Fiscal budget request could affect Robins

  • Published
  • By Rick Brewer
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
A number of Robins organizations could be directly impacted by weapons systems changes outlined in the Air Force's fiscal 2013 budget request.

The changes include the elimination of 227 aircraft in fiscal 2013 and a total of 286 aircraft through fiscal year 2017. They were unveiled in a news conference Feb. 3 by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz.

Among the aircraft identified for possible elimination:

27 C-5As, 65 C-130s and 18 Global Hawks. The 402nd Maintenance Wing performs depot-level maintenance on C-5s and C-130s. The Aerospace Sustainment Directorate manages all three systems.

38 C-27Js. Pilot training for that platform is conducted here by a contractor.

1 E-8C Joint STARS aircraft which is "damaged beyond economical repair." The Joint STARS mission is performed by the 116th and 461st Air Control Wings.

21 A-10s and 5 KC-135s assigned to reserve forces. These are part of Air Force Reserve Command, which would also be impacted by a number of the C-5 and C-130 retirements.

The changes will reportedly save the service $8.7 billion over the next five years.

Donley said the changes will also align Air Force assets with the Defense Department's new strategic guidance, which requires the joint force to be capable of fighting one large scale, combined arms campaign with sufficient combat power to also deny a second adversary, and de-emphasizes large-scale, prolonged stability operations.

Schwartz said to ensure an agile and ready force, the Air Force is making "... a conscious choice not to maintain more force structure than we could afford to properly train and equip."

The service is taking "this approach to preserve the capabilities the nation requires of its Air Force," he explained.

During the press conference, Donley and Swartz did not discuss manpower numbers associated with the changes. However, in a follow-on news release, the Air Force said those numbers are being finalized and will be included in "an entire force structure announcement" in early March.