The airmen of the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing may be in line to trade their Vietnam War-era behemoth C-5A airlifters for the new C-17 transport, at least that’s the thinking of some state officials. The Times Herald-Record reports that a spokesman for the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs says a decision to place some of the additional C-17 approved in the recently signed 2008 war supplemental at the Stewart Airport-based Air Guard unit is “still up in the air.” According to the Daily Freeman, State Sen. William Larkin may believe it’s a done deal. He told the newspaper, “This will be a major change here for us. … They may be smaller aircraft, but they will be smoother, they won’t be as loud and their takeoff and response will be greater.” Per the Herald-Record, the wing’s chief of staff, Lt. Col. John Chianese, said in a statement, that the 105th “will carry out any mission we are assigned, and presently that is the C-5A mission.” Earlier this year, the Air Force decided not to include the A model C-5s in a full modernization program that would have included new engines. They are, however, to get new avionics.
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.