President Bush yesterday signed the $162 billion war supplemental bill into law that will fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the remainder of this fiscal year and beyond. “This bill shows the American people that even in an election year, Republicans and Democrats can come together to stand behind our troops and their families,” he said at the White House after inking the document. The bill provides the Air Force with $5.97 billion for operations and maintenance, plus $287 million for Air National Guard O&M, and $166 million for Reserve O&M. USAF personnel accounts receive $1.35 billion, plus $5 million for ANG, and $4 million for Reserve personnel coffers. The bill also awards the Air Force $7.1 billion for aircraft procurement, $67 million for missile procurement, $205 million for ammunition, and an additional $1.95 billion for “other procurement.” Additionally, it provides USAF with $400 million for research, development, test, and evaluation activities. Among the bill’s other provisions is an expansion of the GI Bill for military members and their families by more than $62 billion over the next decade.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.