U.S. Coast Guard introduces first C-27J Medium Range Surveillance airplane in the service’s colors

A C-27J Medium Range Surveillance airplane sits on the runway at Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Thursday, March 31, 2016. The C-27J is the newest Coast Guard aircraft to join the fleet and will be used in maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua L. Canup

The U.S. Coast Guard has received the first of 14 C-27J Spartans painted with the service’s traditional color scheme.

The U.S. Coast Guard has accepted the first of 14 C-27J Spartan aircraft in the service colors on Mar. 30.

The Spartan will be introduced into the USCG medium range surveillance aircraft fleet and will conduct drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions.

The aircraft, belonging to a fleet of 21 Spartans that the U.S. Air Force announced to be mothballing to save money back in 2012, was taken on charge by the Coast Guard HC-27J Asset Project Office (APO) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina; it will be transferred to Air Station Sacramento, California, this summer to continue the station’s transition from the HC-130H to the C-27J.

According to a news release, five Spartans have been in operation at the APO since completing the regeneration process; the Coast Guard is conducting test flights on a sixth aircraft with the Air Force’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Tucson, Arizona, where the process to bring the Spartans out of long-term preservation is completed.

A second aircraft was delivered to the paint facility March 21, and two of the C-27Js are currently in Sacramento for training purposes.

In October of 2013 SOCOM was authorized to receive 7 of the cargo planes to replace its fleet of CASA 212 aircraft.

The USCG 14 C-27Js will supplement a fleet of 15 HC-144s: the Coast Guard had originally ordered 36 of the CH-144s but halved the order once they learned that they could acquire the C-27Js directly from the Air Force at no cost.

Image credit: U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua L. Canup

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. There’s a typo. The C-28Js will be supplementing the fleet of “HC-144” Ocean Sentries (not CH-144).

  2. Would have been nice, if the C-27’s that we sold/gave to Afghanistan and later scrapped for pennys on the pound, could have been re-purposed to such as this use. Several billion dollars worth of aircraft, now nothing but scrap, and still no reasonable explanation for the waste of brand new aircraft. No wonder our defense budget is so big, when we can just destroy equipment, rather than spend the money getting it back home, where it could at least serve some purpose.

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