Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The height of idiocy…..The U.S. Navy is re-biding the Marine One Helo contract….

Anyone who has followed me from the P1 to the Dog, knows that easiest way to my ‘Irish’ up is to mentioned the complete screwed up Marine One VH-71 debacle……

The President of the United States travels in a Marine One Helo every time he leaves the White House to get on Air Force One, and when he has to make short trips from local airports, to a location that is more  timely,  comfortable and safely reached by air……

The Army used to handle the detail…but now it’s the exclusive responsiblity of the Marines……

The current fleet of Marine Helo’s are from 20 to 30 years old….and they need to be replaced (Contrary to the CIC Obama’s comments)….

Well….. the government bid the contract and awarded it to a consortium of Lockheed Martin and Augusta/Westland…

….. Here’s the best part…….The Navy owns outright 9 completed VH-71 Helo’s…..they paid $3 Billion for them( and will pay another billion to shut the built down) !

They are the first of a order of 23 to be completed…….

But they are now sitting around with no mission, because the contract was cancelled…..Sec of Defense Gates says because they coast too much….and don’t do what they’re supposed to do….the problem is….. the manufacturer actually did what was asked of them….You see, the White House Military Office ( Under President Bush and  Gate’s watch, mind you ) and the Secret Service added a whole boat load of stuff when they got asked for their input on the helo….so much stuff that …….the added weight necessitated the manufacture to redesign the Helo to carry all the weight….this cost more money and time……

Now Secretary Gates is now pissed because the Helo’s are overweight and over budget…..

So a year ago…Gates decided as a efficiency issue,  and the President as a politcal issue…. that they would cancel the program…..

People….. that makes no damn sense.First of all…the Navy owns 9 brand new Presidential Helo’s…owns…Second of all… while the first block of Helo’s came from Europe..they where pu together in Upstate New York (American Jobs)….Third… the new Helo’s (which almost assuredly will be Sikorsky’s American built S-92’s ….even if they can’t lift a peanut) will not be ready for at least another 5 to 10 years..making the current ones almost 40 years old before they are replaced….Last….. and this is the best!…..it will coast at least $10 to $20 Billion  to replace the $3 to 9 Billion to bring the Lockheed/Augusta Helo’s they have already have……

Wasted time and Money…..

Oh, yea……. the reason the Lockheed /August Helo won was because it had 3 engines, not 2.. like the Sikorsky Helo….It could fly farther, faster, was bigger and was a tested Helo at the time…. which the Sikorsky S-92 was not…..

Wasted time and Money…..

Here’s the link on the new contract bid…..The whole damn thing makes me sick…….

Here’s links on th previous posts on the nightmare……

Link……

LInk#2…..

Link#3…..

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February 18, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In defense of foreign originated U.S. Military Helicopters…..The U.S. Army’s UH-72 Lakota buy…..

If you’ve been here for a while you know I’m on the case about the governments refusal to put the Augusta/Westlands and Lockheed/Martin VH-71A Marine One Helicopterinto service……The chopper, meant as new generation transportation of the nations Commander-in- Chief , is limping along with 9 aircraft completed  and paid for …but unwanted by the President and Secretary of Defense….who wants to spend money to re-bid a new helicopter and start from scratch…..mind you the current chopper are almost as old as the presdient…and most the choppers drivers are younger than the birds they are flying……

Well, the Army’s newest Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is the Eurocpter EC145…this chopper initially build in Europen , was develivered by the manufacturer on time and on budget…..as a ‘off the shelf’ product (unlike the Marine One VH-71A which experienced mission creep and grew in cost and equipment)…….

The Army will receive 345 aircraft through 2017, they may end up ordering more…….

This program is  a model of how to bid and contract for simple aircraft that get the job done….(the Lakota is to be used for non-combat missions by the Army and the Army National Guard units…a few will go to the Navy for pilot training)…..

Why can’t they do it right with the VH-71A?…..forget the bells and whistles….

Save the tax payers money and go with the best choppers you already have and paid for….the Lakota is a firm example of a foreign chopper that is now built completely in the United States with American’s getting paid to build them…..

