Get a Move On Tanker Replacement

Lawmakers heard again the aerial refueler “dilemma” facing the Pentagon, this time from Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. It’s a case of buying the current KC-135 tankers in high numbers and being forced—by “affordability issues”—to replace them at a low rate, England told Senators Wednesday. The one still flying toward the end will “be a very old airplane,” he said. England also supports the predilection toward making the new tanker a hybrid for hauling and refueling. He asserted, “It’s vitally important that we start the tanker replacement program as soon as possible.” (Read more about the tanker issue here.)