by T.A. DeFeo
Georgia’s congressional delegation said the Air Force should select Marietta’s Dobbins Air Reserve Base for a new version of the C-130 to replace an older model of the venerable aircraft.
The lawmakers want the Air Force Reserve Command to recapitalize eight C-130H aircraft with the newer C-130J at Dobbins ARB.
According to the Air Force, the C-130J reduces manpower and operating and support costs. The aircraft needs shorter distances for take-offs and landings, and it can climb faster and higher and fly longer distances than earlier C-130 models.
“There is no place else in America with closer ties, both operational and industrial, to the historic and indispensable C-130 and all its variants than the Marietta and north Atlanta community,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall.
U.S. Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both D-Georgia, and all 14 House members from Georgia — six Democrats and eight Republicans — signed the letter.
Dobbins ARB is home to the 22nd Air Force and the 94th Airlift Wing. It also hosts the Georgia National Guard Headquarters and a Navy Operational Support Center.
According to the letter, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, located near the base, conducts more than $728 million of research annually for the government and the private industry.
Kendall is expected to make his preferred location decision between now and the end of the year and his final decision between June and August of next year. It is unclear whether sending the aircraft to Dobbins ARB would save taxpayers any money.
Last month, Warnock announced $5 million in federal money for Dobbins ARB to plan and design an Army Reserve Center. The center will be a training facility for up to 800 servicemembers.
– – –
T.A. DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square.