The United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Flight Company (UFC) has taken delivery of its first of seven L3/Alenia C-27J Spartans at a ceremony at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
The aircraft, all former USAF ANG machines which were divested after just two years of service due to budget cuts and had been in storage at the AMARG ‘boneyard’ in Arizona, will replace CASA C-212s in the paratrooper training role at Fort Bragg.
“This is a USASOC aircraft. It is available to support all USASOC units,” Brig. Gen. Clayton M. Hutmacher, USASOAC commanding general said. “Over the years, the personnel in the UFC have figured out how to gain the maximum amount of effectiveness and efficiency out of the CASA-212. I look forward to doing that with the C-27J, as we learn the capabilities and how we can best support. Right off the bat, we can more than double our jumper load, and they will pay dividends in the long run, as the costs to maintain the aging CASAs are more than what it takes to operate the C-27Js.”
Of the 21 ANG C-27Js built, USASOC will take seven and the US Coast Guard will take the other 14 aircraft. The RAAF has 10 C-27Js on order, with the first four aircraft to be delivered to a new training facility in Waco, Texas for crew training before arriving in Australia from March 2015.