OH Air Guard Gets First C-27J


Verified SOF
Aug 18, 2007
San Antonio Texas
This ought to be interesting to watch. The initial plan was to put 6 birds at 6 locations (2 at the schoolhouse). Latest and greatest has 12 birds at 3 locations. ANG wanted a 3.0:1 Crew to Aircraft ratio, bet big blue goes with 1.5:1 (standard ratio).

Publically we've said half of the birds will be in the AOR on any given day, ANG always tries to do these missions with volunteers. It'll be interesting to see how long "volunteerism" keeps the mission going. I wonder if OH got the first squadron because the unemplyment rate is so high they'll have a long list of volunteers. I also wonder how long before the Air Guard Leadership tries to make it a 21 day rotation.

Anyway, here is the link (for the photo) and the story:


The Air Force’s adoption of the C-27J Spartan cargo plane reaches a milestone Saturday when the 179th Airlift Wing in Columbus, Ohio, becomes the first unit to convert to C-27J operations.

The 179th, part of the Ohio National Guard, had flown the C-130H Hercules. In anticipation of the switch, crews traveled to the C-27J school house at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., for qualification training.

The Air Force is buying 37 C-27Js whose crews will focus on flying airlift missions for Army units and state Guard units.
The Air Guard system is broken, IMO, a waste of manpower and resources. I think the flightline at Bagram has 4 state's -130's on it right now. :uhh:

And there were more then 37 Sherpas which the -27 is replacing....

This will be "fun" to watch.
So what capability gap does this fill? Why is this bird even needed

The C-27 (AKA JCA) was a Congressional/OSD merge of two programs; the Army's Future Cargo Aircraft (FCA) and the AF's Light Cargo Aircraft (LCA).

FCA was intended to replace NG Intra-Theater Airlift (C-26, CASA212,C-23). CASA212, and the C-23 are unpressurized, this was not a problem when the planes are flow as intended, but it is a problem in Afghanistan. C-26 (aka the death-tube) was purchased as a VIPpersonnel transport, and has limited cargo capailities.
The Army wanted a pressurized plane that could do all three missions (i.e. limited cargo, and the ability to haul passengers). The plane cold take over for NG intra-theater aircraft, and relieve the pressure n the CH-47 fleet.

The AF was also looking for a low cost airframe to replace older C-130's. They wanted a smaller airframe that could go into airfields that were too small for a 130, and would only be taking 1-2 463L pallets.

At some point in time the AF and Army were told to merge the programs, JCA was born.

It's a valid requirement, sadly, the Army gets fucked again when trying to develop a joint airframe.

FWIW- The original plan had the first 70 plus airframes going to ArNG units, with ANG units getting the last birds built. Sec Gates reduced they buy from 145 to 75 to 38 airframes. I don't know the back scene politics , but the last program reduction took the planes away from the ArNG and transferred them to the ANG, ignoring the fact that the first planes had already been delivered. I suspect the AF was more willing to base the planes the way OSD wanted them based, and the ArNG was a little stubborn on it's basing plan (this is conjecture on my part).
FCA was intended to replace NG Intra-Theater Airlift (C-26, CASA212,C-23).

All currently done in Afghanistan by Blackwater/ Presidential Air. (And done very well I might add until the AF became involved in the process. Still, it is the best, most reliable show in town)
This article says Afgh AF has received 6? Am I reading it wrong? Not OH ANG..

Afghans are getting some refurbished ex Italian AF birds. OHANG is getting new J models.
Free-look for the BW birds to go away at some point in the future, those contracts were isued as fillers because Iraq was sucking everything up.
The C-27's will also be a good disaster relief aircraft, one of the Katrina lessons is we have more non C-130 friendly landing zones available then we understood. I see these birds as C-123 replacements.
I'll be sad to see them go. Outside of the Marine -53's when they were here, BW is the most reliable show in town.