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Air Force’s $7.2B Wish List Restores 5 F-35s, 8 C-130Js

March 4, 2016 (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Hazeltine)

This article, originally published at 2:36 PM, EST, has been updated to include a statement from the Air Force. 

WASHINGTON — In a $7.2 billion wish list of items the Air Force will submit to Congress, the service is asking for funds to restore the five F-35 joint strike fighters and eight C-130J transport planes it was forced to cut in its latest budget request. 

The document is par for the course of the Pentagon’s budget season. Congress asks for a so-called “unfunded priorities list” from each of the armed services every year. Lawmakers can choose to add funding to buy the requested items or ignore the request altogether.

This year, the Air Force requested $7.2 billion in total, including about $2.9 billion to buy back capability the service cut in its fiscal year 2017 budget request due to resource limitations,


The Air Force also asked for $724 million to buy back eight modernized C-130Js in FY17. The eight C-130Js were cut from the FY17 budget request as part of a slowdown in modernizing the service's legacy C-130H fleet.

The Air Force also wants $88 million for “compliance and survivability” upgrades for its fourth-generation F-16 fleet, $1.2 billion to restore critical infrastructure, and $145 million to grow the force to 321,000.

In addition, the service is asking for $2.3 billion in modernization funds to “ensure future capabilities of legacy fleets and programs supporting Combatant Commanders’ requirements.” It is unclear exactly what programs this money will go towards.

The Air Force also included $1.5 billion to improve readiness and $481 million for installation support, including 31 military construction projects.

The full list is being routed through the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff and will be part of the Joint Staff's combined "Unfunded Priority List" submission sometime this month, Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Melissa Milner wrote in a March 4 statement. 


Twitter: @laraseligman

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