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The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter invaluable to our military

Let there be no doubt. The F-35 cannot be replaced. That is why our Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin should support funding the project. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley recently called a new long-range bomber "essential" and said there is "no alternative" to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as he pledged to protect some major weapons programs from defense spending cuts. As the Pentagon prepares for budget cuts that may trim more than $800 billion from anticipated defense spending over the next decade, Donley vowed to "safeguard and defend" many of the most costly Air Force procurement programs. They are needed to "preserve Air Force core missions and capabilities," he said. Pointing to a fighter fleet that is on average 22 years old and a tanker force with an average age of 49 years, Donley used a speech to the Air Force Association to lay down markers on spending needs. "Simply put, there is no alternative to the F-35 program,


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