Delayed Departure at Keesler

Air Force Reserve Command delayed the transfer of 10 C-130J transports from Keesler AFB, Miss., to Pope Field, N.C., that is scheduled as part of the Air Force’s force structure adjustments next fiscal year. The C-130Js are assigned to AFRC’s 815th Airlift Squadron, which operates and maintains them together with its active associate unit, the 345th AS. Originally scheduled to leave Keesler for Pope starting on Oct. 1, the C-130Js now will not depart until April 2014, with a possible further delay until October 2014, announced Keesler officials on Aug. 13. “The Air Force’s decision to postpone 10 aircraft leaving Keesler is welcomed news for our employees and their families affected by the restructuring,” said Col. Craig LaFave, commander of AFRC’s 403rd Wing at Keesler. “All future proposals to our C-130 fleet [are] speculative now but [are] tied to planned Army and Marine Corps [end] strength reductions, which ultimately drive the need for tactical airlift. We should have more clarity over the next few months,” he said.