Thursday, January 6, 2011
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates today announced a series of moves designed to save the Department of Defense more than $150 billion over the next five years by reducing overhead and cutting excess and troubled programs. The bulk of the savings will be used in areas such as shipbuilding, long-range strike, missile defense, intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance and more. Among other things, the Air Force will buy more simulators for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter air crew training. But the Marine Corps short take-off and vertical landing variant of the F-35 is being placed on a two-year probation because of testing problems, putting the Marine variant to the back of the overall JSF production sequence. In addition, the Navy will develop a new generation of sea-borne unmanned strike and surveillance aircraft. (Source: DoD, 01/06/11) Gulf Coast note: The Gulf Coast is a major military shipbuilding center; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the JSF training center; Moss Point, Miss., builds portions of unmanned aircraft.