What's the Plan?
USAF may have to rationalize its 2010 tactical fighter retirement agenda.
October 2, 2009—Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) has proposed an amendment (SA 2596) for the 2010 defense spending bill that would prohibit the Air Force from executing its 2010 fighter aircraft hit list until the service provides lawmakers with "a detailed plan" about the aftermath, according to the Congressional Record for Oct. 1.
Bond, along with Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), want USAF to inform Congress about how the service will fill force structure and capability gaps. And, the Senators want to know what USAF is doing about follow-on missions and jobs for both active duty and reserve forces.
They also want to know what criteria the service used to select the affected units and targeted fighters and how much the service will save and to what use it will put those dollars.
Lawmakers have expressed concern since USAF released the list and since hearing that the Air National Guard is facing a fighter shortage to fulfill its homeland air defense mission.
Air Guard boss Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt testified earlier this year on this capability gap, and just last month suggested that ANG should get more F-35s sooner than presently anticipated.
However, USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz commented later that he believes Wyatt's suggestion was symptomatic of the Total Force's reluctance to give up "missions with which we were comfortable."
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