Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) has bought into the argument that a shift of control of the Joint Cargo Aircraft program from the Army-Air Force to the Air Force alone would delay delivery of the new aircraft. The Courant reports that Courtney is concerned that the Air National Guard’s 103rd Fighter Wing, which is losing its A-10s in 2009, would be without a viable aircraft for another two years under Air Force stewardship. He discounts the fact that the unit will be flying C-21s in the interim. And, he apparently is unaware that the 103rd’s acquisition of the JCA is on the Air Force timetable not the Army’s. The Air Force plans to acquire JCA starting in 2011, while the Army is working toward 2009. If Congress does decide to insist on USAF taking control of fixed-wing tactical airlift, and by extension JCA, the money should follow. There seems to be a lot of confusion on this issue.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.