outlines equipment the FAA requires aboard commercial air carriers, and shows how USAF DV passenger carrying aircraft compare.

FAA Required

Safety Equipment

VC-25

Boeing

747
C-137

Boeing 707
C-9C

DC-9
C-20B/H

Gulfstream

G-III/IV
*C-135

*Boeing

707
C-21

Lear

35A
Cabin Smoke Detection Equipment
X
X
X
Cargo Compart-ment

Only
**N/A
Fire Fighting Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
First Aid Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
Evacuation Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
Evacuation Slides
X
X
X
**N/A
X
**N/A
Interior Evacuation Placards
X
X
X
X
X
X
Exterior Evacuation Markings
X
X
X
X
X
Emergency Lighting
X
X
X
X
X
X
Fire Retarding Interior Materials
X
X
X
X
X
X
PA System
X
X
X
X
***
Overwater Survival Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
Uninhabited Survival Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X

* Applies to all DV equipped C-135s

** The C-21/C-20 do not require escape slides; the escape paths used to exit these aircraft are less than six feet above the ground and egress is easily accomplished without the use of slides.

*** The C-21 cabin is small with no enclosed lavatory so any smoke is easily detectable by the crew. For the same reason, a public announcement system is not needed.Figure 10: Safety Equipment

C.4.5.3 Avionics Upgrades

C.4.5.3.1 The Air Force fleet tasked to transport civilian DV Codes 1 and 2 is undergoing numerous avionics modifications to improve safety, enhance mission accomplishment, and reduce crew workload. In June 1996, the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations (AF/XO) asked HQ AMC to host a multi-command/service conference to develop a baseline requirement for navigation and safety equipment on DoD passenger carrying aircraft. The conference submitted its report to AF/XO in July 1996. AF/XO approved the baseline in August 1996 and, in a joint Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations-Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Acquisition (SAF/AQ) letter in September 1996, directed the major Air Force commands to plan and program to meet the baseline equipment list. Once these modifications are complete, USAF aircraft will have Navigation/Safety equipment comparable to their civilian counterparts.

C.4.5.3.2 The VC-25, C-137, C-9C, and C-20 aircraft are currently programmed to receive Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), wind shear detection, and integrated GPS. The C-32A (Boeing 757-200), with two deliveries in January 1998 and two in October 1998, will be equipped with all baseline items.

C.4.5.3.3 Figure 11 outlines the Air Force plan to install navigation/safety equipment aboard its passenger-carrying aircraft.
SYSTEM
Interim

GPS
IntegratedGPS
TCAS II
FDR
CVR
GPWS
WS
ELT
VC-25A

Boeing

747-200
Installed
FY98
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
FY97
Installed
C-32A

Boeing 757-200
N/A
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
C-137

Boeing

707
Installed
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
**C-135C

Boeing 707
Installed
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
C-9C

McDonnell

Douglas

DC-9
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
C-20B

Gulfstream III
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
FY97
Installed
C-20H

Gulfstream IV
N/A
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
C-21

Lear Jet

35A
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
UH-1N

Bell 212 Twin Engine "Huey"
FY97
FY96
FY99
FY96
FY96
N/A
N/A
FY96

* Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) and Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS) Plans and Operations letter 9 Sep 96: "MAJCOMS are directed to refine their respective portions of this master plan into fully executable programs." Air Force Material Command (AFMC) "shall expedite contract awards and maximize accomplishments prior to the end of FY96."

** Applies to all DV equipped C-135s

Legend:

GPS: Global Positioning System GPWS: Ground Proximity Warning System

TCAS: Traffic Collision Avoidance System WS: Wind shear Detection Equipment

FDR: Flight Data CVR: Cockpit Voice Recorder

Figure 11: Navigation/Safety Equipment

C.4.5.4 Modernization

In 1989, Congress directed a review of 89 AW aircraft and a plan for the procurement of modern aircraft to replace the aging fleet. In 1990, this master plan recommended the seven C­137s be replaced with modern long range aircraft. In 1991, AMC produced a formal Statement of Operational Need (SON) to replace the aging C-137 fleet with new long range aircraft. A subsequent Cost and Operational Effectiveness Assessment (COEA) looked at 89 AW's special air mission and concluded a Boeing 767-200ER was best suited based on size, performance, and cost. In 1995, Congress approved procurement of six aircraft. Aircraft deliveries (the new aircraft was designated the C-32A) were programmed for 1998. Initial contractor proposals were over budget, so the Air Force re-looked the requirements and determined a modified Boeing 757 would meet all requirements at significantly less cost. Four C-32A (Boeing 757) were funded and will be delivered in January (2 aircraft) and October (2 aircraft) 1998. The Air Force is looking to purchase two smaller aircraft (designated C-37) that, when combined with the four C-32s, will replace the capability lost by the retiring C-137s. Source selection for the C-37 aircraft has not yet been completed.

C.4.5.5 Aging Aircraft

C.4.5.5.1 A major concern within both the civil and military aviation communities is the degradation of structural integrity caused by uncontrolled corrosion and other forms of deterioration (e.g. fatigue) that could cause major aircraft damage with possible catastrophic results. Aging aircraft, a relatively new term in aviation, is an evolving process intended to keep structural problems in check as aircraft service life continues to extend.

C.4.5.5.2 In the commercial aviation community, the aging aircraft program currently in effect is based on National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident findings/recommendations, FAA, private sector, and commercial data. The FAA has directed manufacturers of commercial aircraft to implement specific aging aircraft programs as a condition for continued airworthiness certification. Many of the actions required to meet FAA compliance, which had previously been issued as optional customer service bulletins or as manufacturer advisories, are now mandatory. These requirements, along with new service bulletins and inspections, constitute the aging aircraft program for each respective aircraft. Within FAA and Air Force System Program Director (SPD) purview, aging aircraft programs begin when the aircraft is first delivered from production and continue for its entire life. There is no particular "yardstick" (e.g. years, flying hours etc.) used to categorize an aircraft as "aging." Aging aircraft programs are completely integrated into the overall maintenance plan for each particular aircraft type.

