Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Secretary Gates has announced that he will be replacing Marine Maj. Gen. David R. Heinz, director of the Joint Strike Fighter program . In military terms this amounts to a straight up firing. This makes the fifth General that Gates has fired in his tenor as Defense Secretary sending the strong message that with stars comes accountability. (It should be noted that two of those Generals were fired for misplacing several nuclear warheads for a matter of hours, I think we can all agree that any Secretary in their right mind would have fired those guys)

In this particular case, Gates seems nothing short of pissed off at the massive delays in the Joint Striker Fighter, (aka F-35 Lightening II) program, which is at present the DoD's most expensive weapons system to date. General Heinz will not be bearing the full brunt of the blame however as Secretary Gates has also announced that he will be withholding a $614 million payment to defense contractor Lockheed Martin as a sign of his diminishing patience with their progress. That is at least until Lockheed can dispatch their team of belt way bandit lobbyist to Capital Hill to complain that the Secretary is just being flat out mean....Secretary Gates gets a big thumbs up from this blogger for his conviction that perhaps contractors should actually do the job they are paid for and that perhaps Generals should spend a little more time supervising the programs they have been entrusted with and less time pondering what boat they are going to buy when they inevitably go work for said contractor. This is of course not always that case as some projects inevitably run long, however, in this case I think I might be right.

And thats my fifty cents (inflation...)


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