USAF C-27J makes domestic debut in disaster relief operations
By Gareth Jennings
The US Air Force (USAF) has flown the first domestic mission of its Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, the service announced on 5 November.
Air National Guard (ANG) crews from Ohio, Mississippi and Maryland conducted the missions on 3 November when they transported power generation equipment and Humvee vehicles into Stewart ANG Base in New York.
The USAF said the twin-turboprop C-27J (dubbed C-27B in US service) was chosen for this mission as it "has access a wide range of airfields, including short, unprepared strips while transporting heavy loads", adding that the aircraft can get into smaller unprepared airfields that are off-limits to larger types, such as the Boeing C-17A Globemaster III and the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules.
The C-27J was originally procured under the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) programme with the US Army. Launched in 2007, the plan at that time was to buy up to 78 aircraft, with the air force fielding 54 to supplement its C-130 fleet and the army operating 24 to replace its ageing C-12 Huron and C-23 Sherpa platforms.184 of 256 words
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