The Air Force has selected Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass., as one of three full inspection and repair facilities for the service’s mammoth C-5 airlifters. Earlier this week, Air Mobility Command revealed it had selected Dover AFB, Del., where it would conduct C-5 isochronal inspection and repair operations, and would announce the other two sites—one Air National Guard and one Air Force Reserve Command—later. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) identified the ANG site as Martinsburg, W.Va., on Dec. 10, while Democratic lawmakers Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Richard Neal released a statement Wednesday naming Westover as the third site. Kennedy praised the choice: “Today’s decision shows the crucial importance of Westover as part of our nation’s defense. It is a tribute to the high caliber work done by the dedicated men and women on the base. It’s also a recognition of the strategic value of Westover’s location as the closest airlift base in the US to get needed supplies to our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Neal added that Westover would gain new jobs to handle the flow of some 40 transient C-5s each year.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.