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Fix Existing F-35s Before Buying More [OPINION]

Smart, concise, thoughtful analysis…

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When your car needs new wiper blades, you probably visit an auto parts store and spend about $30. However, if you took the same approach the federal government takes, you would visit a dealer and spend $30,000 on a new car. From tools to Web services, the federal acquisition process is broken.

The Pentagon is a prime example of that brokenness. The U.S. Government Accountability Office puts out a report every two years, highlighting high-risk areas. Military weapons and contracting have been on that list for years. With these two totaling “about $1.66 trillion in investments of 86 major weapons systems and $300 billion in annual contracted services,” as Federal News Network reports. A prime example of waste is the military’s F-35 program.

Lawmakers keep demanding that the Pentagon buy more F-35s, also known as Joint Strike Fighters (JSF). Their most recent spending bill calls for the government to buy 90 of the jets from Lockheed Martin. That’s a dozen more than the military requested.

The increase in demand is causing production delays. “The ramp that we’ve been through from production perspective, that affects not just Lockheed and how they process aircraft through their production line, but all of the lower-tier vendors as well that are now producing the parts at dramatically increasing rates,” Air Force Lt. General Eric Fick tells the publication FlightGlobal. “And then they must also produce spares, even above those rates, right? And making that ramp, not just from a production perspective, but from a purchase of spares perspective, has been challenging.” That’s a polite way of saying that Lockheed can’t keep up with demand, either for new jets or for parts for existing aircraft.

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This production delay would be a problem for any aircraft. Planes can’t fly if they don’t have spare parts available to replace the things that inevitably wear out. It’s especially a problem for the JSF, which has a terrible track record to begin with. Just last year, the Pentagon’s operational testing and evaluation (IOT&E) assessment of the JSF found that “fleet-wide average availability is below the program target value of 60 percent and well below planned 80 percent needed for the efficient conduct of IOT&E.” It admitted there is “no improving trend” among the number of aircraft available for training and combat missions.

The IOT&E’s assessment is ironic because the JSF was sold to taxpayers as a plane that would end up saving taxpayer’s money. We were told that it would be so versatile that it could replace several other types of aircraft. It could serve the Air Force by delivering bombs across long distances and using stealth technology. It could serve the Marines by taking off and landing vertically. It could serve the Navy by landing on carrier decks at sea. It was also supposed to be able to share spare parts; up to 80 percent of parts were supposed to be compatible with any version of the JSF.

Yet in reality, the price tag for the JSF has soared across the years, even as the jet is unable to complete any of its missions very effectively. The supposed savings never developed. “The estimate for operating and supporting the fleet of fighters over more than six decades grew by almost $73 billion to $1.196 trillion,” Time magazine reported in 2019. The spare parts problem is only going to make costs go higher.

When it started planning for the JSF, the military cut corners by trying to implement “concurrency.” It would have Lockheed building it new jets even as jets that were already in service were still going through ground- and flight-testing. Now, that decision is haunting both the contractor (which cannot deliver) and the military (which is missing a critical weapon).

The federal government is responsible for protecting Americans from attack. Instead, it’s leaving us more vulnerable than we need to be, as it throws good money after bad by purchasing new F-35s while others sit grounded for lack of parts. If left to their own devices, the federal government will continue to spend taxpayer dollars with no concern about the results. Taxpayers should demand a new approach in Washington. Without that new approach, Americans will be less safe while having less money. Not exactly a win for the American people.

Tim Tapp is the host of the syndicated, conservative talk show “Tapp” into the Truth. He calls East Tennessee home, where he broadcasts and writes. He also still works in Quality Assurance for a food manufacturing company as he takes up the cause of defending our republic. Find out more at www.tappintothetruth.com

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San Fran Mayor Seen Partying Without Mask Indoors, Breaking Her Own Orders

San Francisco Mayor London Breed was called out Friday for being seen partying in a nightclub without a mask

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed (yes that is her real name) was called out on social media Friday for being seen partying in a nightclub without a mask, but her reply to the complaints is no less than a wild display of hubris.

Breed was seen dancing, posing for photos, and cavorting in a San Fran nightclub on Friday, but city residents and others noticed an interesting thing about the photos. Breed was not wearing a mask… in any of them.

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Oh, and there’s video, too:

By Saturday, Breed was left scoffing at the critics and saying she had an excuse for being maskless. And she don’t need all you all’s “fun police” harshing her spirit.

