Senator weighs need for more long-range transport planes
Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, is considering investing heavily in more C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes to better position the armed forces to respond to contingencies abroad.
Inouye, who now is reviewing the Pentagon’s fiscal 2008 budget request in anticipation of a markup of the massive spending bill this summer, is working with the Air Force to determine how many C-17s the military will ultimately need.
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USAF Prefers More C-130Js Over Other Cargo Lifters
While observers argue over whether the U.S. Air Force needs more C-5s or C-17s, the service’s top brass told Congress last week that they need something else entirely.
–If you gave me another dollar, I would know exactly where to spend it” — on C-130Js, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said at a March 20 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. –We would want to backstop tactical airlift with C-130Js,” he said.
The Hercules transport plane has become the workhorse in Iraq, where it is perilous to run convoys over land, Wynne said. But the war is taking its toll on the fleet.
Many C-130Es have been grounded with structural problems, and the H models are –burning up at high rates,” Gen. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, told the Senate’s defense appropriations panel March 21.
Murdoc’s a bit surprised by the Air Force position, as we’ve heard a lot of reports that the C-17 fleet is getting overworked pretty quickly.
Still, my money says that building C-17s brings more money to Hawaii than building C-130s. How would Murdoc know this without looking anything up? Well, because a Democratic Senator from Hawaii wants to spend money on the military.