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Fri, Aug 26, 2011

Texas Senator Says DoD Weak On F-35

John Cornyn Tells Presumptive SecDef To Do A Better Job Defending The Program

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn has sent a letter to the person who will likely be confirmed as the next Secretary of Defence expressing "concern" that the department is not strongly enough behind what's been called the most expensive weapons program in history.

“I am concerned that the DoD’s failure to sufficiently defend and advocate for the F-35 program has enabled and even invited unwarranted criticisms from many corners, including calls for partial or complete cancellation of the program," Cornyn (pictured) wrote to SecDef nominee Ashton Carter. "It is my hope that, as deputy secretary of defense, you would be a champion of the F-35 program, using your voice to remind Congress that this weapon system is one our nation cannot do without. I strongly encourage you to step up your defense of this key program.”

DoD Buzz reports that Cornyn also included a series of questions about the program for Carter to answer ahead of his confirmation hearings.

Cornyn said in his letter that the FY12 budget cut some $12 billion from the F-35 production budget, and returned about $4.6 billion back into development. The remainder, he said, was rolled back into acquisition of the "less capable" F/A-18E/F airplanes. He asks "Can you assure me that this will not occur again in the future?"

We'll have to wait for Mr. Carters responses to get the answer to that question.

FMI: http://cornyn.senate.gov

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