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Wow, I'm in San Diego and I'm bummed I missed the F-35 fly-by. Hopefully they'll do it more and if I'm paying attention, I might see one. I live near the base, but work right under the flight corridor Miramar uses to go out over the ocean, so hopefully I'll see one before too long.

That F-35 came from here in Yuma. It was IFR refueling over Mirimar a couple of days ago with a C-130 from VMGR-352 I believe. I will see if and when the next time they do it again so everyone can know about it. Maybe you all can get some good photos of it and share them.

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That F-35 came from here in Yuma. It was IFR refueling over Mirimar a couple of days ago with a C-130 from VMGR-352 I believe. I will see if and when the next time they do it again so everyone can know about it. Maybe you all can get some good photos of it and share them.

Well if it works out and doesn't create any security issues, that would be great! I would happily share any photos I got with the members here.

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It is hard for me to see Rafale as a serious contender for the Canadian program. Rafale offer little or no cost advantage over the F-35. It did not fare well in international competition partially because of price and partially because it lacks advanced systems such as AESA radar and Electronic warfare system in operational status. The strongest selling point is that France offers best technology transfer and the buyer will actually be allowed to participate in the development of AESA and EWS.

I wonder if Canada will consider what the Australian and USN did, getting a mixed fleet of Super Hornet and JSF to stretch their budget?

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http://rt.com/usa/pentagon-f35-stealth-bomber-963/

Well, it's a helluva way to make the half trillion in cuts not so painful.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to reporters on Wednesday and indicated that the Pentagon might have to decide between a "much smaller force" and a decade-long "holiday" from modernizing weapons systems and technology.

Another 10 year holiday?

FTFA:

Last year, US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said that the US has no need for new tanks. But even though senior Army officials have repeatedly stated that there is no need to spend half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds on new 70-ton Abrams tanks, lawmakers from both parties have pushed the Pentagon to accept the useless purchases.

Earlier this year, an investigation revealed that lobbying efforts by Northrop Grumman have kept a costly Global Hawk drone flying, despite the Pentagon’s attempt to end the project. A defense authorization bill passed by Congress requires the Air Force to keep flying its Block 30 Global Hawks through at least 2014, which costs taxpayers $260 million per year.

I just thought of some things we could cut...

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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http://rt.com/usa/pentagon-f35-stealth-bomber-963/

Well, it's a helluva way to make the half trillion in cuts not so painful.

With all due respect, what you are suggesting would likely result in the biggest decline in US power and prestige since the end of the Vietnam War. It is by no means hyperbole to claim the F-35 is the Pentagon's most critical weapon program...

First off, on the strategic balance cutting the F-35 would leave the United States with a force structure largely made up of 1980s fighters against a rapidly modernizing China. Most of those fighters require refurbishment.... which is more billions or else a major cut of the deployable force. Compare that to China, who is increasing their defence spending by 10% year by year. In the past three years they have engaged in acts of aggression against t Japan, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam... not to mention Taiwan. This is all in the foreground of a major investment in capabilities like the J-20 and other anti-access/area denial systems.

Its not just the United States, several of its key allies would be left out in the cold. The UK's carrier plan would go right out the window.... European and other allies would be left without a replacement they have been promised for over 15 years. Even worse, it would absolutely ruin the trust in the American defence industry, which has been carefully cultivated over the past 70 years. Why would the states have any trust in the U.S.'s promises, when it cut the program it was pushing the hardest to its allies?

I fully understand the hurt that is being perpetrated on the US Military because the ongoing budget cutbacks. It reminds me of the pain suffered by the personnel of the Canadian Forces in the 1990s... which was even worse because they were being deployed unsustainably and the missions were causing extreme duress on people's lives. I have a large number of friends who went through this. However cuts to the F-35... even small ones, would wreak untold harm to the U.S.'s prestige. Its not worth it, by any stretch of the imagination. That's why this program, in the midst of one of the biggest drawdowns in the past 70 years, has remained steadfast in its support of it.

Its just not worth it. To go back to the Canadian forces in the 1990s, yes the cuts were painful. But I would suggest that what was often as painful was the fact we sent our men and women overseas with inadequate equipment and told them to do their job.

Edited by -Neu-
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I am for keeping the F-35 program going but.....