C.4.5.5.3 Essentially, the Air Force has two different, though similar, programs for aging aircraft. The differences are due mainly to the different ways in which commercial derivative and military-specific aircraft are procured and supported. Commercial derivative aircraft in the USAF DV fleet (VC-25, C­137 etc.) were procured and are maintained to FAA approved commercial standards. The basic airframes, structures, avionics, and systems meet original equipment manufacturers design specifications. Post production modifications, system upgrades, and FAA Airworthiness Directives (AD) are incorporated to ensure commercial airworthiness standards are met. The majority of Air Force-generated modifications are accomplished in accordance with commercial/FAA standards and have been certified by the FAA. Occasionally, modification standards are exempted or waived by the Air Force and/or the FAA (example: E-4 and VC­25 air refueling systems). These DV aircraft continue to use the OEM for required engineering services and FAA-approved repair stations to accomplish overhaul and heavy maintenance. The commercial derivatives have aging aircraft programs included in their maintenance plans. USAF commercial derivative DV aircraft are currently in compliance with applicable FAA aging aircraft requirements.

C.4.5.5.4 Both the civilian sector and the Air Force have effective programs to deal with aging aircraft. The commercial programs are overseen by the respective manufacturers and the FAA. In the Air Force, the individual SPDs provide implementation authority regardless of whether it's a commercial derivative or military specific aircraft. The aging aircraft program developed for the C-137 provides an example.

C.4.5.5.5 The FAA issued a number of Airworthiness Directives (AD) to owners/operators of Boeing 707 aircraft providing requirements to retain airworthiness certification. When the Air Force received the ADs, the SPD instituted an inspection/modernization program to comply with the FAA requirements. Air Force C-137s had undergone rigorous periodic depot maintenance since delivery from the manufacturer in the 1960s; however, subsequent specialized aging aircraft inspections found major corrosion in the fuselage skin panels and in certain structural members. At SPD direction, depot down times were extended (average: 312 days vs. 118 days programmed), and repair costs increased, but all inspections and repairs have been completed to both Air Force and FAA standards for four of the seven aircraft. One is currently in depot and two were retired about two years early to avoid excessive repair costs and schedule impacts.

C.4.6 Presidential Pilot's Office (PPO)

C.4.6.1 Per the AF Organizational Planning Document, the PPO is aligned directly under the wing commander. Within 89 AW, it is the only squadron-level flying unit that does not report through the operations group to the wing commander. For administrative purposes, people in the PPO are assigned to 89 OSS. The other supervisory functions provided by 89 OSS and operations group (training, standardization, current operations, etc.) to other wing flying units are provided to PPO, but are not directive. Similarly, maintenance support to PPO is provided by the maintenance unit integral to it. Some specialist support is provided by 89 LG when requested (e.g. sheet metal, secure communications). However, those supervisory and oversight functions normally accomplished by the logistics group for C­137, C-9, and C-20 operations (e.g. quality assurance, training) are available but not directive on PPO. Based on the team's conversations with HQ AMC, the command intends to better define the relationship between PPO and the 89th Operations and Logistics Groups and to initiate annual AMC staff assistance visits to the unit.

C.4.6.2 With regard to operational direction, taskings flow directly from the WHMO to PPO. It would appear that this alignment has evolved to streamline the tasking process, and enhance flexibility and responsiveness. However, this direct path excludes the Service and functional leadership and oversight normally provided above the tactical unit level. In contrast, tasking for vice presidential travel comes from WHMO to CVAM to 89 AW; tasking for other DVs follows a similar path. Thus the tasking flow for our most senior DVs, save one, permits Service and wing leadership visibility and oversight.

C.4.6.3 Although unusual for line units, personnel evaluations for members of PPO follow operational vice traditional service lines. Annual fitness evaluations for both officers and enlisted members, other than the Presidential Pilot, are prepared within PPO and forwarded to the Director, WHMO for final endorsement. The Presidential Pilot's evaluation is completed by the President. For officers eligible for promotion, promotion recommendation forms summarizing their performance and potential for serving in the next higher grade are prepared by Director, WHMO. Because the number of WHMO promotion eligibles for any given board is small, the actual promotion recommendation (i.e., definitely promote, promote, do not promote) is awarded by the AF Assistant Vice Chief of Staff. In each case, the 89 AW Commander is by-passed and therefore does not have the opportunity to comment on the performance of people assigned to his command.

C.4.6.4 The current wing commander, as well as several who have preceded him, expressed significant frustration in dealing with the existing PPO alignment. The commander understands he is legally responsible and accountable for PPO activities, but believes he lacks commensurate oversight.

C.5 Other Air Force Assets

C.5.1 Overview

C.5.1.1 In the previous section of this report, the role of 89 AW and the practices and procedures used by the wing to safely and reliably transport DV Codes 1 and 2 travelers were discussed. This section, we will discuss first the other forces often called upon to provide DV Code 2 travel in the Continental United States (CONUS) and overseas; and second, the airlift forces that are used to move support personnel and equipment and the media concomitant to DV Codes 1 and 2 travel here and abroad. By and large, the practices and procedures used by the forces addressed in this section are the same as used by 89 AW. Differences, where they exist, will be highlighted but similarities will not be repeated.

C.5.1.2 By way of background, this section begins with a review of recent mishaps involving DV Codes 1 and 2 primary and support aircraft and a discussion of the safety programs that support these forces.

C.5.1.3 Mishap Summary and Analysis

Following is a summary of mishaps related to the aircraft that fly senior executive support missions:

Date/Location: 17 April 95, Alexander City, Alabama

Type Aircraft: C-21

Synopsis: Aircraft crashed into flat wooded terrain while attempting an emergency visual approach to Alexander City airport. The aircraft was destroyed and all personnel on board were fatally injured.

Major Contributing Factors

Date/Location: 5 April 96, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Type Aircraft: CT-43

Synopsis: Aircraft impacted high terrain while attempting a non-precision instrument approach in instrument conditions. The aircraft was destroyed and all personnel on board were fatally injured.

