“Level of Confidence”

Questions about whether the Air Force should buy more than the 191 C-17 airlifters currently authorized, considering the plan to increase ground forces by 92,000 soldiers and marines, were met with assurances that the Pentagon would review last year’s study that pegged the total buy at 180 aircraft. However, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England argued at the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Wednesday that the C-17s to be bought by NATO would “ease the pressure somewhat” on USAF C-17s. He conceded that there are “problems” because of “resistance of a few of the countries in NATO.” England went on to say, “I do have a level of confidence … because it’s so important in NATO.”