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Project on Government Oversight

DoD IG Investigating C-17: Yet Another Reason Why the Air Force Needs to Grow Up

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June 5, 2008

From POGO's blog:

Sources tell POGO that the DoD IG is investigating alleged improper communications between Air Force senior officials, Members of Congress, and Boeing on how to keep the C-17 production lines open, even though the additional C-17s are not needed for national security. Isn't this exactly what President Eisenhower warned us about?

In the meantime, it looks like Defense Secretary Gates is cleaning house before the Air Force embarrasses him once again.  As reported today in the New York Times and Air Force Times, the top two officials at the Air Force--Secretary Michael W. Wynne and Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Mosley--are being asked to resign following a series of highly publicized mishaps. It's about time the Air Force grows up--they have been acting immaturely for far too long.

The dramatic shake-up in leadership comes after months of public squabbling between Secretary Gates and Air Force officials.  Mosley and Wynne have been under particularly intense pressure in recent months after it was revealed that the Air Force accidentally sent nuclear weapons parts to Taiwan.  Last year, the Air Force also admitted that it had somehow allowed a B-52 bomber to carry six armed nuclear cruise missiles from a base in North Dakota all the way to Louisiana.

But the mishandling of nuclear materials is only the beginning.  We wrote on this blog a few months ago about a scandal surrounding a $50 million Thunderbirds contract tainted by improper influence.  In addition, the Air Force has been accused of making a childish power grab for more control over the military's unmanned aerial vehicles, and for more F-22 fighter jets, which have no role in the war on terror according to Secretary Gates. 

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.