Mar 26 2015

Last year’s defense bill required the Air Force to submit a report to Congress on its plans for the fielding of C-130 aircraft before taking any action. The 440th was originally slated to receive new C-130J planes to replace its older C-130Hs, but Air Force officials shelved that program and opted to deactivate the airlift wing.

The Air Force has said it is permitted to move airmen, though not planes, before issuing the report to Congress. That position previously elicited sharp criticism from Tillis.

“That does not pass the laugh test unless the Air Force Reserve Command expects the Pope C-130s to be converted to drones—no pilots, no air wing,” he said.

The Air Force Reserve Command declined to comment on the concerns raised by Tillis following his meeting with James.

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