Mobility Demand, Obsolescence and Risk

Despite additional demands from ongoing combat operations in Operation Inherent Resolve and other missions, Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Darren McDew said Feb. 13 he is confident in the requirements plan to accept a bit more risk in the intra theater mission. However, he will have to soon divine Congress’ intent on the future of USAF’s legacy C-130 fleet. “There is a floor that is debatable,” he said at Orlando’s Air Warfare Symposium panel on major command priorities. “But right now, what we have is what is in place.” McDew said 73 percent of AMC’s C-130 capacity is in the Air Guard and Reserve, but he emphasized he is not concerned about accessing them when needed. Instead, McDew noted, he’s looking at looming Federal Aviation Administration and international compliance deadlines by 2019, and making sure the legacy C-130Hs that are still in the fleet can manage their obsolescence issues. He’s also looking at “what does access it look like in the future” for the C-130 fleet, especially as threats continue to evolve. USAF needs to get clarity from Congress on its intent with the C-130H fleet and establish “what do we need to do in the short-term and long-term to deal with obsolescence,” McDew said.