Notes between bites of an $8 sandwich and a $2.40 20oz bottle of Diet Coke:
The convention winds down today. The highlight is the 2pm speech by General Michael Moseley. I go straight to the airport after his speech, so I can get to Los Angeles in time to attend the Society of Experimental Test Pilots’s (aka, “The Neil Armstrong Show“) annual convention tomorrow.
My final round of awards for AFA:
The award for best mini-controversy of the show goes to: “C-5-cost-gate”
Background: Secretary Michael Wynne and Moseley both took Lockheed Martin to task for submitting an offer to complete an upgrade for the C-5 fleet that air force experts say is way too low.
Lockheed says it can finish the job of reengining and improving the reliability of the C-5 fleet for $11.7 billion, but Wynne and Moseley disagree. They said their experts tell them the actual cost is somewhere between 50% and 100% higher than Lockheed’s estimate.
Those with long memories may recall Lockheed’s original cost estimate for the C-5A program in 1964 was $1.9 billion, but eventually ballooned to $5.8 billion by the time the program was cut short in the early 1970s. Hmmm …
The award for “most creative question by a reporter” goes to Defense Daily’s Michael Sirak
In a press conference with the incoming commander of Air Mobility Command, Mike brilliantly linked a microenomics lesson on the Irish potato famine to the rising costs of the C-5 RERP program.
Here’s the logic: Because potatos were a staple fund, Mike explained, the rise in prices during the famine didn’t cause demand to drop. The Irish simply bought less of other things and still purchased about the same amount of potatos.
How does that relate to the C-5 program, you may ask? I could try to tell you that, but I’m still trying to figure it out, too. I think it means that the C-5 is a staple, so the air force is stuck with it no matter how much the price continues to rise.
Who says reporters don’t know math?