Air Force C-17 Aircraft Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
A total of 213 C-17s have been procured through FY2009, including eight that were procured in the FY2009 supplemental appropriations act (H.R. 2346/P.L. 111-32 of June 24, 2009). The Administration's proposed FY2010 defense budget proposed to end C-17 procurement and did not request any funding for the procurement of additional C-17s. The Administration argues that enough C-17s have now been procured to meet future operational needs. Supporters of procuring additional C-17s in FY2010 believe additional C-17s will be needed to meet future operational needs. The issue of how much airlift capability will be needed in the future is currently being examined in a congressionally mandated study being done by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and in a separate Department of Defense (DOD) study called the Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study 2016 (MCRS-16), which is due to be completed by the end of 2009. FY2010 defense authorization bill: The conference report (H. Rept. 111-288 of October 7, 2009) on the FY2010 defense authorization act (H.R. 2647/P.L. 111-84 of October 28, 2009) authorizes no funding for the procurement of additional C-17s. Section 137 of the act prohibits the Secretary of the Air Force from proceeding with a decision to retire C-5As in any number that would reduce the active inventory of C-5s below 111 until certain conditions are met, and require the Secretary of the Air Force to submit a report to the congressional defense committees on the issue of C-5 retirement. Section 138 requires the Secretary of the Air Force, in coordination with the Director of the Air National Guard, to submit to the congressional defense committees, at least 90 days before a C-5 airlift aircraft is retired, a report on the proposed force structure and basing of C-5 and C-17 aircraft.
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