It’s Fleet Age That Worries Jumper

Talking with reporters the last week of his tenure as Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. John P. Jumper said that the issue that bothers him most is the age of USAF aircraft. The fleet suffered greatly during the procurement doldrums of the 1990s, leaving the service with aircraft problems it has “never seen before, just because of the age of the aircraft,” said Jumper. Among the specific problems he cited were material fatigue issues that have forced flight restrictions on F-15 fighters, a center wingbox problem on C-130 airlifters, and strut defects on older KC-135 tankers. “We need to get on with recapitalizing,” said Jumper.