Military Buying Italian Planes At $50 Million A Piece . . . And Sending Them Directly To “Boneyard”

220px-Alenia_C-27J_(Pratica_di_Mare)_edit1220px-B52sdestroyedWhile the federal and state governments continue to cut programs for education, scientific research, and the environment, the Pentagon continues to spend wildly on items and them toss them out. We recently saw how they prefer to deliver bags of money to Karzai, buy Russian aircraft that Afghans can’t fly or maintain, or build huge buildings to be then torn down unused. Of course, no one is ever fired for constructing massive buildings that no one wants only to tear them down. After all, these are contracts going to powerful companies with friends in the government. Now, we buying huge planes at $50 million a pop only to roll them directly from the factories into mothballs because no one wants them. To make this even more incomprehensible, we are not even making the cargo planes. Like the Russian helicopters that the Afghans cannot fly, we are buying the cargo planes from Italy . . . and we are continuing to order more as we struggle to find places to dump them.

The dozen Italian-built C-27J Spartans have been shipped to an Air Force facility in Arizona dubbed “the boneyard.” We are ordering five more, which are expected to be immediately sent with the others into mothballs. The Air Force has spent $567 million on 21 of the planes which will join some 4,400 other aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles at the boneyard — more than $35 billion of unused airplanes.

Why order planes to be immediately mothballed? Ohio’s senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman wanted them to give a mission for Mansfield Air National Guard Base and to save 800 jobs. So we will spend $567 million to save 800 jobs. Wouldn’t it have been easier to give half a million to each of their constituents and save the rest of the money?

Of course, with citizens rising up against the latest effort of the Administration and Congress to intervene in another war, we could have a pile up of unused weapons . . . until we find a use for them.

89 thoughts on “Military Buying Italian Planes At $50 Million A Piece . . . And Sending Them Directly To “Boneyard””

  1. JULIET you should stop seeing your opinion as the one that counts what jill said is right and exact.. its not about the money as there is none!!! we all know except maybe you that the federal reserve is printing money out of air.. so if we have no money for resources and programs to help the people where does the fed get money for specialized military weapons we DO NOT NEED?
    how is it the billionaires are getting richer while everyone else is getting poorer by the day?
    they say without them we wouldnt say. many say with them we wont survive im definitely believing the latter.

    the world is being run by a bunch of megalomaniacs who have stolen, cheated, and blackmailed their way into anyand everything of value. and until the people stop being in self made denial , and waiting for a superhero who isnt coming. it will only get worse.. if we dont stand up as one soon and break them…. they are going break us….

    how many of you have really sat down and researched the tpp pact that elaine wrote about?

    how many of you know about this little law tucked inside of the obamacare heathcare bill

    Health and Human Services (HHS) and their state level emissary, Children Protective Services (CPS) are engaged in a conspiracy which will culminate in (1) the Agenda 21 designed breakdown of the family; (2) the eradication of any semblance of parental authority over children; and, (3) unbridled and unfettered access to seizing children from the home in unlimited quantities for whatever nefarious purposes which might dictate the volume of child seizures.

    This program emanates from a partnership between various United Nations organizations and ICF [Inner City Fund] International , acting on behalf of HHS, CPS and Obamacare (i.e. The Affordable Health Care Act). The evidence in this article, along with the included links, will demonstrate that when Obamacare is fully operational, our families, specifically our children will be living in a Romanian type of a Ceausescu hellish nightmare.

    http://educate-yourself.org/cn/hhsCeausescustyle17aug13.shtml

  2. I’m with “Otterray Scribe”, above, on the bargaining thing.

    This post is seriously lacking in context, in my judgment.

    Just read a piece on Longform (can’t remember the mag) the other day about how Italy has become the U.S. And NATO’s launching pad for air and naval (and, potentially, ground) operations in the Mediterranean.

    In addition to the possible quid pro quo aspect referenced by OS, there is the transport issue. The U.S. armed forces are always very short on transport capacity relative to their fighting capabilities, mostly due to the relative “unsexiness” of transport capability when it comes to defense appropriations.

    If these aircraft are not needed in peace-time, what else would you do if not “mothball” them?

    The base in AZ is not a boneyard. It has an enormous salvage yard where hundreds of aircraft are cannibalized for perfectly good parts. In addition, there is a storage park for reserve aircraft, like the cargo planes discussed in the post. Why in AZ? Because of the terrain and the climate. Little in the way of runway prep is required, and aircraft can sit for years in the dry air with little or no degradation.

    (To be clear, I am a lefty, not a knee-jerk, pro-military-spending winger. I am only interested in what is being said here, and how and why it is being said.)

    Again, more context, please.

  3. This is actually how an unsupervised Government runs.
    The bankers supply all the money the politicians can spend,
    The military gets all the money they ask for to buy anything they want.
    The corporations buy Congress and pass any laws they need to do business at less costs to them but tremendous costs to us.

    So, even though the American Public is the majority in this whole thing, the Public is kept out of the really important money decisions that affect their daily lives. If the Public was more involved in how their money was being spent, the politicians would do their job different. To get elected (legally) they would be more “Public directed” instead of more, “Banker directed.”

    Don’t get all hot and think the Government is “broken.” Because it’s never been broken. It’s running perfectly but, not for you!

  4. David, Our hotel in Nice requires a breakfast purchase of 24 euros per person!! I’ll be eating pastries, will think of you, and will take a few back to my room, thinking of a 48 euro breakfast. I have no problem paying twice that for dinner, but breakfast? The hotel is highly rated, on the ocean, and quite reasonable[$160/night]. They get ya’ w/ the breakfast. C’est la vie.

