The Department of Defense review of Air Force and
Marine Corps executive air support has found that the Department
operates its executive support air fleet safely and reliably.
The study was conducted at White House request
following two aircraft accidents involving Presidential support
helicopters on Sept. 6, 1996 in Orlando, Fla.
Neither aircrew or
passengers were injured.
Secretary William J. Perry appointed retired Navy Vice
Adm. Donald D. Engen to conduct the review.
Engen is a former
naval aviator who served as head of the Federal Aviation
Administration following his military retirement.
The Engen team examined Presidential airlift and VIP
executive support airlift.
They found that Presidential airlift
has been virtually flawless.
It was in the area of support
airlift where several recommendations were provided to enhance
the safe and efficient operation of executive support aircraft,
most notably those aircraft which are not dedicated to
transporting high government officials.
The recommendations are:
-- Each service should emphasize and maintain an
executive airlift plan to address modernization requirements,
authorized versus on-board assets, and funding.
-- Each service should review executive airlift general
support crew-mission match requirements and definitions such that
tactical organizations place more emphasis on the importance of
the VIP support airlift mission.
-- The Department should discuss with the Congress the
continuing need to support Congressional delegation travel in
light of the 1990s military executive airlift assets.
The White House should critically review the use of non-
dedicated executive airlift aircraft for the President's travel.
-- The Air Force should realign the Presidential Pilot
Office within the 89th Airlift Wing to more clearly delineate the
process for standardization and evaluation.
-- Additional service specific recommendations were made
within the Air Force and the Marine Corps review.
Dr. Perry has directed the Secretaries of the Navy (Marine
Corps) and Air Force to begin action on these recommendations and
report back within 60 days their respective plans for completion
of all tasks.
A copy of the report, forwarding letter to the White House,
and Dr. Perry's memorandums to the Secretaries of the Navy and
Air Force with service-specific recommendations are attached.