May 27, 2021

Duckworth Secures Commitment from Secretary of the Air Force Nominee to Examine C-130 Divestiture


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — During a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) nominations hearing Tuesday, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) discussed her concerns about the Air Force’s plan to further divest of the C-130 airframe—the workhorse of the Air Force—with Secretary of the Air Force nominee, the Honorable Frank Kendall III.  Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is Chair of the SASC Airland Subcommittee. Video of the Senator’s remarks can be found here.

“The Reserve Components have seen unprecedented activity in the last few years, and our air wings are no exception,” said Duckworth. “The Air National Guard’s C-130 fleet has provided 68% of hurricane support and 42% of civil unrest support since FY18. These domestic operations are only projected to grow in coming years. In short, our nation relies on our Reserve Component C-130 fleet, composed of hardworking units like the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria.”

When asked to commit to working with the Governors and The Adjutant Generals (TAGs) of States that host National Guard and Reserve C-130 Air Wings, Mr. Kendall responded, “I absolutely can commit to taking all those things into consideration [sic], and I would agree certainly to work with the TAGs and the States to make sure their needs are met.”

As C-130 divestment looms, Duckworth also expressed concern that the Air Force does not have a viable replacement to fulfill its critical air mobility role, especially in a contested logistics environment in the Indo-Pacific region. During her questioning, she secured a commitment from Mr. Kendall to review the overall mobility posture and rapidly deliver a plan for the modernization of the Air Force’s air mobility platforms that factors in overseas and domestic missions.