JCA Requirement Is 78

Even before the May 7 release of the 2010 defense budget proposal, word had leaked that the Pentagon planned to cut the C-27 Joint Cargo Aircraft from 78 to 38 aircraft, prompting Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) at the May 5 House Armed Services airland panel hearing to ask what analysis had been done prior to this reduction in the “Army’s stated need?” Air National Guard director Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt III said he was “not aware of any other subsequent studies” that deviated from the Joint Requirements Oversight Council-approved 78 aircraft. Both the Air Guard and Army Guard were slated to operate the C-27, but the Pentagon also shifted the program—and the last-tactical-mile mission—from a joint Army-Air Force effort to an Air Force one. Still, Wyatt told the lawmakers, “The question is not necessarily the color of service flying the airplane, but … how do you sustain the requirement.” He continued, “In my opinion, you have to have 78 airplanes, as the JROC study indicated, to sustain the number of airplanes [16 to 18] anticipated to be deployed continuously in theater.” The Army wanted the C-27 to replace its elderly C-23 Sherpas, which Maj. Gen. Raymond Carpenter, acting deputy Army Guard director, said should last only another five years. He also told the panel that the Army Guard uses the C-23 for homeland missions, as well, so “we’ve got five years to solve this problem.”