Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pentagon planes showing age

Years of budget cuts have left the U.S. military with a decrepit air fleet that could compromise armed service branches' ability to perform in battle, Pentagon brass told lawmakers Wednesday.

Leaders from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines appeared on Capitol Hill to testify before members of the House Armed Services Committee. All complained that the planes and helicopters needed to protect the nation and project power are getting dangerously long in the tooth.

“[If] a B-17 [bomber] that flew in World War II had flown in Desert Storm, the aircraft bombers we are using today are older than those B-17s would have been,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott West told the Subcommittee on Readiness. “It’s an aged fleet.”

Over and over, military leaders cited the budget cuts brought on by sequestration, a Congressional budget deal that limits military spending.

“The Navy continues readiness recovery …but continued shortfalls in ship and shore facilities sustainment coupled with aging aircraft inventory will eventually have negative effects on our long-term readiness.,” Navy Rear Adm. Michael Manazir said.

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