The Number Is “Wrong”

At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) also tackled the question of how many C-17s the nation needs, stating flatly the decision to stop C-17 production at 180 “is wrong.” Inhofe took to task the Mobility Capabilities Study for its conclusions on strategic airlift, noting that if the Pentagon tries to anticipate what the nation’s lift capacity will be in 10 years, it’s going to get it wrong. Inhofe recalled that last year Gen. Norton Schwartz, head of US Transportation Command, told the committee that the C-17 was being flown at 160 percent of its planned utilization rate. Inhofe asserted, “Our top line is too low.”