The House Armed Services Committee in its markup of the 2010 defense budget request has directed DOD and the Air Force to provide a report on options to alleviate the service's fighter gap, specifically the one facing the Air National Guard in its air sovereignty alert mission now that USAF has accelerated fighter retirements. Among options to explore, lawmakers want to know whether USAF plans to put more new F-35s more quickly into the Air Guard and what it would do if procurement slows. Here, an F-35A, USAF's conventional takeoff and landing variant, maneuvers during its first flight over Eglin AFB, Fla., April 23, 2009.
US Air Force photo by SrA. Julianne Showalter
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