Two years ago, the threat from improvised explosive devices in Iraq prompted the U.S. military to begin hauling more war supplies by air. This plus recent "surge" operations have exacerbated problems with aging tactical airlift fleets. The aging process will accelerate because of plans to increase Army and Marine Corps strength by more than 90,000, leaving fewer aircraft to support more troops. But the growing urgency to replace old airlifters and cargo helicopters has resulted in conflict ...

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