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What Lies Ahead: OSD’s restructure of the C-5 reliability enhancement and re-engining program hasn’t solved one issue for the Air Force: how many of the 59 C-5A aircraft not getting the new engines it will retain vs. retire in the nearer term. “This does not address the retirement situation, because, as you know, we have [Congressional] language that says we won’t retire any C-5As until we get the results of testing on RERP,” Air Force acquisition official Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman told reporters on Feb. 15 during a meeting in the Pentagon. Hoffman said the Air Force would not know the results of RERP testing until around Fiscal 2010. “To retire any C-5As, we would need relief from that language,” he said. USAF leadership has hinted that it would prefer to retire some of its oldest, least reliable C-5s and acquire new C-17s in their place. Last year, the service championed a notional 30/30 plan that called for essentially swapping out 30 C-5As for 30 C-17s. In addition to the Congressional restrictions, funding shortfalls and the RERP Nunn-McCurdy review (see above) put those plans on hold. Under the restructured RERP plan, the service's 59 C-5A models will only undergo the avionics modernization program portion. For those, said Hoffman, there is “still an issue there of whether ... they are considered modernized or not.” He said the final decision “will probably be based” on the findings of the Pentagon’s next comprehensive mobility study that is already underway.