Live-blogging: Q&A

/ April 6, 2009 at 5:00 AM

* Asked about congressional reaction, Gates notes decisions will be controversial, says he hopes Congress will "rise above parochial interests" and consider the best interests of the nation.

* Gates says he did not take political interests into account in making decisions. Hopes Obama will approve and Congress will support "as much of it as possible."

* Decisions "emanate directly from the National Defense Strategy," Gates says -- strong analytical base.

* Programs he recommends delaying will be examined in the QDR. A list of "probably 10 or a dozen or more" issues to be examined in the QDR that came out of the exercise.

* F-22A decision: "Not a close call," Gates says. "We have fulfilled the program -- it's not like we're killing the F-22."

* "The military advice that I got was that there is no military requirement for F-22s" beyond current level -- including advice from the Air Force.

* More money for rotorcraft: "most focused" on "the need for more helicopters." In analysis noted principal shortfall was in crews, not airframes. Virtually all of the additional money going to accelerate the training of crews and pilots.

* "There needs to be a new presidential helicopter." Still good service life in current fleet and "we have time to do this." Will review requirements after FY-10 budget is submitted.

* Canceling CSAR-X, but will look at whether there is a requirement for a specialized search-and-rescue helicopter.

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