The C-27 truth vacuum

The C-27 truth vacuum

Did the Air Force’s leadership appreciate the hornet’s nest it was kicking over by proposing to ice its entire fleet of C-27J Spartans?

It has seemed completely unprepared for the backlash it has faced over the decision. Anyone can say anything about how much the twin-engine airlifter costs to fly, whether it’s more efficient than the four-engine C-130, how many airmen it requires, or anything else. Last week it was confusing; this week it’s a truth vacuum.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman asked Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz how the costs broke down for the propeller-driven cargo planes. Schwartz had some numbers handy: It costs about $9,000 per hour to fly the C-27J, it’s a little higher to fly the C-130J, and it costs about $10,400 to fly the C-130H.

Whoa whoa whoa, said Portman — those numbers were new to him. “This is incredibly confusing,” he said. “When we had a private conversation about this, none of these data points … were available.”

The Air Force had chosen to stick to round numbers in previous hearings, citing the 25-year lifecycle cost. A briefing prepared by an Ohio Air Guard captain that has disputed the Air Force’s justification for killing the C-27J cites the reimbursable cost per hour to fly the C-27J, C-130J, and C-130H.

In a meeting at the Pentagon with reporters and defense analysts on Friday, Kevin Williams, a retired Air Force colonel who is one of the service’s leading analysts, disputed the data used by the Ohio Guardsman. He said it was more accurate to use the normalized cost per flying hour, which is where the $9,000 figure came from. Of course, the normalized cost per flying hour gets cheaper the more you fly the aircraft, making it the easiest to bend based upon 25-year projections.

“Frankly, it’s been a dizzying six weeks going through these numbers,” Portman said. He suggested that the Air Force was trying to make the numbers in this situation be what they needed to be to justify a decision that had already been made. What an idea!

Schwartz muddied the waters further: The C-27J’s cost per flight hour might be lower, he said, but it’s got contracted maintenance, as opposed to the “organic” maintenance the Air Force can keep up with its C-130s — in other words, airmen repair the Hercs but contractors work on the Spartans. That, combined with a “strategic-level discussion” about the number of fleets the Air Force should maintain, informed the decision to mothball the little planes, he said.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told Portman that the C-27J is “nice to have,” but given that it satisfies a “very narrow piece” of the Army’s missions, it has to go. He and other top Air Force leaders say they can get supplies to troops downrange with precision air drops from C-130s, so the bigger bird doesn’t have to land on the shorter, rougher airfields where the C-27J was built to operate.

Portman, who wants to protect the Ohio Air National Guard’s C-27Js stationed in Mansfield — literally right across the street from the old prison where “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed — remained skeptical. He consulted data from Afghanistan that he said showed 65 percent of the time, C-130s were flying in theatre with just one pallet of cargo, and that the rest of the time, they only had two. Doesn’t it make sense, he argued, to use a smaller airplane to move just-in-time necessities such as helicopter parts, as opposed to a bigger, heavier and thirstier C-130? He did not add that it can also save wear and tear on Army CH-47 Chinooks, which the Army brass once hoped would get some relief from the C-27Js.

It is what it is, Donley and Schwartz said, but the bottom line is that they believe the C-130s are “more flexible” and that these budget projections were about where to take additional risk. The Herc can take enough of the “niche” the Spartan now fills that the Air Force can make it work, they believe.

Lawmakers, so far, are not sold. Worse, from the Air Force’s perspective, they are mad. Nothing irks members of Congress more than when they feel they’re not being fairly dealt with, especially when the administration is controlled by the other party. Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker sharply questioned Schwartz and Donley’s decision to ax the Block 30 Global Hawk, only months after saying it was a necessity.

“We need to be able to rely on what this committee is told,” he said. “Now we’re told, ‘the requirements have changed. The assumptions have changed. We’re told ‘never mind’ what [then-top weapons buyer and now Undersecretary of Defense Ash Carter] said.’”

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.”

Ultimately Levin and other congressional lawmakers want the final say; he asked Secretary Panetta in a letter, and Schwartz and Donley at Tuesday’s hearing, to do nothing on force-structure or downsizing unless and until Congress gives its assent. The Air Force leaders agreed. So the C-27J question and all the other proposed reductions may look very different by the time they happen — if they do.

Military​.com staff writer Michael Hoffman contributed to this report.

Join the Conversation

The AF could not provide timely transportation for the 82nd during HATI with all the assets now avail but still want to reduce it even further and the Army is not standing on its head. Makes you wander what the AF brass is holding over the Army’s head (must be some good dirt). They should convert a number of the 27’s to gunships which were in short supply and overworked in the gulf and give them to the guard along the border, who can use them to help stem the tide of illegals and drugs coming in here.

“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.”

That was worth saying again!

Things are not looking good for the USAF brass. They will have a hard time beating Portman (former OMB director) and Levin at the analysis game. I hope this story breaks wide open and the public gets open access to the competing analysis. It will be a great lesson learned for us all.

That should be the battle cry of this entire debate. The Air Force basically took this away from the Army. Nobody forced them to pursue it, they testified that it was needed, and now they simply don’t want it.

Good Afternoon Folks,

Lets cut to the chase here, The European built C-27J cost out at about $38 million plane the Lockheed/Martin costs about $200 million a plane.

The C-130 has been corporate welfare for Lockheed Martin for decades. Many C130’s flew right assembly to Davis Multron AFB and into and into storage. The C130 is 60 year old air frame, and USAF wanted to stop production in the 1980’s.

The C27J better fits the needs of the Army. After all the USArmy is the customer. If the USAirForce doesn’t want to fly the C-27J let the USArmy buy it and fly it. With a few Hudson Hawk Kits the USArmy could make good use of this air craft.

This deal has the stink of Lockheed/Martin all over it.

Byron Skinner

Yeah, the dozens of countries that have bought the C-130 are obviously just providing corporate welfare to Lockheed, it must be a truly awful plane for all those countries to have to pony up to prop up Lockheed’s airlifter like that.

Levin can be a real tool, but he is dead on here. If you’re the Air Force right now, can you not see how stupid you look? They are gladly admitting their incompetence!!! What a bunch of knuckleheads.

I thought one of the selling points of the C-27J (and the reason it has the ‘J’ designation) was that it used the exact same engine, nacelle, and propellers as the C-130J, so at least the engines could be maintained by the exact same folks. It seems like the solution is that the C-27J should not have its own squadrons, rather they should be composite C-130J/C-27J squardrons, then the same blue suits who maintain the C-130J can maintain the C-27J, what would the lifecycle costs of the C-27J look like then?