Major Contributing Factors

Date/Location: 20 Jun 96, Quantico Marine Corps Aviation Facility, Virginia

Type Aircraft: C-130

Synopsis: Aircraft's wingtip and number one prop struck the runway during landing. There were no injuries, but the aircraft sustained Class B damage (greater than $10,000 but less than $200,000).

Major Contributing Factors:

Date/Location: 18 Aug 96, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Type Aircraft/Mission: C-130

Synopsis: Aircraft impacted high terrain shortly after takeoff during night departure. The aircraft was destroyed and all personnel on board were fatally injured.

Major Contributing Factors: Investigation in progress; the following information came from releasable sections of the Mishap Report:

Besides aircrew error caused by a breakdown in crew coordination, there is no common thread throughout all four of these mishaps. However, we did note crew inexperience was a factor in both of the mishaps involving Phoenix Banner missions.

C.5.1.4 Unit Safety Programs

C.5.1.4.1 All units visited had solid safety programs. Unit safety staffs manage the mishap prevention program and report directly to the appropriate commander. Safety offices maintain a library of applicable guidance and other appropriate safety literature and serve as the focus for all safety efforts. There is an annual program of inspections, evaluations, and assessments to provide regular oversight and suggestions for improvement.

C.5.1.4.2 All safety programs comply with AF guidelines for manning and training. As a minimum, all wings hold quarterly safety meetings and individual flying units meet monthly. Minutes from the meetings are published and made mandatory reading for those unable to attend. Briefing topics vary, but all units brief recent AF safety mishaps that are relevant. Seasonal topics and special interest items such as cold weather procedures, Bird Aircraft Strike Hazards (BASH), crew rest strategies to combat fatigue, aging aircraft, etc., are also briefed.

C.5.2 Other DV Carriers

While the 89 AW provides virtually all DV Codes 1 and the majority of DV Code 2 travel for U.S. government civilian officials, CINC-support and operational support airlift (OSA) forces are sometimes used as well. Within this group, OSA aircraft, particularly the C-21, are used most often. The OSA fleet has two primary missions; first, the wartime movement of priority cargo and personnel, and in peacetime, pilot seasoning. In peacetime, C-21s provide senior executive travel essentially as a by-product of required training. DV travel is the most visible task these crews perform. The primary OSA aircraft for DV movement are the C-21 and the C-22. According to CVAM, and data provided by TACC, the C-21 flew 151 sorties in support of civilian DV Codes 2 in 1996, the C-22 flew 37.

C.5.2.1 C-21 Organization

The C-21 (Gates LearJet 35) fleet is dispersed throughout the Air Force and consists of 73 active duty and 4 Air National Guard aircraft stationed at 14 worldwide locations. Major Command ownership and operating locations are listed below.

BASE
MAJCOM
# of Acft
BASE
MAJCOM
# of Acft
Scott
AMC
8 C-21
Randolph
AETC
6 C-21
Andrews
AMC
8 C-21
Wright-Pat
AFMC
7 C-21
Langley
ACC
6 C-21
Peterson
AFSPC
6 C-21
Offutt
ACC
6 C-21
Yokota
PACAF
4 C-21
Howard
ACC
1 C-21
Ramstein
USAFE
9 C-21
Maxwell
AETC
4 C-21
Stuttgart
EUCOM
4 C-21
Keesler
AETC
4 C-21
Figure 12: C-21 Operating Locations

AMC is designated as the lead command for the C-21 fleet in accordance with Air Force Policy Document 10-9. As lead command, AMC has primary responsibility for the Multi-Command Instruction (MCI 11-221), that governs the operation of the C-21 fleet. AMC has a dedicated OSA action officer on the headquarters staff.

C.5.2.2 C-21 Experience and Training

C.5.2.2.1 As a seasoning vehicle, the pilots in a C-21 unit fall into one of three categories: Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) graduates, prior qualified pilots, and unit leadership. In a typical C-21 squadron, 75 percent of the line pilots are in their first flying assignment. Twenty-five percent are pilots previously qualified in another aircraft. Pilot training graduates have about 300 hours total flying time upon arrival at their unit. The prior qualified pilots, depending on the number of years flying, have between 1,000-2,000 hours. Unit leadership consists of a commander and a director of operations, typically lieutenant colonels and majors. In addition to being more senior in grade, these officers typically have 2,000-3,000 flying hours and previous instructor and examiner experience.

C.5.2.2.2 C-21 training requirements are governed by Multi-Command Instruction (MCI) 10-202, Vol 1 and Vol 2, Aircrew Training Program. C-21 initial academic and simulator training is done by SimuFlite in Dallas, Texas, under contract to the Air Force. Flight training takes place at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. These programs were just reviewed by HQ AMC and now include a revamped crew resource management course.

C.5.2.2.3 Continuation training provides Air Force crew members with the correct volume and frequency of training to remain qualified and proficient in the unit's mission. Continuation training consists of ground and flying training events. C-21 training requirements are accomplished in the aircraft. The pilots attend annual simulator training concentrating on emergency procedures and crew resource management. The seasoning mission of the C­21 is extremely cost-effective. During a typical three-year assignment, a C-21 pilot flies 1,500-2,000 hours (45-50/month) and upgrades to instructor or flight examiner. This compares to 1,200 hours (25-30/month) flown by pilots in other airlift aircraft over the same period.

C.5.2.2.4 The C-21 standardization/evaluation program is similar to other stan/eval programs throughout the Air Force. There are flight examiners at each level of command from the flight to the MAJCOM. Crew members in these units receive flight evaluations on the normal Air Force 17 month cycle.

C.5.2.3 C-21 DV Code 2 Mission Tasking and Execution

C.5.2.3.1 During the validation and tasking process, CVAM may conclude that a non-89 AW asset is more efficient and operationally acceptable, e.g., small DV party (six or less), minimal enroute communication requirements, medium range destination. If the DV concurs, CVAM may send the requirement to the newly formed Joint Operational Support Airlift Center (JOSAC) at US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), Scott AFB, Illinois. JOSAC validates and assigns the request to a Service. If the mission is a CONUS mission to be supported by an Air Force C-21, the validated request is turned over to the TACC. If the mission is overseas, the mission is sent to the appropriate overseas Air Operations Center. The TACC or the Air Operations Center in turn notifies the individual unit.

