The House Armed Services Committee’s panel on tactical air and land forces wants the US Comptroller General to file an annual report to Congress on the F-35 strike fighter program’s costs. The language is contained in the panel’s mark-up, released April 30, of the Fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. If approved, it would require the Comptroller General to review the F-35s acquisition program, and submit a report to Congress no later than April 15, 2015, “and each year thereafter until the F-35 … enters full rate production.” As of today, the joint program office estimates the F-35 will enter full production by 2019. The annual report would include an assessment as to whether the F-35 program is meeting cost projections, schedule, and performance goals. It also would detail results of developmental and operational testing, procurement, and manufacturing changes, as well as any plans the Department of Defense makes to “improve efficiency” of the program, states the mark-up. ?
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.