The C-27J also has the same avionics as the C-130J.

You want AC130 style (albeit smaller C27 versions) gunships to patrol the borders and engage illegal immigrants? Okay.…

Byron, as usual, someone must ask: Where are you getting you nonsense figures? The C-27J is running around $50+ million. And back in 2008 the flyaway costs of a C-130J was around $65 million. I would think its reasonable to believe the C-130J could be around $80 million now, but, $200mil is absolutely absurd.

Going to be a hard lesson. The problem with statistics is that they can be altered many ways. BOTH parties may be stating correct numbers, but based on different assumptions. Statistics will either be so general as to be useless, or so specific as to not be relevent. The costs also (primarily) depend on the timeframe. The C-27J *may* be more cost effective over the long run, but the DoD is under a *yearly* budget. The budget is getting smaller and smaller, and something has to give. I am sure that if there were adequate funds, we would have the C-27J, or more F-22s, or more F-35s, or improved living conditions, and so on ad nauseum. If politicians are crying out for more C-27s, have them raise taxes or other funds (maybe even a pay cut) to help pay for the products they want.

The question is now becoming why did the Air Force pursue the C27J in the first place if the C-130 can do it all as they claim? If it’s true that it’s a small niche (which it’s not), then they lied to Congress when they originally got funding for the program.

“He and other top Air Force leaders say they can get supplies to troops downrange with precision air drops from C-130s, so the bigger bird doesn’t have to land on the shorter, rougher airfields where the C-27J was built to operate”

The Air Force brass has obviously never been on the receiving end of the “precision” drops, especially at 0130 where the entire VSP has to go out and hunt for individual pallets in the dark (which often burst on landing) over a large area, or worse, crash into an Afghans house and we have to pay for the damages.

“it satisfies a “very narrow piece” of the Army’s missions”

Well gee AF, the Army obviously thought this narrow piece was important enough to start the C27 program in the first place. Why don’t you guys go steal the Marine C130s away from them and then cancel the Harvest Hawk program?

Here’s a novel idea, when the other branches can fly what ever planes they feel necessary to their missions (including cargo, tanker and supersonic jet fighters), quit worrying about the Army wanting to fly airplanes, and let them worry about their own tactical air needs, without having to fight you every step of the way.

Truth is… when your child starts a sport but does not like it, you as a parent still make them finish the sport. It’s about following through with what you started. These guys said they wanted/ needed this airframe, which is cost effective/ modern/ needed, in an Airforce that is outdated, average airframe is 24 yrs old across the board. suck it up Air force. Integrity First, excellance in all we do, Service before self. these are your core values. perhaps AF brass should finally display these values. Or they will just talk to talk.

An input from the grass roots level is as follows:Before retiring I flew the C-23 Sherpa 2100 hours in the Army Guard, right before retiring I flew the C-27J on a demo flight with an Italian demo pilot– that was in 2003. The C-27 J has been in limbo ever since. The C-27J is a quantum leap in safety and tactical capability. It was being counted on by the Army to relieve the CH-47 which has been used in situations not suited to its capabilties. Because of the lack of a suitable short haul fixed wing transport soldiers lives are being risked.. The usurping of the C-27J by the Air Force followed by its quick unexplainable abandonment has made a mockery of “Jointness”. Decades ago the Marines sold DOD on the need to have Marine Aviation take care of Marines grunts because there was a special bond needed between their grunts and their Aviators. For God sakes Mr. Sec. Def. Let the Army have a few(38) fixed wing transports and be done with this.


Yep, SAME glass cockpit as the C130.

Wish I could give you a thousand plusses!

What Air Force enthusiasts REFUSE to understand is the C27 isn’t an intertheatre transport like C130’s/C17s. It’s an INTRATHEATRE transport meant to pick up CH47 type missions in theatre between outposts so CH47s can be used for tactical tasks. It’s like comparing panel trucks/tractor trailer to pickups. When the balloon goes up ANYWHERE the Army wants to use CH47s to move “stuff” forward instead of laterally behind the lines for critical logistical requirements. E.G. use CH47s to move ammo forward to helo sized LZs and rely on C27s to move engines, ammo or other critical assets INSIDE the theatre to small airfields that supports freeing up CH47s.

If the Air Force continues to play games it’s going to bite them in the azz.

This, the ongoing Tocano fiasco and the Dover abortion are adding up. Where’s the integrity? The overwhelming majority of airmen do a bang up job. Air Force leadership is writing checks against the balance the rank and file have deposited in for decades with blood, sweat and tears. Someone in blue with some stars better exercise some leadership.

While I admit there would be a degree of justice in making the Air Force buy the C-27Js, and then handing them over to the National Guard. Unfortunately, that would merely initiate a new turf war. The states with the National Guard C-23 units would likely be all to pleased to receive the C-27Js. But, the Air National Guard units would still be losing their planes, thus their parent states would still attempt to retain the programs.

Don’t think the USAF has anything on the Army. It’s bad form to pile on an officer when he’s self destructing.

The Army wants the C27J. Best for Congress to take it away from the Air Force and give it to them than risk saying something and being portrayed as part of the vile interservice politics the Air Force played to get the C27J. Worst case the Air Force will be forced to keep it and get a big shiner for playing games.

Let Air Force leadership say utterly stupid things like “nice to have” and have Congressman ask what it costs to fly that pallet in a C47 which is what the C27 was supposed to do or why the Air Force bought a “nice to have” airplane. Just like now using “normalized” hourly costs vs. the original hourly cost that was presented. KEEP CHANGING THE WAY YOU MEASURE THINGS Staff Weenies. That hourglass full of integrity is running even quicker.

Over all the USAF is right the C-130 is more than enough for these missions. Remember the C-27J isn’t a plane for the USAF but for the Army. The project died when the USAF took over. The Army doesn’t want to fight for it it wants a worthless GCV and JLTV which current machines can do the same job. The army should ask for a larger transport for army missions.

Yes, a C-130 can do most of what the C-27J can do…but at a higher price. By your logic, we should just get C-17s since they too can do most of what the C-27J and C-130 can do. Yes, the C-27J is for the Army…as arguably is the A-10. Whoever flies it will primarily support the Army (Direct Support does work btw). There are also MANY other missions the C-27J can do beyond support to the army. SOCOM and DOMOPS fit quite well with this plane…and with some imagination, I can add to the list…especially if you were to add a sensor to the platform.…all at a lower cost to budget than the C-130…that is the point.

with thier loiter time and sensors they would be an asset while providing training to the air crews. As far as engagement goes — if they are on site and armed illegals/drug runners fire on our folks then yeah I want the gunship to take them out.