C.5.2.3.2 The TACC/Air Operations Center handles all communications and retains command and control responsibilities for OSA DV missions. The unit determines if they can fly the mission. Unit leadership is responsible for aircrew selection, mission planning oversight, proper scheduling, and compliance with crew duty day and crew rest requirements. No written direction requiring specific aircrew qualification or experience levels for DV missions could be found. During interviews with wing and squadron leadership as well as crew members, all agreed that supervisors tried to match crews with missions, but it was not always possible. Due to crew availability, short-notice alert launches, and mission diverts, supervisors could not always maximize the experience level on DV missions.

C.5.2.4 C-21 Maintenance

C.5.2.4.1 Aircraft maintenance for the active duty C-21 fleet is provided through contractor logistics support (CLS); the ANG C-21s at Andrews AFB use organic AF maintenance. Overall management for the C-21 is the responsibility of the Systems Program Director (SPD) at Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center. The SPD coordinates FAA-mandated airworthiness directives and service actions with using commands and directs actions to comply with requirements. Annually, the SPD hosts a Program Management Review (PMR) to provide an overview of program status to include safety, modifications, program issues, and user concerns.

C.5.2.4.2 The current C-21 contractor, Raytheon Corporation, provides supply and aircraft maintenance support at each operating location. The Air Force uses Quality Assurance Representatives (QAR) at each unit to monitor contract compliance and ensure the contractor supports the mission in accordance with the CLS contract statement of work. All QAR personnel receive initial academic training from Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and aircraft familiarization training from the contractor. Two maintenance performance indicators are mission capability rate (the percentage of time an aircraft is available for mission tasking) and departure reliability rate (the percentage of on time departures). For the past 12 months the C-21 fleet has exceeded contract requirements for mission ready aircraft and has produced a departure reliability rate exceeding 99 percent.

Figure 13: Maintenance Indicators

C.5.2.5 Functional Management Review

On 1 July 1996, the Air Force Inspector General released the results of a comprehensive Functional Management Review (FMR) entitled, Quality of Contract Aircraft Maintenance. The FMR identified opportunities for improving C-21 contract maintenance in the following areas: contractor requirements in the C-21 CLS statement of work, contractor response to deficiencies, and QAR training. The Air Force is taking steps to correct deficiencies identified by the FMR.

C.5.2.6 Other DV Airlift Assets

C.5.2.6.1 Other DV Airlift Organizations

There are 14 aircraft dedicated to Commander-in-Chief (CINC) support missions and 3 Air National Guard C-22s that provide team travel. On occasion, these aircraft may be used for civilian DV Code 2 transportation. In FY96, these aircraft supported 46 missions. Location, owning command, number and type of aircraft, are indicated below.

Basing
MAJCOM
User
# of Aircraft
Maintenance Concept
Supply

Concept
Cheivres
AMC
CINC
1 C-9
Organic
CLS
Hickam
PACAF
CINC
2 C-135
Organic
Organic
Howard
ACC
CINC
1 CT-43
CLS
CLS
Offutt
ACC
CINC
1 KC-135
Organic
Organic
Robins
AFSOC
CINC
1 EC-137
CLS
CLS
Robins
AMC
CINC
2 EC-135
Organic
Organic
Ramstein
USAFE
DV
2 C-20
CLS
CLS
Andrews
ANG
OSA
3 C-22
Organic
CLS
Edwards
AFMC
Test
1 C-135
Organic
Organic

AFMC--Air Force Material Command USAFE--USAF Europe

AFSOC--Air Force Special Operations Command ACC--Air Combat Command

ANG--Air National Guard PACAF--Pacific Air Forces

AMC--Air Mobility CommandFigure 14: Other Aircraft Used for DV Support

In addition to OSA and other DV aircraft, the Air Force maintains two Commander Joint Task Force Command and Control Modules (CJTFC2). A modified "travel trailer," the CJTFC2 provides secure voice and data capability and has been used to transport SecDef, SecState, and Director, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CJTFC2 can be loaded on specially modified KC-10s, C-17s, or any C-141.

C.5.2.6.2 Experience and Training

C.5.2.6.2.1 Pilots flying CINC support aircraft are specially selected from highly qualified and experienced instructor crew members. The DV C-135/137 variants hire only previously qualified EC/KC/RC-135 pilots. The C-20 and CT-43 are manned only with pilots formerly instructor-qualified in large aircraft who have at least 2,500 hours. The C-9 unit at Cheivres, Belgium hires only previous C-9 instructors and flight examiners. The C-22 ANG team travel personnel are hired in accordance with standard Guard hiring regulations and procedures. The average C-22 pilot has approximately 5,500 hours; many are civilian airline pilots.

C.5.2.6.2.2 Training requirements for all these aircraft are governed by MCI 10-202 Vol 1, Aircrew Training Program. Specific training requirements unique to individual aircraft are in MCI 10-202 Vols 2-9. The C-135/137 variants, C-20, and C-9 training programs mirror the 89 AW's. The CT-43 utilizes contractor and Air Force training. After completing Air Force training, each unit has a training program to bring new crew members up to mission ready status. C-22 initial training is completed totally in-unit. C-22 recurrent simulator training (to include crew resource management) is conducted at the Pan Am Academy's simulator facility. All of these units use the standard Air Force 17-month periodic evaluation requirement.

C.5.2.6.3 Maintenance

Maintenance support for CINC aircraft, C-20, C-22, C-9, and the CJFTC2 is provided by standard AF aircraft maintenance organizations according to established aircraft policies and procedures. Quality assurance oversight, training management, and maintenance practices are consistent with those found in 89 AW aircraft maintenance organizations which were discussed earlier. The particular method of maintenance and supply support for these assets is selected by the owning MAJCOM in concert with the supporting SPD.

