Before Sequestration, Air Force Spends on Luxury Jets

Stuttgart Airfield, Germany - VIP Jet C-37A of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, United States Air Forces in Europe. (Timm Ziegenthaler/Stocktrek Images)

This morning, sequestration officially kicked in, setting off a chain reaction that – unless Congress decides to come together and act, a scenario looking increasingly unlikely – will result in massive budget cuts across the defense community.

Luckily, the Air Force will be able to ride out the cuts – in style – after pledging almost $50 million to support their fleet of C-37 luxury jets.

Last night, the DoD released a list of new contract announcement, as they do every night at roughly 5 PM. Given that this would be the last pre-sequestration contract dump, your intrepid reporter was keeping a close eye on what was announced.

But it was a surprise to see the following contract:

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Savannah, Ga., is being awarded a $49,594,534 firm-fixed-price contract (FA8106-13-D-0001) for contractor logistics support services for the C-37 aircraft. The location of performance is Savannah, Ga.; MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; Joint Base Andrews, Md.; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii and Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013. The contracting activity is OC-ALC/GKSKB, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

 The C-37 is described on the Air Force’s website as “a twin-engine, turbofan aircraft acquired to fill the worldwide special air missions for high-ranking government and Defense Department officials.”

There are nine of the jets serving the Air Force (all in the active component), which means each jet is getting roughly $5.5 million worth of work before the end of the year.

Obviously, the C-37 serves an important purpose of transporting high level officials around while maintaining their contact with key military decision makers. And the last thing anyone wants is one of these planes to break down while transporting someone around the world. But from a sheer visual standpoint, it’s kind of funny to see these jets getting a multi-million dollar award hours before sequestration began.

Aaron Mehta

Aaron Mehta

Air Warfare Correspondent at Defense News
Aaron covers the Air Force for Defense News. In his spare time, he tweets about the Air Force for Defense News. Follow him @AaronMehta
Aaron Mehta