whitehouse

WASHINGTON: The White House has made the day of one Air Force Force lieutenant colonel, one familiar to readers of Breaking Defense.

That’s right! Dan Ward, who recently penned a piece for us about trimming the F-35 buy  to keep the A-10 fleet flying (I think it’s a bad idea, but who says I’m always right), has received the official imprimatur of the Office of Science and Technology Policy for the acquisition approach he created and advocates.

Dan Ward

The nod came in a paper released by OSTP, the White House tech policy office, called  Innovative Contracting Case Studies

OSTP mentions two other acquisition approaches of note:

Other Transactions: A method of providing the flexibility needed to engage commercial companies that are not traditional government contractors. Our readers should be pretty familiar with these. Bill Greenwalt discussed them in his series about acquisition reform.

The other is actually a philosophic approach dubbed agile. “Agile is not one specific method; Agile is both a philosophy and an umbrella term for a collection of methods or approaches that share certain common characteristics.” It applies largely to software development.

So back to Dan’s more general approach. Here’s their description of FIRE, which we’re sure Dan didn’t write as it sounds way too much like something out of a policy shop:

“The FIRE (Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, Elegant) method (formerly FIST – Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny) provides a heuristic-based decision-making framework designed to foster innovation by establishing constraints on time, money, complexity, and size. The basic premise is that innovation does not have to cost so much, take so long, or be so complicated. The data strongly suggests that the best outcomes are produced by small teams working with short schedules, tight budgets, and deep commitments to simplicity.”

Dan’s approach used to be called FIST — Fast, Inexpensive, Simple and Tiny — but the multi-talented fellow came up with a better acronym. BTW, FIRE stands for Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, Elegant.

Let’s look at what this might mean, both for Dan and for defense acquisition. We all know the department is not going to suddenly become adept and adopt his approach wholesale. Really large programs would find this difficult, especially given the fact Congress likes the data which the DFARS requires. Having covered acquisition issues for more than 15 years, I think Dan’s FIRE approach is well suited to new starts of small- and medium-sized programs.. Sadly, there probably won’t be a great number of those — or big programs either — for much of the next decade.

But Dan has argued in these very pages that:

Whether we’re building an infantry weapon, a spy plane, a nuclear missile, a fighter jet, a supercomputer or a nuclear-powered submarine, there’s always a way to quickly deliver high-performance at a low cost.

 

So he clearly thinks FIRE can be set under any program to improve it.

Where might the talents of such a disruptor be best used? He might shuffle over to Big Safari, the hotshot Air Force acquisition shop. Might the Joint Requirements Oversight Council hire Dan? After all, he identifies requirements as a hugely important part of getting these programs right. Or perhaps he might suffer the possibly deadly embrace of the offices of acquisition, technology and logistics, Frank Kendall’s shop. After all, he wants to improve acquisition and that’s presumably the best place to do it. Or, maybe the White House is the place for Dan? He could stir things up nicely across the entire government from a perch over there. It might not last too long, but… Ah, it must be nice to have so many possibilities opening up.

For those who like details, Dan is currently stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base. He is the author of FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation, published by HarperBusiness.

Comments

  • Proposition Joe

    Just before someone jumps in his name is DAN not DON.

  • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

    War’s are won by attrition and controlling the enemies airspace. I think they need to ask the soldiers who are in the field being shot at what they prefer. I believe the A-10′s have saved quite a few ground troops in hairy situations. I agree tech has to be made cheaper or forgotten in the area of the attrition factor if that tech will not allow attrition. Question is if a Enemy say the nice Chinese or our buddies the Russians have us down for count 9 would we use nuke and vice versa of course?

