Wicker hoped to continue, not cut, F-22 production

A retired Air Force officer and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee says he disagrees with the majority of enators who voted to cut funding for the F-22 Stealth fighter project.

The 58-to-40 vote to kill the F-22 came as a victory for the Obama administration. The Pentagon argued the money would be better spent elsewhere, while F-22 supporters said cutting the program would cost thousands of jobs.

The vote removed $1.75 billion from the defense budget that would have gone to build seven more of the stealth technology fighters. The Air Force already has 187 of them. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) was among those siding with the administration.

But fellow Armed Services Committee member Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), who retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, believes the F-22 project should continue.

“The argument is made that we’ve never used them in combat, and so we don’t need them. I think it’s like saying, ‘I had a gun in my home to defend myself and have never had to use it,'” he explains. “The very presence of a superior weapon has kept us from having to be in major combat, so I was for going ahead with more construction of some F-22s.”