Stay the Course

The Fiscal 2010 defense appropriations act, newly signed into law by President Obama (see above), contains language originating from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) that calls on the Air Force to keep executing its project to install new engines on E-8C Joint STARS ground-surveillance aircraft and to fund the effort properly. Earlier this year, there was speculation that the re-engining initiative might fall victim to other funding priorities, despite the fact that Air Force officials had deemed it essential to the viability of the Joint STARS fleet, one of the most heavily taxed and valued air assets in Southwest Asia for its ability to track moving ground targets. But Ash Carter, the Pentagon’s acquisition executive, in September directed that the project continue. Still Chambliss’ “sense of the Senate” calls for the $221 million in funds provided by the act for the project to be applied properly. (Language text)