Pioneering Aviation Company Demonstrates Proactive Commitment to Forthcoming CMMC Requirements

Nashville, TN (February 28, 2024) – Redspin, a division of cybersecurity and managed cloud services firm Clearwater, and the leader in Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) services for the defense industrial base (DIB), today announced the successful completion of the Joint Surveillance Voluntary Assessment (JSVA) by its client, Phoenix Air Group, Inc. (Phoenix Air). Phoenix Air is a pioneering aviation company operating around the world for commercial and government clients providing passenger, cargo, and air ambulance transportation services. The JSVA, conducted by Redspin, jointly with the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Center (DIBCAC), concluded with a flawless score of 110, earning Phoenix Air a DIBCAC High certificate, which is expected to convert to a CMMC Level 2 certification once the rule is effective.

The JSVA, an early adopter evaluation option preceding the finalization of CMMC rulemaking, allows organizations that have DoD contracts to undergo voluntary assessments conducted jointly by Certified 3rd Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs), such as Redspin, and the DIBCAC. The JSVA Program is available until the DoD finalizes its CMMC rulemaking which is expected later this year.

The JSVA is a critical step in Phoenix Air’s strategy in demonstrating that as a DIB contractor, it has the cybersecurity maturity required to be a trusted partner to the DoD. Redspin, leveraging its proficiency in conducting comprehensive JSVAs that align with anticipated CMMC requirements, meticulously evaluated Phoenix Air’s implementation of NIST 800-171 r2 across various domains, including technical, physical, and administrative elements.

The completion of the JSVA with a 110 score and no plan of action and milestones (POA&Ms) positions Phoenix Air for early CMMC certification and exemplifies its leadership in both technology and security. Dent Thompson, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Phoenix Air expressed pride in the company’s dedication to safeguarding sensitive information, saying, “This achievement underscores our unwavering commitment to protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and reinforces our readiness to meet evolving regulatory requirements head-on.”

During its November 2023 Town Hall meeting, the Cyber Accreditation Body (The Cyber AB) reported that out of the 150 companies that applied for a JSVA, only 22 have completed the process up to that point. Of note, Redspin has conducted 10 of the fully completed 22 assessments.

For the press release, click on the button below.

Go to Redspin Press Release

By Denise Dillon
Published April 22, 2020
Coronavirus in Georgia
FOX 5 Atlanta

CARTERSVILLE, Ga – Phoenix Air, based in Cartersville, has been flying medical missions non-stop for the past month. They’re transporting critically ill American citizens who have COVID-19 back to the US.

“We’re the only company in the world that can transport highly contagious patients,” said Dent Thompson, Sr. Vice President of Phoenix Air.

Go to Fox 5 Video


by Thomas Pallini April, 2020

During the Ebola crisis, one Gulfstream jet was tasked with over 40 lifesaving missions as it traveled to and from hotspots in Africa bringing those infected with the deadly illness to hospitals in the US.

The “Ebola plane” or “Ebola Gray,” as it came to be known, became the go-to mode of transportation for the US Centers for Disease Control and US State Department for medical evacuations as it featured an onboard isolation and containment chamber necessary for the safe transport of afflicted patients.

Now, the modified air ambulance is taking on a new role as the “COVID-19 plane.”

With Ebola largely mitigated and the novel coronavirus pandemic in full swing, the battleship grey-painted Gulfstream is flying missions once again, this time to bring American citizens infected with COVID-19 back home to be treated.

Take a look inside the plane that the CDC and State Department turn to when a US citizen with an infectious disease needs to get home.

For the article, click on the button below.

Go to Business Insider

Posted Saturday, April 18, 2020

Flight and medical crews from Phoenix Air Group took part in what U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo called “one of the most complex medical evacuations in history.”

Last month, a cadre of highly skilled pilots, medical staff members and trip planners with the Cartersville-based aviation company successfully completed an 8,000-mile air ambulance mission to bring a critically ill American, stricken with the COVID-19 virus, out of Bhutan and into an intensive care unit in Baltimore.

Dent Thompson, senior vice president and chief operations officer with Phoenix Air, said Pompeo told reporters at a March 31 press briefing about activities that the U.S. State Department had undertaken that month.

“Top of his agenda was the State Department’s efforts to bring Americans home from around the world in the face of the growing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

For the article, click on the button below.

Go to The Daily Tribune


By Linda Solomon and Amy Schmidt


Amy Schmidt and I departed Aug. 31st. for a relaxing week on St. Maarten.  I’ve spent many vacations in this island paradise over the years with family and friends.  Our hotel, the Flamingo Resort is one of the most beautiful locations on the island, featuring palm frond covered palapas and beach lounges at no extra charge. The resort faces due west and we are treated to spectacular sunsets every evening. A restaurant on the beach serves food and drinks just a few feet away. I snorkel each day with hundreds of fish just a hundred yards off shore (and no sharks).

