Air Guard Worried About Proposed Air Mobility Cuts

Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt, Air National Guard director, told lawmakers Wednesday that the proposed cuts to the air mobility fleet, as put forth in the Air Force’s Fiscal 2013 budget request, could impact the Air Guard’s ability to accomplish its homeland support mission. “As far as the federal warfight, the Title 10 mission, I’m comfortable that we can do that,” Wyatt told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower and projection forces panel. He continued, “I have some concern on the domestic operations requirements.” Such domestic operations include supporting state governors during a large-scale natural disaster or emergency. Gen. Raymond Johns, Air Mobility Command boss, urged Congress to take a holistic approach to the proposed cuts. “I will offer that every military member will respond immediately to when our nation calls, domestically and internationally,” he said. He added, “We will divert an aircraft while it’s airborne to go in support of any national need. So, it’s really not about the Guardsmen doing this [alone], it’s about our [entire] military.” Under the cuts, the Air Guard would lose its brand-new fleet of C-27J transports, some KC-135 tankers, some C-130s, and the rest of its C-5As. (Johns’ prepared statement) (Wyatt’s written testimony)