The airmen of the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing may be in line to trade their Vietnam War-era behemoth C-5A airlifters for the new C-17 transport, at least that’s the thinking of some state officials. The Times Herald-Record reports that a spokesman for the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs says a decision to place some of the additional C-17 approved in the recently signed 2008 war supplemental at the Stewart Airport-based Air Guard unit is “still up in the air.” According to the Daily Freeman, State Sen. William Larkin may believe it’s a done deal. He told the newspaper, “This will be a major change here for us. … They may be smaller aircraft, but they will be smoother, they won’t be as loud and their takeoff and response will be greater.” Per the Herald-Record, the wing’s chief of staff, Lt. Col. John Chianese, said in a statement, that the 105th “will carry out any mission we are assigned, and presently that is the C-5A mission.” Earlier this year, the Air Force decided not to include the A model C-5s in a full modernization program that would have included new engines. They are, however, to get new avionics.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.