Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), applied public pressure at a recent House Armed Services Committee Readiness Subcommittee hearing on Air Force Aircraft Structure Reductions. Palazzo questioned Lieutenant General Christopher D. Miller, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs.
“From every angle, it seems that the movement of aircraft will actually cost more in the long run,” Palazzo stated. “Can you explain why, in a time where we are all talking about the cost of doing business, we are making decisions that will increase costs?”
Palazzo went on to speak specifically of plans to move C-130J aircraft from Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi to Dobbins Reserve Base in Atlanta.
“Dobbins does not have the appropriate facilities to house an active duty component, and the hangars at Dobbins are not capable of housing the C-130J stretch model aircraft,” Palazzo stated. “This means that millions of dollars of MILCON would be required just to move these aircraft that are suited perfectly for Keesler and the facilities there.”
While Lt. General Miller avoided commenting on specific costs of moving aircraft from Keesler to Dobbins, he acknowledged, “It is true that the facilities there are not exactly suited at present for the C-130J.”
Palazzo joined colleagues in including language in the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent the movement of C-130’s from Keesler until the Air Force produces a full cost analysis and operational advantages in writing to Congress. His questions at Thursday’s hearing echoed a letter sent May 21st, 2012 to Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley about costs associated with the move of C-130J’s from Keesler to Dobbins.