Big Safari US Air Force Program

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Colonel Jerry Knotts (USAF, Ret) spent 13 years in the Big Safari Program flying operationally and performing on-site program management. In 1974, he was flying specially configured aircraft out of Wiesbaden, Germany and later was a program/project engineer assigned to two of the industry based detachments and responsible for programs at the third.
He managed over 10 major aircraft projects and had the pleasure of co-authoring the first Big Safari History with Colonel Pat O’Malley. Years later he was part of a team supporting Colonel Bill Grimes in the preparation of the second Big Safari History now being sold on (
The BIG SAFARI Program was started by the USAF in 1952 to enable the quick reaction, expedited management, acquisition, and logistical support for special aircraft / systems Big Safari was limited to modifying and adapting existing aircraft and systems in support of significant operational needs.
Though the BIG SAFARI Program is still alive, this presentation will describe many of the special projects and the how the BIG SAFARI Program operated during the period 1964 – 1977.
“The BIG SAFARI acquisition and sustainment system employs the necessary flexibility to respond to high-priority, dynamic operational requirements for programs that involve a limited number of systems that require a rapid response to changes in the operational environment throughout the life of the system. BIG SAFARI focuses on acquiring, fielding, and sustaining key operational capabilities that otherwise would not be achievable or supportable in the required timeframe. Events and processes are tailored to meet the user's operational and schedule needs.” ((
Speaker(s): Jerry Knotts,
6:30 PM Food and Networking at Hub101
7:00 PM Talk
Bldg: Hub101 – Cal Lutheran Center for Entrepreneurship, 31416 Agoura Road, Westlake Village, California, United States, 91361, Virtual:

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