In the Military
Inouye urges investment in new C-17 jets
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who is chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, says it is more cost-effective to buy new C-17 Globemaster cargo jets than to refurbish older C-5 Galaxy cargo airlifters, which are undergoing extensive upgrades at Lockheed Martin's plants in Marietta, Ga.
Inouye, in interviews with CongressDaily last week, also called on President Bush to negotiate with Congress on the defense supplemental bill rather using his veto powers.
"I would hope he has (the) good sense to discuss this matter," Inouye told reporters of CongressDaily before the Senate debate on the $121.7 billion budget proposal.
Boeing Co. has nearly filled the Air Force's past order to build 190 C-17 jets and is on the verge of shutting down assembly at its Long Beach plant. Inouye said Bush's proposal to increase the number of troops in the Marine Corps and the Army and the increase in operations overseas would result in the Air Force needing at least 220 C-17s, each costing $200 million.
While Inouye said he sees the benefit of a larger air transport fleet, he expressed concern that it could jeopardize domestic programs such as health care and education. The increase in the fleet of C-17s could be accommodated by retiring the older and more expensive C-5s, the Hawaii Democrat added.
Capt. R. Bruce Stewart assumed command of Destroyer Squadron 31 at Pearl Harbor on Thursday, relieving Capt. Frederick Pfirrmann. Destroyer Squadron 31 consists of destroyers USS Chafee, USS Chung Hoon, USS Hopper, USS Hamilton, USS Russell and USS O'Kane, and frigates USS Crommelin and USS Reuben James. Pfirrmann's next assignment will be with the Seventh Fleet as chief of staff. Stewart's previous assignment was as deputy director for operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Stewart received his commission through Officer Candidate School in 1983 after graduating from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
Capt. Aaron Cudnohufsky relieved Capt. Mark Darrah as commanding officer of the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday. A 1981 graduate of Ottawa University, Darrah began his career as an electronics countermeasures officer on EA-6B Prowler aircraft. He has served as commanding officer of VAQ-142, where he directed two successful combat deployments to Southwest Asia.
As the EA-18G deputy program manager, he led the development of the Navy's newest electronic attack aircraft, the Growler. A pilot who flew F-14D Super Tomcats, Cudnohufsky has accrued more than 3,400 flight hours, including more than 800 carrier landings, and participated in 50 combat missions.
Darrah will assume command of the F/A-18 and EA-18G program office at the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md. Also known as PMA-265, it is the Navy's largest aviation acquisition program with management of more than 1,000 F/A-18 aircraft and a $5.5 billion budget.
At Hickam, Col. Andrew Hockman has taken over command of the 154th Operations Group. Hockman's previous assignment was director of operations management at Tanker Airlift control Center, 18th Air Force at Tinker Air Force Base in Illinois.
"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako
, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin. He can be reached by phone at 294-4075 or by e-mail at email@example.com