The House passed its version of the Fiscal 2009 war supplemental, including funding eight more C-17 airlifters. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee version does not include additional C-17s. A group of Senators, led by Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), had petitioned appropriations chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) to add 15 C-17s to the 2009 supplemental, an increase of seven over the House number, but, according to a May 13 CongressDaily report, Inouye wanted to keep the supplemental “as clean as possible.” He said he would prefer to add an unspecified number of C-17s to the 2010 budget. And yet, the door might not be entirely closed, since a May 14 report by The Hill notes that Inouye believes funding for the C-17s might be tacked on to the supplemental during debate on the Senate floor, slated for Tuesday. Either way, there appears to be significant bipartisan support to keep the C-17 production line open beyond the 205 proposed in the new defense budget, at least until the Pentagon completes mobility studies intended to clarify future tactical and strategic airlift requirements.
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown delivered a keynote address on ‘The State of the Air Force’ at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Sept. 19, 2022. Watch the video or read the transcript.