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C-27J Spartans assist hurricane relief efforts


A Coast Guardsman prepares to board a C-27J Spartan

A Coast Guardsman prepares to board a C-27J Spartan in Milwaukee to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief. The HC-27J Asset Project Office deployed the above aircraft to assist in relief for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard deployed C-27J Spartans – its newest medium range surveillance aircraft – to assist in relief following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The HC-27J Asset Project Office (APO) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, deployed two C-27Js in response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 28 to Sept. 4. During this time, the aircraft flew just under 50 hours and completed 31 sorties, transporting approximately 210 people and 75,000 pounds of cargo.

Air Station Sacramento, California, also deployed a C-27J with Pacific Strike Team and Sacramento personnel aboard Aug. 28. The aircraft carried an all-terrain vehicle, rescue skiffs, pollution response equipment and medical supplies to Mobile, Alabama.

The HC-27J APO also deployed a C-27J to Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico to aid in Irma relief efforts Sept. 8-13. The aircraft transported Coast Guard liaison officers, disaster assessment teams, urban search and rescue teams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel, mail from the U.S. Postal Service, and relief supplies – a total of 42 passengers and more than 30,000 pounds of cargo. The aircraft also conducted post-storm reconnaissance of the Bahamian island Great Inagua and transported parts for cutters that had evacuated from Florida to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“Throughout hurricane response operations, the C-27J proved to be well suited for rapid movement of small- to moderate-size loads of personnel, equipment and supplies over relatively short distances,” said Capt. Eric Storch, HC-27J APO commanding officer. “The availability and reliability of the deployed C-27J aircraft provided planners with an alternative to dedicating the larger C-130 aircraft that, if used, would have flown with a partially empty cargo compartment.” He added that the APO’s deployed C-27Js flew more than 50 sorties and over 90 flight hours total for both hurricanes.

Seven C-27Js are stationed at the HC-27J APO, and six are stationed at Air Station Sacramento, California. The 14th and final C-27J is scheduled to arrive at the APO later this month after undergoing regeneration work to bring it out of long-term storage.

For more information: Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft program page