The elephant in the room is we either need to increase tax revenues and or sacrifice everything else on the altar of national defense to pay for the toys OR we do a "REAL" top to bottom financial overhaul of how the pentagon conducts business with its providers which I'm sure would result in some major eye opening scandals. Unfortunately no one wants to go near the latter. I'm sure it would be explosive. Talk about corporate socialism. The defense companies have too much of an imbedded, quid pro quo situation with the pentagon. Also, all the privatization that has taken place in the military which was supposed to cut costs have dramaticly increased the cost of our military. Jobs that used to be done by our soldiers and sailors are now done by private contractors. Great for the soldiers, bad for the budget.

We kind of are the victim of our own mismanagement of our forces and money because of how our pentagon and the contractors operate. Our politicians have not performed due diligence over them. In the 50's and 60's each branch of our aviation services had several aircraft in production or design stages now we are lucky to have one or two every 20 years and it costs billions in cost over runs. And then it takes even longer before they are considered service ready.

The gestation period for our new fighters has grown into decades and still they don't work. Ships that are corroding, under armed and designed for a job that doesn't exist. Destroyers that have a 20-25 year design history only to be abandoned after billions have been spent and the navy said it is too expensive!!? Millions spent on fashionista camo uniforms for our soldiers because of inter service rivalries. Our military and their contractors are out of control and there are people in government that want to throw EVEN MORE more money at them above what they are spending now. The problem isn't money, we spend it in spades over everyone else on the planet. It is the relationships between the military and their contractors that is secretive and out of control.

Like some have said in the past, throwing money at social programs didn't work, Well I submit the same is true for the military.

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Rather than solely blame the Military Industrial Complex, the equal or more share falls on those in office. Congressional Industrial Complex.

Nobody in the Pentagon is elected. Nobody there needs to bring or keep jobs in their disctrict. There was a time when the latest greatest toy was a gleam in the service chief's eye, but that time is largely past. The level of oversight within DoD, and the legally enforced Jointness, have done a lot to reign in the rampant nonsense. Is it perfect? No. There are still idiots in the services, like everywhere else, making stupid, parochial decisions. But by and large the ridiculous era we encountered through the 50's to 70's have substantially changed.

Furthermore, the DoD is PEANUTS these days. Used to be the military could dictate the direction of technology. Now they wait to see what Apple or Google has paid for, and if it can be used for military purposes. Big programs still bring jobs, but aside from the big contractors, very few businesses live or die by the sword anymore.

Finally, I find your totally unsupported, baseless assumption that the Pentagon must have "major eye opening scandals" to be patently ignorant and offensive. If you have even one scintilla of evidence to back that slander up, feel free to present it. Otherwise, please refrain from insulting the entire defense establishment, which on the civilian side, has largely had the last couple (and with no end in sight) Fridays "off" without pay due to the gross negligence of those who truly control the budget.

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The defense industry has long been wrought with corruption. Let me see....bribery, falsified test results, double or triple charges on parts, etc, etc,....

All you have to do is read the paper, in fact Northrop/Grumman just is under investigation as we speak. If for one minute you don't think a big money industry like defense is not scandal ridden your blind.

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Mark W.

Not to be contrary but as Bad Turbine has stated, there is a long history of corruption between the DoD and their contractors at various times. Not always but there have been instances. We are talking in billions of dollars here and when you are talking about those kinds of dollars at stake with a competitive business environment I would be astounded if there was no corruption at all between the DoD and suppliers. And by the way, I don't mean the whole thing is corrupt top to bottom, I just think there are areas where things get just a little too cozy, especially with "pet" DoD projects with major contractors. Sometimes I think the military looks like it doesn't care to be good stewards of the taxpayer's dollars. The same goes for the contractors and some of our congressional reps. It seems like these programs are not so much a matter of national defense but about grabbing as much money as can be passed around, both for the contractors and the various representative congressional districts. When you hear in the press about some of these projects and their lingering problems and the huge amounts of money being spent over the course of decades, one can only imagine what we are not being told as to their worthiness and effectiveness.

As for the sequestration, there were many in congress at the time that did not want it but in many ways these days, congress is a mess and has been for a couple of decades now. It has even hurt my income even though I am not a government employee. So don't lecture me about that. I thought it was a stupid idea when it was passed and when nothing was done to stop it before it took effect. It has hurt not only government employees but the economic impact spreads far beyond just those employees into society and the economy in general.

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Not at all off topic. Sequestration is impacting F-35 as we speak, and like it or not, it will be politicians responsible for either keeping they program alive or killing it. Kind of hard to keep politicians totally out of the discussion when the F-35 news will be written by them.

