January 16, 2008
AFA members and Congressional Staffers, many of you have commented favorably
on the "elevator speech numbers" I sent you.
It's January ... so here are some revealing data on the "State of the Air
Fighter Aircraft - average age: 20 years; average flight hours 5400+
Bomber Aircraft - average age: 32 years; average flight hours 11,400+
Tanker aircraft - average age: 44 years; average flight hours 18,900+
C2 Fleet - average age: 22 years old; average flight hours 32,000
ISR Fleet (excluding UAV) - average age: 30 years old; average flight hours
F-15A-D - 163 of 441 are grounded for structural issues
B-52 - 6 are grounded - past due PDM grounding date - authorized a one-time
flight to the bone-yard.
EC-130 - 2 of 14 are grounded due to center wing box cracks
C-130E - 3 are grounded and 13 are restricted due to Service life and wing
KC-135Es - 26 of 86 are grounded due to engine strut corrosion.
AC-130U - 4 of 17 are restricted due to lack of 30MM weapons
B-2 - entire fleet is restricted due to windshield bolt hole cracks
C-5s - 39 of 108 are restricted due to crown skin restrictions (weight
219 of 223 F-15Es have training restrictions due to vertical stab structural
Majority of Block 25/30/32, block 40/42, and block 50/52 F-16s need
All 356 A-10s will need new wings and new aircraft skin - many have landing
gear issues ... and all need new engines.
C-130Hs have Center Wing Box issues
C-32As have bulkhead structural issues.
Looking across the FYDP - between 2008-2013 - the Air Force will divest
itself of 749 aircraft and procure only 698 aircraft (260 of which are
To give you the idea of the scale of all of this:
When the AF grounded its 600+ F-15 fleet, it grounded more aircraft than the
entire F/A Navy. The F-15s it presently has grounded equate to a bit more
than 3 aircraft carriers of aircraft.
The 356 A-10s that need renovations equates to more aircraft than the fixed
The Air Force has about 5800 aircraft ... and presently about one-third are
either grounded or restricted in one way or another
The central important part of this data is that this is not a third-world
Air Force ... And the question we should ask ourselves, why don't we fund it
to ensure our children and grandchildren are safe and secure?
2nd Subject -
Chief of Staff White Paper - Gen Moseley published an exceptional White
Paper ... which lays out the strategic foundations for the Air Force of the
future. If you haven't seen it, you can find it on the AFA website: http://dailyreport.afa.org/NR/rdonlyres ... 358B0C4B34
My favorite quotes in it are:
"No modern war has been won without air superiority. No future war will be
won without air, space and cyberspace superiority." Page 2.
"With the oldest inventory in history, battered by 17 years of continuous
combat, the Air Force's ability to fulfill its missions is already being
tested." Page 2
"... our reliance on assured access to space will increase exponentially."
"The Air Force is smaller in December 2007 than it was in December 1941."
For your consideration.
Michael M. Dunn, Lt Gen (Ret)