The Mega Billion Cost of Recapitalization

Discussing the difficulty the Air Force faces in recapitalizing its force, Gen. Michael Moseley told defense reporters, “I’ve asked for $45 billion more dollars.” This is no surprise, since $45 billion is the total the service asked for in the two current war supplemental requests and its 2008 unfunded priorities list. But a modernization infusion that size won’t solve the Air Force’s problems, the Air Force’s top uniformed officer said Tuesday in Washington. Beyond 2008, a $20 billion budget increase is a “useful mark on the wall,” because it would insulate the Air Force from the effect of steadily rising operations and maintenance expenses in areas such as parts and fuel. Moseley noted that O&M costs have risen 180 percent in the past 10 years.