Air Force Reserve

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There are two reserve air components, the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. The Air Force Reserve is actually smaller than the Air National Guard, and while recent discussions around consolidating the two have focused on ending the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve would actually be easier to eliminate, both because it has fewer assets and because it can be eliminated without involving state governors in the debate about the decision.

The Air Force Reserve has the following Aircraft assets:

Bombers:

B-52 (8) Ancient Bomber; still delivered most of the payloads used in 2003. Entered service in 1955. Last of class built in 1962.

Fighter and Attack:

F-16 (59) Multi-role ground based fighter. Eventually to be replaced by the F-35A. Entered service 1979.

A-10 (39) Close air support attack aircraft. Entered service 1977. This is primarily used for anti-tank and anti-infantry combat. It was originally to be replaced by the F-35A, and is now being upgraded for continued use.

Cargo Aircraft:

C-130 Hercules (100) A short range (1500nm), short takeoff and landing (3,000 feet), small airlift turboprop aircraft. Can hold 92 troops or a 45,000 lbs cargo payload. First deployed in 1955. (Includes 1 AF NC-130 & 8 ANG LC-130 aircraft).

C-141 (40) Long range, medium weight airlift. Eventually to be replaced by the C-17.

C-5 Galaxy (28) A long range, heavy load airlift jet aircraft. Payload 261,000. Crew 6. $168 million ea. Entered service 1970. 5,165 nm range without refueling.

MC-130 (12) Special Operations variant of C-130 for airdrop missions.

Tanker Aircraft:

KC-135 (64) A Boeing 707 based tanker. Entered service 1957-1965.

HC-130 (9) A C-130 based tanker (presumably for helicopters).

Reconaissance, Intelligence and Command:

OA-10 (6) A-10 Warthog adapted for Recon

EC-130 (2) Electronic warfare jamming aircraft based on C-130.

WC-130 (2) Weather aircraft based on C-130.

Helicopters:

HH-60 (21) A modern Blackhawk utility helicopter.

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