  • Mike

    Lt colonel Ward is right on! Want to know how important the A-10 is? Just ask any infantryman who’s butt was saved by that flying tank! Screw all this talk about Man-pads….. How many A-10′s have been brought down by those weapons? Incidentally, the A-10 would be much more effective against massed ISIS troops than those expensive F-18′s with their expensive guided missiles…… Nothing would bring the fear of God like a half dozen A-10′s working that crowd in coordination…. Just bring up the fuel and cannon rounds close to the battlefield and let those boys loose… Problem solved and much more cheaply …

    Along the thinking line of FIRE, we would also do well to study Israel……

    Want something that works better and is not expensive? Buy it from the IDF…. Want an AK-47 with a better, more accurate barrel and machined parts that don’t fail under intense combat? IWM in Israel has if far cheaper and far more dependable and lethal than the M-4 in a better caliber (7.62×39)….. Want the best troop carrier at a fraction of our bloated costs? The IDF has lots of re-manufactured Russian T-10′s with better turbo charged diesel engines and plenty of room….

    Because of their unique situation, Israel has learned, long ago, how to do more with less…… Israel has improved everything we have ever sold or gave them from F-4′s to F-16′s…..

    Want to clear up the problems with the F-35? Just give them a couple and in no time at all it will be working just fine at a considerably lower price…..

    We could learn a lot from our only friend in the Middle East if we just learned to pay more attention to what they are doing and less to our Defense Contractor Lobbyists!….. :(

    • originalone

      Well Mike, are you a lobbyist for the IDF? Sure sounds like it to me. In order to change things in this country, the first change has to be the mindset that the U.S.Military is the answer to any problem that gets in the way of the business of making a profit for the civilian industrialists. Get out of the business of allowing them to dictate what the military does or doesn’t do. Bucking the M.I.C. in this country, will bring out the howls of “you can’t do this”, think of the employment picture. Yes, think of the employment picture, just how many and who are they? Oh, and if the Israelis are so good at everything they do, why do they keep coming back bombing the infrastructure in Gaza back to the stone age and killing civilians in the process? Don’t quantify that B.S. about the Hamas leaders using civilians as shields, that’s more of the excuses given for shooting fish in a barrel as they are doing in Gaza. And the American taxpayer is footing the bill, which I might ad, makes them a party to the action, even if the law congress put on the books, forbids the use of weapons the way the IDF is using them. Change the mindset, before some idiot lets loose of a Nuclear bomb to cover up the failure of their action.

      • Jawaralal_Schwartz

        U sound very sympathetic to the other side, but, as your dad said, “It takes all types.” But don’t give up on taming the MIC, unless u are a part of it.

        • originalone

          Oh Schwartz, you sound like you’re projecting your own position, as in perhaps you take issue with my comments about the Israeli IDF? Sniping because you can? Delusional-denial, or some variation of same, but then, this is still freedom of speech here, isn’t it?

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            Do you still work for Lockheed Martin, madame?

          • originalone

            May the schwartz be with you, schwartz. I thought your repertoire looked familiar, you’re one of those “teenagers” that wore their “jockey shorts” over their heads while playing the computer in “weird science”. How small you must be in every way, to resort to projecting your own persona. Hang in there, someday, if you eat your vegetables, you just grow up.

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            I inadvertently hit a raw nerve, eh?, and for that I am sincerely apologetic. Your reaction is somewhat extreme, but you can get help. I regret that the mere mention of a defense contractor and former employment set you off. I hope things settle down, and wish you a pleasant evening.

          • originalone

            Schwartzy, it was intentional and you know it. As for hitting raw nerves, you’re projecting again. Delusional-denial it’s called, so when you’re in session, consider that it’s really a hindrance to sound health. Anyway, it’s been fun, though you’re out of your league. Go play with your X-box, or your WoW account, much more satisfying for your mind set. Ciao

      • Mike

        Did you ever serve? I kind of doubt it… I spent a lot of time training with the IDF and admire them a lot….. Very good soldiers who are surrounded by very hostile people who have tried to annihilate them on many occasions… Do a little research and perhaps a light will come on, aye?

        • originalone

          Well Mike. sorry to pop your bubble, I served honorably with the “United States Marine Corp”. I believe they call my “Corp” time, the “Old Corp”. But that’s another story. So you think I might be enlightened, do you? As for your time with the IDF, that is your memory. As for doing some research, such is piling up in a negative way, Gazabeing one of them. Before you sprout the P.R.