You guys are all pretty much dead-on. Beyond this issue, what distresses me most is how we look as a service. When your most senior leaders have even the appearance of impropriety and/or incompetence, it affects everyone. How must it look to the Marines, Navy, or Army to have one component of a service arguing pretty viciously with the other? I’ve endured “Air Farce” comments since joining the Guard, but it’s tough to argue now. @majrod and Sen. Levin are exactly right: the main inconsistency here is that the USAF fought to take the C-27J from the Army and concocted some reason to do so, and now they are completely contradicting themselves. As a C-27 pilot, I’d love to see the aircraft stick around (although I whole-heartedly believe that a C-130 can do its mission), but I’d rather have my faith in USAF leadership restored.

For crying out loud, just use the F-18 with International Roadmap upgrades. It can do every mission and only cost’s $34.00 a copy.

Let’s just call the situation as it occurred. The Army was about to get into the fixed-wing business in a major way and the Air Force was not about to let that happen. The necessity of responsive resupply to ground forces cannot be allowed to get in the way of Air Force ownership of tactical fixed-wing assets. It wasn’t that the Air Force wanted to own and operate the C-27J, they just didn’t want the Army to. Now that the AF has successfully usurped the whole program, it is time for the C-27 to die and the AF can continue it’s inefficient business as usual, Army be damned.

$200 mil for a C-130? Do you ever get bored with being so factually inaccurate ALL the time?

We live in a world with Airshows. Whose gonna fly ‘em? You Mr. Guardsman with 28K hours in a multi engine commercial jet? You, Mr. Infantryman getting blown up by IEDs because your helos are being used to run supplies? We live in a world with hotels. We live our lives with words such as, “per diem” and “squadron bars” and “flight pay.” Deep down in combat outposts you WANT us at that air show! you NEED us at that air show.” if we crap away all our money on stupid little turbo props will the thunderbirds be flying F35s? HELL NO. I’d prefer a simple, “You guys are so awesome!”. Either way, Mr. Infantryman, Mr. Airguardsman, I don’t give a DAMN what you think you are entitled to.

In Viet Nam, the Army operated the DeHavilin Caribou for both administrative and tactical missions (flown by 2 Warrant officers and one enlisted crew chief). It operated flawlessly until 1966 when the AF became concerned about the Army flying fixed wing. They two services met and decided that that the Army would have proponency for rotorary wing aircraft and the AF would take fixed wing. Within 4 months, the Caribou was gone, replaced by the C-123—and nothing was ever dependable again.

lol funny. kind of insulting though to the thousands of airmen & USAF veterans that bust their butt and have delivered decisive airpower (and cyber & space) to win and deter conflict for over 64 years, securing our freedom & economy, enabling the free speech with which to mock them.

Can someone explain why the Army has to contract with commercial fixed wing operators in Afghanistan for air delivery of cargo and pax? I heard it was hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts per year. That doesn’t sound like the Air Force is currently capable os supporting the Army with what they currently have.

Yep… pretty much its because the AF can’t meet the Army’s needs.

Air Force grabbed this took it over, and like the school bully now he has it, he just discards it. This is indicative of the Army-Air Force culture clash that’s been going on for years. In these tightened belt years, you would think the cheaper Army method would win out. Army wants cheap ground hugging tactical air drop convenience stores, the Air Force want high altitiude GPS guided cargo pallets, pushed out the back of a flying Walmart.

There is a viable arguement that the Air Force is prioritizing efficiency over convenience, except that factually they’re under utilzing their C-130s by carrying too few pallets at a time.

I think the Army and Air Force cultural compromise would be an entirely different third choise… C-130s that continue carrying light cargo loads, but have bolt on harvest Hawk pseudo gunship kits… at least then it can justify its greater size and limited cargo use, while bringing some more of the air support the Army always asks for… effectually putting every thing the Army wants in one plane.

the Marines, Navy, and Army, their Specialty branches, and their Reserve components are just as dysfunctional a family unit as USAF, possibly even more. With your experience as a C-27 pilot, and your belief that the C-130 can do its mission, USAF leadership may just have a point. We taxpayers deserve an independent investigation to thoroughly analyze this. Much to be learned here.

Snot — FTR, I hold no animosity towards the individual airman or pilot over this mess but your decision makers are hurting your branch. I applaud your courage to stand up for your brothers on the ground.

Hilarious!!! Not insulting at all. Col Jessup wasn’t every Marine. This is poking fun at those that believe the crap. The same ones creating this fiasco.

Chaos, we might all be dysfunctional at some point but it’s pretty rare when any branch does something that purposely neglects it’s mission, blocks other branches from getting the support they need and shows a complete disregard for the servicemen that pays the price.

Yep, that’s a pretty accurate assessment. It’s vile and the only thing worse is that those responsible are never held responsible after they sow seeds of interservice bickering that will come to fruition long down the road.

Good answer. You must be new here. Lance likes to get negatives by saying dumb things He’s hard to beat. Most just ignore him.

…and I didn’t think you did. Our decision makers have been hurting our branch for years, and after this ends, regardless of the outcome, the USAF needs to give itself a VERY hard look. In the last ten years, look at the large mistakes/foul-ups: KC-X debacle, CSAR-X debacle, the mortuary affairs issues, the F-22 crash in Alaska (pilot was a friend from UPT) and CSAF quiveling about assigning blame to the pilot in front of Congress, and now the contradiction on the C-27 (we need it cuz the C-130 can’t do this mission/we don’t need it and can’t afford and it’s more expensive than a C-130 anyway). On the C-27, the USAF has either been incompetent or not entirely forthcoming; at the senior leadership levels, neither is acceptable. I do flight test/defense acquistion work for the Navy in my civilian (grown up) job, and for the USAF to decide ~2 years after buying 12 brand new aircraft at $50 mil a pop that they really didn’t need them afterall is utterly unacceptable.