C.5.3 Senior Executive Support

Presidential and vice presidential travel often generates concurrent requirements to move support personnel, equipment, and the media. These missions are flown by Air Force airlift aircraft, e.g. C-5, C-17, C-141, and C-130. Individual missions are tasked as Phoenix Banner (Presidential support), Phoenix Silver (vice presidential support), and Phoenix Copper (Secret Service and others). For the purpose of this review, these missions will be referred to as senior executive support missions. This section focuses on organization, command and control, experience, training, tasking and maintenance for these forces.

C.5.3.1 Organization

The senior executive support mission aircraft are not sourced from a single, dedicated wing like 89 AW. Rather, these missions are tasked to the individual major commands whose aircraft routinely accomplish cargo missions worldwide in support of numerous users, including the warfighting commanders. AMC manages the C-5, C-17, and C-141 fleet, and ACC manages CONUS C-130. OCONUS C-130 are managed by their respective theater air component commander.

C.5.3.2 Tasking and Command and Control (C2)

C.5.3.2.1 The White House Military Office (WHMO) Airlift Operations Office validates requests and forwards requirements to TACC. For AMC assets, TACC tasks an appropriate airlift wing and issues a Mission Operations Directive (MOD). For CONUS C-130 taskings, TACC coordinates with ACC to determine which C-130 wing will fly the mission. TACC then contacts the tasked unit and coordinates mission details. On rare occasions a C-130 is used OCONUS. In this instance, TACC contacts the theater Air Operations Center, who in turn tasks an appropriate unit.

C.5.3.2.2 AMC and ACC provide the lion's share of the assets for senior executive support. TACC exercises operational control of all missions for strategic airlift aircraft (C-5, C-17,

C-141) worldwide and for theater airlift aircraft (C-130) in CONUS. C-130 aircraft on these missions overseas are under the operational control of their respective theater air component commander. When the President or Vice President travel, CVAM dispatches officers, called presidential advance agents, to coordinate activities related to a presidential/vice-presidential visit. Normally, the aircrew will make direct contact with the advance agent and will notify the agent of mechanical difficulties, load problems, or scheduling changes. In this way, CVAM as well as the C2 agency, is kept informed.

C.5.3.3 Experience and Training

C.5.3.3.1 Air Force airlift units have no unique recruiting procedures outside the normal AF assignment system. Pilots may be assigned directly to airlift units from pilot training, OSA, or other aircraft. With time, they gain experience and upgrade to first pilot, aircraft commander, instructor, and examiner. Examples of normal upgrade phase points are 1,000 hours total, 800 in type for a C-130 aircraft commander, and 1,400 hours total, 600 in type for a C-5 aircraft commander. For active duty units, the personnel system, with command oversight, attempts to manage experience levels among units and aircraft types to ensure an appropriate balance is maintained. We found that aircraft commander experience levels, measured by flying hours, were reasonably consistent between units flying like aircraft. For example, the C­130 aircraft commander flying hour average at Pope AFB, North Carolina is 2,222 hours while at Moody AFB, Georgia it is 2,179 hours. In Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units, the experience levels are higher. The Reserve C-5 aircraft commander flying hour average at Dover AFB, Delaware is 4,609 flying hours while active duty C-5 aircraft commanders there average 2,691 flying hours.

C.5.3.3.2 Training requirements in the C-141, C-5, and C-17 are governed by MCI 10-202, Vol 1, Aircrew Training Program. C-130 aircrew training is governed by MCI 11­C130. Although some units have incorporated training for Phoenix Banner, Silver, and Copper missions into their local training plans, none of these regulations specifically addresses this training.

C.5.3.3.3 By way of comparison, missions that move nuclear weapons are similar to these support operations in that, except for the cargo, they are both benign and basic air-land operations. However, for both, the visibility and consequences of a mishap are great. Yet for nuclear missions, command directives (MCR 55-18, Nuclear Airlift Operations) require very specific ground and flight training and evaluations.

C.5.3.4 Maintenance

C.5.3.4.1 The Air Force maintenance activities surveyed are organized, trained, and equipped to ensure safe and reliable aircraft and adhere to the same basic, standard policies and procedures discussed in previous sections regarding 89 AW.

C.5.3.4.2 In this review, the team looked for guidance maintenance supervisors could use to select and prepare aircraft for Phoenix Banner, Silver, and Copper missions. According to logistics managers at the units they contacted, maintenance personnel select the best aircraft available based on a combination of appearance and reliability history when tasked for a DV support mission, but no specific guidance exists. Again, by way of comparison, it was noted the command directives governing movement of nuclear weapons require aircraft to meet higher standards. For example, permissible tire wear and other maintenance tolerances are cut in half. Additionally, senior wing maintenance personnel must inspect the aircraft and review its records prior to clearing it for flight.

C.5.3.4.3 The team found that the maintenance organizations supporting senior executive travel are manned with sufficient trained personnel to support tasked missions. As previously described, aircraft mechanics undergo a rigorous, comprehensive training program to ensure they have the necessary skills to accomplish safe maintenance actions. Commanders and key supervisors indicated their equipment and facilities are adequate for safe and efficient operations. Additionally, each command conducts an annual Commander's Facility Assessment (CFA) to determine facility condition and program action to fix noted deficiencies.

C.5.3.4.4 All maintenance units use a Total Quality Management (TQM) based program to verify the quality of maintenance activities. These programs include assessments of maintenance processes, over-the-shoulder reviews of ongoing maintenance inspection and repair actions, and follow-up inspections of completed maintenance.

C.5.4 Aging Aircraft

C.5.4.1 As discussed previously, both the civil and military aviation communities are concerned about degradation in structural integrity caused by uncontrolled corrosion and other forms of deterioration.

