On Oct. 6, 2009, the Senate added language to its version of the Fiscal 2010 defense spending bill that precludes the Air Force from retiring legacy fighters in 2010 until it informs the Congress how it will sustain the air sovereignty alert mission. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and fellow National Guard Caucus chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sponsored the measure, which passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 91 to 7. The full Senate also approved the spending bill by a 93-7 vote that same day. Here, a two-ship formation of F-16s from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing, which conducts the ASA mission.
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