No JCA Funds Before Report:

The House Armed Services air and land panel in its markup of the Fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill decided to recommend restricting funds for the Army-Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft “until reports on intratheater airlift requirements are provided to the Congressional defense committees.” If this stands, it would severely hamstring the Army, which plans to field the JCA first, starting production this fiscal year. Just last week, we reported that Air Force and Army officials had resolved major problems and expected to get approval at the end of this month to start production. (We reported Friday on the panel’s recommendation to permit retirement of C-5As, which have been under Congressional restriction, and on its desire to sustain a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.)