A Very High Price

Among those very old—and costly—aircraft the Air Force wants to retire are some 100 KC-135E tankers. (See above.) Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told lawmakers Monday at a House Appropriations defense panel hearing that there are 109 E model tankers that “cannot be deployed.” These old tankers are caught up in the Congressional restrictions that have precluded USAF from being its own “fleet manager,” said Wynne. Gen. Michael Moseley said that the maintenance price tag in 2008 for all the locked down aircraft—older B-52s, C-5s, C-130s, KC-135Es, and U-2s—will be “somewhere between $4.5 million and $4.7 million a day to maintain.”