Fort Bragg can still get its paratroopers in the air if no C-130s are stationed at Pope Air Force Base, but former Army and Air Force commanders say performance will suffer.
At a hearing in Washington on Tuesday, Mike Flinn, an analyst for the Base Closure and Realignment Commission, suggested that the commission consider removing all permanent airplanes from Pope.
The original recommendation from the Pentagon was to move the 43rd Wing C-130s from Pope and turn the base over to the Army, but to station 16 C-130s from reserve units at the airstrip.
The commission, which is the only body that can change the proposal, must report to the president by Sept. 8. The president and Congress can only accept or reject the entire package.