Boneyard Queens or Still Life in Those Wings?

The Office of the Secretary of Defense has yet to decide if any of the Air Force’s now-retired C-27J airlifters will get a second life with another Pentagon organization, or if to make them available to other federal agencies, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told the Daily Report. Congress gave the Air Force permission to divest the C-27J fleet in Fiscal 2013 as a cost-savings move. The Air Force is putting the 16 airframes that were already in the fleet—all Air National Guard-operated—when the divestiture began into the service’s “boneyard” for retired airplanes at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Five additional C-27J airframes still in various stages of production on Alenia’s assembly line will go directly to the boneyard when they roll off the line unless OSD identifies a new C-27J operator, confirmed Stefanek on Oct. 9. For now, all the Air Force’s C-27Js are entering “Type 1000 storage” in the boneyard, meaning near-flyaway condition, pending completion of OSD’s review. Stefanek said there is no set date for determining the aircraft’s ultimate fate. Back in July, a bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wrote Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, urging him to give the US Forest Service priority for acquiring C-27Js deemed excess to the US military’s needs.