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Two C-17 squadrons to be inactivated over next two years

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Air Mobility Command will inactivate two C-17 Globemaster III squadrons during the next two years - one at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and one at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington - based on the President's Defense Budget for fiscal year 2015.

"In this fiscally constrained environment, we have to balance readiness, capability and capacity," said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Stough, the AMC Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs director.

"To best preserve this capability, the intent is to fund these aircraft back into primary mission aircraft inventory in future years, and transfer them to the Reserve Component -  and we're working with our Air National Guard partners to do that, perhaps even as early as FY16,” Stough said. “We rely on our total force partners to meet our global mobility requirements; we couldn't do the mission without them. We'll continue to leverage the unique strengths of the active and Reserve components to meet current and future requirements with available resources."

The Air Force plans to make adjustments over the next few years to the active duty, Reserve, and Guard components to ensure successful transitions to a leaner force that remains ready for future operations. 

The fiscal year 2015 President's Budget converts 16 AMC C-17s (eight from each base) from primary mission aircraft inventory to backup aircraft inventory.  As a result, AMC will inactivate the 17th Airlift Squadron at Charleston in fiscal year 2015; and the 10th Airlift Squadron at McChord, in fiscal year 2016. These inactivations are not new actions, but additional detail on the previously announced budget submission released in March. 

Backup aircraft inventory (BAI) are assigned with no manpower or flying hours. However, they will continue to receive funding needed to support weapon system sustainment. Converting 16 aircraft to BAI removes funding for the personnel and flying hours associated with those aircraft, for a savings of approximately $110M per year.