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Proposed USAF $165B Budget Includes Squadron Expansion Efforts

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Heather Wilson, secretary of The U.S. Air Force’s Secretary and a 2019 Wash100 Award winner, and David Goldfein, the chief of staff, told senators that the service’s proposed $165B fiscal 2020 budget will cover expansion of its operational squadrons, the branch said Wednesday.

Wilson and Goldfein testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that the Air Force’s proposed budget will cover additional F-35A, F-15EX and KC-46A aircraft as part of the service’s long-term goal of increasing its squadrons from 312 to 386.

Senators asked Wislon and Goldfein to address maintenance efforts at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, the additional KC-46 tankers to be acquired next year, USAF activities in the Arctic and the potential impact to the service following President Trump’s proposal to redirect funds for a border wall.

Wilson noted that the Air Force has not identified which projects would be affected by the border wall proposal. Other Air Force issues that the proposed budget will address include the need to deter Chinese and Russian threats and continued efforts to restore readiness with “special attention on training, maintenance, spare parts and flying hours.”