Congressional F-35 hater: “I think this will come back and haunt us … as a monumental mistake”



An apoplectic Rep Frank LoBiondo yelled at Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter during an armed services subcommittee hearing yesterday. Normally, lawmakers ask the witnesses questions, but LoBiondo wasn’t asking for a response. He appeared to just want to vent. LoBiondo represents a New Jersey district that includes an F-16 base operated by the Air National Guard.

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8 Responses to Congressional F-35 hater: “I think this will come back and haunt us … as a monumental mistake”

  1. MrSatyre 25 March, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Didn’t hear anything I could disagree with, did you? It’s refreshing to have someone in Congress vent on such a hot topic.

  2. bobbymike 26 March, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    We have Russia now testing their 5th Gen PAK-FA as our F-22 production line slowly grinds to a halt.

    The Congressman is dead right. Who decided to put all our eggs in one basket may have seriously jeopardized the future of US air power dominance. Without this dominance every other mission from the grunt on the ground to an aircraft carrier at sea is at risk.

  3. Matt 26 March, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Bout time someone grew some balls & displayed a little bit of anger. However it will be a cold day in hell before a staff officer does the same thing as none are prepared to stick their neck out for fear or it being chopped off.
    Its no different here in Aus, there are no military of political opponents to the JSF programme that are prepared to speak against the F35 as it would be a career ending move to do so.
    The blind leading the blind I feel.

  4. MrSatyre 26 March, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    People are saying it elsewhere, and I’ll say it again: cancel the F-35A/C models, dedicate the line to much lower number of the F-35B for the USMC, and reopen the F-22 line. In fact, here’s an idea: if our allies really want an A-model of the 35, let’s just sell them the frame and let them install their own guts at their own expense. Nah, that’s crazy talk! ;-)

  5. SMSgt Mac 26 March, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    He is either being completely disingenous or is incredibly stupid….and I don’t think he’s stupid.

    To paraphrase Dilbert when called upon to explain to the ‘pointy haired’ boss why his project was behind schedule:

    “A Schedule is an artificial device made without knowledge of the future…Wild guesses are used as surrogates for knowledge…Deadlines are tied to POM cycles instead of reality…Then Congress cuts the budget until failure is assured.
    I assume, Congressman, you called me before you to apologize for your role in all this.
    (pregnant pause)
    Would you like me to tell you where budgets come from?”

  6. Bern 29 March, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    SMSgt Mac:

    I don’t think Congress cutting the budget has been the cause of the F-35′s problems…

    Maybe the F-22, and the B-2 before it, but so far not the F-35.

  7. SMSgt Mac 31 March, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    So far they’ve only played with the budget at the margins so that step isn’t in full play…yet. But given this is still the front of the program: small changes have whiplike consequences down the line. I can think of two instances where Congress has mucked with the budget. First, when LM accidentally overcharged the program, found the problem, repaid the overcharge with interest, and all while never materially benefited from the overcharge – Congress still penalized the program in the next budget cycle. Second, they’ve played with the Development/LRIP dollars to slow production [see: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2006/12/19/211197/jsf-begins-to-accelerate.html (reasons given was fear of ‘risk’ I believe) which has slowed maturation of the production process. All these things are perfectly legitimate to do, I suppose — but it seems one must accept the consequences of one’s actions….unless you are ‘Congress’.

  8. ex-Airman 5 May, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    The Congressman’s ire is misdirected at poor Ash Carter… it should have been directed at that HMFIC Gates instead. All the eggs in the F-35 basket is not the first “monumental mistake”, THAT was the F-22 termination. His policies have just emasculated USAF, and no one in uniform can speak their mind or risk suffering the fate the previous SecAF and CoS did.

    Gates has been very good at holding his subordinates accountable for “non-performance”, who’s going to hold HIM accountable for this mistake??

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