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Air Force finally plans to study options for replacing tankers

February 27, 2004 After two years of pressure from lawmakers, the Air Force will study a variety of options for replacing its aging fleet of KC-135 tanker aircraft, according to a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., and ranking member Carl Levin, D-Mich., by Michael Wynne, the ...

House Armed Services chair urges unmanned drones for Iraq

February 27, 2004 House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., Thursday urged the Air Force to send more unmanned aerial drones to Iraq in an effort to neutralize the threat of roadside bombs and other improvised explosives popular among Iraqi insurgents. During a hearing, Hunter stressed that improvised explosive devices pose the ...

Military officials grilled on decision to cancel Comanche

February 25, 2004 House lawmakers upset with the Army's decision this week to cancel its Comanche helicopter program questioned top Army officials Wednesday about the potential for purchasing next-generation helicopters from foreign helicopter manufacturers. During a House Armed Services Committee hearing, Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., voiced ...

Lawmaker urges more money for military reserve program

February 24, 2004 Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner, R-Va., is urging the Senate Budget Committee to uphold the president's recommended $401.7 billion for military spending in the fiscal 2005 budget resolution, which provides more money for a special reserves program. In a letter sent Monday to Budget Committee Chairman Don Nickles, R-Okla., ...

Comanche contractors will see funding hikes in other programs

February 24, 2004 The Army announced Monday that it was canceling its RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program in favor of refurbishing its existing fleet of aviation assets and buying more of what is already being produced. Under that scenario, the Comanche's prime contractors -- Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn. -- ...

Lawmakers watch to see if Pentagon budget needs boost

February 23, 2004 The military services' efforts to remedy projected fiscal 2004 operational shortfalls could draw bipartisan support from lawmakers seeking to ensure that reconstruction operations in Iraq and Afghanistan remain on track: House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., will keep tabs on the services' fiscal 2004 funding woes, although for ...

Pentagon officials predict budget shortfall despite assurances

February 19, 2004 Pentagon budget officials say they could run short of funds before the end of fiscal 2004, despite Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's assertion that there is ample funding to pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan until the White House requests more money next year. Only five months into the current fiscal ...

Restructuring, terrorism prompt defense of military bases

February 13, 2004 Two strategies that many lawmakers are counting on to protect military bases in their home districts emerged this week, as the Pentagon released its official criteria for choosing which bases to shut down, and the House held its first election-year hearing to review the base closure process. Some lawmakers have ...

Senators seek to make increase in Army troops permanent

February 12, 2004 The Army's plan to temporarily increase its force levels by 30,000 soldiers could become permanent if a handful of senators can garner support for new draft legislation likely to be included in the fiscal 2005 defense authorization bill, according to Senate aides. Sens. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., John McCain, R-Ariz., and ...

Military chiefs defend budget, seek 2005 supplemental

February 10, 2004 In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, the military's top uniformed officials said President Bush's fiscal 2005 budget proposal is sufficient to maintain readiness this year despite a lack of funding requested for ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. But all four chiefs said readiness could become a ...