Don’t Leave Us Stranded

Speaking to reporters Nov. 20, John Young, Pentagon acquisition executive, essentially burst the bubble of those who thought that the need for a new Air Force combat search and rescue helicopter was universally supported within the walls of the Pentagon. In fact, Young said he’s not even convinced that the rescue community “has to have its own set of assets for the occasional rescue mission when we have new things coming online like V-22s and other things that could be pressed into service.” Young maintained that there are “a lot of assets that could be used in rescue missions with planning.” He asserted, too, that a rescue mission would be a “come-as-you-are” operation “unless all of these CSAR assets are prepositioned for that.” (Yes, Mr. Young, the rescue assets are deployed to the combat theater and those other assets have jobs.) Young recently went on the record expressing his displeasure with the Air Force’s decision to delay announcing the winner in the CSAR-X contest until next year, so we don’t think he’s out to kill the program. He apparently was trying to use the CSAR-X as an example of how the “intensity” of parochial interests may adversely affect the best use of resources across the military enterprise. So much so, he contended, that the new Administration may well want to “revisit” the enterprise-vs.-community topic. (New to CSAR-X? Read The Struggle over CSAR-X .)