What Else Caught Administration Eye?

Besides targeting additional F-22 fighters, the White House’s statement of administration policy on the proposed House version of the 2010 defense authorization bill had several complaints about Congressional plans for USAF aircraft programs. In addition to the purported veto threat over the F-22 (see above Hollow Threat), the policy statement issued another veto threat over the alternate engine for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, saying such expenditures “impede the progress of the overall JSF program” and declaring that “alleged risks of a fleet-wide grounding due to a single engine are exaggerated.” The Administration also expressed its objection to constraints Congress would put on the Air Force’s ability to retire C-5 strategic airlifters and aircraft retirements in general, a reference to the Air Force’s plan to retire 254 fighters in 2010.