Tuesday, July 3, 2007

F-14 Tomcats Go To Heaven

Like many former Tomcat flyers, Gadabout was horrified, but not surprised, that the mothballed fleet is being destroyed. Those wonderful Tomcats are being chewed up at a hefty cost of $37 million, so as to keep spare parts out of the hands of the evil Iranian Air Force. Since Iran still keeps a few older model Tomcats flying, the demand for spare parts has increased over time and what better source of hard to find parts is there other than the DOD? When there is a buck to be made, there will always be a few enterprising traitors who will sacrifice national security to keep food on the table.

When aircraft are built for military purposes, more than just airplanes are delivered. Lots of other stuff comes along with the deal. Sort of like getting married, you don’t just get the bride; you end up with the in-laws, 100 pairs of shoes, friends from college and so forth. Fighter jets come with spare parts, engines, support systems, special tools, logistic programs and training systems. Lastly, funds are set aside during the acquisition cycle to cover destruction and disposal costs. That’s why the unit cost of military systems seems incredibly high to the casual observer. Bet you didn’t know that!

In this case, it appears that too many spare parts were not properly managed or destroyed and they ended up on the black market. Very embarrassing for Uncle Sam. So, like so often in governmental decision making, the solution was to throw cash at the problem and destroy all traces of the once mighty Tomcat; even for those resting peacefully in hallowed Valhalla (also know as Davis-Monthan Air Force Base). It is not likely that any spare parts were actually vulnerable at Davis-Monthan, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the DOD won’t tolerate further embarrassment, so everything must be destroyed—now and forever.

Gadabout is guessing that a few individuals in high ranking positions got slapped around for this breach of security. Read that to mean they were fired, reassigned asked to leave. Hit the road!

Now, don’t believe that the true cost of disposal is actually $37 million; it is most likely many times that amount. There must have been an extensive investigation when problems initially surfaced. Once identified, money was probably tossed around in failed attempts to fix the problem. Then the studies were commissioned. Consulting firms competed for contracts and published various reports outlining various options for consideration. Thousands of hours were then expended in meetings and briefings at numerous locations. Yep, this $37 million is the final cost, and most likely they’ll need more cash to finish the job. Remember, there are hazardous materials in those fighter planes, and disposing of those materials will be expensive.

Good bye, my fine Tomcat friend. At least you went out with a bang, and grabbed the national limelight one final time before your very sad demise. Rest peacefully knowing that you will be missed by many.


Ward said...

The Tomcat remains a concern even in death. How cool is that?

Rodrigo said...

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jimmy ray said...

Well this sucks... So much of our blood and sweat went into them.....

Good bye my Tomcats

Anonymous said...

Then again we could have just let the Iranians come and get these anyway. Then they would have to maintain them. While we're at it, give them all the Phoenix ballistic bombs. It would break their economy to try and make this thing work.

Gadabout Jack said...

I need some help with the Spanish.

Ward said...

I can help with the Spanish, Jaws:

"Oh, achy toes blog pillow Google the bum interesting [no English equivalent] dessert post. When door the unmanned pastrami pillow my blog, and sober camisole personals, monsters pass and pass with cries unmanned camisole personals bum man-ears. Eat corn."

Glad to help.

Gadabout Jack said...

Thanks, that's what I thought it said. Good work!