          • Mike

            Mine was Special Forces…….To bad you never got to rub shoulders with the IDF as they are a damn good fighting force, much like the “Corp” (new or old)….. Darn smart and darn innovative….. And they are the ONLY friends we have in the Middle East…..

            As a Marine, you’d appreciate a well made combat weapon…. Do yourself a favor and check out the “Ace” line of rifles from the IWM….. If you served in Nam, you probably had a chance to check out the AK-47 which beat our M-16′s by a mile….. The IWM version of the AK is better and more combat capable….

          • originalone

            To Mike, I guess it depends on how you believe, as you do seem enamored with the IDF, for some reason. As for the only friend in the M.E. that’s subjective. I might add, do you think they would be so, if the U.S. halted all aid, cutting them loose to fend for themselves? Personally, I find it hard that any American would put Israel before the U.S., which surely seems to be the case today, especially with Congress.

            Vietnam! Right at the end of Korea, the U.S. took up when the French left. The last bloody war that the U.S. fought, that is, the ones who served, not the ones who had other things to do, who couldn’t serve along with the others who shed their blood.

            As for weapons, that is also subjective, to which one can ask: “what difference does it make what you use to kill, dead is dead.

            This has been somewhat interesting Mike, now it’s time to say good by, have a nice Sunday, say a prayer in church for those innocent women & children around the world, the victims of WAR.

          • donny

            I would question the legitimacy of any claims of serving in the Marine Corps if you can’t spell “Corps” correctly.

          • originalone

            Gee donny, go ahead and question. It’s a free country. Now, considering that unlike you, who never misspells a word, a phrase, etc., I sometimes have that drawback. But, there’s no sense in getting into a debate on the subject, because I stand corrected, which I presume makes your day, O.K.? Consider your words as they will also pertain to you, all throughout your life time, in which case, can you today claim that you are perfect, never to have made a mistake? Personally, I’ve yet to meet that perfect human. Such is life, especially when one is in their twilight years. Do have a nice day, this last Monday of August.

          • Mike

            Got to agree with you about the women and children… Also a lot of prayers for our guys (and girls) in harms way trying to make sure that their kids have as good a life as we had….. Hope you had a good Sunday…..

          • originalone

            Mike, we agree on this one, and yes, I did have a good Sunday,

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            Best thing they should do is get good educations and stay as far away as possible from all the unneeded and grossly mismanaged wars that USA political leaders seem to like or orchestrate. Make sense?

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            baloney, eh? come on….

  • SMSgt Mac

    Sorry, I’m well into the book (bought used), and am unimpressed. So far, it vacillates between ‘Lt Col Obvious’ observations and sweeping generalizations where I’ve annotated N.U.T.S. (Not a Universal Truth -STOP!) repeatedly in the margins. Most tiresome is the unwritten implication that the DoD doesn’t already do much of what he advocates (to the extent the law lets it) when it is appropriate. Second on the ‘tiresome list’ is the repetitive use of time-worn, cherry-picked acquisition program ‘disasters’ and ‘successes’ with their oversimplified ‘narratives’ that have enveloped them tot obfuscate the actual ‘truths’.
    Lt Col Dan is obviously angling toward a second career as a motivational speaker. Or judging by the ‘FIRE Failures’ list and his long history of fawning on the Faux Reform crowd, perhaps protégé to some long-in-tooth POGO/Strauss habitué? I again wish him good luck and success if it is the former.

    • Jawaralal_Schwartz

      I sense, madame, that you believe the DoD/services track records in acqu over several decades is strewn mainly with successes. Savants–like anyone, even with a biased public view–will tell you in private that it takes years too long, that overruns are standard, that contractors do mainly poorly, and that a lot of the products do not work as required. It is a tremendous, enduring disaster that chews up men and women and keeps us from our national goals continuously. Even routine things, like managing the supply chain for body and vehicle armor (under Bush), turn into disasters. It does not matter what it costs, it will be late and lousy much of the time. The F-35 is the crowning achievement. So, cut LTC Dan Ward a little break. He is in the company of everyone involved (and all are complicit) in this rolling travesty.

