The Air Force hasn’t settled yet on a method of disposition for the C-27J Spartan transports that it wants to divest, said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. “Probably our best option” is to place them in storage in the service’s aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., Schwartz told reporters during a Jan. 27 briefing. The are several storage possibilities, including Type 1000 recoverable storage and comparatively less expensive Type 2000 storage that allows maintainers to strip the airplanes for spare parts, he noted. The Air National Guard already has in its inventory more than 20 of the 38 C-27s that the Air Force planned to procure, but now doesn’t want to operate any longer since the service maintains that C-130s are able to support Army units directly in theater at less cost. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said on Jan. 27 he had signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Air Force on direct support that same day. “We’ll mitigate the loss of the C-27,” he said. “I’m not sure we’ll be able to completely mitigate it, but [the MOU] will help.” (Schwartz transcript) (Odierno transcript)
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.