Contrary to an Oct. 16 report in The Hill by Roxana Tiron, the Air Force Association does not side with certain House Armed Services Committee members who are trying to derail a provision in the 2008 defense authorization bill that would put the Air Force in charge of all fixed-wing transport. And, we understand that the Air Force believes other lawmakers—those who wonder why the Army wants its own tactical airlift capability—are on the mark. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently questioned the Army about this issue, which revolves around the Army-Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft program. Perhaps Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), and Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) are out of touch with the rest of the House armed services panel, considering its chairman, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), cited duplication in tactical airlift forces as one basis for starting a new roles and missions scrub.
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.