Further, referencing "Congress" isn't political in itself. That term encompass the entire legislature. Nobody in this current line has made it about a particular party.

We are discussing "governing", our a lack thereof, not politics.

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The defens industry has long been wrought with corruption. Let me see....bribery, falsified test results, double or triple charges on parts, etc,etc....

All you have to do is read the paper, in fact Northrop/Grumman just is under investigation as we speak. If for one minute you don't think a big money industry like defense is not scandal ridden your blind.

Way to paint with a broad brush. This investigation?

Earlier this year, an investigation revealed that lobbying efforts by Northrop Grumman have kept a costly Global Hawk drone flying, despite the Pentagon’s attempt to end the project. A defense authorization bill passed by Congress requires the Air Force to keep flying its Block 30 Global Hawks through at least 2014, which costs taxpayers $260 million per year.  

Lobbying is illegal?

I never said the Defense industry was corruption free. but by this logic, every doctor is evil if one touches a patient the wrong way. Try giving an actual, relevant example like Darlene Druyun.

The problem with posts like this one and jpk's is the context. In the context of saving $500B, jpk makes it sound like all the "major eye opening scandals" are the reason we are in the hole.

Yes there's corruption, but your ignorance of how hard it is to actually get away with it, or how rare it really is, makes both of these assertions particularly insulting to the 99.99% in the industry and DoD trying to do the right thing.

jpk, sorry to hear of your impact. I'll pass that on to all the GS-12s in my area who now can't make a mortgage payment.

As for F-35 impacts, how its flight test getting done on weekends now? It ain't.

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With all due respect, what you are suggesting would likely result in the biggest decline in US power and prestige since the end of the Vietnam War. It is by no means hyperbole to claim the F-35 is the Pentagon's most critical weapon program...

First off, on the strategic balance cutting the F-35 would leave the United States with a force structure largely made up of 1980s fighters against a rapidly modernizing China. Most of those fighters require refurbishment.... which is more billions or else a major cut of the deployable force. Compare that to China, who is increasing their defence spending by 10% year by year. In the past three years they have engaged in acts of aggression against t Japan, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam... not to mention Taiwan. This is all in the foreground of a major investment in capabilities like the J-20 and other anti-access/area denial systems.

Its not just the United States, several of its key allies would be left out in the cold. The UK's carrier plan would go right out the window.... European and other allies would be left without a replacement they have been promised for over 15 years. Even worse, it would absolutely ruin the trust in the American defence industry, which has been carefully cultivated over the past 70 years. Why would the states have any trust in the U.S.'s promises, when it cut the program it was pushing the hardest to its allies?

I fully understand the hurt that is being perpetrated on the US Military because the ongoing budget cutbacks. It reminds me of the pain suffered by the personnel of the Canadian Forces in the 1990s... which was even worse because they were being deployed unsustainably and the missions were causing extreme duress on people's lives. I have a large number of friends who went through this. However cuts to the F-35... even small ones, would wreak untold harm to the U.S.'s prestige. Its not worth it, by any stretch of the imagination. That's why this program, in the midst of one of the biggest drawdowns in the past 70 years, has remained steadfast in its support of it.

Its just not worth it. To go back to the Canadian forces in the 1990s, yes the cuts were painful. But I would suggest that what was often as painful was the fact we sent our men and women overseas with inadequate equipment and told them to do their job.

Just to add to this, cutting the F-35 is "saving" in the short term and massively expensive in the long term. Taking care of a fleet of sickly old jets with funds running low is a fast way to cripple the force. We aren't really talking about getting rid of the JSF and banging out F-teen fighters into forever right? we are going to spend the money, its just a matter of what we spend it on. The all 3 services are in need of replacement aircraft, its just a matter of what we get. The F-35 will get you the most bang for your buck. the 1970s were pretty grim and the US got the Harrier, A-10 and teen series in there, and that was extremely helpful to say the least. We are going to start hemorrhaging personnel, I'd rather have a smaller more lethal force than a slightly less small force without modern equipment.

even from a MIC pessimist view the JSF offers an international monopoly on fighter aircraft for the next 40 years, LOTS of income and jobs for the next few decades, the US would be foolish to let that go.

Also, all the privatization that has taken place in the military which was supposed to cut costs have dramaticly increased the cost of our military. Jobs that used to be done by our soldiers and sailors are now done by private contractors. Great for the soldiers, bad for the budget.