      • Mike

        Wow, well said Mr. Schwartz! We could use more like you around here! I believe the Sargent Major was carrier Air Force….. Don’t know if he ever served in the dirt with our Army Infantry, many of who’s butts were saved, and therefore love, that “flying tank”called the A-10…..

        • Jawaralal_Schwartz

          We should treasure the A-10 and keep on using it, just like the B52. Yet, even with that, we have travesties like the now aged B1 (famous for its nav system that was defeated by its fire control system, among many fatal flaws). Or perhaps the B2–which I love to look at–that makes million dollar round trips from St. Louis to drop iron bombs on primitive enemy combatants in Afgh. We really have a way to spend the hard-earned taxpayer dollar.

        • SMSgt Mac

          Some kind of ‘Special Operator’ you are. Can’t spell Sergeant and you don’t know what a Senior Master Sergeant is.
          What a freakin’ Poseur!
          Spare me laying down the ‘poor grunt’ card. The real pros don’t feel the need to play it and they know they’re not the only ones who ever put their rears on the line.

          (See, if you really were “a Leg”, I’d take the time to tell you “You’re Welcome” for the A-10, as I was on the TFWC team that wrote the first book on how to use it. I would then also point out that telling the AF how to do air-to-mud is like telling your surgeon what scalpel to use and how to make the cut. he Surgeon ain’t gonna’ listen to you because you don’t know WTF you are talking about. Same-Same AF vis a vis CAS. Deal with it sonny.)

          • Mike

            Yep, got me there Sarge….. Even my spellchecker failed me there……God knows why I gave you the promotion….. Only other Air Force SM Sgt. I ever knew was my Uncle who also sounded like you so full of his overwhelming self importance…. Ya I remember seeing your picture of an A-10 unit….. What I also remember was your suggestion recently that the A-10 wasn’t needed…….

            I might also point out that we all had to go through Airborne School before Special Forces School….. Then we needed troop carrier pilots with the guts to bring us quietly close and blacked out to our D.Z.’s on those cloudy nights when we came calling.

            And once in a while we needed Ground support pilots willing to get down close to the dirt when we got found out by a much larger enemy ground force….. In my opinion there was never been a better ground support plane than the A-10… We seldom wanted surgery…. What we needed was accurate, over whelming fire power real close to our position and your A-10 does that better than anything else in your inventory, from the perspective of a guy in the mud…..

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            Ya know, your patter sounds that lhat screaming, harebrained, sergeant on the Mil Channel who only served in the cub scouts. Dresses the part nicely, tho. Your views are as good as any “Defense experts,” nonetheless.

      • SMSgt Mac

        RE: ” takes years too long, that overruns are standard, that contractors do
        mainly poorly, and that a lot of the products do not work as required”

        Well Sweetheart, as to cost and schedule…
        Contrary to the anti-defense war-on-the-cheap fantasy campers, MOST programs do actually pretty well in that regard. More would do better if Congressional meddling was kept to a minimum. Most of the rest go over schedule and budget because the planning estimates were wrong in the first place. Imperfect knowledge going into major programs–though those kinds of programs only ever ‘happen’ if there is a pressing military need driving them and the knowledge is not attainable beforehand–seems to unduly alarm the Innumerate and ignorami. I sense you shouldn’t talk to grownups without your mommy present if it distresses you so.

        As to contractors doing “mainly poorly” and “products” that “do not work as required”….
        Feel free to back the assertions up with facts. Try not to trot out cases where the systems are past FOC and where it wasn’t the fault of the requirements or the users. That way, at least we don’t have to deal with your ignorance as to how weapons systems are fielded, just your ignorance as to how they perform once fielded.

