Thursday, June 25, 2009

For Your Consideration

Saturday June 27, 2009

AFA Members, Congressional staffers, civic leaders, DOCA members, this week's news has highlighted a major catastrophe in Washington DC. One metro train rammed into another, killing 9 and injuring 80. Among those killed was Maj Gen (Ret) David F. Wherley, Jr. and his wife Ann.

General Wherley's last duty assignment was Commanding General, District of Columbia National Guard. [Read his Bio here.] On 9/11 he was the Commander, 113 Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, MD. His wing's aircraft were some of the first to arrive on the scene over Washington and the Pentagon on that day ... and they kept watch for many months afterwards. And ... like the rest of our great ANG - still protect us today. We will all miss General Wherley and Ann.

Coverage of the metro crash was wide/varied. Most recent articles point out that the age of the metro fleet is unacceptable at an average age of 19 years. [The actual car involved in the crash was put in service in the 1970s]. Compare those numbers with the age of the Air Force fleet - which averages almost 25 years old ... with some of its air vehicles which were put in service in the 1950s. And ... I would point out the most DC metro cars can coast to a stop when their motors quit ... and they seldom have people shooting at them ... like the Air Force faces. For a pictorial on the age of AF aircraft - see this link (then click the comparison medium).

Or - for a combination of varies mediums, click here.

Last week I had the opportunity to "testify" in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense. Lest you think I was grilled like senior Air Force officials ... I was one of 17 people to testify ... and we were limited in our time. I thought you might like to see my oral remarks available here.

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
President/CEO

7 comments:

Tracy said...

Our problem with Congress and the White House is the lack of former military people serving in those branches of government. They do not have the empathy for the military mission, they do not understand the need for the latest state of the art weaponry. I do not believe most of the legislative and executive officials understand that readiness means just that -- ready at all times. They do not understand that when international "problems" arise, we cannot just go to some "vendor" and buy new fighter aircraft, new transports, etc. Some way, we have to get some retired military members of Congress and in positions of influence in the executive branch of our government.

Tracy McCollister, Major, USAF (ret)

pmfox7811 said...

Mike,

Your comments were sincere,concise, logical, to the poing and absolutely outstanding!!!

Thanks,

Paul

Dan said...

RE: Michael Dunn's remarks to the Senate Appropriations Committee - were they listening? Are we seeing the beginning of the slide from air dominance to third world air force status? It is a bit frightening but it appears that Secretary Gates is about to single handedly undo the work of Billy Mitchell, "Hap" Arnold, Curtis LeMay and all the other men and women through the years that gave us the best air force in the world. God help our soldiers and Marines in the future if the adversary controls the skies.

Ray said...

Certainly a tragedy, but there is a direct connection between the billions spend on expensive weapons and those same billions not spent on maintaining the infrastructure of this country. In the end, every empire ends up consuming its own.

hsabin said...

Have you asked to testify before congress on the matter of the AF planes being older in age than the Metro Trains and having been shot at? Contacted Rush? Hannity? Beck to talk about this matter?

Eric said...

I am disappointed that you chose to veil a lobbying attempt with a memorial to MGen Wherley. I expect more professionalism from the AFA.

Tom Schenk said...

Thanks, Mike, for your continued service to our Air Force and our nation. I cannot imagine why the DOD and Air Force leadership are at the very least consenting to and at worst leading the catastrophic aging of our aircraft. How can anyone say they know the future of the world so clearly as to put our nation and our Air Force at risk like this. Sometimes I wonder what is really behind these decisions. Our government is spending historical amounts of money, yet telling us the budget constraints are forcing the termination of all these production lines. What is going on?