Gen. Norton Schwartz, head of US Transportation Command, said Thursday he doesn’t really care if the new C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft has “Army” or “Air Force” written on the side. “As a Joint guy, I don’t care who owns it, as long as I can task it,” Schwartz said at a Capitol Hill symposium. Pressed, however, as to whether he feels the Air Force should be in charge of all fixed-wing airlift, Schwartz said it would be OK with him, but the Air Force would have to be willing to support the Army in the way the Army wants to be supported. He said that might involve assigning a C-27J and an aircrew to an Army brigade commander for several weeks, something USAF might find it hard to do. “We can’t just do it our way all the time,” said Schwartz, who wears Air Force blue.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.