Senators Want More C-27Js

The co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus want the Defense Department to buy more C-27J transports than currently planned. In a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Army Secretary John McHugh, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sen. Patrick Leady (D-Vt.) say they are concerned about the air mobility force structure that, as it stands, calls for the purchase of only 38 C-27s for direct support of ground troops in austere areas. “We believe that future budgets should increase the C-27 buy,” write the two senators in their July 7 missive. DOD’s original C-27 plan called for 78 airframes. Senior Pentagon officials have already said a fleet of 38 C-27s is sufficient, when augmented by C-130s employing techniques and tactics optimized for direct support. The Air Force intends to make 40 C-130s available to serve in that role.