A Deflating Prospect

Some of the moves the Air Force leadership is mulling concerning the Air National Guard thanks to the tightening defense budget include removing its C-5As, cutting three F-16 wings, some 76 C-130s and some A-10s, and even terminating acquisition of the C-27J transport, said House lawmakers. During an oversight hearing on Wednesday, they asked Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt, Air National Guard director, what the effect of such cuts would be. I think it is too early in the budgeting process to reach any conclusion as to what may or may not survive,” responded Wyatt. “But, if we lost those airframes, in essence, you are taking the air out of the Air National Guard.” Wyatt noted that there are other missions that the Air Guard could step into, such as cyber, engineering, communications, and security forces, as well as greater participation in remotely piloted aircraft operations.