Pay Another Day

The Secretary of the Air Force opted not to follow the service’s optimal distribution of C-130s to gain short-term savings, according to a July 13 Government Accountability Office report. The Air Force’s six-year C-130 force structure report stated that shifting 10 C-130Js from Keesler AFB, Miss., to Little Rock AFB, Ark., was the “most cost effective and efficient” lay-down, but the Secretary’s amendment effectively canceled the move, according to GAO. “The planned transfer was canceled to prevent the short-term costs and turbulence the relocation would have created,” saving an estimated $24 million. Keeping the aircraft at Keesler will cost an estimated $60 million in personnel expenses there, and an additional $24 million to $48 million yearly at Little Rock, according to USAF figures. The Air Force originally planned to send Keesler’s J-models to Pope Field, N.C., to phase out legacy C-130Hs there, but opted to shutter Pope’s wing instead. Officials still plan to inactivate Pope’s 440th Airlift Wing at the end of this year, saving some $116 million through 2020, according to the report.