No C-17s in Defense Appropriators’ Mark-up

Members of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel did not add money to buy more C-17s in their markup of the Fiscal 2011 defense spending bill. Halting C-17 production has been one of the Pentagon’s major budget-related goals for Fiscal 2011. The belief is that the Air Force already has excess strategic airlift with the 223 C-17s authorized, plus a fleet of 111 C-5s. In fact, Pentagon officials have been adamant in their desire for no more C-17s. Although the HAC-D did go against the Pentagon’s wishes on another front—the F136 engine for the F-35 strike fighter (see Exacerbation, but not Resignation below)—it acted in step with DOD leadership regarding the C-17 during Tuesday’s mark-up. In fact, no House nor Senate action so far this year has added money to Fiscal 2011 defense legislation for C-17 production. (See CongressDaily report and The Hill report)