Air Force puts temporary delay on moving C-130J’s from Keesler

Tuesday night, Biloxi City Councilman Kenny Glavan will present a resolution urging lawmakers to keep ten C-130J airplanes at Keesler Air force Base. Saturday, we learned from Rep. Steven Palazzo that the measure to move the planes to Arkansas has been temporarily delayed.

An influential member of Congress was at Keesler Air Force Base on Tuesday afternoon. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California is the Majority Whip. That means he has a lot of power and influence on the hill.

South Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo asked McCarthy to come to Keesler and see for himself exactly what the C-130 J aircraft do.

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The plan to transfer ten C-130J’s from Keesler Air Force Base to Little Rock, AR has caused quite a stir in this military community, and city officials are working diligently to save the aircraft.

“The city wants to show our support for Keesler, they’ve been breaking records. They’re an award winning base, and we think we’ve got a compelling case. We can possibly convince them that we’ve got to stay here,” said Glavan.

Glavan has authored a resolution to show his support for keeping the aircraft here. Local military veterans are fighting the fight as well. Richard Moss, who is a former commander of the 403rd, says moving the planes is just a bad decision.

“It’s going to cost money, especially in times of fiscal austerity to move those systems, and they’re going to lose combat capability for about two to three years,” said Moss.

It’s not just local leaders concerned about the move. Palazzo says he has been working diligently with the Air Force, begging them to reconsider this decision.

“We want more than just a delay. We would like to see them just leave the planes alone, leave them at Keesler, but we have the Secretary of the Air Force coming down at the end of May. I do think the delay is part because of the questions we’ve been asking,” said Palazzo.

WLOX
5/3/14