Airlift Working Group Findings Coming

The Air Force soon will release the findings of its Intra-Theater Airlift Working Group, said Secretary Michael Donley on Friday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. The working group is charged with determining from where the Air Force will draw the 32 tactical airlifters that the Fiscal 2013 defense authorization act directed the service to maintain on top of the force structure that it had planned. While Congress gave the Air Force the option to choose either C-130s, C-27Js, or a mix of both, Donley has said the service does not anticipate modifying its plan to divest its C-27Js, meaning the 32 airlifters likely would all be C-130s. Among those 32 airframes “are a number of [C-130] aircraft that have center-wing-box challenges, age-out, and structural challenges,” Donley told reporters following his Friday symposium address. “We planned to retire those aircraft so . . . center-wing-box repairs are not funded,” he noted.