Maybe they should give the presdient’s helicopter transportation back to the Army……..

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

In defense of foreign originated U.S. Military Helicopters…..The U.S. Army's UH-72 Lakota buy…..

If you’ve been here for a while you know I’m on the case about the governments refusal to put the Augusta/Westlands and Lockheed/Martin VH-71A Marine One Helicopterinto service……The chopper, meant as new generation transportation of the nations Commander-in- Chief , is limping along with 9 aircraft completed  and paid for …but unwanted by the President and Secretary of Defense….who wants to spend money to re-bid a new helicopter and start from scratch…..mind you the current chopper are almost as old as the presdient…and most the choppers drivers are younger than the birds they are flying……

Well, the Army’s newest Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is the Eurocpter EC145…this chopper initially build in Europen , was develivered by the manufacturer on time and on budget…..as a ‘off the shelf’ product (unlike the Marine One VH-71A which experienced mission creep and grew in cost and equipment)…….

The Army will receive 345 aircraft through 2017, they may end up ordering more…….

This program is  a model of how to bid and contract for simple aircraft that get the job done….(the Lakota is to be used for non-combat missions by the Army and the Army National Guard units…a few will go to the Navy for pilot training)…..

Why can’t they do it right with the VH-71A?…..forget the bells and whistles….

Save the tax payers money and go with the best choppers you already have and paid for….the Lakota is a firm example of a foreign chopper that is now built completely in the United States with American’s getting paid to build them…..

Maybe they should give the presdient’s helicopter transportation back to the Army……..

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The House authorizes $100 million on the Lockheed/Augusta VH-71A Marine One Helo!…..

In the just passed House appropriations bill for the Defense Department…. they left $125 million in for the Marine One program…..

But dig this!????

$100 million is for the Lockheed Martin/AugutaWestland company to restart work on finishing up bringing the nine VH-71A is the government (Navy/Marines) owns to specifications required…and $25 million to shut the program down????

He, he, he…if Gates is so insistent on rebidding the Presidents helicopter then go ahead…with the money the House added…Lockheed can re-bid the VH-71A in the competition and win since their chopper won’t cost the government a cent (and will be cheaper than any thing it’s only competitor Sikorsky would offer)…..and they can be delivered yesterday……

……all they would need to do is to built nine more and the contract would be done…..Isn’t that better than waiting for another ten years and 10 billion for Sikorsky to make something ?

Note:….This is a small win for New York State  (Owego) jobs and its upstate House member Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)….

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine One update……..

The Senate has passed the plan for the basic 2010 Defense Bill…the House finished theirs a few weeks ago (10/6/09)……both have sent their plans up to the White House for the Presidents signature……Now both the House and Senate will committee their versions of the bills to come up with the final draft , which will then go back to the president for his signature, and funding release from Congress……..

The VH-71A (Marine One Helo) program has been terminated by the Defense Department…Lockheed has laid off 700 employees in Owego, NY….the nine helicopters that the Navy paid for are in storage……House Member Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Michael Acuri (D-NY) , along with House Defense Chair, John Murtha (D-PA) has tried to find a way to keep the program going……They have been advertised  a position that it makes sense to move on the existing helo’s……so, Murtha has asked for $485 million to continue the program….the House has come up with $55 million to end the program and $30 million to re-open bidding a new aircraft……The Senate has authorized no funds (but Senator’s Schumer, and Gillibrand will push to have something done, if they can)……if Murtha can get a tacit agreement from Obama to have Gates to take a second look at the program, with a thought on saving costs…the House would push for the  full $485 million to rehire the Upstate New York workers, and resurrect the program…..if not, the Navy and Marines will start with a $1.3 billion  fix-up program for the current fleet (incidentally, I saw the Presidents helo’s this afternoon on their way to Connecticut with the CIC for  fund raising stop).

The whole thing has cooled down a bit …and the presidents threat of a veto, if any money was in the forthcoming bill for the program seems to be gone…..

This link is a very good back rounder on the whole thing since the summer……

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment