To install this webapp, tap share then Add to Home Screen.


To install this webapp, please open in Safari.

Guard C-130 Community Makes Case to Congress

07-19-22 WR C-130s
07-19-22 WR C-130s
Washington Report

The Air National Guard C-130 community made its case for additional resources to congressional staffers at the annual C-130 Breakfast on Capitol Hill on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

NGAUS has sponsored the event for several years to thank lawmakers for continuously supporting the Guard C-130 community and keeping them informed of the service's ongoing C-130 requirements, said Priya Ghosh Ahola, the association’s deputy legislative director and manager of Air programs.

The Guard C-130 community includes airlift units in 17 states.

Lawmakers are responsible for filling large gaps in Air Force funding to help modernize and recapitalize Guard tactical airlifters.

In fiscal 2022 appropriations, Congress added $272.2 million to the president’s budget request to modernize aging H-model C-130 Hercules cargo planes and $1.88 billion for purchasing 16 new C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft for the Guard.

The Air Force has never included money in the president’s budget to modernize Guard C-130Hs or buy C-130Js for the Guard.

Col. Bryan Preece, the commander of West Virginia’s 130th Airlift Wing, told breakfast attendees their help is critical for maintaining the Guard C-130 fleet.  

“Upgrading our H-model aircraft is vital to the C-130 community staying around,” Preece said. “We need also to get more J-models. It’s important to our states and to our country.”

Preece’s wing is among three Guard C-130 units converting to larger, more advanced J models.

But many other Guard wings fly H models, which need new engines, propellers and avionics.

Preece said the Air Force plans to cut 24 C-130Hs (or three full squadrons) by the end of fiscal 2025, even though modernization would extend their lifespans many years, bridging the gap until units receive C-130Js.

Congress would ultimately have to approve any cuts and the procurement of additional J models.

“I want to see it upgraded because I know what it is capable of and what an important aircraft it is to our nation,” Preece said. 

Retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president, said that it was important to keep Guard units flying missions at home and abroad.

“We certainly don’t need to lose any C-130 capacity in the National Guard,” Robinson said. “They reside in the states where they’re needed. We need to make sure the fielding of aircraft is concurrent and proportional. It’s what’s right for the nation. It’d be different if the Air Force had some skin in the game when it came to buying C-130Js for the Guard, but they don’t.”

Col. Daniel Begin, the commander of the 166th Maintenance Group in the Delaware Air National Guard, echoed the importance of the Guard’s domestic mission, which in recent years has included moving personnel and equipment while addressing storms, COVID-19 and civil unrest. 

“Domestic response is one of the core tenets of the National Guard and the Air National Guard,” he said. “If you pull C-130s out of a wing or multiple wings, that may work for the international away game from the U.S. Air Force’s perspective, but it doesn’t work for the domestic response perspective."

 - By Donald Lambert