“‘We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing,’ Breed said, trying to dismiss accusations that she had shirked city rules,” KPIX reported.

She went on to insist that it was all no biggie: ““My drink was sitting at the table,” said Breed. “I got up and started dancing because i was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.”

Well, who is thinking about that darned ol’ mask, anyhoo? It isn’t like there is a law forcing mask use… except that is just what Breed wants from everyone else. She has already passed a policy that everyone in Frisco must wear masks indoors.

Well, she didn’t mean for herself, of course. Don’t you KNOW who she IS?

She is special.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed (yes that is her real name) was called out on social media Friday for being seen partying in a nightclub without a mask, but her reply to the complaints is no less than a wild display of hubris. Breed was seen dancing, posing for photos, and cavorting in a San Fran nightclub on Friday, but city residents and others noticed an interesting thing about the photos. Breed was not wearing a mask… in any of them. https://twitter.com/MatthewFoldi/status/1438683940718583808 Oh, and there’s video, too: https://twitter.com/MichaelPSenger/status/1438976526976831492 By Saturday, Breed was left scoffing at the critics and saying she had an excuse for being maskless. And she don’t need all you all’s “fun police” harshing her spirit. “‘We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing,’ Breed said, trying to dismiss accusations that she had shirked city rules,” KPIX reported. She went on to insist that it was all no biggie: ““My drink was sitting at the table,” said Breed. “I got up and started dancing because i was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.” Well, who is thinking about that darned ol’ mask, anyhoo? It isn’t like there is a law forcing mask use… except that is just what Breed wants from everyone else. She has already passed a policy that everyone in Frisco must wear masks indoors. Well, she didn’t mean for herself, of course. Don’t you KNOW who she IS? She is special. Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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More Americans have Died from Coronavirus than in WWI, WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Combined

According to the most recent numbers, more Americans have died from the coronavirus than died in most of our recent wars combined.

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According to the most recent numbers, more Americans have died from the coronavirus than died in combat during WWI, WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam wars combined.

China should be thrilled. They’ve killed more Americans than all our modern wars combined.

Per Breitbart News:

There have been 673,472 deaths in the United States due to the Chinese coronavirus, more than the combined numbers of American military lives lost during battle in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

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As of Sunday afternoon, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine reported 42,050,638 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 673,472 deaths.

In November 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs recorded 53,402 battle deaths in World War I, 291,557 battle deaths in World War II, 33,739 battles deaths in the Korean War, and 47,434 battle deaths during the Vietnam War.

The combined number of battle deaths in the four wars totaled 426,132.

Recently an artist created a performance piece featuring small white flags to help visualize the death toll.

“This week, over 660,000 white flags were put on display in a tribute at the National Mall in Washington, DC, to represent the lives lost during the pandemic for an exhibit titled, In America: Remember, the New York Post reported Friday,” Breitbart added.

“The 20-acre installation — which was unveiled Friday near the Washington Monument — is the second chilling exhibit that artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg said is based on a project trying to capture the ‘human dignity’ behind the staggering death toll,” the Post wrote.

IF China is not the world’s most dangerous enemy, who is?

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

According to the most recent numbers, more Americans have died from the coronavirus than died in combat during WWI, WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam wars combined. China should be thrilled. They’ve killed more Americans than all our modern wars combined. Per Breitbart News: There have been 673,472 deaths in the United States due to the Chinese coronavirus, more than the combined numbers of American military lives lost during battle in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. As of Sunday afternoon, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine reported 42,050,638 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 673,472 deaths. In November 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs recorded 53,402 battle deaths in World War I, 291,557 battle deaths in World War II, 33,739 battles deaths in the Korean War, and 47,434 battle deaths during the Vietnam War. The combined number of battle deaths in the four wars totaled 426,132. Recently an artist created a performance piece featuring small white flags to help visualize the death toll. “This week, over 660,000 white flags were put on display in a tribute at the National Mall in Washington, DC, to represent the lives lost during the pandemic for an exhibit titled, In America: Remember, the New York Post reported Friday,” Breitbart added. “The 20-acre installation — which was unveiled Friday near the Washington Monument — is the second chilling exhibit that artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg said is based on a project trying to capture the ‘human dignity’ behind the staggering death toll,” the Post wrote. https://youtu.be/qhE_iLmMXz0 IF China is not the world’s most dangerous enemy, who is? Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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