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Tue, Aug 07, 2012

Members Of Congress Set Sights On 'Surplus' C-27J Aircraft

Would Transfer The Planes From The Air Force To The Forest Service For Firefighting

Two U.S. House members from California have introduced legislation that would transfer 14 C-27J airlifters from the Air Force to the U.S. Forest Service to be used in firefighting efforts.

Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA-29) and Judy Chu (D-CA-32) have sponsored the legislation that would transfer 14 of 21 new or nearly-new C-27Js (similar aircraft pictured in file photo) that the Air Force says it no longer needs to the Forest Service for firefighting purposes. The Altadena Patch reports that Schiff said in a new release that the U.S.F.S. needs to increase the number of planes it has for water drops on wildfires, even though he has been critical of such practices at night in the past.

"The Forest Service should be examining any and all ways to improve their approach to fighting wildfires, including updating and replacing their aging fleet of airplanes," Schiff said in the release. "The proposal to transfer surplus military aircraft to the USFS deserves careful consideration by the agency. While we are still waiting for answers from the Station Fire, I will continue to look for proactive steps that the agency can take, like this legislation, to modernize both their equipment and general approach to fighting wildfires."



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