Little Rock AFB, Arkansas
Little Rock Air Force Base (LRAFB), Little Rock, Arkansas is the home of the 314 th Airlift Wing and is the only C-130 training base for the Department of Defense. In addition to C-130s, jets (e.g., F-14s and F-18s) and other aircraft also use the airfield. Little Rock Air Force Base is located next to the city of Jacksonville in central Arkansas.
The host unit at Little Rock AFB is the 314th Airlift Wing. The 314th AW is responsible for airlifting supplies and people throughout the world and provides a major part of the "Global Power" leg of the Air Force's promise: Global Reach - Global Power for America. With a dual mission, worldwide aerial delivery and C-130 aircrew training, the wing organizes, equips and trains combat-ready airlift units to operate anywhere in the world. It is responsible for all C-130 training for the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard and many allied nations.
On 9 September 1952, the Air Force announced its decision to build a $31 million medium jet bomber base near Jacksonville Arkansas (about 25 miles northeast of Little Rock); construction began on 8 December 1953. By August 1954, the 384th Bombardment Wing (BMW) and 70th Reconnaissance Wing had been selected by SAC to reside at the base. As the two wings awaited movement orders, Col. Joseph A. Thomas (the first base commander) worked with various levels of government on construction of the base. Tragically, Colonel Thomas died in the crash of the bases's only aircraft, a C-54 that had been assigned for adminstrative flying. Finally, on 10 September 1955, the base opened to air traffic. The Air Force officially transferred to Little Rock AFB from SAC to the Tactical Air Command (TAC) on 1 April 1970. On 4 March 1970, the first C-130 arrived on base and began tactical airlift operations and training. On 31 May 1971, the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing (TAW) transferred to Little Rock AFB. Another major change occurred on base in December 1974, when the Air Force reassigned the 314th TAW from TAC to the Military Airlift Command (MAC). Thus, since its opening in 1955, the base has operated under four major commands - SAC, TAC, MAC and ACC. The base and its mission remained primarily unchanged until August 1987, when the 308th SMW was inactivated. The 314th TAW remained the host unit, supporting global airlift and providing primary C-130 training for U.S. aircrews as well as crews from friendly foreign nations. In June 1992, the 314th AW was aligned under the newly formed Air Mobility Command, the successor to MAC. Then again in October 1993, the 314th AW transferred to Air Combat Command (ACC). On April 1, 1997, the 314th AW transferred to the Air Education and Training Command.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 152d Airlift Wing (ANG) from Reno-Tahoe IAP AGS to the 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), Little Rock AFB.
DoD also recommended to close Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (ARS), NY. It would distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 914th Airlift Wing (AFR) to the 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Schenectady County Airport Air Guard Station (Air Guard Station), NY by transfering four C-130H aircraft from the 109th Airlift Wing (ANG) to the 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), Little Rock Air Force Base, AR.
In another Recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Pope AFB, NC. It would distribute the 43d Airlift Wing's C-130E aircraft (25 aircraft) to the 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB. At Little Rock AFB, DoD also recommended to realign eight C-130E aircraft to backup inventory, retire 27 C-130Es, realign one C-130J aircraft to the 143d Airlift Wing (ANG), Quonset State Airport AGS, RI, two C-130Js to the 146th Airlift Wing (ANG), Channel Islands AGS, CA, and transfer four C-130Js from the 314th Airlift Wing (AD) to the 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), Little Rock AFB. Active duty C-130s would move to Little Rock (17-airlift) to consolidate force structure at those two bases and enable Army recommendations at Pope. At Little Rock, older aircraft would be retired or converted to back-up inventory and J-model C-130s would be aligned under the Air National Guard.
DoD also recommended to close Mansfield-Lahm Municipal Airport Air Guard Station (AGS), OH. It would distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 179th Airlift Wing (ANG) to the 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB, AR (four aircraft) and another installations.
DoD also recommended to realign Dyess AFB, TX. The C-130 aircraft assigned to the 317th Airlift Group would be distributed to the active duty 314th Airlift Wing (22 aircraft) and ANG 189th Airlift Wing (two aircraft), Little Rock AFB, AR. The majority of the 317th's aircraft would go to Little Rock (17-airlift), which would enable consolidation of the active duty C-130 fleet into one stateside location at Little Rock, and would robust the ANG squadron to facilitate an active duty association with the Guard unit.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to close General Mitchell Air Reserve Station (ARS). This recommendation would distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 440th Airlift Wing to the 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB, AR (four aircraft).
In another Recommendation, DoD would establish a Mobility Air Forces Logistics Support Center at Scott Air Force Base by realigning Regional Supply Squadron positions from Hurlburt Field and Sembach (non-BRAC programmatic) and LRS positions from Little Rock Air Force Base and Altus Air Force Base.
Secretary of Defense Justifications: This first recommendation would realign Reno’s (101) C-130s to the Air National Guard at Little Rock Air Force Base (17), where a larger, more effective squadron size would be possible. This larger squadron at Little Rock would also create the opportunity for an association between active duty and the Air National Guard, optimizing aircraft utilization.
