House committee shoots down B-1 bomber retirement plan

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday shot down the Air Force's plan to retire one third of its B-1 bomber force of 93 planes as the panel marked up the fiscal year 2002 defense authorization bill (H.R. 2586).

The House committee action, achieved by a 33-26 vote, deals a blow to Air Force plans to keep 60 B-1 bombers in fighting condition through the retirement of 33 others. Just hours before the committee vote, Gen. Mike Ryan, the Air Force chief of staff, told reporters that his service had searched its budget for B-1 readiness money and concluded that retirement of part of the force was the only solution.

"There was no where else to get the money," Ryan said.

Ryan's argument cut no ice with Rep. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who has B-1s stationed in his state. Chambliss argued that the Air Force retirement plan was not well thought out, came as a surprise to Congress and would not save the millions of dollars advertised.

The congressman lost on his first attempt to derail the Air Force plan on a 29-29 tie vote. But later in the markup session, he asked for a reconsideration of the vote and then prevailed in a second vote of 33-26.

The B-1 amendment faces headwinds later this year when the House and Senate must hammer out differences in their rival authorization bills. As passed by the House committee, the Chambliss amendment prohibits the Air Force from "retiring or dismantling any of the 93 B-1B Lancer bombers in service as of June 1, 2001" or transferring them to the Air National Guard.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.