        • Jawaralal_Schwartz

          Apologize much, er, “sarge?” There are a zillion shelf feet of GAO reports, hearing transcripts, even four decades worth of commissions of a nonpartisan nature that back up the dismal picture of many systems, contracts, and programs. Look at the Coast Guards recapitalization, the Army’s nextgen wheeled vehicle, the Navy’s LCS, the F-35. Almost all fail the budgetary control and schedule and functionality test. And hey, the money is not the Dod’s and Service’s to waste. There are limits, and there should be consequences, even for apologists like those who can’t resist the lure of the playground sandbox. And some perform, yes, but not as contracted for, and no one is held accountable. We could have better weapons and IT systems at half the costs, but it takes not thinking of these funds as the industry’s or warfighter’s bottomless entitlement . There are limits, and the many ridiculously expensive, junk systems that we have, like the Osprey and LCS are just scratching the surface. You copy? And, er, you could provide a fact or two yourself.

          • SMSgt Mac

            Heh. To paraphrase the Great Man himself: “The problem is not that you don’t know anything. The problems is that everything you know isn’t so.”
            Let’s see….
            1) CG Recapitalization isn’t so much an acquisition program as a strategy providing the framework for acquisition programs, I would also point out that it is a Homeland Security and NOT a Defense Program, as was ‘Deepwater’, the predecessor, which was a Treasury Department program. But I’m sure it all looks confusingly the same (strategy vs program) to the uninformed.

            2) “nextgen wheeled vehicle”? You’ll have to be more specific. The Next Gen Tactical Wheeled Vehicle was a concept exploration program in the early 2000s. If you’re talking ‘tactical wheeled vehicles’ that’s a whole family of programs, none of which I’ve heard are being particularly troublesome, Can’t mean the JLTV, too ‘new’ still. So what then?

            3) Navy’s LCS. What of it? What do you ‘think’ you know about it that is all that gawdawful? Coming from someone NOT sitting in the peanut gallery that is and preferably in the CNO’s chair.

            5) V-22/F-35? Ditto on steroids.

            YOU are the one making unsupported claims concerning weapon systems acquisition and performance. Therefore, to be clear, YOU are the one with the ‘burden of proof’ in supporting those claims. However, it’s never been said I have ANY trouble articulating my arguments with supporting documentation, Just for ‘starters’….
            LCS? http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2012/05/ships-and-sealing-wax-lcs-and-lpd.html and http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2012/05/project-on-government-oversight-still.html
            F-35? http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2012/07/strange-silence-on-gao-f-35-june-2012.html and http://op-for.com/2014/02/punk-journalism-and-the-f-35.html
            V-22? http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2007/08/v-22-as-lemon-template-rolls-on.html See also R. Whittle’s http://breakingdefense.com/2011/08/the-v-22-safer-than-helos-effective-worth-buying/
            And since you weakly rely on the GAO (a fallacious appeal to authority if there ever was one): http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2012/03/gao-on-f-35-deja-vu-all-over-again.html and http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2011/04/f-35-and-texas-sharpshooters.html

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            Awful offal, sarge. You may be one of the most duped apologists for the MIC ever to threaten our Nation.

          • SMSgt Mac

            Pffft. That all you got? Try arguing facts (history, numbers) instead of making unsupported declarations of the ‘everyone knows’ variety and not involving an ‘appeal to derision’ logical fallacy…if you can.
            BTW, among other things I have in the works is an update on the MYTHICAL MIC, expanding on what I last addressed in 2011: http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2011/01/50-years-laterr-what-military.html.
            As noted at the source, IMLearnedO the “Social Spending-Entitlement Complex” is the biggest threat to the country, and it’s not just an economic one.

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            Hogwash, madame. Too much time on yo hands.

          • SMSgt Mac

            Weak. So Pffft! again little one. I happily get paid very well to acquire and apply aerospace and defense knowledge day-in, day-out. Most of the needed facts are no farther than my fingertips or sitting on my library shelf. I put them to print so I can just point the latest drive-by, low-information, know-nothings to knowledge without having to repeat myself to the legions of Illiterati and Ignorami.
            BTW: Simply sputtering the declarative ‘Hogwash’ and not following it up with substantive rationale to back it up is yet another fallacious ‘Appeal to Derision’. You have now slipped into a pattern of fallacious Argumentation Ad Nausem. Sputter into the keyboard more if you’d like, It seems important to you to end the discourse with your gibberish.

