Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chief of staff":

"… llion over the fleet’s 35-year lifespan. Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, told a June 19 congressional hearing that the F-35 was “the only viable …"

The huge drone that could not be grounded

By Richard H.P. Sia and Alexander Cohen

A major defense contractor used its connections on Capitol Hill to keep a troubled drone aircraft aloft at a cost of billions of dollars.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chief of staff":

"… respond to repeated requests for comment. Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, responded that the hourly cost was “about the same” but argued that, …"

"… ldn’t keep flying both of them, Gen. Norton Schwartz, then the Air Force chief of staff, responded that “if resources were not an issue or were less an issue, w …"

F35 program may be unaffordable, auditor says

By Richard H.P. Sia

The most costly military program in history might wind up busting the Pentagon budget.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chief of staff":

"… ated cost of $391 billion for 2,443 planes. Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, who also testified, called the F-35 “the only viable option” to repla …"

US Airways strengthens lobbying force

By Dave Levinthal

US Airways hires pair of new government relations firms to help navigate merger with American Airlines.

Pentagon criticizes F-35 contractors but hands over the dough

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

UPDATE: Early flight tests show multiple problems but the program gets new funds just before sequester.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… of the cockpit? These shortcomings are  listed in a 48-page, Feb. 15 Pentagon report obtained by the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group …"

"… hington, and published online this week. Signed by J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s chief testing officer, the report amounted to a detailed and damning …"

"… own to zero hour on the budget sequester, the big contractors building the Pentagon’s over-budget, under-performing, and designed-on-the-fly F-35 Joint Stri …"

"… northern or southern hemisphere. But they managed to get a check from the Pentagon anyway. The funds arrived a few days after a rhetorical shot heard halfwa …"

Helium balloon maker shows lobbyists love

By Dave Levinthal

Gas shortage prompts helium balloon company to hire help as Valentine's Day nears.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chief of staff":

"… g to documents filed Wednesday with the U.S. Senate. Greg Means, a former chief of staff for ex-Rep. Dennis Eckart, D-Ohio, and Mike Henry, a former staffer on the …"

A close call for the world’s most advanced warplane?

By Douglas Birch

Fuel line leaks and a special vulnerability to lightning are the latest troubles for the Pentagon's advanced fighter jet

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… he costliest weapons program in U.S. history. Just days earlier, the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation office's annual report to Congress&nbs …"

"… hitney and Rolls Royce engineers were working with Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office to fix the problem as quickly as possible. …"

"… opment, the three designs have diverged. Many experts have questioned the Pentagon’s decision to design, test and build the complex aircraft at the same ti …"

Documents show Air Force neglected concerns about F-22 pilot safety

Documents show Air Force neglected concerns about pilot safety

Excerpts from this story referencing "House subcommittee":

"… wever, now concur that the F-22's oxygen schedule needs to be revised.At a House subcommittee hearing this month, Clinton Cragg, the chief engineer for NASA's Engineeri …"

"… Force Scientific Advisory Board investigation that began in 2011, told the House subcommittee that "over the past 20 years, the capabilities and expertise of the USAF t …"

F-35 deputy sees challenges ahead

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Aaron Mehta

New F-35 program deputy gives a candid assessment of flaws in the most expensive weapon in Pentagon history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… program's got to perform,” said Welsh. …"

"… s run during the past decade and its criticism of the chaotic way that the Pentagon has been buying such high-tech weapons.Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, a sev …"

"… s lead contractor Lockheed Martin is “the worst I’ve ever seen.”The Pentagon intends to spend over $1.5 trillion over the next thirty years on the F-35 …"

"… program has eight foreign partners and two foreign customers, a number the Pentagon hopes to grow. Partly as a result, its management has been a mess: Cost ov …"

Pentagon efforts to straighten out bookkeeping face billion-dollar cost overruns

By Zach Toombs

Software troubles cast doubt on Panetta’s promise of an accounting of expenses by 2017.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… roduction to the report.As noted in an October 2011 article by the Center, Congress has been pressing for more accurate accounting systems partly to help stop …"

Bouncing too much to find the enemy

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The F35 is having trouble with its high-tech helmets and structural cracks and skin repairs and tailhooks and more.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Venlet":

"… eing addressed," partly through the backup visor. The director, Vice Adm. David Venlet, told a defense conference that the plane was just having "normal teething …"

Costly work ahead for F-22

By Aaron Mehta

America's newest fighter jet needs years of upgrades and repairs, but pilots are not keen to fly them.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… sts had nearly tripled, reaching $412 million a plane, according to a 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Production lagged well behind schedule, and the wars in Iraq …"

Will the $55 billion bomber program fly?