I completely agree that the USAF let the Army down big time. I obviously don’t have the “big picture,” but if I took an asset/mission from another service and promised them I’d fulfill that mission, the last thing I’d do is get rid of that asset, especially in a relatively short time, because it gives the appearance of bad faith. After losing our C-130Js in the 2005 BRAC (another terrible decision), I’m glad we were given *something* to fly…but the USAF should never have taken the C-27J from the Army. My boss at my civilian job is an Army Guard fixed wing pilot, and we’ve talked about this quite a bit. The Army accepts more risk than the USAF regarding flying, and I’m sure there have been and will be times when USAF regs kept planes on the ground, but Army regs would have permitted them to go (single-engine climb gradient concerns being chief among them). Grrr…I just hope we’re not letting the Army down in theater — I know the aircrew and maintainers want to give the Army exactly what they need, but the USAF seems to be making it difficult.

You can add the Air Force’s effort to bogart all UAV assets.

Good luck to you. Air Force culture seems insidious.

um…considering that Lockheed Martin makes money on both aircraft (and, in fact, makes more money on the still-in-production C-27J than on refitting already-produced C-130) I’m gonna have to say that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Well, think about it this way. Since we aren’t likely to get into an air combat situation anytime soon and the antiaircraft threat in Afghanistan is basically nil, these forward-area resupply missions are about the only remotely exciting thing left for an Air Force pilot to do. Stands to reason they wouldn’t want to give it up!

(no, I’m not being serious.)

No argument from me.
Tallil, Iraq, 2009, we saw more leased/contracgted Candids (Il-76) come in and outa there than we did C-17s.
Some days the Candids even outnumbered Herc flights.
Several times we’d see a Cub fly in (An-12, Russian C-130 equiv) as well (the greenhouse noses give them away).

That says something there.
When one US service branch has to lease/contract out for air cargo service from a contractor flying the aircraft that flew for our Cold War foes.
If that doesn’t say the USAF just doesn’t have the capacity to sustain the Army (in addition to countless ground convoys…).

With the C-27s, it COULD be done as was with the Lakota helicopters: governors mandate they stay under the jurisdiction of the Guard (Air and/or Army) at all times,
only the DoHS foots the bill for their ops during stateside and peacetime ops (good short field performance for disaster relief?)
Just a suggestion.

Hudson Hawk was a car, nothing to do with aircraft.
Or maybe it was a Bruce Willis movie, or something…

I don’t get the fascination folks have with thoughts of the Army flying AC-type cargo gunships.
They have all the gunship they need in Apaches, and now that Longbows are incorporating that UAV uplink, they can queue up any Grey Eagles in the area as well.
And although the Army mentioned it has no plans to arm the smaller Shadow drones, I expect the new generation of smallform precision munitions will change that: APKWS in twin, triple, or quad pack might be carried, and the Raytheon Griffin and STM (a 13-pound micro-SDB) are perfect candidates.

So what need then does the Army have for an AC-27?

I wouldn’t say the Army “was about to get into the fixed-wing business in a MAJOR way”.

All it really wanted was a replacement for its Sherpas and many of its aging VC-12s/Hurons (Beech King Airs?).
What would that have been, 5–6 dozen aircraft tops? (7 if good behavior from the contractor?)

Yet the USAF hardly made a peep about the Sherpas and Hurons which had been in service for years, did they?
Maybe Army Guard should’ve ponied up to the USCG and went for the CN235s (HC-144 Ocean Sentry).

It’s apparent that “Joint” anything is becoming an obvious handicap to any program.

This reminds me of the flap over the Caribou around 1967–68 in Vietnam. If I recall correctly, the Caribou was a small 2-engine transport with dirt strip capability which seemed to quite useful at the time. As I recall the USAF was unhappy the Army owned a small fixed wing transport. It was a “role and missions” issue which the Air Force ultimately won. The Army gave up the Caribou and it disappeared into the “Memory Hole” as I recall. It looks like the C-27 (+ a number of A-10s) is a “sacrifice” the Air Force is willing to make to help fund other programs like the F-35. Am I correct?

GIFT THEM to the RAAF like US did during the Vietnam war with the CARIBOU. We Australians would love to have them

It’s long overdue for the Army to have their own light transport capability; this whole scenario with the Air Force shelving the C27’s stinks. I recall the Army was equipped with DHC Caribous and a few C47’s during Vietnam, this capability filled a need, of course the Air Force talked the Army into giving-up there light transport capability. The C27 platform has everything my friends in the Army need NOW!! Since I’m on the subject the Army should further equip themselves with Super Tocano Light Attack Aircraft as well.

It is beyond me how the senior Air Force brass can play these numbers game when my friends in the Army are living and dying out there. The C27 is a proven platform that fills a vital need. You try recovering a pallet of goods during the hours of darkness in bad guy territory.

Go Army
Semper Fi
From a brother Marine 0311

It’s about time the Army brass tell the Air Farce brass to step aside, buy their own C27’s and Super Tocano’s and get back to work.…destroying our enemies.

This may be a dumb question from an old timer, but what about the use of the C27’s for emergency pick up of high numbers of troops where the C-130 or other craft can’t land. Couldn’t this save lives in a possible future conflict.?

The problem is that Alenia has said they will excercise their contractual rights and refuse to support with spare parts any C27s the US sells to another country. That means no spare parts and that pretty much makes them useless for anyone.

And there’s at least one Caribou flying the C-27 type of support missions in Afghanistan right now, too. Saw video of it yesterday. It’s being flown by a private contractor, apparently.

Jay, the AF brace integrity is only as good as they stole or bought. In other words none!! The Fighter Jocks are incontrol and think only of high speed aicraft. They will kill the A-10 to get F-35s. F35s can not give the ground support the army needs. Let the army buy and fly the aircraft they need and tell the AF to sit on it.

The U.S. Coast Guard is waiting for them since Obama refuses to fund any of their procurment projects.

All you do realize the DoD, and the AF, have to chop $400B from the budget…correct? There’s a big difference in deciding you don’t want to use an asset vs discovering you can’t afford an asset. I could certainly use a nice sunroom with a hot tub and an infinity pool, but I just can’t afford it.

Except the Air Force is using pieces of those two arguments depending on their audience. They’re not so much saying “we can’t afford these in the Austerity Air Force” so much as they’re saying “we don’t need the plane despite the fact that we took it from the Army who has a valid requirement for them and we haven’t even finished buying them.” This isn’t a hot tub for the Army, its the high mpg compact car to run its own errands around town.

When the C-130 liimitations dictate where the ground elements can operate, then we are back to a tail wagging the dog situation. If the C-27 can allow the ground elements to function and perform a required mission in a remote locale with less capable air fields, then we should have them. As far as close air support is concerned, maybe we need to allow the Army to fly armed light attack planes like the Tucano or Beechcraft candidates. Then we might get the kind of support the Marines get from their dedicated air assets.

