Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has included language in the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization that will continue use of the C-27J cargo fleet by the U.S. Air Force as authorized in December in the Senate FY 2012 Defense Authorization bill.
Hoeven said the provision is another step forward in securing the C-27J mission for the North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo, and that he'll continue to work to get funding for the aircraft as a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. The Air Guard in Fargo is in line to base and maintain four C-27J aircraft.
Hoeven made the case for the C-27J program with Armed Services Committee Chairman Illinois Senator Carl Levin and Ranking Member John McCain of Nevada, as well as Ohio Senator Rob Portman.
Senator Hoeven is also working to secure funding for the C-27J program in the FY 2013 budget in his position as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The senator advocated for the C-27J fleet during an Appropriations Subcommittee meeting last week.
The C-27J is a smaller, more flexible cargo aircraft used to transport materials in support of combat operations. It is able to operate in remote and rough environments and can take off and land from unprepared surfaces and short airstrips. Hoeven said in the larger scheme of things, the C-27J is more efficient and will save money.
"Today's action by the Senate Armed Services Committee provides important support to continue the C-27J mission for the North Dakota Air National Guard," Hoeven said. "The aircraft are already authorized and paid for, they're brand new, and they're suited to both domestic and foreign operations. Importantly, they're also less expensive to operate than the larger C-130. That's good for Fargo, good for the Air Force and good for our country."