Army Guard Gets First JCA

The Air Force and the Army will share the honors for the initial military tests of the first C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft delivered to the Army last week during a ceremony at an L-3 Integrated Systems facility in Waco, Tex., but the first JCA goes to the Army National Guard. Current plans call for the Army to receive some 40 C-27Js and the Air Force up to 24, most destined for the Air National Guard. However, lawmakers threw a spanner into the works, cutting USAF dollars for the program in 2009. Still, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz downplayed the maneuver and called purchase of the C-27J by USAF “inescapable.” L-3’s partner and C-27-maker Alenia Aeronautica will provide the initial training, first at L-3’s Waco facility and then at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia. This first aircraft, following scheduled tests, is destined for the Georgia Army National Guard in April 2010. (National Guard Bureau report by MSgt. Mike Smith)