US Defense Secretary proposes a $1bn boost for US Air Force pilots training

World Defense & Security News - United States
US Defense Secretary proposes a $1bn boost for US Air Force pilots training
The Pentagon's fiscal 2017 budget will propose a $1 billion boost in spending on advanced training for the US Air Force over the next five years, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday. Carter said the extra funding would pay for at least 34 major air combat training exercises at Nellis Air Force Base and other ranges, helping prepare US forces for a variety of missions from counterinsurgency operations to conflicts with technologically advanced enemies.
US Defense Secretary proposes a 1bn boost for US Air Force pilots training 640 001Two USAF T-38 Talon advanced training aircraft
(Credit: USAF/Tech. Sgt. Matthew Hannen)
Carter said the Air Force would also invest in improving the infrastructure and resources at Nellis and other training ranges, and in hiring more mechanics.

"This is a critical place. It's going to stay a critical place, and it's going to get budgetary priority. The key is readiness," Carter said.

The Pentagon chief lauded the importance of the work done at the Nevada base, which kicked off a large-scale air combat exercise called Red Flag on Jan. 25 that runs through Feb. 12.

No other US training range offered the opportunity to integrate satellite, cyber, aircraft and ground assets at once, preparing US pilots ready to fight in future wars, he said.

Carter toured the base after previewing the Pentagon's $582.7 billion budget for 2017 earlier this week. The budget plan shifts funding to focus more on potential threats from near-peer competitors such as Russia and China.

"We have to be ready for it all," Carter told reporters.


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