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            Phallacious drivel. One cannot easily imagine anyone paying for your self fulfilling wet dream of M.I.C. triumphs. But they are smart enough not to pay you anything. I think you work for food, e.g., Taco Bell. Your stint as a tester of V-22 armament was your crowning achievement. (Let’s see if you get it, Mr. Strategist and Justifier of lethal junk.)

  • Jawaralal_Schwartz

    A disappointing column. A word chart might have been better, but all u did was sow confusion. And by not defining terms, readers have no idea what u consider success. Since u have been at this a long time, your standards might be very low, e.g., a 25 percent overrun is acceptable, or slippages of only 3 mod. are noise level. Best of all, success should include penalizing the people who made these messes happen. We need to clean them out, e.g., fire them. Retraining people with low acquisition standards would be a complete waste of time.

    • Fan of Jawarala

      Thank you Jawaralal, fantastic ruminations. I think we now have a new star here. The heavy responsibilities that will come to you will be a great burden. Are you up to it? I hope so. The price of greatness, are well, great. As you go forward, please know the many will oppose. Stay steadfast and steady. But don’t go quietly into the night! March on Jawaralal, March on!

      • Jawaralal_Schwartz

        I wilt at this challenge. My star has faded. The burden is too heavy. Can’t pay the price of greatness. Am unsteady and will go quietly into the night as I skulk away from the threat. If it were not for a transient attack of poison oak, I’d never have visited this site…… Need to go back to my USG office.

        • Fan of Jawaralal

          No, no, no! Your star has not faded Jawaralal, it is ascending! Please continue and proceed. We have lost Gary the “Steeple Man” Church. Don the “Sizzle” Bacon seems to be diminishing. I know that omegatalon, ycplum, Mike, Smsgt Mac, Pete, CharleyA, and Uniform223 will gladly serve on your fire team. You have officially been acquired by the acquisition squad. This is your moment in the sun, or shade. The A10 may be retired, for that matter, even resurrected or not, but you must continue and proceed in the further and farther future. I beg you, don’t go or leave! By the way, the F-35 is the coolest plane ever, everyone knows it. Anyone who says it is not is simply not elaborate, is easy to understand, plain, not ornate, or luxurious, and unadorned. They are also not special or unusual and obviously without complexity.

  • Pete

    I like LtC. Ward’s thinking, but why is it always an all or nothing thought process. There are benefits to cutting the number of A-10′s by a 1/3 (Totally arbitrary) and slimming or extending the F-35 buy time. This provides a couple of options, a more extensive bone yard to pick spare parts for the A-10s (spare parts cost reduction), and a longer production run time for the F-35 (Employment). The down side for the F-35 would be the loss of economy of purchase scale which ripples through the entire purchase time frame. But that would be felt with the LtC’s option and with just reducing number of F-35′s bought.
    The A-10′s will not be able to fly forever without airframe fixes or avionic upgrades, and that costs bucks and there is not another platform on the drawing boards to do the A-10′s job 1 for 1, and we all know from history that just because we say an aircraft is being built for a broad stroke of applications it never really pans out that way. And even when we say an airframe is being built for a specific application it doesn’t always get used for that because it is just TOO expensive to take the chance of losing one.
    But, some of the technology benefits of the F-35 could be shared with the A-10 and the F-22, a much cheaper option than ground zero development. If we look at it from that perspective and apply some of the F-35′s development costs of systems that can be used on other platforms then the unit price of the F-35 can logically be reduced.

    • CharleyA

      A-10s are (were) in the midst of a rewinging and avionics upgrade program(s). Part of the theoretical cost saving scheme proposed by the USAF go-fast mafia was to eliminate these programs, thereby generating a modest cost savings. A more balanced approach would be to retain the best A-10 thick skinned or rewinged airframes, and mothball the older thin skinned aircraft, using those for parts. This would allow for the retention of ~150-200 A-10s and the unique capabilities, weapons load outs (not available on F-35,) and operational economies they bring to the tacair mix. Losing (or most likely delaying) relatively few F-35s is worth it.

