Friday, February 05, 2010

Cutting Wasteful Defense Spending

From the inbox:

Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-PA, 8th District) and New Jersey Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ, 1st District) announced their successful efforts to cut numerous wasteful defense programs, saving taxpayers over $10 billion, while also ensuring our troops have the resources they need in the field. The Congressmen highlighted the upcoming termination of the LOREN-C satellite program, which has been overwhelmingly acknowledged as duplicative and unnecessary, for a savings of nearly $200 million over the next five years. In addition to this program, the two members of the Armed Services Committee were able to cut programs such as the Multiple Kill Vehicle, the Transformational Satellite, the F-22 Raptor, the CSAR-X Helicopter, and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor. It is estimated that the termination of these programs, which the Defense Department itself described as unnecessary, will save over $10 billion in the coming years while improving our national security.

“Terminating these programs, which the Defense Department itself acknowledges are unnecessary, makes good fiscal sense for taxpayers and good strategic sense for our warfighters,” said Congressman Patrick Murphy. “Every dollar wasted on an unnecessary program is one less dollar to be spent on the resources our troops need to keep us safe.”

“Our top goal is to bring America back to economic health, and reining in our nation's debt and deficit by eliminating wasteful spending is an important way to help get the job done,” said Congressman Robert Andrews. “By eliminating unnecessary programs like this that have provided immediate dividends exceeding $10 billion, we will ensure that our warfighters are getting the most value for every dollar so that spending can be targeted at efforts that have been proven to maintain our nation's security.”

Projected taxpayer savings from Murphy’s and Andrews’ defense spending cuts:

* The termination of the Multiple Kill Vehicle will save over $4 billion from 2010 through 2015. Secretary Gates said, “We will terminate the Multiple Kill Vehicle program because of its significant technical challenges and the need to take a fresh look at the requirement.”

* The Department of Defense anticipates savings of approximately $1.5 to $2.5 billion dollars though 2015 as a result of procuring more Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites in the place of the Transformational Satellite. Secretary Gates said, “We will terminate the $26 billion Transformational Satellite program, and instead will purchase two more Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites as alternatives.”

* The Department of Defense has determined that 187 F-22s, together with other fighter aircraft including the new Joint Strike Fighter now in production, will be able to meet foreseeable threats. Continuing the F-22 program would have cost taxpayers nearly $3.5 billion per year. The F-22 has not flown a single mission over Iraq or Afghanistan . The F-22 has required more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the skies, pushing its hourly cost of flying to more than $44,000. Defense Secretary Gates recently stated, “Every defense dollar diverted to fund excess or unneeded capacity -- whether for more F-22s or anything else -- is a dollar that will be unavailable to take care of our people, win the wars we are in, to deter potential adversaries, and to improve capabilities in areas where America is underinvested and potentially vulnerable.”

* The Air Force Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR-X) Helicopter Program has experienced problems with contracting, high costs, and there is not a clear need for an aircraft solely devoted to this purpose when multi-purpose aircraft are available. Further, this program has experienced contracting problems that have led to delays and higher costs. Secretary Gates said, “This program has a troubled acquisition history and raises the fundamental question of whether this important mission can only be accomplished by yet another single-service solution with single-purpose aircraft. We will take a fresh look at the requirement behind this program and develop a more sustainable approach.”

* Termination of the LOREN-C satellite program will save $200 million a year for the next 5 years. Senator John McCain said, “Here we are, 28 years later, trying to terminate a program that literally every agency of government is trying to kill.”

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