The Project On Government Oversight is making public for the first time a memo from the Pentagon testing czar questioning the testing program for the Joint Strike Fighter, the military's most expensive weapons program.
As first reported by AOL Defense, the memo expresses the grievances of Michael Gilmore, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation at the Pentagon, regarding the Test and Evaluation Master Plan for the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) program.
Amongst other issues, Gilmore is concerned about unduly rushing tests and limited funding for testing of the aircraft program.
“The plans for and content of testing must be determined by the data that need to be obtained to support a comprehensive and rigorous operational evaluation—not by budget targets set by the program office,” writes Gilmore.
POGO applauds efforts like this to ensure proper testing of military weapons. Cutting corners in F-35 testing is penny-wise and pound-foolish—the Pentagon may save a few million dollars now, but taxpayers will have to pay billions later. With a price-tag of $1.5 trillion, the F-35 is already the most expensive weapons program in history. The Pentagon should do everything it can to make sure these costs don’t continue to increase.
You can see the full memo below.
Ben Freeman is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight.Follow @BenFreemanDC