AFP | July 18, 2008

The US Air Force sought money from counter-terrorism funds to install luxurious rooms on military aircraft for travelling top brass and officials, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Several senior generals weighed in on design details of the “comfort capsules,” which include leather chairs, a 37-inch (94 centimetre) flat screen monitor, a bed, table, couch and full-length mirror, the Post wrote, citing budget documents and government e-mails.

The plan has angered lower-ranking Air Force officers and lawmakers’ aides who say the project is a waste of money and inappropriate in a time of war.

The Air Force over the past three years has requested 16.2 million dollars to be diverted from the “war on terror” to fund the project, according to the article.

Lawmakers have twice rejected the service’s requests. In August 2007, Representative John Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, wrote to the military ordering that the money be spent on a “higher priority.”

The Air Force last year decided to use 331,000 dollars from counter-terrorism funds to cover higher than expected costs for the project, officials told the Post.

But a senior officer said in response to questions from the newspaper that it will reverse that decision.

Air Force documents call for the rooms to be “aesthetically pleasing and furnished to reflect the rank of the senior leaders using the capsule,” the paper reported.

Production has started for the first capsule to be fit into the fuselage of a large military aircraft.

Air Force officers say the new capsules would allow senior officers and officials to work and rest comfortably while in the air.

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