The How and the When:

Lt. Gen. Christopher Kelly told members of the House Armed Services Committee last night that USAF could buy 50 new tankers with the $6.1 billion the service would save through 2030 simply by retiring the oldest KC-135Es by 2010. It would not pay, he asserted, to re-engine these oldest tankers. Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman told reporters during a break in the hearing that the service expected to issue a request for information to industry within the next month and will have an official request for proposals out by fall. (Watch this space for more hearing coverage.)