Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today criticized the Obama Administration's proposal to terminate the Next Generation Bomber.

"President Obama's decision to put our nation's long-term security at risk to pay for his out of control budget is irresponsible," said Thune. "The Next Generation Bomber would preserve our nation's ability to dominate the skies and protect America for decades to come, but now the project faces an uphill battle for survival.

"The Administration is sending mixed signals about this program. Before President Obama took office, Secretary Gates and the Department of Defense repeatedly expressed the importance of the Next Generation Bomber. Last month, the Obama Administration suggested that it be delayed or postponed. Now, the President's budget clearly states that the Next Generation Bomber program will be terminated," Thune said.

"Threats to America's long-term security are growing stronger across the globe, so it is fundamentally unsound to weaken our military strength. It is wrong to steal from our defense needs to pay for the Democrats' bloated budget and record debt. Ultimately, these actions come at the expense of America's safety."

The Air Force had planned to field the Next Generation Bomber by 2018. Ellsworth Air Force Base is seen as a potential bed-down location for the platform.

"The Next Generation Bomber has the potential to secure Ellsworth's future for years to come," added Thune. "Beyond the local impact, our national security could be weakened by this decision. Almost half of our current bomber fleet dates back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and experts say the fleet cannot be counted on to penetrate deep into well-defended air space over the next 25 to 30 years. Evolving threats around the globe require new technology, and the Next Generation Bomber is necessary to meet this challenge."

Senator Thune is the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services AirLand Subcommittee.