Author Topic: More C-17's ?  (Read 1309 times)

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Online tomahawk6

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More C-17's ?
« on: May 09, 2008, 21:42:11 »

House panel funds more C-17s, but not airmen

By Gayle S. Putrich - Staff writer
Posted : Friday May 9, 2008 16:56:17 EDT
House panels considering the fiscal 2009 budget on Wednesday authorized funds to buy more C-17s and signaled they might support purchasing more F-22 Raptors, but declined to add funding for almost 15,000 more airmen the Air Force says it wants.

The House Armed Services Committee’s air and land forces subcommittee added to the Pentagon’s fiscal 2009 budget $3.9 billion to buy 15 C-17 transport planes, $523 million to buy advance parts for F-22 fighter jets the panel hopes Congress and the next administration will approve next year, and $526 million to develop a second engine option for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

But the personnel subcommittee did not approve $385 million in unbudgeted money the Air Force asked for to keep the service at about 330,000 airmen rather than shrink to around 316,000.

The Senate Armed Services Committee also declined to add personnel funding last week, making it unlikely the money will be included in the final budget that emerges in the fall.

House panels dug deep into the president’s budget, trimming from the Army’s Future Combat Systems and Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter programs, missile defense, the DDG1000 destroyer program and the new Marine Corps vehicle. The panel with jurisdiction over personnel matters also voided what would have been a projected $1.2 billion in health care savings for the Pentagon.

The full House committee will take up the bill May 14 in what is expected to be a 14-hour-plus marathon markup that will see members tackling hot-button topics the subcommittees opted to avoid, such as the Air Force’s contentious decision to award a $35 billion contract for 179 aerial refuelers to Northrop Grumman and European partner EADS rather than domestic favorite Boeing.

The authorization subcommittee slashed $700 million from the Bush administration’s $9.3 billion request for Missile Defense Agency spending in 2009, including a $232 million cut from the White House’s planned $720 million European missile shield.

The cuts would leave MDA with $8.6 billion, which is still $213 million more than the agency received this fiscal year.

The reduction reflects panel members’ belief the agency should focus on weapons that will be fielded sooner rather than later, a continued skepticism about the administration’s plans to field a missile shield in Europe and program-specific worries, said subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.

Other high-profile MDA losers included the Airborne Laser program, which would see a $42.6 million cut under the bill, and $100 million apiece cuts to the Multiple Kill Vehicle and Kinetic Energy Interceptor efforts. The Senate committee cut the MKV request by $50 million and the KEI by $45 million.

The military personnel subcommittee also bucked the Bush line, adding half a percentage point to the 3.4 percent across-the-board military pay raise requested by the White House. The panel also rejected the request to increase Tricare fees, drug co-payments and deductibles, a proposal that was touted as saving $1.2 billion over several years.

Offline Haletown

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Re: More C-17's ?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 23:16:16 »
  and this just hit the wires . . .

European-based consortium in talks to buy 2 C-17s
By Stephen Trimble

The US Defense Dept. on Friday notified lawmakers of a possible sale of two Boeing C-17A airlifters to a European-based consortium that includes the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Sweden and Finland