To replace the Afghan air force’s now-scrapped C-27A fleet, the Air Force is exploring options for delivering four older model C-130s in the next two years, a service spokesman told the Daily Report. The Air Force is “committed to provide an effective and sustainable airlift capability for our Afghan partners as soon as possible,” said service spokesman Ed Gulick on Feb. 1 in a written response to a query. The Afghans have requested four C-130s to fulfill their medium-lift requirements, and Air Force officials are working to identify the right aircraft that could be made available. The target is to deliver two C-130H aircraft to the Afghans in late 2013, and two more by the end of 2014, said Gulick. Afghan pilots are scheduled to start training for C-130 operations by the second quarter of this year in “various locations” in the United States, he noted. US airmen will provide initial maintenance training at a location to be determined once the Afghan candidates for maintenance instruction are identified, he said.
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.