Update, Nov. 17: EADS now is predicting the tanker contract award will slip to next year. This is entirely consistent with what we have been hearing (first quarter) and what we understand Boeing believes as well.
A shortage of KC-135 refueling tankers, because of the high demand in Afghanistan and Iraq, forced the Air Force to cancel Red Flag, an annual exercise.
Strategy Page has a couple of obvious errors in its analysis, but the overarching point is well taken.
This illustrates the need for aerial tankers and how warfighting capability can be affected by a shortage of tankers. While the exercise was not canceled due to aging tankers, but rather competing interests, the point is nonetheless made.