The Air Force plans to have three squadrons of aircraft oriented around partnering with nascent allied air forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, according to Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. In a recent interview, Schwartz said: “We will have a modest general-purpose force building partner capacity capability. That is in this budget; it’s reflected with a squadron-size element of strike and a squadron-size element of light lift. We already have light [intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance] in the form of the MC-12 program.” The strike element would be a prop-driven counterinsurgency airplane, while the Light Mobility Aircraft would be an eight-person plus cargo small transport. Schwartz said he expects the Air Force to be in Iraq and Afghanistan, advising and co-operating with the indigenous air arms, long after the December 2011 extraction of US combat troops from Iraq. The Air Force plans to buy the first 15 LiMAs in Fiscal 2011.
Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill announced Dec. 2 that they have reached a deal to extend the continuing resolution funding the government into February. Now, the House and Senate will have to scramble to pass the legislation by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 3 to avoid a temporary shutdown.