Sep 29 2006
Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today approved the FY’07 Defense Appropriations Conference Report, which includes $4.4 billion in funding for 22 C-17s, 10 more aircraft than were originally requested by the President. The legislation was approved by the House on Thursday and will now go to the President for his signature.
The additional aircraft will replace the Air Force’s oldest C-17s, which are expected to reach the end of their service life earlier than planned because of their extensive use in both combat and peacekeeping missions around the world.
“This is good news for our State because it promises to extend the production line at Boeing’s Long Beach facility, where the 5,500 Californians are employed in the aircraft’s assembly,” said Senator Feinstein, who helped secure the funding necessary for the additional C-17s.
“The C-17 is one of the great workhorses of our military, playing an essential role in our nation’s combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan , as well as our global fight against terror and international human relief efforts.”
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 Committee, on which Senator Feinstein served, included an additional $2.1 billion for the production of seven more C-17s, bringing the total to 22.
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.