Carlson Sets the Record Straight:

“I spoke in error,” said Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, regarding his previous comment that the Air Force would eventually find a way to purchase 380 F-22s. Responding to a question at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando Friday, Carlson said he gave his personal feelings but “misrepresented” the position of the Air Force—which is that USAF supports the 2009 President’s budget request for 183 Raptors. It is not the job of a senior air force officer in his position to “speculate” about future purchases, he said. Carlson added that he intends to stay in his lane from here on out and follow the lead on this issue set by Gen. Michael Moseley and Gen. John Corley—the Chief of Staff and head of Air Combat Command, respectively. (Corley, in his own presentation, had also referred to Carlson’s situation—joking that Corley previously submitted a copy of his speech to the Pentagon for approval, but got it back so heavily redacted that the only words left were “Good morning.”) Carlson said AFMC will buy and sustain as best it can whatever number of F-22s the Administration and Congress agree upon. “I think the record has been corrected,” he added, pulling from his pocket a sheet of paper with a statement (presumably this one) and joking that he would be happy to give a copy of the statement to anyone who is interested, as he has “140 of them.”