ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Congressman Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19) has written a letter to Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Bennett regarding the prospective retirement of 17 B-1 bomber planes, 8 of which are currently at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene.
In the letter, Arrington tells Secretary Bennett, “while I fully understand your rationale, which proposes to retire 17 B-1 bombers due to severe stress from extensive utilization, as well as the fact that over 80 percent of the planes have outlived their certiﬁed life cycle; ultimately, Congress is responsible for establishing the budget and expenditures of the US. Department of Defense.”
Arrington said he will continue to work with military and government officials to determine a final number of B-1s to be retired.
Arrington told KTAB/KRBC the bombers had been overflown. He said 80 percent of the fleet was beyond its life cycle.
“The B-1 is a critical component of our arsenal,” Arrington said.
Arrington stressed that airmen’s safety was a major factor in the proposal, along with national security.
Dyess received its first B-1 in June 1985, and has since played a crucial role in global strike and national defense.
The B-1 fleet thinning proposal absolutely does not threaten the future of Dyess’ mission, Arrington stressed. The decision for the B-21 to be based at Dyess secured the future of Dyess.
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