Amid sequester cuts and special interest lobbying, the U.S. Air Force is sending twelve brand new C-27J cargo jets to a storage “graveyard” immediately after they are finished being built.
While we’ve seen egregious defense spending and strong contractor lobbying of late, deciding to end the existence of planes in a $567 million project before they are even finished being built seems to be new heights of fiscal malfeasance from the Pentagon. The Air Force claims that it will be more cost effective to finish the construction of the planes and then send them to the salvage yard, rather than just halting production.
“They are too near completion for a termination to be cost effective,” said Air Force spokesman Darryl Mayer.
According to a local newspaper in Ohio, politicians from the state have fought hard to defend the project as its construction supports some 800 jobs at the Mansfield Air National Guard Base.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, along with six other Democratic senators, wrote a letter to the Pentagon in 2011 asking for 42 aircraft, warning that choosing to do otherwise would “weaken our national and homeland defense.”
In testimony to Congress last year, former Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz, said that the current C-130 can fulfill the needs of the Air Force for $213 million in ongoing costs versus $308 million for the new C-27J. With that said, one must wonder why the new project was ever approved in the first place.
Via Floating Path