      • Jawaralal_Schwartz

        We should force the prime builder to eat the cost of all the F35s. People should be going to jail for foisting this on the American Warfighters. No one even suffered a dented career because of it. Worst cost-benefits in history. Atrocious, seemingly dishonest, program management where numbers and concepts get shifted continuously so no one can see the actual breathtaking overruns, delays and failures to meet requirements..

    • ycplum

      Binary thought is always easier for the intellectually challenged.

  • Fan of Sizzle

    Don Bacon should be in charge of all defense acquisition. Everyone knows it. Problem solved!

    • Jawaralal_Schwartz

      who is Don Bakin?

      • The Don Bacon Fan Club

        Dr. Don Bacon is the founder of the Baconian Institute for the Advancement of the Well Informed, and is one of the foremost authorities on the shadow government run by the Military Industrial Complex and it’s influence on defense procurement programs.
        His analogies and comments are basically the reason Breaking Defense is a success.
        His charisma can be seen from the International Space Station.

        • Jawaralal_Schwartz

          Mystery solved. Thanks. Is Breaking Defense a play on Breaking Bad (which is not shown in my country)? And what makes you observe that Breaking Defense is a success, eh?

          • Fan of Sizzle

            Because Don Bacon contributes to it. His intellect and greatness are well know throughout the universe. As you continue in your studies, you too will fall under his authority. No one can escape the Sizzle man. Surrender now and save yourself. As we all know, Don Bacon rules! Jawaralal Schwartz, you too will come to understand, and be grateful. Long live Don Bacon!

          • Jawaralal_Schwartz

            I am already kneeling at the mere mention of his name.

          • http://www.breakingdefense.com/ Colin Clark

            Breaking Defense is not a play on Breaking Bad. That would be too cool. We’re owned by a company called BreakingMedia, so…
            Are we a success? OK — Don Bacon comments regularly on our site, Nr. 1. And we make news. We interview top Pentagon officials and members of Congress — and lots of other folk. We publish top-flight opinion pieces from Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and industry. And we make money. Sounds like success to me!

  • omegatalon

    A-10 vs F-35 is need versus availability as the F-35 isn’t ready for combat and in places like Iraq where the US is fighting ISIS/ISIL terrorists, the A-10 can be a real game changer as it can be the hand of god getting directions from US Special Forces; the A-10 can destroy heavy armor and invulnerable to almost anything.

    • ycplum

      I’d rather have a slingshot that works than a laser pistol that doesn’t.
      .
      Even when the F-35 works, I think we will have a CAS gap in our inventory. I am not saying the A-10 is the be all and end all, but I think we need something similar to the A-10 (inexpensive, very close air support, capable of precision strikes with inexpensive ammo) in the future.
      .
      I always like the hi-low concept with the F-16 and F-15. A very good inexpensive workhorse and a few expensive heavy hitters. to keep the enemy wondering. I think we need something similar with CAS.

      • Fog Bound

        Outstanding. Talking about even something more in the mix, how about a new an improved A-1h to go with all of that. Throw in a few drones firing lasers at those Isis jackanapes and you really have got something. Yeah, I said it, a new and improved A-1h. We could build a whole squadron or two for the price of one F-35. Can a ManPad take out a Skyraider? Not sure. By the way, how much does a laser guided bomb cost to destroy one Isis truck? Including fuel and wear and tear on a F-18?

        • ycplum

          I am assuming you are talking about the A-1 Skyraider? Very capable plane for a prop. Personally, I would like a very big gun (similar, but not necessarily the GAU-8), a much heavier load, more speed and more loiter time. Range is excellent. Prop, jet, anti-grav, whatever. I am more concern about it filling the mission requirements.

          • Fog Bound

            Yes I am. Tongue in cheek of course. In total agreement with you. I just can’t see the F-35 (cool plane) doing the A-10′s job. Seems to me that the Air Force, who I admire, is on the wrong track. They seem to be the only ones that want to retire the A-10. Is there something the rest of us are missing? I just don’t get it. The Air Force studies this stuff 24/7, they are the experts. So what is going on? Are they incompetent, are they bought and paid for? Does the AF really believe that the A-10′s expendable?

