Spartans Bring Power to New York

Three Air National Guard C-27J transports flying from Mansfield, Ohio, brought two much-needed diesel power generators and two Humvees to tow them to Stewart ANG Base in Newburgh, New York, to support recovery efforts after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the US Northeast. These Nov. 3 flights were “the first-ever C-27J domestic operations missions,” according to a release from the Maryland Air Guard’s 175th Wing in Baltimore. One of the unit’s C-27s was part of the three-ship package, along with one airlifter each from Mississippi’s 186th Air Refueling Wing in Meridian and Ohio’s 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield. The Baltimore C-27 carried the generators; the other aircraft each brought a Humvee. “It is nice to do the stateside mission, which is why a lot of people signed up in the National Guard,” said Capt. Paul Mercier, copilot of the 175th Wing C-27. The mission “was very successful and showed the capabilities [of] the C-27J,” he added. The Air Force proposed divesting the C-27 fleet in Fiscal 2013 due to more pressing funding priorities and the belief that C-130s could handle the vast majority of missions for which the C-27s were originally acquired. The Fiscal 2013 defense legislation is not yet completed, but so far lawmakers have not supported this proposal. (Baltimore report by TSgt. David Speicher)