The U.S. Air Force’s capability has sunk to 70 percent, according to reports from Frontpage. Only 7 out of 10 planes were mission-capable in 2021. At present, none of the planes required to countering any significant aerial attack or engagement from the Chinese Communist Party or others are more than 70 percent capable.
Mission-capable or “readiness” rates are defined as the percentage of time an aircraft can fly and execute at least one mission, according to reports citing the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Under President Donald Trump’s administration, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis ordered that many Navy and Air Force fighter jets achieve a minimum mission capable rate of 80 percent.
At present, reports suggest that 5-35As, the fifth generation fighters essential to any counterattack mission capability, dropped from 76 percent to 68.8 percent. F-15Es are down from 69 percent to 66 percent. 5-15C are below 70 percent and expected to drop even further, similarly to the C-130 Hercules, dubbed the “backbone” of the U.S. Air Force operations. CV-22 Osprey readiness has fallen to 50 percent, and the B-1 Lancer is now at 40 percent.
One of the oldest aircrafts, the UH-1N Huey, was the only one that met mission-capable goals, but the aircrafts are more than 60 years old. Despite the Air Force spending $56.9 billion in investments on aircrafts in 2021, they are still dependent on outdated machines, many of which are more than 50 years old.
Towards the end of the Trump administration, the U.S. military dropped the expectations set by the Commander in Chief. Defending this decision, an official from the Office of the Secretary of Defense reportedly told the GAO that the U.S. military had decided to move away from narrow goals for specific aircraft and was instead exploring “a more holistic view of readiness.”
Chief of Staff Charles Brown and Chief of Space Operation John Raymond suggested that the U.S. Air Force “should be a balance between mission readiness and ensuring people’s voices are heard,” when asked about U.S. Air Force focus on racism instead of readiness. Under Brown’s leadership, the U.S. Air Force has focused on mitigating unconscious bias, perceived racism, and expanding the diversity of the U.S. Air Force.
While Biden boasted about the largest deployment of stealth fighters in 2021, their actual readiness is around 50 percent. Brown claimed that the F-22’s mission capable rates achieved a high of 68 percent in April 2019, but subsequently dropped that year to 51 percent.
China has spent the last year comprehensively developing their air force using stolen technology and American-funded research. Many U.S. companies, including Pfizer, have partnered with military-linked Chinese organizations and military universities to further their research and development.