Congress Wants Legacy Fighter Reports

The 2010 defense appropriations bill, now on its way to the President (see below), prohibits the Air Force from carrying out its plan to retire early some 250 legacy fighters pending April 1 delivery of the results of an independent review conducted by a federally funded research and development center. Use of an independent review takes the matter a step beyond Congressional calls for USAF to simply divulge more details of its legacy fighter plans, particularly as regards the air sovereignty alert mission. (The bill still directs USAF to provide details.) The bill also requires USAF to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of its plan to shift F-15 training from Tyndall AFB, Fla., to the Oregon Air National Guard’s Kingsley Field. The service had wanted to advance that move to early 2010—now that plan is delayed until at least April.