DoD Budget and Retiring Aircraft

Welcome to the sixty-first episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast! 

The Defense Department Budget is out and there are a number of aircraft coming into the inventory and a lot going to the Boneyard at Davis Monthan AFB Arizona. Platforms that I refueled from my KC-135 are going to be gone soon, and I voice my concerns about some of the aircraft being cut out of the inventory. My biggest concern is the health of the tanker fleet of course. There are some new aircraft on the horizon also and some of them are cosmic!

This episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast is supported and financed by the book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit available on Amazon in all four formats; hardback, softback, Kindle, and Audible. The softback edition has pictures in black and white, and the hardback, Kindle, and Audible have pictures in color.

Aircraft spoken about in this episode are available from Wall Pilot, custom aviation art for the walls of your home, office, or hanger. These are very detailed profiles of famous aircraft you can peel off and stick to any flat surface. Go take a look at the 128 Ready-to-Print profiles from World War II aircraft to modern aircraft. Wall Pilot can also create a graphic of your favorite aircraft with your name, unit, tail codes, and weapons loadout.

One of my favorite aircraft and fortunately have been able to fly in is the F-15. The 44th Fighter Squadron Vampires were recently deactivated at Kadena Air Base Okinawa and this Eagle jet was one of their jets that deployed to the Middle East with the CHAOS nose art. 

This 64th Aggressor Squadron F-16C was named WRAITH because of its black paint scheme. I like this black Darth Vader scheme!

The KC-10 Extender inventory will be reduced by 10 aircraft this year. The KC-10 has been called the “Gucci Bird” because of its nice ride. This is a Gucci Bird from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB California.

The E-3B Airborne Warning and Control System or AWACS aircraft from the 961st Air Control Squadron is based at Kadena Air Base Okinawa. The AWACS will be replaced by some future platform, probably the 737 Wedgetail flown by other Air Forces.

The B-1B Lancer bomber has been a workhorse of the Global War on Terror, nicknamed The Bone. This B-1B is the flagship of the 77th Weapons Squadron, the US Air Force Weapons School Bone division based at Dyess Air Force Base Texas.

One of my favorite fighter planes is the F-15E Strike Eagle, this one the flagship of the 391st Bold Tigers based at Mountain Home AFB Idaho.

Thanks for downloading and listening to my podcast. We are over 15,000 downloads now and I appreciate all of you who listen. This and previous episodes of the Lesson from the Cockpit podcast can be found on my website at

Check out this episode!

Mark Hasara

Have a great Day!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here, I read them all.

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