Is the F-35 a Military Boondoggle

Rhett G Gentry

Is the F-35 a Military Boondoggle

One big issue that highlights conversation in the military community and in defense spending is the F-35, which has been selected to be the replacement for the A10 Warthog. Many arguments have ensued when I was at Marine Combat Training (Infantry Training Battalion) and Fort Leonard Wood about the replacement plan, but most arguments are one sided towards the A10 Warthog and how it is already combat effective. However, I believe a better approach is on the F-35’s faults. I will be analyzing an article on gizmodo.com titled, “The F-35 Amazingly Has Even More Problems Than We Thought.”

1: Upon my first read of the article, I was in dismay with the abilities of F-35. The quotes he cited from this annual report have me worried that continuing with the project alone would result in more Government Spending than the goal of replacing the A10 Warthogs with these problematic fighters. I’ve learned that this “Joint Strike Fighter” may just be the most expensive paper weight ever made, because if it was used for combat operations, it would certainly result in the death of American Troops. Which, concerning military spending, means more money is spent on those troops deaths, and of course on more testing on this failure of a combat effective jet.

2: The actual on site links to the annual report were giving me a “404” screen, which led me to believe that this reporter may truly be just pulling numbers out from nowhere. So, like any good citizen should do when they read alarming news, I researched it further and actually found the website to the annual report, dote.osd.mil. To make sure Nunez took this data from the Annual report, I read the annual report and found the claims he made. On page 48, the first full bullet point on the right side shows the claim of, “276 deficiencies.” On page 68, the next to last bullet point on the right side, you find the report of, “20 (deficiencies discovered) per month.” Until further investigation, I first believed this article to be fraudulent until I made the effort to search for more. (You can find the annual report on dote.osd.mil. Go to “publications,” “annual reports,” “DOD Programs,” then finally on that list you will see, “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. That will bring you to the annual report.)

3: The article is definitely biased against the F-35. Nunez’s selections for words are not the most professional, stating, “The operational performance of the aircraft is a complete joke.” It is clear to see through this sentence and many others that Nunez has a clear distaste for the F-35, and he chooses colorful words vs. professionalism on his report of the fighter. However, with this distaste comes hard evidence that he has brought to light, which in one part shows his bias, but in another actually gives us real information on this troublesome jet.

4: I would classify this report better as freedom of the press at its finest. We have spoken about the basic human rights that we as Americans have, and with whether or not our executive branch could silence the media at any point. Nunez not only reports on the F-35 issues, but uses UNCLASSIFIED documents from a military website and annual report to do so. This annual report and Nunez’s ability to decipher it for the less politically educated offers us all a platform on expanding our knowledge on the F-35 program and the financial implications it is causing us. With this in mind, we can tie into our discussions on representatives, and how they represent the needs of the American people. Now knowing that the F-35 spending is a huge issue along with its numerous deficiencies, we as Americans can write our congressman and declare the citizens’ concerns about the F-35. Citizens expressing concerns to representatives are one of the core principles of our government.

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