I'll have to disagree with you on this, If you saw how much government money goes into not just soldiers but their families, family support, healthcare, and schools, the savings are not so obvious. PVT shmuckatelly (after some waivers) joins the Marines and is a fine trigger puller, he then marries his 18 year old h-school sweetheart and they bang out a couple of kids (they are probably his) in his first 4 years. well the USMC is now on the hook for 4 people and only 1 is a trigger puller, the other 3 are just expensive attachment that don't help the mission, but distract from it. they require time and treasure from the entire chain of command, especially as PVT Shmucky is now distracted, leaves work early, and can't afford to feed them and is on food stamps. We are paying more, and getting less. All of this becomes a bigger and bigger problem. Dependapotmouses are expensive. the "happy ending" is he stays in. the bad ending is his wife pressures him to do something stupid to "get out" of the corps, and all the time and training invested is wasted. I've seen this played out many times.

politically, private contractors keep people "in the mix" without having to draft people. Thats pretty huge. They also prevent the loss of experience and training (for Tier I types we are talking millions) while freeing the US government of the familial obligations. Its not perfect by any stretch, but there is a method to the madness. I was actually shocked just how many jobs are still done by the military while I was in. You need a Marine Corporal for Military IDs?

"The problem with people is everything" Basically SecDef has said we can have new toys or people, personnel costs are phenomenal in the US Military, and post GWoT we are shrinking its just a matter of by how much. Which is unpleasant because we are releasing them into an environment of unemployment, and that is going to cause havoc with veterans. But I don't believe in keeping them in just so they can collect a paycheck either. A lot of people got in thanks to Iraqistan that would have been told to take a hike in less desperate times, but we needed bodies. It happens in wartime. A lot of the people GED/No H-school diploma types are going to be shown the door.

We are also supposed to be doing the "pacific pivot", which is the polite way of saying "the cold war against China" and fewer COIN type operations that require lots of people but low tech. I'm hoping the US decides to stay away from expensive long term wars like Iraqistan over the next 20 years, in which case new gear trumps legions of troops. If we want to do the same thing in a exciting new location, keep the people and old weapons.

We are basically going off the 1970s playbook. shrink the force, rearm, rebuild.

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I'll have to disagree with you on this, If you saw how much government money goes into not just soldiers but their families, family support, healthcare, and schools, the savings are not so obvious. PVT shmuckatelly (after some waivers) joins the Marines and is a fine trigger puller, he then marries his 18 year old h-school sweetheart and they bang out a couple of kids (they are probably his) in his first 4 years. well the USMC is now on the hook for 4 people and only 1 is a trigger puller, the other 3 are just expensive attachment that don't help the mission, but distract from it. they require time and treasure from the entire chain of command, especially as PVT Shmucky is now distracted, leaves work early, and can't afford to feed them and is on food stamps. We are paying more, and getting less. All of this becomes a bigger and bigger problem. Dependapotmouses are expensive. the "happy ending" is he stays in. the bad ending is his wife pressures him to do something stupid to "get out" of the corps, and all the time and training invested is wasted. I've seen this played out many times.

politically, private contractors keep people "in the mix" without having to draft people. Thats pretty huge. They also prevent the loss of experience and training (for Tier I types we are talking millions) while freeing the US government of the familial obligations. Its not perfect by any stretch, but there is a method to the madness. I was actually shocked just how many jobs are still done by the military while I was in. You need a Marine Corporal for Military IDs?

"The problem with people is everything" Basically SecDef has said we can have new toys or people, personnel costs are phenomenal in the US Military, and post GWoT we are shrinking its just a matter of by how much. Which is unpleasant because we are releasing them into an environment of unemployment, and that is going to cause havoc with veterans. But I don't believe in keeping them in just so they can collect a paycheck either. A lot of people got in thanks to Iraqistan that would have been told to take a hike in less desperate times, but we needed bodies. It happens in wartime. A lot of the people GED/No H-school diploma types are going to be shown the door.

We are also supposed to be doing the "pacific pivot", which is the polite way of saying "the cold war against China" and fewer COIN type operations that require lots of people but low tech. I'm hoping the US decides to stay away from expensive long term wars like Iraqistan over the next 20 years, in which case new gear trumps legions of troops. If we want to do the same thing in a exciting new location, keep the people and old weapons.

We are basically going off the 1970s playbook. shrink the force, rearm, rebuild.

You speak wisely, my friend.

