More Money for Airlift

House defense appropriators have added $2.2. billion to the Obama Administration’s $75.5 billion war supplemental to buy eight C-17s and $904 million to buy 11 C-130Js, according to documents issued earlier this week by Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. The committee is scheduled to consider the bill today. Obey said in a statement May 4 that procuring the additional C-17s—which, by our count, would give the Air Force a total of 213—would “allow for the decommissioning of a number of C-5s.” The C-130 mark-up, he said, is “essentially moving forward President Obama’s recommended purchase for 2010.” According to the draft committee report, the C-130 buy would comprise five C-130J combat-delivery aircraft, three HC-130J tankers, and three MC-130Js for special operations forces. Obey said the committee’s proposed version of the bill “does not address” the KC-X tanker issue. (House appropriators’ bill summary)