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Air Force Budget Seeks to Buy More F-35s, Reduce Ranks

F-35 Production Facility

Lockheed Martin's F-35 assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 2014 budget request from the Air Force includes funding for 19 additional F-35 fighter jets and cuts active-duty personnel by 1,900 airmen, according to an article in DoD Buzz.

The Air Force is already the most top-heavy branch in a military that for years has been cutting enlisted personnel while increasing top officers, a phenomenon known as “brass creep.” The Project On Government Oversight has long been a critic of both brass creep and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

From the article:

The spending plan would keep “on track” the Air Force’s top three investments: the F-35A, KC-46A tanker being developed by Boeing Co. and long-range strike bomber, according to budget materials. The service wants to buy 19 more F-35s, part of a military-wide effort to buy 29 of the aircraft for $8.4 billion. (The Marine Corps wants six and the Navy wants four.)

The Air Force also would boost funding for “priority” investments to counter threats from countries such as Iran and North Korea. In addition to the F-22 and F-35, these include the Lockheed Martin-made C-130J cargo plane, spending on which would rise $700 million to $2.1 billion, as well as medium– and heavy-lift rockets to launch military and spy satellites, funding for which would increase $200 million to $1.9 billion. 

The base budget for the Air Force would increase by $4.65 billion to $144 billion, the only increase for any service. The budget excludes funding for the war in Afghanistan.

Read more about the Air Force budget request at DoD Buzz.

Image from the International Trade Administration.

By: Andre Francisco
Former Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco At the time of publication, Andre Francisco was the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Budget, C-130J Transport Aircraft, Defense, Joint Strike Fighter, Star Creep

Authors: Andre Francisco

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