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The Air Force is set to discard 21 C-27Js before the end of fiscal year 2013, yet service officials still issued a request to industry on May 10 for proposals to purchase even more of the same exact aircraft that will likely sit in the boneyard.
The C-27J Spartan is the cargo aircraft that has found itself in the middle of a battle between the Air Force’s active duty and the Air National Guard. Active duty leaders have said the service likes the aircraft, but can’t afford it with the forthcoming budget cuts. Guard leaders have responded saying the aircraft will save the service money and the Guard, which was set to receive the bulk of the fleet, is being unfairly targeted to absorb the brunt of the service’s budget cuts.
Congress has for the most part taken the Guard’s side in the debate. Lawmakers have ordered the service to consider buying more C-27Js even though the service is set to follow through on plans to send the C-27J fleet to the service’s boneyard at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group. There the aircraft will sit in storage unless another federal agency claims them.
Even Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat, questioned the Air Force’s forthrightness in his opening statement:
“The Air Force had established a requirement, validated by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, for 38 C-27 aircraft to provide direct support to Army ground forces,” Levin said. “Again, all were going to the Guard. No one forced the Air Force to join what was a joint program with the Army, and then take sole ownership of it. No one forced the Air Force to testify that they needed to pursue the C-27 because the C-130 could not meet requirements when the committee questioned why the Air Force couldn’t rely on the C-130 fleet and instead had to start the C-27 program. Now the Air Force says that the C-130 is perfectly fine for meeting the direct support mission.”
reply to post by Glassbender777
They're only going to end up there if no other agency lays claim to them. Any government agency has the right to say they want them, and claim them, to use them however they decide. If no one does, they go to the Boneyard.