After hearing about the proposed alternative C-130 plan that would loan some reserve component C-130s to the active Air Force for possibly five years (see Just a Five-Year Load above), Rep. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) posed a key question: “Doesn’t that mean a loss of airlift capacity under Title 32 [the Air Guard’s state mission]?” Air National Guard boss Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt acknowledged there would be some degradation. However, he told the House Armed Services readiness panel Tuesday, that there “are sufficient C-130s” in the Air Guard to share between states, utilizing the emergency assistance compacts set up by the adjutants general. Wyatt emphasized, “It will take a little bit of extra work and it will take a lot more coordination, but barring a huge catastrophe, we think there’ll be adequate airlift” during this loan period. And, he said, some states likely would get their C-130s back more quickly.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.