Keesler's 815th won't be inactivated just yet

Published: Jul. 29, 2014 at 8:18 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Air Force will keep the 815th Airlift Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base for the forseeable future.  What community leaders are waiting to hear is whether the decision to delay plans to inactivate the 815th could lead to C-130 aircraft remaining at Keesler Air Force Base.

The Air Force Reserve just announced it's putting off plans to mothball the 815th.  And that's added a layer of confusion to which base will be home to 10 C-130 currently parked at Keesler.

For months, South Mississippi community leaders have been asking Air Force brass to rethink plans to move 10 C-130 away from Keesler.  The current plan to be relocate those planes to Arkansas has been temporarily tabled.  Consequently, an Air Force Reserve news release says the uncertain timeline of aircraft transfers led the AFRC to announce Monday delaying the inactivation of the 815th.

Manning reductions in the 403rd Maintenance Group and 815th AS began as a result of actions generated from the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 law. "As always, the 403rd Wing leadership remains committed to taking care of our Airmen and families," said Col. Frank Amodeo of the 403rd. "We continue to evaluate the evolving situation and remain committed to safe mission accomplishment. Should the 10 aircraft in question depart, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, the "Hurricane Hunters," will remain at Keesler as the Wing's sole flying squadron."

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