Maxwell's C-130s Confirmed by Air Force Report
Eight C-130 aircraft will remain with the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, according to recently released Air Force plans.
The Air Force Report on C-130 Force Structure reinforces a temporary November 2012 decision not to move forward with a plan to transfer the aircraft away from unit. After scrutiny from Rep. Roby and other members of Alabama's Congressional Delegation, the Air Force elected not to transfer the existing aircraft as planned, but instead assigned an additional eighth C-130 to the unit.
The President's Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request originally called for relocating the aircraft operated by the Maxwell-based 908th Airlift Wing, citing the need for greater efficiencies. Congressional leaders, led by U.S. Representative Martha Roby and including U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, met directly with the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force to question the cost saving benefits of the plan, and successfully inserted into the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act a requirement that the Air Force conduct and publish a thorough cost-benefit analysis before moving forward.
That analysis, published as the Air Force Report on C-130 Force Structure, includes the eight Maxwell C-130s as its "most efficient basing alignment" through Fiscal Year 2020. Under the report, the national C-130 fleet will be reduced by an additional 20 aircraft over the next three years.
Rep. Roby, who has been engaged on the C-130 issue since learning of the Air Force's initial plans, said the report confirms some good news for Montgomery and allows those associated with the 908th greater certainty.
"The Air Force's report confirms what we had suspected all along: relocating Maxwell's C-130s didn't meet the Air Force's cost-savings goals," she said. "By requiring the Air Force to conduct and provide an actual cost-benefit analysis, we were able to stop an arbitrary reshuffling of aircraft that would have disrupted the important mission there at Maxwell.
"Our Alabama delegation has been highly engaged on this issue over the past few years, and it is nice to see our teamwork pay off. I appreciate the diligent work of Senators Shelby and Sessions, as well as my colleague here in the House, Rep. Mike Rogers."
The 908th has a stellar record of performance and has been awarded the Air Force's Outstanding Unit seven times.
"The 908th Airlift Wing is an important asset for our country and for Alabama. I'm proud to know the men and women of the 908th and to advocate on their behalf. This unit has flown all over the world in support of our various missions, adding great value to our military efforts. I know because I've flown with them and seen firsthand their professionalism in theater. Alabama is proud to be home to the 908th, and I hope this news from the Air Force provides them and their families greater certainty."