Going Down II

There's more coming out on the Air Force's contention that its jet fighters and other equipment are in dire need of upgrades, needs it says willl go unmet unless the Air Force receives billion more than planned in the next few years.

Government Inc. touched on this once earlier this week. Now comes a blog post from the Project On Government Oversight, saying there's a sharp difference of opinion over the Air Force's claims at the Defense Department. POGO is a non-partisan watchdog group in Washington.

"The Department of Defense rebuked Air Force demands for more C-17 cargo planes in favor of upgrading C-5s, according to a February 14, 2008, Pentagon letter and supporting documentation to Congress obtained by POGO and made publicly available for the first time," the group's blog says.

"According to the letter from John Young, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, to various congressional committees: 'the Department reviewed several options for procuring additional C-17 aircraft and rejected those options as not meeting requirements and more costly to the taxpayer. Further, the higher costs of options procuring additional C-17s are unaffordable in the Future Years Defense Program.'"

"This is the latest salvo in a shoot-out between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Air Force over the Air Force's constant grab for more planes," Nick Schwellenbach, national security investigator at POGO, said in his post.

By Robert O'Harrow |  February 22, 2008; 11:50 AM ET defense
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