Air National Guard Head Wants Study for Future C-130 Path

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    NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. — The head of the US Air National Guard wants to launch a study on the path forward for the component’s fleet of C-130 transport aircraft.

    NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. — The head of the US Air National Guard wants to launch a study on the path forward for the component’s fleet of C-130 transport aircraft.

    That study would focus on domestic requirements of the C-130 fleet, creating a baseline for what capacity is needed and where, Lt. Gen. Stanley “Sid” Clarke told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual Air & Space Conference.

    “If we pin that number on what the requirement is, then we need to talk about how we’re going to recapitalize that fleet over time because you can just buy them all at once,” Clarke said. “Then we can also discuss how we will modernize the aircraft in order to get to a place where we can recapitalize them.”

    The active Air Force has largely moved to the C-130J, the most modern version of the venerable cargo plane. The Guard, meanwhile, is operating mostly C-130Hs. While still a viable aircraft, the H fleet is aging rapidly, something Clarke identified as a major concern in August.

    “We wont be able to recapitalize fast enough to replace all of the H models,” Clarke said. “We need to establish what the total requirement is for C-130s, and once we establish what that number is, then we will have a roadmap for how we are going to recapitalize all the H models.”

    The general said he wants to see that study done in roughly a year, the amount of time needed to gather and analyze the information. Ideally, that report would be done by an outside group to give the numbers more authority.

    The last time a study like this was done, Clarke said, was following the Guard’s response to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast region in 2005.

    “I’ll take the fall for that — we’ve been negligent in getting this domestic requirement established firmly,” Clarke said. “We owe that plan from a Guard perspective when we look at domestic response and a big war effort, we owe that plan to the [Office of the Secretary of Defense], the Joint Staff and then over to the Hill.”

    This potential study would be outside of the work being done by the Air Force Total Force Continuum, which is embroiled in a series of program analyses to advise Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh on force structure between the active, Guard and reserve.

    Air National Guard Head Wants Study for Future C-130 Path | Defense News | defensenews.com
     
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