He and several other members of Congress emphasized the importance of the Raptor aircraft in a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, recently.
“We question the analytical basis for the decision by the Department of Defense to terminate the procurement of the F-22 Raptor and C-17 Globemaster III,” Utah’s senior senator wrote.
“Accordingly, to ensure the military equipment requirements of the nation are identified through a complete and cogent process, we respectfully request you recommend to the President that production continue until final publication of the next Mobility Capability Study and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review,” he said.
“Recent history has shown major threats to our national security can arise suddenly and in unexpected regions of the world,” Hatch said, citing Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
“In addition, the difficulty in determining when and where a threat may arise is also something we fully support and encourage your initiative to re-establish counterinsurgency warfare as a fundamental and widespread capability in our nation’s Armed Forces,” Hatch said.
“Just as our nation made a strategic error in permitting our ability to successfully prosecute counterinsurgency campaigns to wither and atrophy after the Vietnam War,” he said.
“We must not make a similar mistake and undermine two of the unique foundations of our nation’s military strength: hegemony of the air and our unprecedented airlift capacity,” Hatch said.
“As you (Gates) correctly stated this January, ‘our military must be prepared for a ‘full spectrum’ of operations, including the type of combat we’re facing in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as large scale threats that we face from places like North Korean and Iran.”