Warm Southern Breeze

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Your Tax Dollars at Work: U.S. Air Force Mothballs $1.6 BILLION of New Aircraft

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Your Tax Dollars at Work: U.S. Air Force Mothballs $1.6 BILLION of New Aircraft

Nearly 13 years ago, in a speech given at the Pentagon, Monday, September 10, 2001, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in part that, “We cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion.”

As part of the Joint Cargo Aircraft Program, the Air Force ordered  $1,600,000,000 worth of C-27J aircraft from Alenia Aeronautica contracted through L3. Alenia is an Italian aerospace firm, while L-3 Communications Holdings is an American company headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, and is one of the Top 10 U.S. government contractors.

A Congressional Research Service Report for Congress entitled “Military Airlift: The Joint Cargo Aircraft Program” and dated December 18, 2007, states that the “Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) is a joint acquisition program between the Army and Air Force designed to procure a commercial off-the-shelf aircraft, capable of meeting Army requirements for “direct support” to maneuver units and Air Force requirements for “common-user” intra-theater airlift.”

Soon after the first CJ-27 arrived for service in Afghanistan, the USAF claimed “it could no longer afford the luxury of the aircraft,” yet in FY 2013, they ordered FOUR MORE of the BRAND NEW aircraft, and had them shipped directly to the “boneyard” – the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, near Tucson, Arizona.

Those four aircraft have never seen service.

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Forestry Service, and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) have all requested the recently-mothballed brand new aircraft. The Forestry Service says it could use seven C-27J and C-130J aircraft to serve as air tankers.

In a letter dated March 25, by Maj. Gen. Thomas Trask, SOCOM would use the eight C-27Js to replace the fleet of CASA 212 aircraft that support training at the U.S. John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

The Coast Guard has asked for all 21 of the Air Force’s C-27Js saying it would save the Coast Guard at least $1 billion in capital avoidance costs.

Meanwhile, $1.6 BILLION of new & unused aircraft sit gathering dust & rust in Tucson.

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