The President’s budget is grounding a squadron of cargo planes at Joint Base Charleston.
The Air Force announced over the weekend that it will ground one of the four C-17 flying units which are assigned to Joint Base Charleston. The decision was based on the President Barack Obama’s defense budget for fiscal year 2015, according to a statement from the Air Mobility Command (AMC).
“In this fiscally constrained environment, we have to balance readiness, capability and capacity,” Major Gen. Michael S. Stough, AMC’s Director of Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs said in the announcement. “To best preserve this capability, the intent is to fund these aircraft back into primary mission aircraft inventory in future years, and transfer them to the Reserve Component – and we’re working with our Air National Guard partners to do that, perhaps even as early as (Fiscal Year 2016).”
The 17th Airlift Squadron will be inactivated at Charleston by the end of the current fiscal year, along with another unit currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. The Air Force estimates the cost savings would be around $110 million each year. The 17th would be redesignated to backup status, meaning the planes will not be assigned crews or flying hours. However, they will continue to receive funding needed to support weapon system sustainment.
The Air Force has not said how many jobs will be affected.
Jay Harper contributed to this report