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The Army National Guard (ARNG) Operational Support Airlift Agency (OSAA)

What is it?
The OSAA provides management, oversight, and execution of a geographically dispersed fleet of turbojet and turboprop fixed-wing aircraft. With four different airframes, and 114 aircraft in all, the OSAA fleet represents the single largest fixed-wing organization in the Army today. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the OSAA is a multi-component, brigade-level command that provides leadership, command and control, direction, and guidance with a combination of personnel. Members come from the ARNG Title X and Title 32 Active Guard and Reserve, Active Component warrant officers, traditional guardsmen, and Department of the Army (DA) Civilians. The agency provides safety, training, standardization, readiness, maintenance, and resourcing oversight for 80 separate fixed-wing units and approximately 700 personnel assigned or attached to the agency, its regional flight centers, and virtually every state and territory. The OSAA aircraft, Soldiers, and Civilians execute world-wide missions in support of the era of persistent conflict, homeland defense, and peacetime contingency requirements and operations.

What has the ARNG done?
In FY08, OSAA support included transporting time-sensitive and mission-critical supplies and personnel to and from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and the Horn of Africa. While supporting homeland security operations, fixed-wing aircraft transported emergency supplies and key personnel throughout the Gulf Coast for relief efforts following hurricanes Gustav, Hanna, and Ike. Fixed-wing aircraft also transported much needed supplies and personnel during the wildfires in California. Both at home and abroad in 2008, these aircraft flew 56,000 hours in support of 26,210 missions; transported more than 19.9 million pounds of cargo, and carried nearly 100,500 passengers. The flight hours reflect an emphasis on cargo lift and demonstrate the critical role ARNG fixed-wing aircraft serve in combat and homeland security missions. The OSAA continues to provide support to the Soldier here at home with the wounded Warrior transport mission. This mission transports Soldiers between Bayne-Jones Army Hospital, Fort Polk, Louisiana, and Brook Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas. Additionally, support has been provided to the U.S. Southern Command in Colombia and the Criminal Investigation Task Force, Office of Military Commissions, and United States Army South at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?
The OSAA is the proponent for all ARNG fixed-wing operations and standardization. Future fixed-wing strategic initiatives include the transformation of both operational and non-operational units as well as the replacement of Army fixed-wing cargo C-23 Sherpa airplanes with the significantly more capable C-27J Spartan. To assist with standardization of training, the Fixed-Wing Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (FWAATS) in Clarksburg, West Virginia (the only Total Army school system accredited fixed-wing training site), is working closely with the Army Training and Doctrine Command on the execution and evaluation of fixed-wing aircrew training.

Why is this important to the Army?
As the ARNG proponent for all fixed-wing operations, training, and standardization issues, OSAA works closely with Headquarters Department of the Army, the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Program Executive Office Aviation, FWAATS, and ARNG Aviation and Safety Division to provide the operational perspective of fixed-wing modernization and transformation and improve training and unit readiness for all ARNG fixed-wing units. The OSAA is a truly unique organization that performs a critical role with fixed-wing aircraft on a daily basis.

 
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