Sen. Thom Tillis said in a letter to military leaders that he believes the moves the Air Force Reserve is taking undermines the spirit of the Congressional requirement.
But Palmer said lawyers have determined the language only prevents the movement of planes, not force structure changes.
He said the Air Force plans to shutter the 440th Airlift Wing, first announced last March, have remained in place.
The Air Force Reserve extended funding through half the fiscal year to help the 440th close, Palmer said. With that money running out at the end of next month, steps are being taken to help airmen find new units or decide the next step in their military careers.
"Only in Washington could bureaucrats believe that C-130s can fly themselves without pilots and maintainers," said Daniel Keylin, communications director for Tillis.
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