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September 12, 2023

King Questions Air Force Chief of Staff Nominee on Military Readiness and Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, today questioned General David Allvin – nominee for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force – about the government’s financial responsibility to taxpayers.

I will give you a lot of assignments — the first is on availability. You and I have talked about the range of availability for Air Force airplanes in the 1960's. Some are below, one or two are above — that is not acceptable,” said Senator King. “These are expensive platforms and in the private sector, you would never have a $100 million item that is only available 60-percent of the time. I hope that you would do a study, order a study of availability and readiness and what the bottlenecks are. Is it parts? Maintainers? What is causing us to have so many planes stranded for long periods of time? Would you commit to taking a serious look at this question?”

Senator, I absolutely will. I would say if I could just make a point on that, it is true that these availability numbers need to come up. We are starting that. I can definitely report back to you on what we're doing and how we're doing. I think one of the challenges is we don't control all the levers that commercial industry was doing. I think we mentioned we would love to be able to benchmark ourselves by Delta, but Delta would never keep airplanes for as long as we keep airplanes. And so those are some of the things that we're trying to be able to manage,” replied General Allvin.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senator King is recognized as an authoritative voice on 21st century national security and foreign policy issues. He recently secured significant priorities in SASC’s bipartisan 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) including the largest pay raise in over 20 years for servicemembers, provisions to study the security threats posed by artificial intelligence, and additional resources to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country.


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