More Air Force Woes

After making claims that the Air Force doesn’t make mistakes and follows all procedures to the letter we have this story which says otherwise. It just points out that when you know you didn’t mess up, you surely did. I’m sure that right about now Michael Wynne is not the happiest of Air Force personnel.

On April 17, 2008 Reuters put up this story about Michael Wynne the Air Force Defense Sec. having to discipline one of its top Pentagon officials as well as four others over a $50 million dollar Thunderbird deal. After the deal for the air shows promotion had been reviewed it was found to be rife with improper influences a spokesperson for the Air Force said.

The Thunderbirds are the most widely known of all the Air Force’s squadrons and serve as good will messengers to those they visit doing many intricate maneuvers and complicated aerial shows.

Michael Wynne has been struggling to restore the Air Forces image since the 2004 scandal and this isn’t helping any. Major General Stephen Goldfein, Vice Director of the Pentagon, was disciplined although there is no mention of what that discipline is or what it entails. All that a spokesperson would say was that punishment could run anywhere from a verbal reprimand to a formal letter which would go into Goldfein’s records. The other four also disciplined were of the rank of colonel or below.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General found the problems. They said it was rife with “improper influence, irregular contracting procedures, and preferential treatment for the winning company.” Hmmmmmmm, sounds a little familiar here huh? Wonder if they are going to be this honest in the case of the Boeing contract?

This is another setback for the Air Force which is trying to become more transparent in the wake of the 2004 scandal which caused the resignation of Michael Wynne’s predecessor, James Roche.

From Reuters:

The Air Force canceled the $50 million contract to help publicize the work of the Thunderbirds after the losing bidder, Arizona-based Standing Room Only, filed a formal protest.

Standing Room Only argued its bid cost half that of rival Strategic Message Solutions, but the latter won because of its connections to high-ranking officers. Strategic Message Solutions later filed a lawsuit demanding the contract be restored, and said it had been promised the job by senior Air Force members, including Moseley.

In a letter, Wynne and Moseley urged Air Force leaders to avoid any favoritism in contract matters. “Our efforts to restore public confidence and ensure openness and transparency in the acquisition process are undermined when individuals are given special access or treatment by senior leaders based on prior professional or personal relationships,” they wrote.

I’m sure the Air Force isn’t the only Defense Department that is having these same issues. An audit of all funding, contracts, etc. might be interesting to see/read. Makes me wonder what else is going on and for how long. I do not believe for a second this is only happening in one area of defense. In fact, I would really like to see the contracts for Blackwater and other projects for legal and other reasons. If I am paying for it, there ought to be a damn good reason they have them. I do not believe that Blackwater is in the United States of America’s best interests and would like to see that waste of money stopped.

I think it is very important that there be accountability of what is going where these days especially with the financial situation in this country. I would hope that Congress will take up this issue, but then I wish a lot of things…

Everyone everywhere knows and loves the Thunderbirds, officially known as U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron. We love to see them in the sky and doing their thing. Here’s hoping that the contract will be settled and it won’t affect the Thunderbirds shows.

Fly high Thunderbirds, we love ya!

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~ by justmytruth on April 18, 2008.

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