Congressman Garamendi Alarmed by Air Force Suggestion that KC-10 Fleet on Chopping Block Due to Austerity Budgeting
SUISUN, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee who represents Travis and Beale Air Force bases and the communities they support, today expressed alarm after the Air Force suggested that budget shortfalls are jeopardizing the KC-10 fleet.
During a teleconference with an Air Force civic leaders group, General Paul Selva, Commander of Air Mobility Command, last night said that the Air Force would be proposing the elimination of the KC-10 fleet in its FY 15 budget proposal. That proposal is likely to be announced in February 2014.
“The era of austerity and sequestration is directly imperiling our national security,” said Congressman Garamendi. “The KC-10 Tankers are a vital national security asset, helping with aerial refueling and logistical support in almost every American conflict since Desert Storm. Retiring the entire KC-10 fleet is terrible public policy. I will continue to press the Air Force to fully justify its proposal to retire the fleet.”
27 of the Air Force’s 59 KC-10s are assigned to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield. Congressman Garamendi has led Congress in sending two letters, one to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the other to Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, decrying the early retirement of the KC-10 fleet. The KC-10s are able to serve until at least 2045.
Congressman Garamendi has voted seven times to replace sequestration with a balanced plan to create jobs and responsibly reduce the deficit. Unfortunately, the deal to end the government shutdown and prevent defaulting on American debts preserves the senseless sequester cuts.