Four C-130 Hercules line the flightline at Pope Air Force Base, N.C. (Tech. Sgt. Cynthia Aidoo / Air Force)
North Carolina lawmakers are moving to block the Air Force from another force structure proposal, preventing the service from inactivating the 440th Airlift Wing at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., today introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to protect the reserve C-130H unit.
“While these proposed cuts do not reflect a final agreement, I remain deeply concerned about the effect this will have back home,” Ellmers said in a statement. “These cuts would be detrimental for the Fayetteville community — eradicating jobs and damaging the livelihood of many hard working men and women who serve Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield.”
The Air Force previously planned to transfer 10 new C-130Js to the base from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. Under the fiscal 2015 proposal, however, those aircraft would go to Little Rock, Ark. Mississippi lawmakers have protested that move and are likely to block it as well. The Air Force has previously tried to cut much of its C-130H fleet, including a proposal to cut 22 of the planes. That effort was blocked in the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill.
The service flies 262 total C-130Hs.Their average age is more than 26 years, according to Air Force data. In fiscal 2013, they flew at a mission capable rate of 75.3.
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