NEWSWEEK – 01/02/2020: President Donald Trump makes a dozen statements every day. It’s no wonder that he somethings gets some things wrong. In his most recent addressing to the US troops, he promised them an ‘all brand new,’ fleet of aircraft.
POTUS stated that three years ago, the Air Force didn’t have new airplanes and that now they do have them. This was a mistake by Mr. Trump, and the first one to notice was Daniel Dale of CNN.
Talking to troops on Christmas Eve, President Trump said that his administration put a lot of money in new airplanes. He proclaimed that three years ago, Air Force was in bad shape and that that’s changed due to his involvement. President expected that every soldier sees the difference as new planes are already arriving.
The statements made by Donald Trump are all but entirely correct. As of this moment, the average age of Air Force planes is 28 years. The fighters are 26 years old on average, bombers 42, and tankers 54 years. In late 2018 a Congressional Budget Office reported that they have new planes but also those that are 60 years old. Many of them will be out of service at any moment now.
The President did invest money in the Air Force, and the new F-15 will join the fleet in 2020. In the span from 2021 to 2024, there will also be 60 F/A-18 purchases. The estimated money spent only on planes arriving this year is around $1.8 billion. This is good enough for 24 jets.
Daniel Dale of CNN noted that despite Trump’s administration investing in Air Force, it is a far cry from calling it a brand new fleet. It would take years for all old planes to go out of service and be replaced by new ones. We will not even mention what it would cost.
White House was not available for comment. Even if President Trump heard that the Air Force fleet is not brand new, he decided to ignore it.
During the call with the troops, Donald Trump said that the US military is the ‘envy of the world,’ and that his administration is doing things that were never seen before.