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Officials discuss C-130 future

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Dozens of C-130 officials from seven major commands assembled at Little Rock Air Force Base Oct. 10-11 to discuss the future of the Hercules and some of the issues currently facing its community in the second C-130 Summit.
The two-day event, directed by Air Mobility Command Commander Gen. Duncan McNabb and co-hosted by Maj. Gen. Thomas Kane, Air Mobility Command director of strategic plans, requirements and programs, and Maj. Gen. (S) Richard Perraut Jr., Air Education and Training Command director of plans, requirements and programs, is a forum that brings all facets of the C-130 community together to share information on the current fleet issues.
"The summit is a great way for commanders, crews and officials to network and try to resolve any problems the C-130 platform may be facing and to discuss what the C-130's future holds," said Maj. Scott Burch, 314th Airlift Wing chief of plans. "And what better place to gather than here, the C-130 Center of Excellence?"
Through briefings and open discussion, MAJCOM officials briefed commanders on concerns specific to their unit, including Base Realignment And Closure effects, force structure planning, how to manage the retirement of the C-130E model, how to acquire more C-130s to augment the Air Force fleet, the refurbishment and upgrade of the C-130H model through the "AMP" program and how a new joint cargo aircraft will play in future intratheater operations.
Another major challenge addressed in the summit was how officials planned to balance the future of the Program Flying Training, or PFT, program against the needs of the deployed combatant commander.
"It's a very difficult task to balance the needs of the C-130 to play a role in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Horn of Africa and the need to train qualified pilots to fly in those operations," said Major Burch.
Overall, the summit was a major success, said Major Burch. With the added perspectives compiled from the MAJCOMs, commanders can now take the items derived from the summit to those who write policy.