Loss of $85 million in F-35 parts shows how ‘things slide’ in the US military
While US government officials will likely learn valuable lessons from the unpleasant situation with lost and unaccounted for spare parts for the F-35, whether those lessons will be implemented in the future is another matter. , warned a US Army veterinarian.
Pentagon officials have once again shown how carefully they manage US taxpayers’ money spent on weapons as the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed this week that a program implementer F-35 Joint Strike Fighter had “incurred losses of over one million spares totaling over $85 million” since May 2018 and the Department of Defense (DoD) reviewed less than 2% of those losses .
The GAO’s findings suggest that the DoD’s F-35 Joint Program Office “does not oversee or account for spares in its worldwide spares pool that have been accepted and received by the government and are in unsecured facilities.” main” and “does not track or enter these spare parts into a responsible ownership record system.”
Commenting on the development, Count RasmussenA retired lieutenant colonel with more than 20 years in the US military and an international consultant, told Sputnik that acquiring weapons systems such as the F-35 is a very complex undertaking that “often involves myriad of systems that track or attempt to track development, parts, logistical support, personnel training, units where the systems are deployed, etc.”
“There are also multiple organizations involved, from the prime contractor and supplier, to the acquisition organization, training organizations, supply/logistics organizations, maintenance organizations, operational commands and actual operational units involved,” he noted. “Yes, things are slipping despite the efforts of many professionals.”
When asked who could benefit from this apparent lack of government oversight revealed by the GAO, Rasmussen suggested that “potentially” a “company or vendor” working with the Pentagon would seem like the most likely candidates, though. that he pointed out that “there are often incentives and/or penalties built into the contract to help mitigate such situations.”
And while US government agencies will likely learn from the incident in question, whether those lessons will actually be implemented in the future “is another story,” Rasmussen said.
“Often, political interest can take precedence,” he mused.