Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2009  
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

BOXER STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CONTINUED F-22 RAPTOR PRODUCTION  

 

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today made the following statement after voting against halting production of the F-22 “Raptor.”  

“I voted to support continued production of the F-22 Raptor because we are still hearing strong indications from top military leaders that we need additional aircraft.  

Last month, General Corley, the Commander of the Air Force Air Combat Command, wrote that ending procurement of the F-22 would put our ability to execute our nation’s military strategy at ‘high risk’ over the ‘near to mid-term.’  

In addition, Lieutenant General Harry M. Wyatt III, the Director of the Air National Guard, has stated that these aircraft are particularly important for homeland defense missions, including addressing potential threats from cruise missiles.  

General Merrill McPeak (Ret), the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, also recently added that ending F-22 procurement ‘is a real mistake,’ and that ‘we certainly need some figure well above 200.’  

The United States has made a significant investment in the F-22 program. Before terminating it, I believe we must see in unequivocal terms how the defense planning process has determined that requirements and threats have changed to stop production at 187.  

The next Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)—which outlines our national security strategy—is scheduled for submission by the Department of Defense in early 2010. This important document shapes how our military will respond to threats to our national security. The timing of today’s vote ignored this review.  

While I realize that there are compelling arguments on both sides of this issue, I do not believe we have enough information at this time to shut down the F-22 line and terminate the program at 187 aircraft.” 

The amendment to strip funding for the F-22 passed by a vote of 58-40.