Bones to the Boneyard

By lex, on June 24th, 2010

An ignoble end to a long-range trashauler:

(The) Air Force Council meets today to consider further cuts in aircraft to meet aggressive savings targets laid out by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. One option on the table: early retirement of all 66 B-1B Lancer bombers (the last delivery of which came back in 1988).

Force structure cuts might also extend to the air arm’s much cherished but currently under-utilized fighter force. The service already plans to early retire 250 fighters this year, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said last month; gone are 112 F-15s, 134 F-162, and 3 A-10s.

Some of the fighter wings, mainly A-10, are being chopped altogether, while others are transitioning from legacy F-15s to upgraded F-15s or to the fifth-generation F-22 and other wings are prepping to receive the F-35 at some uncertain future date.

“By accepting some short-term risk, we can convert our inventory of legacy fighters and F-22 (Raptors) into a smaller, more flexible and lethal bridge to fifth-generation fighters like the F-35 (Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter),” Donley said.

There’s this thing about accepting “short term risk”: You feel the pain today in hopes of crossing a bridge that hasn’t been built yet.

And may not ever be.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, USAF

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