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Congress Fights Pentagon Plan to Cut Zeppelin Funding
Fighting back against Pentagon plans to slim the nation's defense budget, a group of congressmen led by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., are warning the Obama Administration against scrapping the Army's fleet of battle zeppelins.
Arguing in favor of the hydrogen-filled, rigid airship's versatility as both a bomber and reconnaissance dirigible, Inhofe says deflating America's blimps could have grave consequences.
"Zeppelins have been helping to keep our country safe for over one hundred years," Inhofe proclaimed, "To cancel this annuity of freedom would endanger our national security and put thousands of hard working Americans on government welfare."
Still, proponents of discontinuing the $12 billion per year zeppelin weapon system point to the improbability of the United States ever again becoming involved in an early 20th century-era large scale ground war, as well as the zeppelin's susceptibility to spontaneous combustion and getting stuck in trees.
"At 500 feet long and with a maximum airspeed velocity of 50 mph, zeppelins currently possess little military value," Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox remarked, "They are spotted relatively easily and are no match for modern fighter planes, small arms fire or sharpened rocks."
The DOD's proposal to scrap the zeppelin program recommends the over 900 giant blimps currently floating over Robinson Air Field in central Oklahoma be converted into trampolines and condoms.
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