The active duty and reserve components are mixing and matching C-130 Hercules units and airmen in new ways, including forming the first active associate Herk unit with the newly relocated Air Force Reserve Command 440th Airlift Wing at Pope AFB, N.C. The 440th moved its flag from Wisconsin to North Carolina in June and is now flying missions out of Pope. Capt. Rickardo Bodden reports that the Reserve wing’s operations group will comprise four squadrons, two Reserve and two active, each supply one airlift and one aeromedical evacuation squadron. Following on the heels of the 440th active associate arrangement will be a similar one for AFRC’s 302nd AW at Peterson AFB, Colo. And, there will be a C-130 air reserve component associate lash-up between AFRC’s 914th AW and the New York Air National Guard’s 107th Air Refueling Wing, which loses its KC-135 tankers under BRAC 2005. New York lawmakers questioned the Air Force in the spring about specific details for that association, but apparently it is still a work in progress.
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.