The first few days were ideal, driving the island sharing my favorite places with Amy. Some days were spent lazing under a palapa and bobbing in the cove to keep cool as the temperature hovered around 85 degrees with 70% humidity. People spent a lot of time in the water making new friends from around the world.

Monday Sept. 4th.   We became aware of a storm watch that quickly escalated to a hurricane watch. We still hoped that the hurricane would veer to the northeast and give us just a dose of wind and rain then move on. As a precaution we went grocery shopping on Friday stocking up on food and bottled water preparing to rely on the full kitchen in our apartment.

Tuesday Sept. 5th.    It became apparent that the storm was now a full-blown hurricane headed directly for St. Maarten. Starting as a class 3 and building, Hurricane Irma eventually became a Class 5 plus with winds up to 120 MPH and gusts over 180 MPH.  As the day wore on the sea changed from beautiful calm turquoise to an angry dirty brown spewing white foam over the break wall and very high surf on the normally calm beach. At 4:00 pm a meeting was called at the pool area to inform residents what to expect and how to prepare. We were told to stock up on canned food and bottled water and store water to flush toilets because we were likely to lose water and electrical service.  By the time we returned to our room the water had been turned off due to high surf to prevent desalinization plants from becoming contaminated.  We got one of our trash cans and went to the pool to start collecting water to flush with. Around 7:00 pm the storm started in earnest. Blowing left to right horizontally across our 4th floor room and building as the night wore on.  We had electricity all night in spite of the storm.  Amy took a chair and hunkered down in the bathroom. I went to bed and slept until about midnight when I woke to winds whistling through the doors and water leaking in from the hall door.  We could hear debris blowing down the hallway and crashing into the walls and stairwells.  The corrugated roof flew off the building directly in front of our room and visibility was about five feet.

Wednesday. Sept 6th.    At 7:00 AM, the wind died down and the electricity went out.  The eye of Irma was passing directly over the island.  We could now see the destruction around us. The trees were stripped of all their leaves and flowers, most palm trees no longer had any fronds left and many were snapped in two. Many large trees were completely uprooted. We knew that the storm was traveling about 13 miles per hour and had lasted about 12 hours.  We estimated we had about another 12 hours to go after the eye passed over.  At 8:00 am, the opposite wall of the eye hit blowing from right to left even more ferociously than before.  The wind speed slowly decreased until it blew itself out.  By 1:00 pm people were out walking around but the wind was still strong.  Debris was everywhere, the ground floor walkways were impassable and the parking garage was flooded. Cars were strewn around like toys on a playroom floor, most smashed or on their sides, lights blinking and car alarms going off.  Walking around the resort we realized just how bad it had been with many rooms completely destroyed.  Luckily our room was intact but flooded with 2 to 3 inches of water on the floor and even more on the deck due to plugged drains.  We couldn’t make any headway with clean up until the patio drained. Our neighbors Mike and Sherry came over and Mike cleared the drains.  We spent the rest of the day sweeping out the water and cleaning up. After cleaning our room, Amy kept busy sweeping out the hallway and stairwells.

People whose rooms were destroyed, were moved into intact rooms.  Storm doors, refrigerators and furniture were blocking the halls and stairwells with debris everywhere.  After a meeting in the lobby to determine that no one in our hotel was seriously injured we went to bed contemplating what lie ahead.  At this point we had no electricity, running water or communication.

Thursday Sept 7th.   We formed an alliance with neighbors for safety and to gather information and supplies as a group. Mike and Sherry from NC, Liz and Don from NJ, and three from the UK, Genevieve, her husband Noel and brother Chris.  We exchanged contact information. Mike found his cell phone worked if he walked up the hill,  Genevieve had international calling and could contact her daughter Melanie in the UK. Melanie got an email to Amy’s husband, Bert, and he spread the word to our concerned friends and family.  It seems that all of Rio Vista was aware of our plight. The next days were tense not knowing the condition of the airport or runway and the rumors flew. Curfews were in effect from midday on Thursday because looting had begun.

Friday Sept. 8th.    We kept busy trying to clean up as best we could.  At 8:00 pm we received a message from Amy’s daughter, Alicia, to be at the airport Saturday at 7:00 am. Amy talked to Alicia briefly and confirmed that she had received a call from the State Dept. in Washington DC. We slept well that night.

