Army Guard C-23 Sherpa Moratorium in Jeopardy
One of our top priorities this year has been placing a moratorium on the divestment of the C-23 Sherpa from the Army National Guard. In 2010, a memo from the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology directed the Army to divest the C-23 aircraft no later than December 31, 2014. However, the transition plan from the C-23 Sherpa to another aircraft is poorly defined and could result in loss of capabilities and harm the Guard's ability to respond appropriately to Homeland Defense/Homeland Security requirements as well as domestic emergencies.
NGAUS has successfully worked with our Congressional allies to ensure that the divestment of these critical airplanes is stopped. Language was included in the current Continuing Resolution that's now the law of the land until March 27, 2013.
There is also language in the House Appropriation and Authorization bill,. and NGAUS is working to ensure it's also captured in Senate bills once Congress comes back from recess. The essence of the language is as follows:
Prohibits the Army from divesting, retiring, transferring, or preparing to divest, retire, or transfer, any of the 38 C–23 aircraft assigned to the Army as of October 1, 2012.
Pretty clear, right? Well, we thought so....
As it turns out, the Army is moving forward with its plans against the will of Congress, and the law. As stated in the letter below from Texas Governor Rick Perry Florida Governor Rick Scott to the President (cc: General Odierno and Secretary McHugh), they are preparing to move the 4 aircraft slated to be divested from Texas and Florida beginning in November to a maintenance facility for engine swap and to remain at that location indefinitely.
Like the Governors, we're unaware of what authority the Army has to do this and look forward to hearing the Administration's response.
Editor's note: Though the letter references language in both the House and Senate bills as well as the CR, that is a misstatement. There is only language in the CR and House bills. NGAUS is currently working to get an amendment in the Senate.