The Air Force may have to make a vertical cut and lose the KC-10 fleet in order to pay for the KC-46, Air Mobility Command chief Gen. Paul Selva told reporters at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. AMC needs to reap savings early in case of a continued budget sequester, and a vertical cut may be the answer, though it is one of many options on the table, said Selva during the Sept. 17 press briefing. The KC-10’s retirement may be “how we make the investment dollars available to keep the KC-46 moving on its current schedule. And we intend to do that,” he said. The requirement for a 479-aircraft tanker fleet is not at issue, and “you could envision an option where, as the KC-46 delivers, the KC-10 retires,” he said. If done properly, such an approach could solve the money situation, he said. Selva wouldn’t divulge Fiscal 2015 budget numbers.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.