A C-17 Globemaster III sits on the flightline at Travis AFB, Calif., on Oct. 24. Air Force photo by SSgt. Amber Carter.
Air Mobility Command is still trying to figure out exactly how it will
increase the number of its C-17 squadrons, while simultaneously looking
to reduce the size of its C-130 fleet.
The Air Force at AFA’s Air, Space
& Cyber conference last month outlined its
plan to grow the number of total squadrons
to 386, which included a large increase for Air Mobility Command
airlift and aerial refueling squadrons.
The “Force We Need” calls for
more airlift, but only with C-17s. Specifically, the Air Force wants an
increase of three C-17 squadrons, with a corresponding drop of two
USAF studies have shown the strategic airlifter is in
higher demand for potential future conflicts than the tactical C-130,
AMC boss Gen. Maryanne Miller told reporters on Friday.
The plan is
largely based on classified information, so the Air Force’s reasoning
for why it would need the larger C-17 isn’t public. However, Air
Mobility Command is finalizing a mobility capabilities study for its
future needs, which is in coordination with the Pentagon and Congress
and will be released in the near future.
The Air Force cannot, right
now, say how any potential jump in the C-17 fleet would be possible
because the Boeing production line for C-17s has closed. Those details
“we have not looked at,” and would be the focus of future discussions
with Congress. The “Force We Need” plan is an “initial stage” to get the
concept out there, and more in-depth discussions are forthcoming,
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