Procurement: September 8, 2001

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AIR FORCE UPDATE: THE CRACKS ARE SHOWING- The US used up its stockpile of precision bombs in the Kosovo War of 1999, and has been unable to rebuild the stockpile due to the need to use these weapons against Iraq on periodic punitive raids against air defenses. The Air Force is actually using up its war reserve stocks to maintain pilot proficiency training. Air Force Chief of Staff General Ryan has warned Congress that the US is short one squadron of defense suppression aircraft and that B-1B bombers had close calls over Kosovo in 1999 due to the lack of enough aircraft to keep defenses shut down. The National Research Council complains that the US Air Force isn't spending enough on Science and Technology. While the Army, Navy, and Pentagon have increased S&T funding steadily, the Air Force has actually cut such funding by 46% since 1989 as money is sucked into expensive modernization programs. The Air Force replied that any extra S&T funding will have to come from a defense spending increase.--Stephen V Cole

 


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