The 439th Airlift Wing at Westover ARB, Mass., will lose half of its C-5B aircraft due to federal budget cuts and the continuing impacts of sequestration. Eight Galaxies will transfer from Westover to JBSA-Lackland, Texas, beginning in 2015, states an April 28 release. In addition, the wing will lose some 300 personnel, including 59 full-time enlisted and 275 drilling Reservists, states the release. “We will take care of our people. We will place as many as possible in other positions within the wing and programs will be available to assist those displaced by this change in force structure,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Vautrain, 439th AW commander. “We will continue to fulfill our global mobility mission before, during, and after these changes.” The reductions are a move towards compliance with the Budget Control Act’s mandated $487 billion in defense cuts over the next eight years, states the release.
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.