Interestingly, there was a time when a married person could not join the USMC, simply because of the demands of the service, especially for first termers, who have a warfighting speciality to learn, deployments to go on, and just some plain growing up to do. If you decided to re-up, the prohibition was removed as you were now considered "career," although you may have still had to run a chit, undergo some counseling, etc. IIRC, the Navy required first termers to run a chit also....in the early 80s. A good idea if you ask me.

I have said it before and I will say it again....military service is about giving something of yourself to the nation...not the other way around. It should not be about civil rights (robust programs dedicated to increasing a diversity in the officer ranks), providing equal opportunities for women(combat slots), or taking care of "Dependapotamusses" (I love that word). It is about building, equipping, and maintaining a cost effective fighting force with the best, most qualified people you can find to do the job. You simply can't do that and remain PC at the same time. PC entails compromises to the social values of the non-military general public who often don't truly understand military service and who are more empathetic to individual aspirations than combat effectiveness. I think our advanced technology hurts us a bit here. We have been taking on these third tier adversaries and whipping them with relative ease. If we had to go "mano y mano," in a large scale fight, the public attitude might be different. Also, the general public, to some degree in the US, and in many nations around the world, increasingly view our attempts at establishing security/political stability and rooting out terrorism as as nothing more than disguised military imperialism and are therefor disinclined to respect the current "mission."

Having said all that, you can't expect a career military person to never have a family. I am not saying that. The biggest problem is with immature first termers, which I have personally witnessed over and over and over. Lets get past the first enlistment, shall we? Then maybe with bit of money in the bank and some seasoning, you can handle a "family" a little better.

Edited by DutyCat
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Corruption is NOT rare in the defense industry. What contractor do you work for? Thou doth protest way too much! Your so in the dark it's obvious no one could ever shed enough light for you to see. Look around.

Knowledge:

http://www.transparency.org/news/pressrelease/defence_companies_are_upping_their_fight_against_corruption

BTW, i was also referring to the DoD, thanks for playing.

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Corruption is NOT rare in the defense industry. What contractor do you work for? Thou doth protest way too much! Your so in the dark it's obvious no one could ever shed enough light for you to see. Look around.

Wow, right to the insults. That's a record. Should I just go and state that I don't think you know what you're talking about?

I would suggest that a good portion of us here worked or have worked on the gov't side. Is there waste? absolutely. Then again, I've seen just as bad, if not worse in the private sector. Bad decisions are made, Risks underestimated, problems undiscovered. Few people outside the circle of procurement understand JUST how difficult delivering items on cost. The Defence market is fundamentally different from the public one, for about seven different reasons.

Revolutionary products versus evolutionary products.

Milspec tolerances versus commercial tolerances

One Buyer (DoD) versus many (companies or people)

Few Competitors (and in some cases monopoly) versus many competitors

Prices determined Cost+ contracts versus market determined cost.

Small production quantity versus large production quantity.

Heavy Regulation versus little regulation.

It makes the outcome of defence acquisition exceptionally hard to deliver properly. Then again look at how boeing has struggled with the "revolutionary" 787... which in reality probably isn't 1/8th as revolutionary as the F-35 is in comparison to what it's replacing.

Corruption however is exceedingly rare. I'd suggest that its probably no greater than what you see in the private sector... its the Darleen Druyuns of the world. Its certainly nothing like you're claiming.

Edited by -Neu-
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Corruption however is exceedingly rare. I'd suggest that its probably no greater than what you see in the private sector... its the Darleen Druyuns, PHIL CONDITs, HARRY STONECIPHERs and McDONNELL FAMILYs of the world.

Fixed it for you, sir.

And then there's the fact of offices only going through ONE roll of duct tape every year or two, but only being able to get them in six-packs because that's the smallest pack that can hold the HAZMAT label... and by the time they get to Roll #3 the stuff is too old to use.

Your tax dollars at work, thank you very much OSHA and EPA!

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To be fair, the Pentagon routinely considers canceling EVERY major program, on a regular basis. Nothing is too sacred and nothing too critical that it doesn't have a mess of GO types ready to squash it and allocate the funds elsewhere. The F-35 is not the most critical weapons program, not even in the top 3, its just the most overhyped, most expensive, and largest target in the room. The parts for this plane are made in 48 different states. That means that any cuts to the program require 96 Senators to allow overpaid jobs in their district to be cut, which isn't going to happen just yet. Not to mention the investment in other countries and the strategic logistics behind having parts and services worldwide that would make this project nearly impossible to kill. Well played Lockheed.

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