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The JLENS: A Soaring Beacon for Military Reform

Photo of Aerostat being moored at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

The JLENS aerostat tethered to the ground at Graces Quarters, part of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Photo by

Fortunately no one was hurt when the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) aerostat balloon broke loose from its mooring at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, at the end of last month. The snapped tether cable did cause some property damage and knocked out power for 30,000 residents of Pennsylvania, but that can all be repaired. So people are free to laugh at this latest blunder. Images of the runaway blimp floating north raced across social media faster than the blimp did across 160 miles of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

While a military balloon floating freely over rural America is unusual, nothing about the program is: the length of the development process, the massive expense, the dubious statements, and the political engineering are all-too typical. The JLENS program represents perfectly every over-inflated military program since World War II.

To read more, click here.

By: Dan Grazier
Jack Shanahan Military Fellow, POGO

Photo of Dan Grazier Dan Grazier is the Jack Shanahan Military Fellow at the Project On Government Oversight

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Defense, Wasteful Defense Spending

Authors: Dan Grazier

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