C-17 Lobbying Picks up In Wake of Commerce Dept. Report

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C-17: ahu i hou 2008?(click to view full) With its intercontinental flight range, short-field performance, and ability to carry cargo over 20 tons, the C-17 Globemaster III has become the workhorse of the Global War on Terror. The recent USAF mobility study and 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review believe that capping production at 180 C-17 aircraft and mothballing the line in 2008, adding new air-air refueling tankers, and re-engining the giant C-5 Galaxy transports to improve performance and availability rates will be sufficient to meet air mobility needs within the military’s budgetary priorities. Now the Long Beach Press-Telegram and other media sources are noting a U.S. Department of Commerce report. It concluded that the Pentagon’s plan would have national impacts of about $8.4 billion, hitting 702 suppliers in 42 states, eliminating more than 25,000 jobs nationwide, and forcing production of some other aircraft to move. Doug Karas, a U.S. Air Force spokesman, said that while the report may outline stark economic impacts for states affected by C-17 job loss, economics alone can’t dictate Pentagon policies. He’s spot on, and the argument about “eliminating” jobs ignores both the fact that the redirected spending will create jobs elsewhere, and the possibility that a […]

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