WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is questioning the U.S. Department of Defense’s announcement that it will retire the C-27J aircraft from operations in Afghanistan.

In a letter to DOD Secretary Leon Panetta, Brown wrote that the Department’s calculations of the operation and maintenance of the fleet were flawed. Brown noted that it would be in fact more expensive to operate CH-47 aircraft for the same missions and that eliminating the C-27J program could have consequences for the safety of deployed servicemembers in Afghanistan.

“Slashing the C-27J program -- which is essential to the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield -- would be an enormous mistake and detrimental to our national security. Putting aside the flawed calculations executed by the Defense Department, retiring the C-27J program in favor of the CH-47 aircraft would likely cost our military and American taxpayers more,” Brown said. “Preserving the C-27J program makes sense for the Mansfield community, for the safety of our servicemembers, and for the cost-effectiveness of our Armed Forces.”

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