          • ycplum

            The AF have their biases. Their primary priorities have always been air superiority, strategic bombing, and strategic mobility/logistics. If they have to cut corners, they will cut it from CAS. To be fair, they have not totally abandoned CAS. Much of the CAS mission envelope is covered by existing inventory (F-15 Strike Eagles, F-16, B1, AC-130, etc), but in my opinion, there is a gap left open with the loss of the A-10. Of course, from the Army’s stand point, that is a huge gap. AF, not so much.

          • Fog Bound

            Gotcha…We’ll go with that.

        • Brettzky757

          The answer to your question is ANOTHER procurement controversy. The Embraer Super Tocano vs the AT-6 Texan.
          Again, the “in-hand” system is ready to go. The AT-6 is not fully ready for prime time. But political interests insist on the AT-6 as a directed solution, not because it’s better but because it is a US made aircraft. USSOCOM has been interested in this capability for some time.

          My guess is that an FIRE analysis of that story would be interesting an useful.

  • Fan of Gary Gary Church

    Where is Gary Church? We miss you Gary, please come home. We have a hot meal, clean sheets and a big hug from Grandmother. All is forgiven. Your dog sport misses you terribly. He won’t come out from under the porch. Be a good pal and come home!

    • Jawaralal_Schwartz

      who is he?

      • Mike

        He was a good old soldier who served all over the world in many different high risk positions….. He brought a lot of good opinions and experiences learned where the “rubber met the road” actually trying to use some of the rotten equipment that was issued to him….. In my opinion, he got tired of the B.S. being thrown around on this site by Lobbyists for the latest pieces of Military Crap being being sold to the DOD….. I believe he did not think much of the M-16 nor the F-35 for starters….. :(

        • Jawaralal_Schwartz

          If he’s just another citizen, that is the best grounding and position to be offended by the F-35 as an atrocity against the war fighters and the taxpayers. He can vote and lobby. The arguments over the M16 were a late 60s matter and we have just made do with it. Not bad, not great weapon. For mil procurement, it is far more of a success than, say, the Osprey. But remember, most military weapons system procurements fail, at any scale, and no one pays the price except the war fighters and the taxpayers. Further, the money going into DoD procurement is no sacred entitlement. It should have to contend in the budgetary deliberations among people we elect to reach the right amount whatever that is (certainly less, just on a superficial set of evidence on waste).

          • Mike

            Gary is now retired from the military…… M-4 is much the same as the M-16… Doesn’t jam as much, but still under-powered and won’t shoot through the jungle or forest or the walls of mud huts, compared to the AK-47 which will….. When you’ve a minute, look at the Ace 32 (7.62×39) from IWI … Far superior to the M-4 and cheaper

      • Fan of Gary Church

        Gary Church is a much missed contributor to this most prestigious web site. If anyone has seen Gary, please tell him to come back. Our eyes run with tears, our hearts are heavy. We cannot sleep. We grieve. Life has lost it’s meaning, we have become desolate and undone. We are forsaken and paralyzed. Please Gary, come home!

        • Jawaralal_Schwartz

          Pssst. Check the staff directory at LM and BA.

  • Uniform223
    • Mike

      Hello 223,
      Long time no see…… Always good to hear from another who has known that buzz of live rounds……. This pretty well tells the sad story, aye…. :(

      • Uniform223

        well to be honest I thought this would lighten the mood alittle. I had a friend from the 1st ID that was in Iraq from during 04. He loved his Bradley IFV but I would always purposely bug him by calling it a tank.

    • Old Man

      Can’t wait for the next army vehicle. The new M-4.

  • ycplum

    The quality of commenters seemed to have gone down hill. Mostly personal attacks and very little rebuttals on technical matters.

  • Krasniak

    WHERE IS DON BACON?

    • Jawaralal_Schwartz

      No, u mean what is Don Bakin’