Sixteen of the 20 C-27A transports the Air Force bought for the Afghan Air Force for $486 million did not to meet operational requirements in Afghanistan and were sold as scrap for $32,000, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said. In letters address to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, SIGAR John Sopko said the transports, also designated as G222, sat on the tarmac at Kabul International Airport for a considerable time “experiencing continuous and severe operational difficulties, including a lack of spare parts,” before they were sold to the Afghan construction company for six cents a pound. The fate of the other four C-27s, currently at Ramstein AB, Germany, has not been decided. Sopko said he was “concerned the officials responsible for planning and executing the scrapping of the planes may not have considered other possible alternatives in order to salvage taxpayers’ dollars.” He requested the Defense Department and US Central Command provide all communications and documents associated with the decision to scrap the aircraft for use in his continuing investigation.
As the Pentagon increasingly pivots its focus to strategic competition with China, the U.S. will look to expand its partnership with South Korea to increase security across the entire Indo-Pacific region, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Dec. 2 during a visit to the northeastern Asian nation.