Delayed: Plans to relocate Keesler's C-130 Js on hold

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - WLOX News has just learned plans to relocate half of Keesler's C-130 J aircraft are on hold. Those planes, and the reservists assigned to them, will remain in Biloxi until at least April first.

The Air Force's original plan was to move the 10 aircraft to Pope Field in North Carolina.  At the time, military leaders said the relocation talk was part of an initiative to trim $480 billion in defense spending.

"The Air Force's decision to postpone ten aircraft leaving Keesler is welcomed news for our employees and their families affected by the restructuring," said Col. Craig LaFave, Commander of the 403rd Reserve Wing.

"All future proposals to our C-130 fleet is speculative now,but is tied to planned Army and Marine Corps strength reductions, which ultimately drives the need for tactical airlift.  We should have more clarity over the next few months as to how their end strengths are shaping up and what that might mean for Team Keesler."

One of the units assigned to the C-130 J is the 815th Air Squadron. The other unit is the 345th. The Keesler reservists use those planes to drop equipment and supplies into war zones around the world.

At this time, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is not scheduled to lose aircraft or personnel.

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