C.5.4.2 The Air Force has two different, though similar programs for aging aircraft--the commercial derivative aging aircraft program discussed earlier, and the program for non-commercial derivatives (C­17, C­5, C­141, C­130, C­135). Non-commercial derivative aircraft were originally engineered, designed, and manufactured specifically under government contract, and are maintained in accordance with DoD and Air Force policy. The engineering design, manufacture, airworthiness, and acceptance criteria were determined by the Air Force using military specifications. Aircraft surveillance and inspection programs are implemented at the onset of each aircraft acquisition. Technical orders and maintenance plans for these aircraft are also developed utilizing military standards and specifications. These maintenance plans, commonly referred to as the aircraft -6 series technical orders (TOs), include all aspects of organizational and depot level maintenance. These TOs are maintained and revised on a routine basis. Aging aircraft inspection requirements are included in the -6 series TOs. Some inspections may be accomplished locally while others are depot level requirements. Generally, depot level repair is completed at an Air Force Air Logistics Center.

C.5.4.3 The maintenance inspection and modification programs covering aging aircraft are managed by the system program director (SPD) for each type/series aircraft as a function of his/her total aircraft management responsibility. The SPD transfers functional responsibility for daily management, maintenance, and revision of the aging aircraft program to his/her engineering and technical organization. This process is similar to that used by an original equipment manufacturer. The SPD receives regularly scheduled reviews/updates to ensure the program is progressing. Potential problems are identified through several different programs: the aircraft structural integrity program, the corrosion prevention advisory board, and the analytical condition inspection program. These programs are required for all DoD organic aircraft. If problems are discovered, the SPD implements fleet-wide corrective actions prior to the deficiency becoming a safety issue.

C.5.4.4 One example of how the Air Force is handling aging aircraft is the C-135 CORAL REACH Program. This is an extensive program under SPD direction to create a "Grand Strategy" to extend the life of the C-135 fleet until planned retirement. The SPD is taking proactive steps to review data from commercial, in-service, field, depot, Air Force contractors, and internal engineering sources. This data is integrated with technology to develop an Aircraft Sustainment Master Plan. The CORAL REACH Program closely approximates civil aviation efforts to combat the effects of aircraft aging.

C.5.4.5 As noted, Air Force aging aircraft programs are managed by the respective SPDs. The DoD however, has no single clearing house for technology or cross-flow of information pertinent to the rest of the fleet as does the civil aviation industry with oversight provided by the FAA. While outside the scope of this study, we believe a process should be instituted to improve the cross-flow of information among the DoD SPDs.

C.5.5 Safety Equipment

C.5.5.1 The aircraft transporting and supporting civilian DV Codes 1 and 2 are well equipped for emergency and evacuation situations. Loadmasters, boom operators, and inflight passenger service specialists receive thorough training on all aircraft safety equipment and evacuation procedures. They receive extensive inflight evaluations ensuring qualifications are maintained. Crew members receive annual refresher training on the use of all safety equipment.

C.5.5.2 The Air Force aircraft supporting these missions are equipped with emergency lighting, escape slides (when required), smoke detection and fire fighting equipment. Figure 15 shows the status of civilian DV Codes 1 and 2 aircraft safety equipment when compared to FAA requirements.
FAA Required

Safety Equipment
C-9A

DC-9
E-4B

Boeing

747
KC-10

DC-10
C-20A

G-III
C-21

Lear

35
C-22

Boeing

727
CT-43

Boeing

737
*C-135

*Boeing

707
Cabin Smoke Detection Equipment
X
X
X
Cargo Compart-ment Only
***
X
X
***
Fire Fighting Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
First Aid Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Evacuation Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Evacuation Slides
X
X
X
**N/A
**N/A
X
X
X
Interior Evacuation Placards
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Exterior Evacuation Markings
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Emergency Lighting
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Fire Retardant Interior Materials
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
PA System
X
X
X
X
***
X
X
Overwater Survival Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Uninhabited Survival Equipment
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

* Applies to all DV equipped C-135s

** C-20/21 escape paths used to exit these aircraft are less than six feet above the ground and egress is easily accomplished without the use of slides.

*** The C-21 cabin is small with no enclosed lavatory so any smoke is easily detectable by the crew. Public announcement system is not needed. The C-135 does not have a smoke detection system installed.Figure 15: Safety Equipment

C.5.6 Issues

C.5.6.1 Aircrew Management

C.5.6.1.1 The multi-command regulation governing senior executive support missions (MCR 55­89) tasks commanders at all levels to ensure their units are fully aware of the importance and sensitivity of presidential and vice presidential support missions. The regulation states "...only highly qualified crew members should be assigned to these missions." In this review, the team talked to MAJCOM, wing and squadron leadership, analyzed recent mishap experience, and gathered data from a number of units. However, the team was unable to confirm that units are consistently using "highly qualified" crew members for these missions. They asked seven active duty C-5, C-141, and C-130 units to provide data on qualifications and experience levels for aircraft commanders who flew recent Banner missions. With the exception of C-141, they found that those flying Banner missions had fewer hours than the average unit aircraft commander (C-5: 2,398 vs. 2,636; C-141: 2,810 vs. 2,701; C-130: 1,871 vs. 2,066). Further, a review of two recent C­130 Phoenix Banner mishaps indicates crew member inexperience was a factor in both.

C.5.6.1.2 In discussions with MAJCOM, wing, and squadron leadership, the team found a consensus that although senior executive support missions carry the highest peacetime priority, 1A1, they are usually basic and routine airland missions. By comparison, aerial refueling, special operations, formation, and air drop missions require more skill to fly, instruct, and evaluate. Commanders, faced with availability limitations in their more experienced crews leaned toward scheduling these experienced crews against tactical missions and allowing lesser experienced crews to fly the senior executive support missions. While understandable, this logic fails to adequately consider the critical nature of senior executive support missions and the negative media coverage with resulting loss of public confidence when a mishap occurs. (Note: In this review, the team found one strategic airlift wing that requires each crew position for senior executive support missions be manned by an instructor or flight examiner; waivers must be approved by the operations group commander. Based on this survey, this is the exception and not the rule.)