While I love that idea, doing so would effectively put a big chunk of the Air Force out of a job and cause the biggest interservice fight in history.

The Tucanos and Beechcrafts are going to have a hard time in a non-permissive environment. There are probably still a lot of efficiencies to be gained in planning and coordination of CAS that need to be explored.

I gave you a plus so don’t get me wrong; I just wanted to state that the Army already has the greatest number in aircraft, and also the greatest number in water craft. Just a stat — but always like to whip that out once and a while. The capabilities are obviously not the same, but the Army has the biggest navy and air corps in the world!

Tucanos & Beechcrafts are no more at risk in nonpermissive environments than Blackhawks and Apaches.

There also no reason that the Air Force could not augment these aircraft if needed or still conduct planning and coordination as needed. This is another excuse to maintain the Air Force fixed wing monopoly.

TMB — haven’t you heard? CAS is a “niche”. Shouldn’t be a big impact on the USF especially since they decided to cut the A10 fleet more (30%) than any other aircraft besides the C27 (100%).

CAS is a niche, intratheater lift is a niche, and ground wars are those annoying things that suck up funding for new toys. The Air Force only wanted to buy a handful of props for training other air forces. Given the opportunity, we’d probably buy a squadron per division.

Did your neighbor not get a sunroom, hot tub and infinity pool because you promised him he could use yours for physical therapy for his kids who were recovering from an auto accident so he wouldn’t have to do it on the cheap with a sunlamp, footbath and kiddie pool?

Love when the Air Force calls the C27 a luxury when they don’t have to rely on CH47s to fight the fight AND move supplies. That would be like the Army telling the Air Force they don’t need to have body armor just build a bunker.

It’s these kind of arguments that cause soldiers to look at you guys in a weird way and laugh.

From your lips to God’s ears!

What about the $150M+ cost to stand up an organic depot for 38 aircraft? That doesn’t make sense…and no one is talking about it. Why is it that all these Congressmen talk about cutting costs…but “not in my district?” Politics at its finest. BTW, a C-130J costs <$70M and already has the acquistion and sustainment network to maintain it for years to come. Tough decision to cut the C-27J? Yes. But these are the tough calls that have to be made in country that is going bankrupt.

I can honestly say, that after reading it multiple times, that I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say in the first part of your post. I’m sorry…the C27 is a highly specialized aircraft that is only useful in very specific situations. It certainly wasn’t needed in Iraq, and with the numbers currently on hand there can only be about 4 aircraft max in the AOR at any one time. How much impact are four airframes gonna have? Folks who can’t see above the tactical, 500 ft level, and who like to whip up inter-service rivalry, are a big part of the problem here. Hell…I say give the C27 to the Army…I bet they kill it, too. It’s like buying a Smart Car for the three times a year you can’t find a regular sized parking spot.

According to this line of thinking, we should purchase any and all weapon systems to meet every “niche” requirement across the entire spectrum of military operations? No matter how expensive, how small the fleet is, how much it will actually be utilized…BUY IT! Sorry, doesn’t work that way. There is always something better and plenty of “nice to haves,” but every branch of service balances requirements and associated risk EVERY DAY. We can’t buy everything…

The AF has prevented America’s enemies from killing or wounding one single US soldier or Marine in an air attack since the Korean War. I’d say that’s pretty good support.

Depending on the threat environment, it’s actually cheaper to utilize contracted air delivery. We don’t gen up a C-17 every time we need a priority part to repair an NMC aircraft in the AOR…the supply system utilizes DHL, Fed Ex, etc.…because it’s CHEAPER!! Same case for other ops you may have seen downrange…

Yes…C27s & A10s out, more 5th generation aircraft in. Our enemies do not fear the C27.

“How much impact are four airframes gonna have?’

Quite a bit if it frees up a number of C-130s and helicopters for their intended uses. Are you aware these “specific situations” are currently being fulfilled in theater by the Sherpa and CONTRACTED aircraft? The Air Force keeps talking about how half empty C-130s can do the mission. If that’s true, why are we paying European companies to fly supplies for us? We’re not whipping up rivalries, we’re calling out our sister service that took a program from us, promised they’d take care of it, and now claims it was never needed to begin with. The C-27J is supposed to replace the Sherpa — a plane the Army has been using for over 20 years.

If we are flying half (or less) empty C130s, then our logistics guys need to work on that. We (the US of A) have been contracting airlift for decades, mainly because it is cheaper than using grey tails. Today, the US can project power to damn near any part of the globe, and a large part that is because the AF, as part of the Joint team, can keep our guys from starving to death or running out of fuel or ammo. 38 C27s are such a small part of that it ain’t even funny. So what is this all about…getting the most bang for the buck, getting ready for the next war, or “calling out a sister service”?

If the C27 is so damn unnecessary, why did the Air Force take over the project in the first place? The Air Force insisted on spending Air Force money on the planes rather than let the Army spend Army money on it to replace an Army airplane. Explain that one. Senator Levin sure would like an explanation.

Melon — The first part of my post was an equally absurd attempt at equating the C27 to luxury items in the home that you used first.

As for Iraq, you really don’t know the difference in infrastructure and terrain between Iraq and Afghanistan? Maybe some time on the ground would educate you to the 500′ perspective?

Totally agree on giving the C27s to the Army. Great idea! Makes one wonder why the heck the Air Force got involved and asked for them anyway? huh?

True. While you’re patting yourself on the back over what a great job you’ve done you may want to remember all US ground casualties since Korea from air attack were caused by US aircraft.

When has any branch bought all the weapon systems it liked? You’re argument lacks even an ounce of logic. Yeah, let’s not let the Marines buy amphib vehicles becaue that’s a niche or MRAPs because tanks do better. Good Grief!

Admit it for what it is. You’re throwing up canards to maintain the Air force monopoly over fixed wing no matter the cost.

Congress whining about no cuts in “their” districts are no more political than an Air Force that cuts SEVEN cheaper reserve squadrons to ONE active one and then argues it’s “saving money”.

The term “ludicrous” comes to mine and I’m not talking about the rapper.

