The first Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan for the US Coast Guard arrived at the service’s HC-27J Asset Project Office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on 13 November. It will be used to train and qualify aircrew and maintenance personnel, as well as develop flight and maintenance procedures for Coast Guard-specific mission profiles. Ultimately the aircraft will receive the equipment and systems needed to perform the full spectrum of Coast Guard missions.
The C-27J concerned – serial number 2714 – is one of 14 aircraft formerly in service with the US Air Force. Budget cuts forced the aircraft to be retired after only a few years of service, but the USCG was quick to snatch them up. The US Special Operations Command also took seven Spartans.
The airplane flew to Elizabeth City from the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group’s facility in Tucson, Arizona, where 13 of the 14 USCG C-27Js are stored. There, a Coast Guard team investigated the aircraft’s history, verified the details of its configuration and inventoried the installed components, performed extensive inspections and necessary maintenance actions, and conducted a functional check flight. The plane was then released for transit to Elizabeth City. The airplane is still painted in grey air force colours.
While the Spartan underwent regeneration, the USCG sent officers to Italy for training as C-27 pilots. A second C-27J should complete regeneration before the end of this year, and two others are expected to finish by mid-2015. The Spartans will operate next to 18 HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft, of which the last one was delivered in October.
Source: USCG, with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest