Too Many C-130s?

There’s likely to be a reduction of perhaps 40 or so C-130s, said Gen. Paul Selva, head of Air Mobility Command. In a press conference on Sept. 17 at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference, Selva said the Pentagon’s independent cost-estimating shop looked at C-130 usage and determined “we may have estimated a little high” on how many are needed. “What we are doing is taking a look at what part of that fleet is affordable and how we navigate over the next five years,” said Selva. “My position is that the fleet itself is affordable. It’s how we deploy the fleet and who operates it,” he said. Some 70 percent of C-130s are in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command, and they are “very efficient,” said Selva. There are about 340 C-130s now in the force. While “there is a disagreement on total numbers, I think we’ll land right about the 300 number,” he said. There will also be adjustments to AMC force structure, said Selva. His preference is to preserve the actual aircraft in inventory and achieve savings by changing how they’re operated—by moving some to the Guard and Reserve.