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Jones: Coast Guard base to create 56 new jobs


The Daily Advance

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The U.S. Coast Guard will create 56 new jobs in Elizabeth City as part of its effort transforming 14 former Air Force cargo airplanes into aircraft the agency can use saving boaters’ lives, responding to disasters and intercepting drug dealers off the nation’s coasts.

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This is a win/win/win.

This deal has been in the making ever since the Air Force determined they didn't want to retain the newly acquired C-27J's which was about a year ago. The Coast Guard, US Forest Service and a Special Ops Unit of the Air Force requested use of the 21 aircraft. In the final plan the CG will get 14 C-27's, and the remainder go to the Special Ops Unit. The US Forrest Service gets 7 of the CG's older C-130H models with the caveat the Air Force must overhaul them to bring them to standards for being used as tanker fire suppressant aircraft, with the additional caveat the CG will help with the maintenance. This article talks about an Aircraft Program Office here at ALC in Elizabeth City which will require the 56 employees to missionize the C-27J's to CG requirements. Additionally the CG will receive 6 new C-130J models. The only CG air station that flies the J model is Elizabeth City, so I foresee additional flying and training time here in Elizabeth City to train the additional crews to man the new C-130J's. When the J models get to the point where they require depot overhaul maintenance, that will be performed here at DRS like the H model currently are, at least until the 5 year/200 million $ plus contract is in effect. This all equates to more jobs for DRS, more jobs at ALC, more training/flying, thus more personnel at Air Station Elizabeth City, a much superior aircraft for the CG's Medium Range SAR requirement, the Forrest Service gets 6 relatively new tankers, the Special Ops Unit gets 7 new aircraft and Elizabeth City, both CG and DRS get all this additional work which translates to jobs and dollars for the local economy. God bless all the CG/AF/Forrest Service/Special Ops managers who planned this along with the elected officials, economic developers, business officials who worked together to make it happen. This is the best economic news to come to Elizabeth City and the northeast in a long time. Hallelujah.

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