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Readiness on Decline: The Vice Chief of the Air Force, Gen. John Corley, told lawmakers Tuesday afternoon that Air Force readiness has declined by 20 percent since 2001. “We are strained and readiness is at risk,” declared Corley. He attributes much of the “disturbing trend” to the service’s inability to replace and modernize its aging fleet of aircraft. To make matters worse, Corley explained that USAF has “about 1,300 fewer airplanes, but we’re flying them at the same rate we were 13 years ago.”