|IMMEDIATE RELEASE||March 20, 1998||(703)697-5737(public/industry)|
The panel received briefings and held discussions with representatives of the principal organizations within the Department of Defense and industry associated with long-range air power. The panel investigated a wide variety of issues including the advantages and limitations of long range air power, the value of stealth, advances in counter stealth technology, force tradeoffs, plans for new precision guided munitions, and Department of Defense budget forecasts.
After careful review and discussions of all the information made available, the panel recommended that all of the $331 million appropriated in FY98 be used for the baseline B-2 program and for upgrades to improve the deployability, survivability, and maintainability of the 21 existing B-2 stealth bombers. The panel also recommended that the Department better exploit the potential of the current B-1, B-2 and B-52 bomber force through more operational attention and additional investment in support and upgrades, and that the Department develop a plan to sustain the bomber force for the longer term.
Former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Welch chaired the panel.
Joining General Welch on the panel were Samuel Adcock, Daimler Benz Corp.;
Sen. James Exon; John Foster, TRW Inc.; Fred Frostic, Booz Allen-Hamilton,
Inc.; former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Merrill McPeak; Mr. Walter Morrow,
MIT Laboratory; Donald Rice, former Secretary of the Air Force; and retired
Air Force Gen. Robert Rutherford.