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Mark Welsh Pushes for Maintenance Shift to F-35

Gen. Mark Welsh
Gen. Mark Welsh

Gen. Mark Welsh, chief of staff for the U.S. Air Force, has called on lawmakers to either authorize a shift of maintainers to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or grant funds to train additional aircrews, Air Force Times reported Friday.

Phillip Swarts writes Welsh testified before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee to discuss the 2017 budget proposal for the Air Force.

Welsh said the service needs new planes and must end its reliance on legacy aircraft, according to the report.

“The platforms and systems that made us great over the last 50 years will not make us great over the next 50 years,” Welsh told lawmakers.

Previously, the Air Force attempted to transition its resources and maintenance crew to the F-35 fighter from the A-10 Thunderbolt II, Swarts reports.

Air Force Times reports the service decided to sustain the A-10 through 2022 under the fiscal 2017 budget plan.

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