Saturday Sept 9th.    At 2:00 am, a knock on the door from a neighbor alerted us to be in the lobby at 4 am for a meeting and possible flight out.  We were directed to pack only what we could carry on our lap.  We packed and left our room for the last time leaving most of our belongings behind.  In the lobby hotel personnel attempted to confirm the flights before they activated buses to take the hotel residents to the airport.  About 6:00 am a bus arrived and we started loading.  Our resort contracted a small bus company that made three or four trips to the airport. The line at the airport was already quite long.  Netherlands military were setting up barriers and keeping order when a soldier with a bull horn stood directly in front of us and called our names.  We thought we were being lined up for a flight with other people, but we were wrong.  He led us to the tarmac where we were greeted by an attendant in uniform who shook our hands and said her name was Erica.

On the runway was a 180 passenger airliner, (unknown origin), a C130 troop carrier, and a 12 passenger Gulfstream jet.  We asked which plane we would be taking and they pointed to the Gulfstream. Our mouths dropped open in surprise.  We felt guilty about our preferential treatment and leaving our friends behind. However, the flight was soon filled and we were airborne.  Erica served us delicious chicken salad sandwiches, drinks and chips, sooo good! We landed 35 minutes later in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the private jet Airport and went through customs and immigration there with 10 other passengers, then onto a van that took us to the main terminal.

We were now on our own to make our way home.  But we were safe and very grateful.  Knowing that soon the airport would be flooded with people trying to get flights and or hotel rooms we booked the earliest departing flight to Baltimore leaving at 2:10 pm Saturday. What a relief, we were going home!

Sunday Sept 10th.   We stayed over-night in Baltimore and went to the airport the next morning, waiting for our 7:00 am flight at the specified gate we realized to late our gate had been changed and we missed our plane by 5 minutes. (Always check your gates). The airline managed to get us on a flight leaving in just a few minutes and treated us like royalty with pre-boarding passes. This was probably due to the meltdown we had at the desk.  They just wanted us out of there!

We came home to our families and friends at SFO with a sign saying, “Welcome home Hurricane Irma Survivors.”  Friends gave us a welcome home party that evening and of course we had to tell our story many times.

We still are mystified about how events unfolded and how Alicia got us on that early special flight out while hundreds of others waited to be flown out on C130’s.  All we can say is our toast landed “Jelly side up” and we are GLAD TO BE HOME!!!


Looking out our window after the storm.

Looking out our window after the storm.


Ground floor walk way to the beach.

Ground floor walk way to the beach.


What is left of the room Don and Liz were in.

What is left of the room Don and Liz were in.


Unidentifiable location

Unidentifiable location


Boarding the Gulf stream from Phoenix Air charter.

Boarding the Gulf stream from Phoenix Air charter.



Flamingo beach before the storm.

Flamingo beach before the storm.


Stray dogs are flown to new homes on mainland on private planes.
Every few months, Citigroup banker David Brownstein and his team fly dozens of stray dogs in Puerto Rico to rescue operations in the Hamptons and the Jersey Shore.

By Aaron Kuriloff

PUERTO RICO— Citigroup banker David Brownstein, one of the executives charged with helping this U.S. commonwealth through its fiscal emergency, launched his latest rescue effort at dawn on a San Juan airstrip.

Once airborne for the mainland, Mr. Brownstein, Citi’s head of public finance, got up from his seat to reassure a nervous flier, a black, 20-pound stray dog named Dulce Maria.

Dulce Maria gazed wide-eyed around the private jet, which was littered with comforts, including overstuffed chairs and trays of pastry—a far cry from scrounging for scraps in the dumpsters of beach bars. Mr. Brownstein and his team coaxed the shivering canine out of her pet carrier, fed her a turkey sandwich from the plane’s catering, swaddled her in a blanket and set her in the lap of one of the dog rescuers, a model.

See full article here

By Will James, @OtherWillJames
Newsday articles

Forty dogs plucked from the streets of Puerto Rico were greeted with a blast of frigid air and the first blankets some had ever touched as they landed at a Westhampton Beach airport Saturday morning.

Representatives of two Long Island organizations flew with the former strays on a cargo plane to Francis S. Gabreski Airport in a mission to relieve an overcapacity Puerto Rican shelter.

Employees of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation and the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, or ARF, each packed about 20 dogs into vehicles waiting on the tarmac. In Puerto Rico, temperatures had been in the 80s; on Long Island, the windchill was below zero.

See full article here

Business jets converted to flying ICUs are the workhorses of aeromedical transport around the world

BCA, Business & Commercial Aviation

When television viewers saw news coverage of American medical professional infected with Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever arriving in the U.S. for treatment, it’s doubtful many of them knew that the aircraft bringing them back from Africa were specially modified, commercially operated Gulfstream business jets.

