Fielding the C-27J transport is significant for the Air National Guard because it represents the first time that a new airframe will be “solely owned, operated, and maintained” by Air Guard aircrews, says Lt. Col. Chris Beckman, ANG aviation planning and execution chief. The Air Guard will acquire 38 C-27Js under current planning. They are expected to deploy for the first time to Southwest Asia in about one year. Air Guardsmen from the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio, and the 175th Wing in Baltimore will be the first to be trained on the C-27J and deploy with it. The first 24 C-27Js will go to Baltimore and Mansfield and to units in Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, and North Dakota. The Air Guard is still determining the beddown locations for the remaining 14 aircraft. (NGB report by Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.