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Air Force Reserve Command delays inactivation of 815th Airlift Squadron

A line of C-130J aircraft from the 815th and 345th and WC-130J aircraft from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron taxi onto the runway before takeoff for Operation Surge Capacity here April, 5, 2014.  Sixteen aircraft from the 403rd Wing took part in a large scale training exercise designed to test the wing's abiltiy to launch and recover a large formation of aircraft and to execute airdrops.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens)

The Air Force Reserve Command announced July 28, 2014, the delay of the inactivation of the 815th Airlift Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. AFRC delayed movement of the 10 C-130J aircraft earlier this year. The continued uncertain timeline of aircraft transfers led the AFRC to delay the inactivation of the tactical airlift squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The Air Force Reserve Command announced Monday the delay of the inactivation of the 815th Airlift Squadron here.

The 815th AS, referred to as the "Flying Jennies," is a tactical airlift unit in the 403rd Wing.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 called for the transfer of 10 C-130J aircraft to Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina. With the transfer of those aircraft, plans also included closing the 815th AS and 345th AS, the active component associate unit. Closing those two squadrons along with associated reductions in aircraft maintenance personnel would result in the loss of 477 personnel.

The NDAA 15 calls for the closing of the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Army Air Field, North Carolina, and changes the final bed down of the 10 Keesler AFB C-130J aircraft to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

Until NDAA 15 is ultimately decided, AFRC delayed movement of the 10 C-130J aircraft earlier this year. The continued uncertain timeline of aircraft transfers led AFRC to announce Monday delaying the inactivation of the 815th AS, said Col. Frank L. Amodeo, 403rd Wing commander.

Manning reductions in the 403rd Maintenance Group and 815th AS began as a result of actions generated from the NDAA 14 law.

"As always, the 403rd Wing leadership remains committed to taking care of our Airmen and families," said Amodeo. "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."