More C-17s—Maybe:

Air Mobility Command boss, Gen. Duncan McNabb, is pursuing an Air Force request for lawmakers to consider authorizing—restriction-free—the retirement of 30 C-5A airlifters and purchase of an equal number of C-17s. The C-17 purchase hinges on USAF working out details of a multiyear acquisition contract with C-17-maker Boeing. The Air Force already has Congressional authorization to enter into a multiyear agreement with Boeing, under the 2006 National Defense Authorization Act. AMC spokesman Maj. John Sheets told the Daily Report Thursday that commenting on the specifics of the C-17 plan would be premature. He did say that USAF officials are “looking at getting the best capability for its dollar, and that’s why they’re now looking at potentially retiring some of the ‘bad actors’—doing a limited modernization of C-5s and adding those savings to purchase additional C-17s.” The top two Air Force leaders, Secretary Michael Wynne and Gen. Michael Moseley, publicly broached the idea of not upgrading the A model C-5s—because it will be too expensive and produce limited return—at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando in early February and have carried that position forward during Capitol Hill budget hearings.