Nobody said CAS was a niche. You think the Army would buy a squadron of AT-6’s per division? Seriously…if y’all want to talk that smack at the VFW bar go right ahead, but I gurantee you the Army wants no part of it. How is the Army going to train and keep current several hundred AT-6 crews? How many billons will it take to develope that pipeline? By the time you even get the plan on paper we’ll be out of Afghanistan and it will be OBE. You think any future adminstration is gonna do a ground invasion in Iran or China? You want to set up a duplicate and less flexible tactial air attack capability that the taxpayer can’t afford, and the nation doesn’t need. Try pushing that through the DoD and Congress. Geez.…seriously.

Replace OH-58Ds with Super Tucanos.
Same mission. 90% of all attack aviation sorties take off and land at a fixed wing capable airstrip.
You can upgrade a tuco airstrip in a week with basic earthmoving equipment. use apaches when you have to. we would save the taxpayers billions of dollars and have a better airframe flying a better doctrine (CCA versus the MCO centric CAS)

Oh yeah, COIN and guerilla warfare is an anomoly. kosovo is the model of the future (never mind US forces are STILL there)
we will never have US forces in the same place for years using f16s and f15es against dirt farmers with AKs. History isn’t your strong suit, is it melon head?

Not sure what tactical missions cannot be met with C-130s, V-22s, U-28s, and the various rotary wing aircraft…what “MANY other missions” can the C-27J do that these aircraft can’t?

Thank you for providing a sanity check to all those who want to stir the “Army should fly fixed-wing” pot

So…the current joint inventory has been unsuccessfull in supporting OEF for the past 11 years? When the DoD has to make tough budgetary decsions, we have to fund programs that will have the biggest impact and do the most good for all. The AF continues to grow the following programs: CV-22s, UAVs, U-28s, MC-130Ws, AC-130Js, MC-130Js etc. These aircraft save THOUSANDS of military lives and provide essential support for ground forces. I cannot fathom un-funding these programs so the ANG can fly a “nice to have”

It’s not a “nice to have” for the Army. It tends to be pretty darn important so that CH47s can focus on its tactical role. It’s only “nice to have” to the Air Force because they don’t have to write the ‘next of kin” letters.

Maybe the Air Force shouldn’t have tried to pick up the replacement for the Sherpa? Seeing that it did, it can execute or give the planes to the army and say it’s sorry for trying to monopolize fixed wing assets.

He’s got a point about life cycle costs that you have ignored, or maybe don’t understand. Comparing costs of platforms gets complicated fast.

Sorry Frank, “The C-27 does it for $2,100 per hour, the CH-47 does it for about $11,000 per hour, the C-130 does for between $5,100 to $7,100 an hour “ http://​www​.dodbuzz​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​3​/​0​9​/​c​s​a​-​p​r​a​i​s​e​s​-​doo

You can’t cite budgetary issues in one post and then promote the use of other much more expensive options. Well that is unless you’re a pentagon “Staff Weenie” desperately trying to find a reason that sticks to support a bad decision.

The “all fixed wing belongs in the Air Force” is not sane. A simple look at how the Marines and the Navy handle it destroys the argument.

The Air Force has ground assets to provide for airbase security. It makes sense. The Army doesn’t get in the way.

It wasn’t a “sanity check’. It was a display of arrogance and the petty interservice rivalry the Air Force is famous for.

Melon — You act like you don’t know the Army has a heck of lot more pilots than the Air Force does. Seems you have a very “limited perspective”.

So Gen Scwatz is lying int he above article? “Schwartz had some numbers handy: It costs about $9,000 per hour to fly the C-27J”

Cost per flying hour is not the only cost associated with the life cycle of a weapon system. How about depot maintenace for the aircraft and it’s components? What about engineering support, which is probably based on Aleina propietary drawings (in Italy)? All of these factors must be considered, especially when the fleet of aircraft is so small. ROI isn’t too good…

What’s funny is that you said that straight faced and believe it.

Thats an excellent point. The AF’s efficiency at not accomplishing the mission is unparalled. They park their C-130s like nobody’s business.

Nah, Gen Schwartz isn’t “lying”. He’s doing the same thing you are though. Massaging stats and using those that support his decision rather than doing one’s due diligence to come to a rational and fair decision.

No biggie, doesn’t cost him anything. The Army pays the price by using CH47s to execute missions the Air Force was supposed to do and the taxpayer pays the bigger bill. The Air Force remains unscathed and furthers the monopoly on fixed wing. Win — Win for Air Force Uber Alles types.

Actually Melon, the Air Force did. They called the A-10 a “niche” aircraft, which is how they’re justifying getting rid of more of them despite it being one of the best ground attack aircraft in history. In the hypothetical that Moe started, the Army would pay for squadrons of ground attack planes by taking that money from the Air Force since they wouldn’t be doing it anymore. The Germany military in WWII made pretty good use out of that arrangement (as does the Marine Corps to an extent today). The Wehrmacht OPCONed Stuka squadrons to the ground commander with an air liason officer sitting right next to the commander’s RTO. They flew based on the Corps commander’s OPORD, not an ATO. Why is that less flexible? Purpose-built aircraft being used for their specialty?

Ah yes…you resort to personal attacks (ref “Staff Weenie”). Always a sign of a professional militarty leader.

Gen Schwartz referenced $9K per flight hr for the C-27J in this article…sounds like you are calling the CSAF a liar…

Again, cost per flight hour is not the only measure we should be looking at. What about the depot costs for the aircraft and it’s components? Aleina has likely retained engineering propietary data/drawings (in Italy)…we’ll be linked to them for life. What about a System Program Office for acquistion and sustainment? …And all of this will be stood up for 38 aircraft? You have to honestly ask your self: Is the capability of this weapon system so far beyond what we all ready have? Does it warrant such a huge bill in these trying times? The answer is apparently NO

The Army wanted this program and wanted to use Army money on it. The Air Force took it and made it their own. Why did they do that if the Air Force now says it is so unnecessary and expensive? The C27J is supposed to replace the Army’s Sherpas, an already existing and supported aircraft. As for CSAF’s comments, see the Senator Levin quote above. He’s the one pretty much calling Schwartz a liar.

My history book says the guy who fights the last war usually loses the next one. You guys do a great job of cherry picking comments without addressing the entire issue. I never said a Tucano couldn’t use a dirt strip. I still want to know how the Army would open up a light attack pilot training pipeline, and how much that would cost? Are guys gonna jump out of the Little Birds one day and start flying fixed-wing attack profiles the next? The ANG produces what…200–300 pilots a year? Tell me how that’s gonna work. And what are you going to do with all those COIN attack planes when OEF is over and done with? And who said COIN was an “anomoly”? Don’t put words in my mouth and I won’t put them in yours. My history is also strong enough to know that Serbia ain’t in Kosovo, although they’re close enough that I understand your mistake.

