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Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke

Air Guard readies for C-27J fleet

For the first time, Air National Guard aircrews will be the sole operators of a new aircraft straight off the assembly line. The C-27J Spartan, the latest propeller-driven airlifter, is an "extremely rugged" aircraft, designed for austere environments, said Air Force officials. It is about half the size of a C-130 Hercules and hasĀ 3.5 cargo pallet positions. "It is the first time in U.S. Air Force history where the service acquired a new airframe solely owned, operated and maintained by the Air National Guard," said Lt. Col.