Alexander to Air Force: C-17s Expected in Memphis in 2013

Says Air Force decision showed “a recognition of the unusually good facilities you have in Memphis”

Posted on March 14, 2012

WASHINGTON – At a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing today on the Air Force budget for fiscal year 2013 with Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) praised the Air Force’s decision to move C-17s to Memphis, saying it showed “a recognition of the unusually good facilities you have in Memphis and the same sort of conditions that the FedEx Superhub and the World Runway and others have.” The Air Force’s proposed restructuring would bring eight C-17 aircraft to the Tennessee Air National Guard base in Memphis to replace the aging C-5A fleet.  The C-17 cargo aircraft will allow the Tennessee Air National Guard to deliver troops and cargo to bases worldwide.

Alexander also asked General Schwartz for the Air Force’s timeline for moving the C-17s. A transcript of the exchange follows:

Alexander:  Mr. Secretary General Schwartz, thank you for being here. General Schwartz, we met a couple years ago and we talked about the C-17s and how to get them to Memphis and replace the aging C-5As. You’re now on a path to do that according to your proposals. As I understand the C-17s are to be relocated in fiscal year 2013. What’s the exact timeline for getting the C-17s to Memphis?

Schwartz:  I would like to get you the exact timeline for the record if I may but I think that is a reflection of a larger effort that’s underway to reshape airlift capabilities by retiring the big air craft, the 27 remaining C-5As, and repopulating with C-17s.

Alexander: Well you have come to a conclusion that I certainly support in recognition of the unusually good facilities you have in Memphis and the same kind of conditions at the FedEx Superhub and the World Runway and others have. It makes a lot of sense to do that and I’d be interested in any further detail about the timeline for that action.

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