Texas Governor, Lawmakers Fight to Preserve Fort Worth C-130s
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), along with members of the state’s congressional delegation, on Wednesday urged the Air Force to reverse its plan to move eight Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth to Great Falls, Mont., claiming the move would leave millions of Gulf Coast residents vulnerable in a natural disaster.
“As long as these critical air assets are based in Fort Worth, they can be deployed across our state or across the Gulf Coast with a simple phone call, and be in action within hours as part of the Texas Air National Guard,” Perry said. “Moving these assets across the country would effectively abandon millions of Americans from the tip of Texas across the Gulf Coast during critical times of need when every minute counts.”
The Air Force’s fiscal 2013 budget request proposes replacing the 136th Airlift Wing’s C-130s with at least nine MC-12W reconnaissance aircraft. The proposal is part of an Air Force budget-cutting plan to retire 286 aircraft over the next five years. Officials have said the moves at Fort Worth are intended to realign the Air Force’s C-130 fleet.
Rep. Kay Granger (R), who sits on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said she would seek to include a provision in the FY 2013 spending bill prohibiting the moves, reported kxan.com.
“It’s not just these C-130s,” Granger said. “The overall plan for the C-130s doesn’t make sense to us. And not just me, the entire subcommittee.”
Last month, the governors from the four other Gulf Coast states joined Perry in writing to President Obama to convince him to reconsider relocating the Fort Worth aircraft.