Despite the House Armed Services Committee’s sense that the Air Force hasn’t yet shown that it needs the C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said Sept. 15 that the requirement for such an aircraft is “inescapable.” Schwartz, at a press conference, said that “the battlefield has changed,” and that there’s absolutely a need for something that can carry about 15 people or five crates of cargo. “It’s not main base to main base anymore,” but increasingly, cargo must go to far-flung outposts with austere conditions. “It’s clear to me” that the aircraft is needed, said Schwartz, whose last job was head of US Transportation Command. Last week’s Hurricane Ike should have reminded everyone why such an airplane is also needed for the homeland defense mission, he said.