C.5.6.2 Aircraft Modernization

The Air Force possesses a number of different aircraft that provide transportation and support to civilian DV Codes 1 and 2. Aircraft range in age from less than 1 year (C-17/C-130H still in production) to almost 40 years for the C-135. Figure 16 outlines the role, age, and average flying time of the fleet supporting DV Codes 1 and 2 travel.
Type Aircraft
Role
First Delivered
Avg Airframe Hours
C-5A/BSenior Executive Support
1969
11,600
C-17Senior Executive Support

DV Transport

1993
1,493
C-130 E/H/JSenior Executive Support
1961
12,342
C-141Senior Executive Support

DV Transport

1961
37,000
C-20ADV Transport
1983
9,800
C-21DV Transport
1984
7,800
T-43DV Transport
1973
16,701
C-9ADV Transport
1968
34,302
C-135 (DV)DV Transport
1957
22,800
KC-10DV Transport
1981
13,000
E-4BDV Transport
1975
9,450
C-22DV Transport
1986
57,397
Figure 16: Aircraft Role and Flying Time

C.5.6.2.1 Stage 3 Noise Compliance

FAA and international regulations require compliance with Stage 3 in FY00. Air Force aircraft are not required to be Stage 3 compliant, however they can be denied access to airports requiring aircraft to meet Stage 3 requirements. This limitation could hamper the DV's ability to access airports needed to conduct business. A program is underway to "Stage 3" these three spare 89 AW C­9Cs and two C-9As in Europe that support DV travel. The "hush kits" will bring the C­9 into Stage 3 compliance starting in FY98. Other aircraft that support civilian DV Codes 1 and 2 which are stage 3 compliant are: the KC-10, C-17, E-4B, C-21, and C-130. The C-141, C-5, C­20A, T­43, C-22, and C­135 aircraft do not meet stage 3 guidelines and no programs are underway to make them compliant.

C.5.6.2.2 Avionics Upgrades

As noted in a previous section, the Air Force fleet charged with civilian DV Codes 1 and 2 support is being upgraded with new aircraft and avionics modifications to enhance mission accomplishment and reduce crew workload. Figure 17 gives an overview of the current avionics upgrade status of the DV Codes 1 and 2 support fleet:

SYSTEM

Interim

GPS

Integrated

GPS

TCAS II

FDR

CVR

GPWS

WS

ELT
KC-10

McDonnell Douglas

DC-10
FY97
FY98
*Directed
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
E-4B

Boeing

747-200
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
**C-22

Boeing

727-100
FY97
N/A
N/A
Installed
Installed
Installed
N/A
N/A
C-135

Boeing 707
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
C-9A
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
C-20A
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
C-21
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
T-43

Boeing

737
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
FY97
Installed
*Directed
Installed
***C-17
N/A
Installed
*Directed
Installed
Installed
Installed
*Directed
Installed
C-5A/B
FY97
FY97
*Directed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
Installed
C-141
FY97
FY96
*Directed
Installed
Installed
Installed
FY96
Installed
***C-130E/H
FY97
*Directed
*Directed
Installed
Installed
FY95
N/A
Installed

* Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) and Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations letter 9 Sep 96: "MAJCOMs are directed to refine their respective portions of this master plan into fully executable programs." Air Force Material Command (AFMC) "shall expedite contract awards and maximize accomplishments prior to the end of FY96.

** C-22 scheduled to retire in FY00.

*** C-17 and C-130H still in production.

Legend:

GPS: Global Positioning System. TCAS: Traffic Collision Avoidance System

FDR: Flight Data Recorder CVR: Cockpit Voice Recorder

GPWS: Ground Proximity Warning System WS: Wind Shear Detection System

ELT: Emergency Locator Transponder Figure 17: Avionics Upgrades

C.6 Air Force Conclusions and Recommendations

C.6.1 The Secretary of Defense asked this review to "determine the facts that underlie all aspects of the operation and maintenance of DoD Executive Support Aircraft and make findings and recommendations that are warranted by the facts." Further, he asked that the review "... examine relevant practices and procedures affecting reliability and safety at every level of training, operation, and maintenance of executive air transportation by DoD." Given the time allocated, the Air Force team has completed as extensive a review as was possible and is able to offer some conclusions and recommendations regarding Air Force forces.

C.6.2 First, the executive support airlift provided by the Air Force meets, and often exceeds, the reliability, safety, and performance of air carriers using similar equipment in the civilian sector. Due to variations in mishap categories and mission requirements, direct safety comparisons with civilian carriers are difficult but some insights can be gleaned. Analysis reveals that, in the aggregate, the mishap rates for Air Force passenger aircraft are comparable to major carriers, better than commuter airlines, and significantly better than air taxi operations. Such performance reflects the solid operations and maintenance programs found in the organizations that the team surveyed.

C.6.3 In this review, the team took a hard look at flying operations and training across the DV fleet. First, the team dissected the process used to request and validate DV airlift from the executive, judicial and legislative branches through OSD, HQ AF, the MAJCOMs and down to the wing level. The process varies according to the DV and his/her organization but provides sound review and validation. Within the wings, the team found adequate direction and oversight in crew qualification, mission planning and execution, and maintenance, but believe several changes should be made to improve the process particularly in regard to aircraft selection and preparation, and crew training for DV support missions; crew selection for certain OSA missions; and oversight for Presidential missions.

C.6.4 For high-priority DV support missions (i.e., Phoenix Banner, Phoenix Silver, Phoenix Copper), no Air Force-wide direction exists regarding aircraft selection and preparation. Although the team found several units in which local maintenance managers had implemented tighter standards, there was no consistency across the force. As discussed earlier, there are similarities between these missions and those that transport nuclear weapons; the command direction governing aircraft preparation for nuclear movements may provide an excellent starting point for developing preparation guidelines for DV support aircraft.

Recommendation: The Air Force should develop guidelines for aircraft selection and preparation for DV support missions. The requirements for nuclear weapons airlift contained in MCR 55-18 Nuclear Airlift Operations, may provide an appropriate template.