By David Axe

The pricetag is at least $55 billion, the design is unsettled and the mission is controversial.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Asia":

"… stically. “Rebalancing our global posture and presence to emphasize the Asia-Pacific and Middle East areas … requires an Air Force that is able to pe …"

"… e Obama administration — which announced a “strategic pivot” towards Asia in recent months — has expressed concern that a failure to provide a U.S …"

"… tes that other factors are at play besides military need. “You have new [Asia-centered] strategy which, on the surface, would seem indicate some rationa …"

Windfalls of war: Taxpayers get hammered by Pentagon attempts to "one-stop-shop"

By Sharon Weinberger

Pentagon abused its sole-source authority on weapons from tankers to choppers

Excerpts from this story referencing "head":

"… ing contract to purchase helicopters,” said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the head of Global Strike Command, according to Flight International, a trade publi …"

BARR battle: Obama administration to make more corporate jet data public despite flak

By Corbin Hiar

The Obama administration's plan to make even more data available on corporate jet flights is drawing heat from some strange bedfellows

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ray LaHood":

"… ne 29, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to protest the planned restriction. Six other Democratic members of the Se …"

Boeing pocketed millions by overcharging Army, IG report finds

By Ben Wieder

Boeing overcharged the Army $13 million for helicopter parts

Excerpts from this story referencing "Boeing Co.":

"… 02 in Pentagon contracts in fiscal 2009, according to Government Executive. …"

Half of Pentagon’s acquisition programs marred by poor management

By Laurel Adams

Over the past two years, Pentagon spending has increased by $135 billion, growing to a total of $1.68 trillion. Almost half of the increase

Excerpts from this story referencing "USD":

"… for salmonella, but 270,000 of them had already been granted the official USDA trademark deeming them safe for consumption. Right now, egg producers are …"

"… st for salmonella, but still does not require the producers to report it. (USDA Inspector General)If the U.S. Postal Service ended Saturday delivery, it …"

GAO: TSA screening of air cargo can’t be verified

By Laurel Adams

The Transportation Security Administration reported last August that it met its mandate to screen 100 percent of air cargo. But the Governme

National Archives electronic records system is years behind, millions over budget

By Laurel Adams

A major National Archives project to preserve and provide access to federal records, 10 years in the making, faces massive delays and cost o

Howard "Buck" McKeon — Armed Services Committee

By Amy Biegelsen

Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) answers to the nickname “Buck,” an appropriate moniker for the man about to help oversee one of the biggest ch

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Washington Post":

"… Force Secretary James G. Roche, a former Northrop Grumman executive, told The Washington Post in 2001 that adding additional B-2s won’t “add one drop of sweat to an …"

Lobbyists stage Capitol Hill dogfight over joint strike fighter engine

By Nick Schwellenbach

An intense spending fight over a second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter has partners General Electric and Rolls Royce and rival Pratt &

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens Against Government Waste":

"… he fight is just vicious over this,” said Leslie Paige of the non-profit Citizens Against Government Waste, which opposes funding the second engine.Many are comparing the Pentagon …"

Senator Richard Shelby goes to bat for major financial benefactor

By Josh Israel and Nick Schwellenbach

The unusual “blanket hold” placed on Obama administration nominees by Senator Richard Shelby, represents an effort to support a firm that ha

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… federal regulations and reporting requirements when supporting members of Congress. The company's contributions to representatives of both political parties …"

New life for the F-22 Raptor

By Nick Schwellenbach

Faced with the potential of massive job losses and under heavy lobbying pressure earlier this year, the powerful House Armed Services Commit

Excerpts from this story referencing "Patty Murray":

"… he F-22, which is made by Lockheed in his state — and Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington that requires the Pentagon to consider how decisions to term …"

FAA reauthorization ‘stuck on the tarmac’

By Matthew Lewis

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week introduced another bill to reauthorize the currently leaderless and conflict

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ray LaHood":

"… n specific concerns. She repeatedly stressed that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood promised to make conflict resolution a top priority for the new FAA head, …"

NORAD, FAA unprepared for aerial attack

By The Center for Public Integrity

Civilian and military airspace defenders were unprepared to handle hijacked planes on 9/11

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Justice":

"… Defense departments to determine whether to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice. The inspectors general found no evidence that officials were knowingly mi …"

Failing to modernize air traffic control

By The Center for Public Integrity

Attempts to update air traffic control has failed even as technology remains decades out of date

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… fallen short, despite the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has listed modernization of air traffic control as a “high risk” …"

Close calls on the runway

By The Center for Public Integrity

Evan as incidents of near-misses on runways, the FAA struggles to update safety plans

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… runway safety as unacceptable, while the GAO highlighted the issue for the Obama administration in a presidential transition report. …"

Record delays in air travel

By The Center for Public Integrity

Plane delays continue to increase but no solution in sight

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… t peak periods, and working to redesign airspace in New York.Follow-up:The Government Accountability Office recently acknowledged that the DOT and the FAA had taken significant steps …"

FAA inspectors cozy up to airlines

By The Center for Public Integrity

Weak oversight on flight safety a symptom of close FAA/industry relations

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector":

"… people using them,” the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) told Congress in April 2008. But separate probes by the OIG, …"

FAA in the dark on maintenance

By The Center for Public Integrity

Non-certified repair facilities are performing important maintenance work on airplanes without FAA oversight

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… a January 2003 Air Midwest crash that claimed 21 lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina. The IG audit found that these facilities did not follow the same regulato …"