The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee on Monday released his proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2017, which includes a provision that would prohibit A-10s from being retired or placed in storage during the fiscal year. The A-10 provision also would require the Air Force to keep at least 171 A-10s in the primary mission aircraft inventory, and would block the Secretary of the Air Force from reducing A-10 manning levels until after F-35 initial operational test and evaluation results are submitted to Congress. Rep. Mac Thornberry’s (R-Texas) proposal also increases Air Force depot maintenance funding, funds an increase in Active Duty Air Force end strength to 321,000, pays for 48 F-35As in Fiscal 2017 instead of the 43 included in the president’s version of the budget, and maintains support for a minimum of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan. The proposal also supports a 2.1 percent pay raise for troops. Thornberry previewed the bill at a defense writers breakfast in Washington on April 21. (Read a summary of Thornberry’s bill here)
Air Mobility Command has grounded its C-130Hs with older propeller systems after discovering cracked parts. All told, up to 116 C-130Hs could be affected as AMC waits for field-level inspections of the aircraft to assess the scope of the problem, spokesperson Maj. Beau Downey told Air & Space Forces Magazine.