Skip to comments.Appropriator expects Defense bill to pay for 10 more C-17s (not requested by DOD)
Posted on 10/22/2009 9:49:50 AM PDT by markomalley
House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha, D-Pa., said Wednesday that he expects the fiscal 2010 Defense spending bill will include funding to buy about 10 C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes, but signaled he is worried about the $250 million price tag for each aircraft.
Before he signs off on the additional planes, Murtha said he wants Boeing Co., the plane's maker, to give the government a price more comparable to the roughly $200 million per plane the government paid as part of the last multiyear procurement deal for C-17s, which ended in 2007.
The House-passed Defense Appropriations bill included $674 million to buy three C-17s, or $225 million per plane. The Senate version added $2.5 billion for 10 planes.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other senior administration officials have said repeatedly that the current plan for 205 C-17s, when combined with the existing fleet of larger C-5 Galaxy aircraft, is enough to meet the military's airlift needs.
(Excerpt) Read more at govexec.com ...
I guess they are for more Congressional junkets and other malarkey.
Other malarky. C-17s are cargo planes with no amenities. Congress wouldn't travel with so few creature comforts. This is for pork only.
Michelle likes to travel and while she rides on Air Force 1, the cars, commo gear, and supporting cast go by C-17. Lots of places that she wants to see.
Not sure who to trust here. I have no faith in the current leadership at DOD but these Congressmen will vote for building out houses if the contractor was in their districts.
So if I’m reading this right, instead of 3 planes that the Air Force doesn’t need they’re getting 13?
Hmmmmm ... I wonder how practical it would be to put refueling booms and hose-pods on them...
we always need more airlift and airframes, so even if they sit out in the boneyard in AZ for a few years it will be fine.
My thoughts exactly. Just because the DOD says they don’t NEED any more airlift doesn’t make it so. The Ops Tempo of airlift units has been murderous for years and not getting any better.
I had the misfortune of being in Chicago-suburbs a month ago. I saw one at O’Hare which was weird. The best part of the trip was my plane wheels leaving the tarmac at O’Hare.
Illinois - what a hell hole. The Bulgarian limo driver was listening to Rush when he picked me up. :-)
At the rate the Hope and Change Economy is shedding jobs, I'm sure half the Czars in washington will need them for the Bullet and Pitchfork proof limos and security forces required to keep them from being strung up by angry mobs.
Author:Rebecca L. Grant, Ph.D.
Date:Thursday, October 1, 2009
Debate is raging on Capitol Hill about whether to buy ten more C-17 military airlifters. Its astonishing, given that the C-17 is perfect for the wars we are in as the Pentagon likes to say. Right now, a C-17 is probably executing a lights-out landing on a dark field in Afghanistan. Another C-17 could be air-dropping ammunition, food and water to a remote firebase there.
But lets consider the question: will ten more C-17s really make a difference when over two hundred have already been paid for? The answer is yes, they could, in many ways. The first is strategic. Critics make much of the fact that ten more C-17s are supposedly unwanted by the Pentagon. In fact, a major mobility study says the nation is already short on airlift. A global strategy relies on airlift for everything from a sudden crisis overseas to a major natural disaster (or worse) here at home. The C-17 has performed superbly in combat settings and is in constant demand. Its key to tactical flexibility for combat operations or humanitarian relief. Recall the bold airdrop of U.S. paratroopers into northern Iraq in 2003? It was done with C-17s that had to fly out of a box canyon in poor weather. Fast earthquake relief to Pakistan in 2005? C-17s again.
Ten more C-17s could matter a lot to allies. Britain, Australia, and Qatar operate the aircraft and a NATO consortium is buying three. With the line open, several allies and partners will be able to purchase C-17s and enhance their global partnership capabilities.
Remember that the C-17 decision made now seals the next thirty years of airlift. Over the past few years, C-17s in the war effort have been flying more than planned. Some are logging 1400 hours per year instead of the target 1000 hours per year. At those rates, a C-17 built to fly for 30 years might wear out in only 21 years. But surely, the U.S. aerospace industry could just build more someday, right? Its not that easy. When the C-17 line closes and it will, eventually the U.S. will have no jet military transports in production.
Dont believe for a minute that the C-17 plant in Long Beach, California could be mothballed and reopened. The main reason is that the people who build the planes are just as important as tooling on the factory floor. The average worker on the C-17 line is over 50 years old, with 20 years experience in aircraft production. Lay-offs mean permanent loss of manufacturing capacity. In the 1970s or 1980s an aerospace worker on the West Coast could move from space shuttle final assembly in Palmdale to a secret bomber program in Pico Rivera or an airliner or tanker in Long Beach. Little of that industry remains.
President Obama campaigned on a pledge to sustain the global reach and mobility of American airpower, and for good reason. Consider the case of Marine Lance Corporal Justin Ping, who was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Fallujah, Iraq in 2006. Burns covered his face and arms and 20% of his body. Shrapnel cut his legs and threatened the loss of his right eye. A C-17 on a cargo mission reconfigured for intensive care, boarded a medical team, and flew the Marine direct from Iraq to a hospital in Texas without stopping courtesy of two air refuelings. Sometimes, just one C-17 makes all the difference.