Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Acquisition, A/C age, Deficit

AFA Members, Congressional Staffers, Civic Leaders, DOCA members,

I made contact with a former professor at Yale who works at a “think tank” in Wash DC and who wants to write about Airpower – especially as it relates to Asia. In the discussion, he noted that PACOM often says that 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water … and then he said: “Last time I checked, 100% of the earth’s surface is covered with air.” [I added the obvious – “and space … which stretches to the stars and beyond.”] Anyway, I offered to help get him smart on some of the issues … and sent him some dozen of my past Notes that I have sent to you. I was amazed that many are still true today more than two years later … and I thought many of you might benefit from seeing select ones of them again.

The first one presents an issue I see almost every day. And almost every day, the press, the critics … and even SECDEF get it wrong. It is how the Air Force buys aircraft. Most see the cost, but get no explanation of what type of cost, nor why are the numbers the way they are. The note tries to answer the question without getting too complicated. The example the note used was the F-22 … and this was originally written before Sec Gates made the decision to terminate production. As you read the note and pay attention to the news, you can tell the same techniques are being used on the F-35. We now hear of fewer numbers being bought, stretching out the production line, delaying until more testing is accomplished, etc. These type of activities will raise the cost. You can find the note here at:

Second, another note regarding the age of Air Force aircraft cannot be stated enough. We listed how old are the aircraft but we also came up with a good way of illustrating just how old. This note is still relevant and I’m sad to say it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon. You can enjoy this here at

[The second link in the note is “broken” – use the following one instead.]

Finally, I wrote a series of pieces in Jan and Feb 09, arguing for a lower deficit and for DOD to be included in [a smaller] stimulus package. This one from 16 Jan is appropriate to today … as we look to cut federal spending:

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association

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