The second recommendation would distribute C-130 force structure to Little Rock (17-airlift), a base with higher military value.
The third recommendation would distribute C-130 force structure to Little Rock (17), which would have higher military value. Adding aircraft to the ANG unit at Little Rock would create a larger, more effective squadron. The LC-130 aircraft (ski-equipped) would remain at Schenectady (117).
In the fourth recommendation, Little Rock would grow to become the single major active duty C-130 unit, streamlining maintenance and operation of this aging weapon system.
Aircraft from the fifth recommended closure of Mansfield-Lahm Municipal Airport Air Guard Station (AGS), OH was distributed to Little Rock because of Little Rock's higher military value ranking.
This sixth recommendation consolidates the B-1 fleet at one installation to achieve operational efficiencies. Ellsworth (39) ranked lower in military value for the bomber mission than Dyess (20). To create an efficient, single-mission operation at Dyess, the Air Force realigned the tenant C-130s from Dyess to other Air Force installations. The majority of these aircraft went to Little Rock (17-airlift), which enables consolidation of the active-duty C-130 fleet into one stateside location at Little Rock, and strengthens the Air National Guard squadron to facilitate an active duty association with the Guard unit. The other C- 130s at Dyess were distributed to Elmendorf (51-airlift) and Peterson (30-airlift) to facilitate active duty associations with the Guard and Reserve units at these installations.
Adding aircraft at Little Rock under the seventh recommendation would optimize squadron size, creating a larger, more effective squadron. Additionally, this transfer would move C-130 force structure from the Air Force Reserve to the active duty--addressing a documented imbalance in the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve manning mix for C-130s. This recommendation distributes C-130 aircraft to two bases of higher military value, Little Rock Air Force Base (17) and Dobbins Air Reserve Base (71).
Combined with a recommendation to create a Combat Air Forces LRS, this eighth recommendation would be a transformational opportunity consistent with eLog21 initiatives that would standardize Air Force materiel management command and control. This recommendation would realign RSS manpower (from three MAJCOM locations) and base-level LRS manpower (from three installations) into two LSCs in support of Combat Air Forces and Mobility Air Forces. Consolidation would provide a seamless transition from peace to war for 3,012 aircraft and weapons systems associated with CAF/MAF forces and the Airmen that use them. It would also provide a single point of contact to the warfighter, whether at home station or deployed. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 28 jobs (16 direct jobs and 12 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (less than 0.1 percent).
Community Concerns: There were no formal expressions from the community.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that the Department of Defense's first recommendation to realign Reno-Tahoe International Airport Air Guard Station was based on insufficient military value data. The Commission noted that the C-130s at Reno have a special intelligence and reconnaissance mission. Therefore the Commission established a C-130 squadron at Reno-Tahoe IAP and at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Laydown Plan.
The Commission found that the Department of Defense recommendation to close Mansfield-Lahm Municipal Airport Air Guard Station was not supportable. The Commission establishes an enclave at Mansfield-Lahm Municipal Airport Air Guard Station, Ohio. The Commission established a C-130 wing at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard Laydown plan. This recommendation directing aircraft movement and personnel actions in connection with Air National Guard installations and organizations is designed to support the Future Total Force. The Commission expects that the Air Force will find new missions where needed, provide retraining opportunities, and take appropriate measures to limit possible adverse personnel impact. The Commission's intent is that the Air Force will act to assign sufficient aircrew and maintenance personnel to units gaining aircraft in accordance with current, established procedures. However, the Commission expects that all decisions with regard to manpower authorizations will be made in consultation with the governor of the state in which the affected Air National Guard unit is located. Any manpower changes must be made under existing authorities, and must be made consistent with existing limitations. Some reclassification of existing positions may be necessary, but should not be executed until the Air Force and the state have determined the future mission of the unit to preclude unnecessary personnel turbulence.
The Commission also found the cost for military construction at Little Rock Air Force Base was significantly underestimated and therefore the military construction costs associated with this recommendation were much higher. Further, the Commission found that the military personnel movement linked to the distribution of C-130s from Dyess Air Force Base, TX to Little Rock, AR, Elmendorf Air National Guard, AK and Peterson Air Reserve Station is inefficient because it resulted in a net increase in personnel managing and maintaining the C-130s.
The Commission found operational efficiencies gained by this recommendation. The Commission noted a risk to material management support to the Air Force during the transition period, but the Commission also recognized that the Air Force has, in-place, a detailed implementation plans to mitigate this risk.
Commission Recommendations: Realign Reno-Tahoe International Airport Air Guard Station, NV. Distribute the 8 C-130 aircraft assigned to the 152d Airlift Wing (ANG) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
Establish 9 PAA C-130 aircraft at the 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
Realign Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Distribute 39 of the C-130 aircraft assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criteria 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission has rejected the sixth recommendation of the Secretary.
The Commission found the Secretary's eighth recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission approves the recommendation of the Secretary.
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