Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced the FY’07 Defense Appropriations Conference Report includes funding for the production of 10 additional C-17s, bringing the total procurement in the bill to 22 new aircraft.
“The C-17 has been essential to our nation’s combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as our global fight against terror and our international human relief efforts,” Senator Feinstein said. “This funding is critical for continuing its production and it means that the thousands of Californians and others nationwide who are employed in its production will remain secure in their positions.”
The Appropriations bill earlier approved by the Senate had fully funded the procurement of 12 C-17 transport aircraft in the FY07 Defense Appropriations bill, which were requested by the Pentagon, along with an additional three C-17s as part of the $50 billion “bridge fund” for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House-Senate Conference Report today included funding for an additional seven C-17s in the bridge fund.
“I would like to thank Senator Feinstein for her leadership and tireless efforts to continue production of the C-17 in California,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said. “Today’s action is terrific news for our servicemen and women who rely on this vital resource as they continue to defend our democracy and bring relief to those in need around the world. It is also good news for our economy and over 11,000 workers who rely on the production of the C-17 in our state, as well as the thousands of employees across the country."
The C-17 has the highest reliability and mission capable rate of any aircraft in its class. As the most versatile and flexible transport in the U.S. military today, the C-17 is critical to the forward deployment of troops and cargo, can perform airlift and airdrop missions, and has been a vital component of aero-medical evacuations. The C-17 also has a number of capabilities pertaining to peacekeeping and humanitarian relief. The aircraft was a welcome site to those affected by the tsunamis in Asia, and the hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.