C.6.5 Similarly, the team found no consistent Air Force-wide guidance requiring specific aircrew training for Phoenix Banner, Silver, and Copper missions. Interviews with unit commanders revealed a belief that these missions were not particularly unique. However, the priority of these missions and the small margin for error mandates some additional crew sensitivity and training.

Recommendation: The Air Force should develop a specific training and certification program for all crew members prior to their performing Phoenix Banner, Silver, and Copper missions.

C.6.6 Regarding crew selection for Phoenix Banner, Silver, and Copper missions, command guidance directs the use of "highly qualified" aircrews. However, the team found no clear definition of "highly qualified," nor could they verify that unit commanders were consistently selecting their more experienced crews for these missions despite their criticality and high visibility. In fact, the data they collected and our analysis of several recent mishaps revealed these missions are often assigned to crew members with average to below average experience levels.

Recommendation: For Phoenix Banner, Silver, and Copper missions, the requirement to select "highly qualified" aircrews should be more precisely defined--crew experience and qualification requirements should be explicitly stated. Recommend the Air Force require an instructor pilot be in command and that the navigator, if assigned, have at least 500 hours in the aircraft since initial mission qualification. The team recognizes there may be periods of high optempo when assigning an instructor pilot to every Banner, Silver, and Copper may not be possible; during such periods unit commanders should assign their most experienced aircraft commanders to these missions.

C.6.7 The team is also concerned with the process used in C-21 units to select crews for senior DV (i.e., DV Code 2) support. The OSA fleet, particularly the C-21, has two primary missions: first, the wartime movement of priority cargo and personnel, and in peacetime, pilot seasoning. In peacetime, C-21s provide senior executive travel essentially as a by-product of required training. In the typical OSA unit, about three-quarters of the pilots are assigned directly from initial pilot training. The remaining one fourth have been previously qualified in another aircraft and provide leadership, supervision, and a core of experience. Commanders at all levels expressed great confidence in unit leadership and the ability of C-21 crews to operate safely and effectively. However, the mission priority, special needs of high ranking officials (DV Code 2), and the serious consequences of an incident or mishap with such a DV on board militates for more careful crew selection. Yet, the team found no Air Force-wide guidance or consistent process used by unit commanders to insure more experienced crews were chosen for these missions.

Recommendation: The Air Force should review its policies regarding passenger movement on C­21s with an eye toward establishing minimum crew experience requirements when carrying senior DVs (i.e., DV-2). Understanding that mandating high crew qualification levels for DV missions could run counter to the mission of OSA. Further, the team recognizes that given the existing C-21 concept of operations, it would not be possible to assign highly experienced pilots (e.g. instructors) to all missions in order to cover potential mission diverts and alert launches for a possible DV Code 2. However, given the relative infrequency of such DV travel on C­21s, prescribing more crew experience on planned missions could be accommodated within the existing manning constraints. C­21 missions with a DV Code 2 on board should be planned to have an instructor pilot in command. In cases when little or no notice precludes having an instructor pilot in command, the unit commander should decide whether to accept or decline the mission based on actual crew experience, urgency of the mission, etc.

C.6.8 With regard to aircrew training and evaluation, the team found sound guidance and processes for aircrew recruiting in selectively manned units coupled with comprehensive training programs at all levels had produced crew members well qualified to safely and efficiently perform their assigned missions. Moreover, standardization and evaluation programs were being administered according to Air Force and command directives and were effective in providing commanders with an assessment of aircrew competence. The team applauds recent NAF and local efforts to correct anomalies in the stan/eval programs affecting the Presidential Pilot's Office.

C.6.9 Maintenance leadership, training, oversight, and practices are providing safe and reliable aircraft, especially in those units with an AF organic maintenance organization. As this report was being written, the team reviewed the results of an Air Force Inspector General Functional Management Review (FMR) on the quality of contract maintenance, including OSA. This FMR, conducted between October 1995 and February 1996, is a far more detailed review of contract aircraft maintenance than our assessment permitted. The team was pleased to see the Service is on course toward an effective solution to the problems the FMR discovered. Similarly, the team applauds Air Force efforts to deal with the issues associated with aging aircraft especially the older VC­137s and C-135s, and to modernize the aging DV fleet through aircraft replacement and equipment modification programs.

Recommendation: To maintain the momentum, the Air Force should prepare a DV airlift roadmap to address aircraft modernization requirements for not only 89th AW but for CINC support and OSA fleets as well. Realistic milestones and funding should be earmarked in the next available AF POM submission.

C.6.10 As noted earlier in this section, the team found anomalies in the Presidential Pilot's Office (PPO). The team believes these stem from the way in which operational taskings flow for Presidential airlift and the organizational alignment of PPO within the wing. First, operational requirements are levied by the White House Military Office directly to PPO. This process may have been intended to enhance flexibility and responsiveness, but with no mission visibility beyond PPO, normal wing, NAF, MAJCOM and AF oversight is excluded from this top priority mission. The team also noted a similar path for personnel evaluations. Fitness reports for PPO members are unusual in that they not only follow tasking vice service lines from rater to final endorsement, but they totally by-pass the wing commander, precluding him/her from commenting on performance.

C.6.11 The team also found PPO's organizational alignment inhibits the wing from providing traditional "train and equip" service functions. PPO, unlike the other flying units in 89 AW, is not part of the operations group. Essential leadership, oversight, and staff services that are "directive" for subordinate flying units in the traditional AF wing are offered, and usually accepted, but certain important exceptions exist. Implementation of the command standardization program provides several examples: PPO was essentially excused from the most recent 21 AF periodic inspection, and PPO does not fully participate in the command's no-notice flight evaluation program.

C.6.12 PPO and 89 AW have a flawless record of support to the President, and the team was mindful of the adage "don't fix what ain't broke." Nonetheless, the team believes the existing organizational alignment has worked as well as it has primarily due to the extraordinary expertise and strong leadership of the people involved. The team believes a more traditional organizational alignment would institutionalize improved oversight without compromising flexibility and responsiveness.

Recommendation: PPO should be realigned under the 89th Operations Group.