Between August 2014 and March 2015, Phoenix Air of Cartersville, Geor­gia, flew more than 40 Ebola patient transfers between Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia in West Africa to Europe and the U.S. The patients were carried aboard Gulfstream III air ambulances equipped with special isolation tents in their cabins designed to protect physicians, nurses and flight crewmembers from infec­tion with the dreaded virus. The flights, transporting U.S. and European citizens associated with non-governmental or­ganizations (NGOs) like Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, were conducted under contract to the U.S. State Department.

See full article here

By Emory Lawyer

As general counsel for Phoenix Air Group in Cartersville, Georgia, Randall “Randy” G. Davis 79L spends about 80 percent of his time on the ground, dealing with the legal complexities that accompany one of the larger international air ambulance and special-mission companies in the world.

See full article here

By Josh Hicks October 28
Washington Post

When it comes to transporting Ebola victims by air, the world relies on just one small U.S. company.

Phoenix Air, a jet-charter service based in Cartersville, Ga., has flown 15 infected patients, including Europeans who worked in West Africa and five individuals who were treated in the United States — doctor Kent Brantly, photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo, missionary Nancy Writebol, and nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson.

Now the Defense Department is stepping up. The Pentagon this week said it is developing portable isolation units for use on its military aircraft, as thousands of U.S. troops head to West Africa to help combat the outbreak. The modules are expected to be tested next month and deployed in C-17 and C-130 transport planes by January.

Phoenix Air has been using the isolation system below this aircraft to transport Ebola patients. (EPA/BRANDEN CAMP)

“This system is being developed out of an abundance of caution, to reassure our service members working in Ebola-affected areas,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea. “There are no plans for DOD personnel to provide direct patient care, and therefore the exposure risk remains low” for troops, Elzea said.

The Obama administration has not decided whether it will use the isolation systems to transport non-military patients.

“This particular capability remains under development, so it would be premature to speak to its potential use,” said White House spokesman Ned Price.

One thing is for sure: The military transports would have greater capacity. Phoenix Air can fly only one infected individual at a time, whereas the military’s isolation units will hold up to 12 patients.

The Pentagon declined to share information about the development costs for the transport modules, saying the contract has not been finalized.

The tent-like isolation chambers mainly consist of a metal frame, a plastic liner and an air-filtration system. For the Phoenix Air flights, one doctor and two nurses attend to each patient.

A view of inside an Airborne Biological Containment System (ABCS) in Cartersville, Ga. (EPA/BRANDEN CAMP)

After each patient is transported, the company sprays toxic disinfectant inside the module for 24 hours and sends the contents — including the plastic, the stretchers and even the walkie talkies — off for incineration by a federally licensed hazardous-materials disposal team.

Phoenix Air created three isolation units in 2011 with help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Defense Department. Those agencies provided scientific expertise and advice on how to manufacture special materials, respectively.

At the time, the CDC wanted a way to return infected medical workers to the United States instead of treating them in the field, because of growing concern about international conflicts, said Dent Thompson, the company’s vice president of operations.

The transport systems were finished in late-2011, but the outbreaks had long since died down. The units were placed in storage.

“We would periodically make various federal agencies aware that it existed and said, ‘If you ever need it, we can use it,’” Thompson said.

A call finally came from the State Department’s chief of emergency medicine in late-July, amid growing concerns about the West African Ebola outbreak. Phoenix Air quickly assembled a volunteer flight and medical crew after government officials inspected the system and gave it a thumbs-up.

“Within 48 hours, we were on our way to get the first patient,” Thompson said, speaking of the flight to transport Brantly on Aug. 2. The plane took Brantly to Atlanta and turned around almost immediately to fetch Writebol.

Vance Ferebee, flight nurse for Phoenix Air, sits inside a containment system in Cartersville, Ga. (EPA/BRANDEN CAMP)

Both trips, which cost about $200,000 each, including the decontamination process, were paid for by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian humanitarian organization that the patients worked with in Liberia.

After those missions, Phoenix Air decided that the U.S. government should manage future transport efforts, because of the “real-world complexities of what it takes to make a mission like this work,” Thompson said. The challenges include dealing with U.S. customs officials, gaining permission to use foreign airspace and deciding which medical centers should treat the Ebola victims.

The State Department has since coordinated all flights, including those for foreigners returning to their countries. U.S. taxpayers pick up the tab for American patients, but the government requires reimbursement for the others.

“To me, this is no different from a soldier being shot in Afghanistan,” Thompson said. “The U.S. government is going to get that soldier and bring him home and put him in a medical facility.”

The federal government has been a longtime customer of Phoenix Air. In addition to flying executive charters and providing air-ambulance services, the business of about 225 employees also runs cargo for the military, provides flights for the U.S. Marshals Service and carried the White House’s presidential delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The company now keeps one plane on standby for transporting Ebola victims.

“We’re like a firetruck in a fire station,” Thompson said. “We’re ready to go.”


See full article here