Military News

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Partnership with Air Guard, Reserve offers new options with C-130 training

5/11/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The secretary of the Air Force announced May 4 that officials will proceed with a plan to augment the C-130 Hercules training fleet with C-130s from Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve squadrons.

Secretary Michael Donley said Air Force planners will "continue to analyze the allocation of tactical airlift force structure between the active and reserve components to ensure we have the best allocation of assets to meet the nation's warfighting requirements and to meet the needs of the states."

As a part of that allocation of assets, Secretary Donley said Air Force officials plan to establish an Air Reserve Component training unit at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

"This will include the temporary movement of some Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve aircraft to establish an ARC C-130 formal training unit to meet the Air Force's total force training needs," Secretary Donley said. "We consulted extensively with the (adjutants general) of the states providing the loaned aircraft in the development of this plan."

The chief of Air Force Reserve said this plan goes along with his philosophy of active-duty and Reserve Airmen working together to achieve the mission.

"This C-130 arrangement is a great example of how the Air Force Reserve leverages its strengths and capabilities to support Air Force and combatant command requirements," said Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., chief of Air Force Reserve. "Within the Air Force Reserve, I've emphasized associations and integration to meet (Air Force) operational and training mission requirements by aligning equipment, missions, infrastructure and manpower resources to enable more effective use of assets with our component partners.

"Guard and Reserve crews are well versed in a variety of C-130 mission sets and are certainly well-qualified for this training mission," General Stenner said. "We're poised and proud to join our resources with those of our active-duty and Guard partners to meet the needs of Air Education and Training Command and the Air Force."

The director of the Air National Guard also echoed his support for the plan.

"We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with our active-duty and Reserve partners on this plan," said Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt, director of the Air National Guard. "I'm glad this partnership will better assist the Air Force in training qualified total force C-130 crews."

"Our Air National Guard C-130 fleet adds value to America in many ways," General Wyatt said. "Not only do these versatile airlifters allow us to significantly contribute to overseas contingency operations, they provide timely support to our governors and adjutants general in fulfilling our domestic Army and Air National Guard missions."

The secretary explained that as new C-130J Super Hercules continue to enter the Air Force inventory, legacy C-130 training requirements will decrease. This will allow the temporarily relocated C-130s from Air Guard and Reserve components to return to their home units.

The retirement of C-130Es, which average 46 years of age, will save $256 million in modification and operations costs while "maintaining a large enough fleet to meet current and forecasted requirements," according to the secretary.

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