The head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John Warner (R-Va.), and a chief Air Force critic, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), still are stalling the confirmation of former acting Air Force Secretary Michael Domniguez to be Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel. The issue is the new C-130J transport. About two weeks ago at the Dominguez confirmation hearing, McCain said the Air Force had not fully responded to Capitol Hill concerns about the C-130J even though the service, at Congressional direction, has begun to shift the J model to a standard military contract from a commercial one. On Feb. 28, Warner told reporters that Air Force leaders needed to meet with lawmakers to clear the air.
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.