TMB, your post said the AF called “CAS” niche. That is not so. The CSAF said the A10 was a more niche and specialized aircraft, which is 100% true. Doing away with “some” A10s does not mean the AF is divesting itself of the CAS mission…that would be impossible. The AF is retiring some A10s and keeping more F16s…the F16s can do air-to-air and CAS, thus, more flexible. Read up on Operation Anaconda and you’ll understand why the Wehrmacht model simply won’t work today. Hundreds of airstrikes a day, some coming in from hundreds of miles away, in a very tight airspace…no way a BCT Commander is gonna control that with his RTO.

The Army doesn’t have a single fixed-wing attack pilot. Not one…

Couple issues. You say “niche” now like it’s not an issue. Most of the comments in these C-27 articles describe the aircraft’s “niche” mission like its a bad thing. I’m confused. I’m reading niche as if it was a sliver of an occasional mission. I believe direct air support of ground forces should be a core mission by specialized aircraft. When CSAF said that, to me it felt like an afterthought. In the Wehrmacht, the air support worked off of the ground OPORD and either attacked predetermined targets or flew ahead of the ground attack hunting for targets with the commander’s intent in mind. In Anaconda, the airstrikes were called in by SOCOM JFACs. How big was the air staff that supported Anaconda? Could it have been integrated with a division HQ and transmitted orders from there? In a far-flung battle like Anaconda, the air support came largely from Diego Garcia. Could the same (or better) support have come from a Tucano-like air package flown from a local airfield? I seem to remember the air planning being last minute (CENTCOM’s fault) and the aircraft in support didn’t fully understand the ground mission. They just kinda showed up and asked for grid coordinates. A joint air staff in a ground HQ could eliminate that.

Again…no one said CAS was niche. You will not find an AF senior leader calling CAS niche. When there are TIC the AF will fly CAS until the wings fall off. However, the AF has said, and it is a true statement, that F-16s can do some of the CAS role and other missions as well. It is not just the AF that thinks this way “… the Air Force needs aircraft that can do more than one mission, said Adm. James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…” And don’t forget, all of this conversation is driven by the President and DoD’s future strategy (which doesn’t required as much CAS), and the budget. Contrary to what some reporters write, the AF isn’t proposing cutting C27s or A10s cause they hate them (or the Army, or the ANG), but we have been given a limited budget to execute the strategy. Strategy budget, budget strategy. As for Anaconda, I think you are mixing battles. Most of the CAS work prior to Anaconda was called in by SOF. Anaconda was a big Army fight (10th Mountain, I think), and they had serious issues with coordinating not only CAS, but logistics support as well. Between the AF and the Navy they dropped about 3K weapons in the AO during the battle, with AFSOC gunships support as well. There is no way, either operationally or logistically, that a squadrons of locally based Tucanos could have supported that effort (how you gonna get that many tons of weapons and fuel into a local dirt strip??). Additionally, the C2 requirement would have overwhelmed the local CC on the ground as he tried to coordinate Army, AF, Navy and SOF assets…and we haven’t even mentioned coalition assets. That’s one of the big reasons the US developed the JFACC concept and as a Joint force we spend tons of time and energy trying to get it right. The combined arms innovation of the Germans was a game changer at the time, but they would be blown away by system we have today.

The C-130 can do the direct support misson and that has been proven in the theater. Very few (count them on one hand) “airfields” there that the C-27J can land on but the C-130 can’t land on. Now let’s talk about single engine out performance; the climb rate of a C-27J is too small if an engine flames out on take-off. Additionally, the C-130s (even the old ones) don’t have pieces of them falling off the aircraft in flight like the C-27J. I understand the Army has been asked countless timies to provide examples of when airlift/aidrop support was not available when needed and they have yet to provide a single example.

Levin is wrong, the fact is the Department of Defense (USD AT&L precisely) DIRECTED the Air Force to join the program. It was the former Secretary of Defense (Gates) who DIRECTED reduced the size of the program to 38 aircraft and in the same document also DIRECTED that all those aircraft and the direct support mission go to the Air Force. I am unaware of the Air Force ever saying the C-130 could not perform the direct support mission, and if someone in the Air Force did say that they were uninformed. Prior to the first deployment of the C-27Js to the theater, two C-130 aircraft, also from Mansfield, proved the C-130s (and I’m talking older C-130s not C-130Js) could successfully perform the mission during a test in the AOR.

I believe the Army knew all along that the C-130J could perform the mission, but chose not to pursue buying C-130Js because the Army knew the Air Force would have screamed, “That’s my mission!” However, the Air Force was DIRECTED to join the program, DIRECTED to take over the program, and DIRECTED to reduce the quantity to 38 aircraft. I do not believe you or Senator Levin would advocate that Air Force senior officers ignore the DIRECTION on an Under-Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Defense…is that what you are saying the Air Force should have done?

What Lockheed Marting aircraft costs $200M, the F-22? A C-130J costs around $70M.

The avionics on the C-27J are around Block 5.3 configuration of the C-130J avionics, about 3 Blocks and millions of dollars behind.

The truth is that if my child is already playing one sport and our family hits hard financial times I would tell my child, “No we can’t afford for you to buy more equipment like that you already use in the sport you already play, just so you can play two sports.” Perhaps you would make an different decision with your child, but when you’re talking my taxpayer money we can’t afford and don’t need two aircraft to conduct the same mission!

Why in the world do I have to explain that statement? Neither China, nor Iran, nor any other potential peer or near-peer future adversary of the United States gives two seconds of thought to the C27. It does not impact their strategic calculus one little bit. The AF (and Navy’s) 5th generation fighters, however, are game changers.

The C-130J was considered and was disqualified during the competition. Here is a very detailed article describing the history of the program. You’re right that SECDEF made the Air Force merge its program with the Army’s; however, the Air Force stated it had a NEED for these aircraft. They’re cancelling them now saying the don’t need them after buying the aircraft and emptying Air Guard hangars in preparation for receiving them. If they didn’t truly need the planes, they could have backed out and let the Army foot the bill. The original program was for 145 planes split evenly between the Army and Air Force which would have replaced 3 Army fixed wing fleets and some Air Force C-130s.

