Closing military bases and consolidating operations to save money are not simple moves.
Take the Air Force’s constantly shifting plans to move 10 of the 20 C-130J Super Hercules transport planes. Stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., the planes are part of the Air Force Reserve 403rd Wing and are used primarily for tactical airlift missions.
Plans for where the planes and their crews should move have changed repeatedly, and at a head-spinning pace.
In February 2012, the Air Force announced that it would relocate Keesler’s 10 C-130J aircraft to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia. It was part of a long-term plan to save about $480 million.
At that time, Rep. Steven M. Palazzo (R-Miss.), who represents the area, told a local TV station, “We’re just going to ask the tough questions and . . . if they don’t have the right answers, I think it’s going to be safe, because we have to protect Keesler’s mission.”
Tough questioning turned up that moving to Dobbins would require larger hangars, which would require more money.
In March 2013, the Air Force announced that it had changed plans: The 10 C-130Js would be going to Pope Field, near Fayetteville, N.C., where there were hangars to accommodate the planes.