Maj. Gen. Scott West, deputy chief of staff for operations at the U.S. Air Force, has said the service branch wants to prioritize the assessment and retention of more airmen in an effort to build up military readiness, Federal News Radio reported Thursday.
West told members of the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness subpanel Wednesday that the Air Force needs Congress to support the proposed appropriations for fiscal year 2017 and an amendment that seeks to speed up “readiness recovery,” David Thornton wrote.
“Repeal of the Budget Control Act and predictable future funding are critical to rebuilding military readiness,” West added.
He cited the shortage of maintainers and aging fleet of aircraft as other factors that affect the Air Force’s readiness and that the military branch now operates with only 5,500 aircraft that have been running for 27 years.
He told lawmakers that the service branch spends more on maintenance of excess infrastructure that represents approximately 25 percent of the service branch’s total infrastructure.
West testified with Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, chief of the Air Force Reserves; and Lt. Gen. Scott Rice, director of the Air National Guard; at the House subcommittee hearing, the report added.