And TMB…that was 5 years ago, before the biggest economic downturn the US has faced since the Depression and before the DoD got hit with $400 billion budget cut. It’s highly unlikely either the AF or the Army can foot the bill in today’s fiscal environment.

Not asking you to explain it. You just demonstrated your an adherent to the traditional air force culture. Fast, pointy nose, carries bombs = good stuff! Strategic vs. an operational or tactical approach and of course every problem can be fixed with airpower. It’s like Douhet with an iPad.

It’s a very “limited perspective” and it’s never been successful.

The economic downturn doesn’t impact the performance of aircraft. It’s like saying 120mm Abrams rounds have lower velocity because we have an economic downturn. Apples and oranges.

They aren’t doing the same mission.

I want to see your kid play goalee on a hockey team with football pads. Then explain to the wife why your kids medical bills were part of an economic downturn and financial efficiency.

We’re not talking about airfields. We’re talking no name strips. Of course the Army isn’t going to provide examples of where airdrops weren’t available. They used Chinooks to execute the mission.

It’s like asking the Air Force to provide examples of times the Army used Chinooks to execute missions C27s or C130s could have been used. First the Air Force doesn’t care to find the numbers and second the Army would have to do the digging for an organization that doesn’t care about the answer.

Finally, IF you are right who’s going to jail for lying about the Air Force needing the C27 in the first place? You can’t have it both ways.

The Army has conducted single pilot training in the past and ALL Army pilots are trained to fly their aircraft alone if necessary. Your reasoning is ridiculous and a textbook example of an Air Force more interested in maintaining a monopply than findig solutions or working as a team.

“Staff Weenie” is a personal attack? Boy you ARE sensitive! Another reason the Army looks weird at you guys sometimes and just laughs.

BTW, reread the article the $9000 cost is a totally different manner of measurment than was first used. Why the change? I’m not calling him a liar. Both numbers might be accurate. I just question the integrity of changing the way one measures something after one starts losing the fight instead of defending one’s initial rational.

Melon, if they want to cut numbers — fine, that happens all the time. The point I’ve been trying to make (and nobody has refuted) is that the Air Force had a stated requirement for this capability and got Congress to fund it. Now the Air Force is saying “well, we don’t really need it and the C-130 could do it all anyways” and the Army’s stated need for these planes (remember they’re replacing other Army planes) got thrown out with the bathwater. If Schwartz had said “we can’t afford it anymore and we’ll just make do with what we’ve got” then you’d have a point, but that’s not his argument. He’s now saying it was a “nice to have” rather than a need.

refuse to provide support and ensure a cumbersome byzantine request procedure takes 4 days to get anything, and when the customer stops asking, claim success.

brilliant model.

Hmmm…no, I did not say that. You are putting words in my mouth to bolster your arugument, and that’s a bit annoying. I have never, at any point, said every problem can be fixed with airpower. The original question was whether the AF was cutting C27s and A10s, in part, to fund the other programs like the F35. If the US military has to fight/deter China (or Russia) at any point in the future, we will need every 5th gen asset we can afford (AF, Navy, USMC). That’s a fact. An aggressive China will not be deterred by twin-engined cargo planes and A10s. And, honestly, your assertation that there’s some type of choice or “competition” between a “strategic vs operational or tactical approach” tells me all I need to know. Now, I expect you’ll drop another Douhet “limited perspective” smoke bomb and dodge out without supply anything informative…

Ok, so every problem can’t be fixed with airpower? Ok, I’ll give you that. The rest is true though.

As for smoke bombs, learned that from you with the whole “limited perspective”, “tactical” BS elitist airpower enthusiasts toss out there when the “niche” aircraft arguments don’t work.

Quoting TMB — “The C-130J was considered and was disqualified during the competition. Here is a very detailed article describing the history of the program. You’re right that SECDEF made the Air Force merge its program with the Army’s; however, the Air Force stated it had a NEED for these aircraft. They’re cancelling them now saying the don’t need them after buying the aircraft and emptying Air Guard hangars in preparation for receiving them. If they didn’t truly need the planes, they could have backed out and let the Army foot the bill. The original program was for 145 planes split evenly between the Army and Air Force which would have replaced 3 Army fixed wing fleets and some Air Force C-130s. http://​www​.defenseindustrydaily​.com/​j​o​i​n​t​-​c​a​r​g​o-a… ”

Read more: http://​www​.dodbuzz​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​3​/​2​0​/​t​h​e​-​c​-​2​7​-​t​r​uth–

Yep…there ya go…thanks for living up to expectations.

I figured you out long ago with the “limited perspective”/“tactical” elitist commentary.

What’s good for the goose …

No one is going to jail, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition told USAF and Army to make the program joint, then the SecDef (Gates) reduced the quantity to 38 and and assigned all the aircraft and the direct support mission to the USAF. I agree there are some C2 issues that need to be worked out, but if you’re talking airdrop, the C-130 is just a capable of airdrop as C-130s. I was responding to the perceived “short field” performance some are making a big deal of.

Lastly, it is my understanding that the Chief of Staff’s of both services have agreed to a way-ahead with
C-130s doing the direct support mission.…essentially sitting there waiting for the Army to give them a mission. The USAF should be held accountable for performing the mission!

Gen Odierno said, “The Air Force made the decision; they think they can do this with C-130s. If we get that same support — that is what we need. I would say that this has been supplied very successfully by the C-27.” http://​www​.dodbuzz​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​3​/​0​9​/​c​s​a​-​p​r​a​i​s​e​s​-​doo

That’s far from an agreement. Check your facts.

Congress is the only entity that holds the Air Force acountable which is what we’re seeing. It’s virtually the same story of the A10.

Again, I’ve never said that. When you broaden your perspective and have something useful to add to a discussion other than pithy remarks, I’ll re-engage. Otherwise, when we’re talking about strategy and budgeting, you’re all hat, no horse, and it’s not worth using the electrons.

“Never said that”? Your words, (didn’t have to look at the other ones) “Folks who can’t see above the tactical, 500 ft level, AND who like to whip up inter-service rivalry, are a big part of the problem here.” (Emphasis added).

As for contributing, MOST of my posts are on target and are specific. I’ve talked flight hours, roles, historical examples etc. You want to focus on budget and strategy yet fail to address CH47 costs as part of the equation or the Air Force strategy of strangling any Army attempt to get fixed wing.

BTW, No need to re-engage. I’ve pointed out your “selective” memory/contribution.

Well said TMB, been waiting a day for Melon’s response.

“Other ones” was referring to other threads



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