VH-71: Dead Helo Walking

How does the VH-71 survive after this unlikely exchange yesterday between Sen John McCain and President Barack Obama at the White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit?

Read the transcript on the jump.

SEN JOHN MCCAIN: Just one area that I wanted to mention that I think consumed a lotof our conversation on procurement was the issue of cost overruns inthe Defense Department.  We all know how large the defense budget is. We all know that the cost overruns — your helicopter is now going tocost as much as Air Force One.  I don’t think that there’s any moregraphic demonstration of how good ideas have cost taxpayers an enormousamount of money.

So we will — and I know that you’ve already made plans to try tocurb some of the excesses in procurement.  We really have to do that. We’re going to have to pay for Afghanistan, as you well know, and we’renot done in Iraq.  But most importantly, we have to make some toughdecisions — you, Mr. President, have to make some tough decisionsabout not only what we procure, but how we procure it.

And I thank you for the opportunity and sharing your thoughts with a lot of very smart people.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, John, let me — this is going to be one of ourhighest priorities.  By the way, I’ve already talked to Gates about athorough review of the helicopter situation.  The helicopter I have nowseems perfectly adequate to me.  (Laughter.)  Of course, I’ve never hada helicopter before — (laughter) — maybe I’ve been deprived and Ididn’t know it.  (Laughter.)

But I think it is a — it is a — an example of the procurementprocess gone amuck.  And we’re going to have to fix it.  Our hope is,is that you, Senator Levin, and others, can really take some leadershipon this.

And one of the promising things is I think Secretary Gates sharesour concern and he recognizes that simply adding more and more does notnecessarily mean better and better, or safer and more secure.  Thosetwo things are not — they don’t always move in parallel tracks, andwe’ve got to think that through.


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2 Responses to VH-71: Dead Helo Walking

  1. arby 24 February, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    I thought obama would want a new helicopter, especially if the doors were taller than the old one…


  2. pozycjonowanie 28 June, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Super site, and niec text.

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