The Air Force’s top special operator, Lt. Gen. Michael Wooley, told attendees at a Capitol Hill seminar Tuesday that, given his choice, the first asset he wants to recapitalize is Air Force Special Operations Command’s C-130s. “If I have a choice, I want to recapitalize our C-130 fleet,” he said, noting the command is currently undertaking a study to see what would be the likely follow-on aircraft for the C-130 fleet, including AFSOC’s MC-130 refuelers and transports and AC-130 gunships. He said the command has just received the first two C-130s recently modified as AC-130H Spectres; another two are nearing completion. In a perfect world, Wooley added that he would also want to accelerate the delivery of the command’s CV-22s, since they are “dribbling along” towards an initial operational capability targeted for 2009.
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.