"Can NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] count on European civil aviation assets in the event of a crisis? This is the central question James Becker poses in this probing essay. As he points out, the United States has had its Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program for many years, but major planning for the use of European civil airplanes for military purposes has come about only since the late 1970s. Using an imaginative scenario to depict how an emergency in Europe might be met by employing both United States and European civil aviation, the author explores the likelihood of that use happening, especially in Europe. One great shortcoming, Becker argues, is that cargo aircraft are not as readily available in Europe as in the United States. Becker also explores other issues related to use of civil air in emergencies, areas such as airport reception and handling capabilities, air traffic control, rapid airfield facilities and runway repair, and the handling of hazardous materials. Becker concludes that amazing progress has been made in NATO's ability to rely on Europe's civil aviation assets, progress he attributes to the dedicated efforts of both the NATO headquarters staff and individual country representatives to NATO's Civil Aviation Planning Committee. More progress must be made, however, and Becker suggests where and how to do so. His personal viewpoints illuminate a planning area not widely understood but of potentially vital significance for NATO security."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/