PEO & Deputy PEO for Presidential and Executive Airlift highlight team’s success

  • Published
  • By Brian Brackens
  • Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – When a U.S. Congressional delegation traveled to Taiwan over the summer, via a C-40 aircraft, it became one of the most tracked flights of all time.

Members of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate watched the flight with great interest. With a personal connection to the C-40 – acquiring, upgrading and sustaining it and other aircraft used by senior U.S. leaders including the President, Vice President, First Lady, Speaker of the House, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense – the trip highlighted the importance and impact of the directorate’s work.

“As one of the aircraft we support, it was exciting to see the level of attention the C-40 received during that trip,” said Brig. Gen. Jason Lindsey, the Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Presidential and Executive Airlift. “We are so proud to be part of the diplomatic face of the United States and how we [U.S.] present ourselves to other nations. We directly empower our Nation’s leaders by helping ensure they can be anywhere, anytime, and always connected.”

Leading efforts to provide U.S. leaders with safe, reliable aircraft and the ability to communicate anywhere in the world, the directorate is responsible for not only the C-40 fleet, but the C-12, C-21, C-32, C-37, C-40, and the current and future “Air Force One,” or VC-25A and VC-25B respectively. In addition, the team is working to sustain and eventually replace the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center – more commonly known as the “Doomsday” plane.

The directorate has had a lot of success over the past year, to include enabling more than 1,450 flight operations and countless missions aboard the E-4B, and continuing production of the VC-25B. Other recent wins include delivering two new C-37B aircraft to Joint Base Andrews, successfully leading multiple quick turn maintenance efforts on VC-25A, and achieving historic high C-21A fleet availability – all of which has been vital to meeting the surge in demand for overseas travel this past year.

The directorate has also been leading a number of innovative efforts in digital, hypersonic/supersonic and satellite communications.

“Our E-4B recapitalization, Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC) program, is early in development, but fully committed to standing up as a digital program,” said Lily Arcusa, Deputy Program Executive Officer (DPEO) for Presidential and Executive Airlift. “The team dug into the new digital guidance, figured out how to develop and stand up a digital environment, and started working out the acquisition processes in such an environment. Their work will have a huge impact on the future of acquisition.”

The directorate’s Vector team has partnered with AFWERX to help accelerate the commercial development of hypersonic and supersonic technology, by engaging with innovative small businesses and providing government insight into how the technology could be used in the future.

“The Air Force has an enduring requirement to move people and stuff, quickly,” said Lindsey. “The Air Force is benefiting from the information these innovative companies are developing, and the Vector Initiative helped lay the groundwork. Someday, we’ll likely transport senior national leaders on supersonic aircraft, but along that developmental path are things with near-term military applicability, like delivering materiel or sensors more quickly than currently possible. Supersonic and hypersonic are the future of air power, and the Air Force is figuring out how to capitalize on that emerging capability.”

Improving communication capability is another focus area for the directorate, which has been testing Low Earth Orbit and Middle Earth Orbit satellite communication systems designed to increase communication bandwidth and decrease latency. The technology is expected to be fielded on executive transport aircraft in the near future.

“We are testing the performance of various systems to ensure our implementation [of the technology] will not lock us into a particular vendor’s satellite constellation,” Lindsey said. “I’m very proud of the team’s innovation and speed in keeping up with the ever-evolving communication requirements on our fleet.”

Promoting the sharing of best practices between the divisions within the directorate is a key focus area for the PEO and DPEO.

“There’s great strategic value in sustaining our current platforms and recapitalizing those capabilities in the same directorate,” Lindsey said. “As we develop and field new capabilities, like VC-25B and SAOC, we’re learning from the team that has sustained the existing platforms – VC-25A and E-4B – for a generation,” Lindsey said.

“We are finding opportunities for synergy, which is great,” added Arcusa. “For example, all of our cyber personnel are coming together to learn from each other, to draw on our experience sustaining older aircraft to improve cyber resiliency as we develop new aircraft.  Overall, I’m very impressed with the amazing acquisition work our teams are doing sustaining fleets of older airplanes and developing the fleets of the future. I look forward to the great things we are going to do together.”