McCain Proposes Transferring C-27Js to Coast Guard

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently introduced an amendment to the Fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill that would transfer the remaining 14 C-27J aircraft the Air Force is divesting to the US Coast Guard. At the same time, according to the amendment, supplied by McCain’s office, the Coast Guard will transfer seven HC-130H aircraft to the Air Force. The Air Force would then add the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System to the HC-130Hs so they can be used to battle wildfires. Once finished, the aircraft would be transferred to the U.S. Forest Services, states the amendment. In a similar fashion, the Army could transfer up to 15 C-23B+ Sherpa aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service, depending on its fire-fighting requirements. McCain, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), had originally called on the Pentagon to expedite the transfer of the remaining C-27J aircraft to the Forest Service, but as of late October Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the decision to transport seven of the original 21 to US Special Operations Command. The amendment was co-signed by Feinstein, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska). (Feinstein/McCain letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel)