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Still On: The Air National Guard "is still planning" for the initial deployment of its new C-27J tactical transport to happen in July, according to Maj. Tom Crosson, National Guard Bureau spokesman. The aircraft is envisioned to provide direct airlift support to Army forces in places like Afghanistan. Crosson told the Daily Report Wednesday that there are eight C-27s so far in the fleet. Four are with the Ohio Air Guard's 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield. Two more are with the Maryland Air Guard's 135th Airlift Group in Baltimore, and the remaining two are at the current training schoolhouse at Robins AFB, Ga. Beyond that, "We have two additional aircraft at Waco, Tex., getting ready to be released," he said. Both of those will go to the Maryland unit. Overall, the Air Guard is scheduled to receive 38 C-27s under current plans. (For more on the C-27's preparations for combat, read Spartan Beginnings from Air Force Magazine's 2011 archive.)