    1. nick spinelli wrote: “… thinking of a 48 euro breakfast.”

      It is funny how the cost of breakfast can be what we remember most on a trip.

      Earlier this year I took one of my daughters to Russia as a graduation gift – expand your horizons – educational kind of thing (she just started college this fall). We stayed at the W in St. Petersburg, Russia. We had been eating at very nice cafes in the city that were very reasonably priced with excellent food. One morning my wife says, “let’s have breakfast here instead of going out. I don’t care what it costs; I just want to try it.” So we go into the hotel restaurant where they have a breakfast buffet setup. The buffet was not at all up to our standards, or that of most any American. It was not the eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, waffles kind of thing, but bread, sandwich meat, cheeses, cereal kind of setup. And the cheeses were kind of dried out like they had been out for hours. We really did not enjoy it very much. When I got the bill, I was floored. It was $4500 rubles, which at the time was about $150. I could not believe we paid $50 a person for that breakfast. The funny thing is that it has become a joke on every trip. Anytime we think something costs a bit much, someone will say, “but it still costs less than that breakfast in Russia” or “it’s better than that $150 breakfast.” It is amazing how overpaying for something like that can make you feel so good about paying for something else. 🙂

      1. How nice it is to be wealthy enough to visit foreign lands, stay in luxury hotels, and pay for ridiculously priced breakfasts, while at the same time disdaining those whose income is shrinking because the wealthy have just about destroyed the Union Movement. I assume it is hard to have empathy when one is living so well.

        1. Mike Spindell wrote: “How nice it is to be wealthy enough to visit foreign lands, stay in luxury hotels, and pay for ridiculously priced breakfasts, while at the same time disdaining those whose income is shrinking because the wealthy have just about destroyed the Union Movement. I assume it is hard to have empathy when one is living so well.”

          [sigh] You remind me why envy is such a dishonorable trait.

          I’m not ashamed of my blessings. I can help teach you how to do such travels too if you are interested. It involves taking advantage of those so-called “evil corporations” like JPMorgan Chase whose money can trickle down to benefit you if you know how to do it. If you cast me into some economic class different from you in order to make us enemies, it does neither of us any good.

          I do not disdain anyone whose income is shrinking. Today I provide an apartment for a homeless person, and in the last hour just treated another person to lunch. There is a wise Jewish proverb that has guided me for most of my life: “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”

          The truth is, Mike, you really do not know me.

          1. David,

            Envy you? I pity you. And yes I do know you very well from all your writings here. I know you are a bigot. I know that you are a smug, self satisfied prig, with an ill disguised. disdain for people not of your class. I know that you think yourself “Lady Bountiful” when it comes to helping the poor without an understanding that your contempt shows through. I’m also certain in my greater pity for your employees, to have you as an employer. Finally I know that you engage in weak and disingenuous argument. Other than that I suppose that you have some good qualities, though I yet to see them.

  5. david, If you have tempered ethnic humor because you feel better, then bravo. I have no problem w/ that. If you did it because of PC pressure, “booo, boooo! Good natured boos.

    We have become a culture of worry warts. Worrying about terrorists, weather, finances, OFFENDING PEOPLE. The problem w/ the latter is PC makes people walk on egg shells. It is a negative energy w/ a pompous, positive veneer. It’s horseshit. The vast majority of people know that. Too many are cowered to say it.

  6. Hey Nick, I hear Italian helicopters go WOP WOP WOP !!

    PS. my children are half Italian. The only bad jokes are the ones told in malice, and or purposeful puissance to belittle.
    However I have personally found, that myself as speaker of some such jokes, to be interpreted differently by the listeners to some such jokes.
    I have calmed my amusing stereotypical joke telling down several notches and feel personally better off for it.

    One day at my Father-in-Laws house he was on the phone. The guy on the other end called him a F-n Dago. OOPs. ….. I thought an atomic bomb went off in the house!!!!! He was a WWll vet and could be very expressive. …. I never called him that!!!! …somehow the phone survived.:o)

  7. Oro, I’m brushing up, headed to Italy and France. My French is actually a bit better, took it in high school and college. The problem is the Italians are grateful for you trying, Mexicans are like that also. The French, well their pompous a-holes. C’est la vie. They make good wine and cheese.

  8. I agree with OS that this purchase is possibly related to our large expansion of military bases in Italy. No matter what the reason is, it stinks.

  9. Dan 1, October 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

    It’s Congress. It’s not the military, the Pentagon, or the government.

    It would be even better to say “the politicians”.

    All ‘government’ stupidity and waste is done by elected officials and political appointees. Ordinary civil servants (and ordinary soldiers) do not do these things.

    (At the highest level, Chiefs of Staff or, say, the Head of the FDA, these people are political appointees even though they originate from the military or civil service.)
    ==============================
    Have you wondered why the glorification of the competence of the military takes place in parallel with the demonization of “government” in the LSD media?

    1. Jill: Child, you are all over the place. Pick an opinion and see it through.

      Dredd: Excellent point. I always laugh when people say the government can’t do anything right, but totally support the military industrial complex.

  10. This boondoggle of a quid pro quo is blood money for the lives of Italian service people who were/are sacrificed in support of the US governments wars in Iraq/Afghanistan.

  11. This should make people very suspicious of the administration’s claims to care about the budget and the welfare of our people.

    The govt. shutdown reveals quite a bit about where the overlord’s values truly lie. This would be the overlords in Congress and the Executive Branch, Republicans and Democrats alike. It is clear that the budget has a real agenda, one not condusive to a good life for human beings, the earth and its creatures.

    Again and again we see money and resources allocated to waste and death while people go hungry, jobless and homeless. That’s not a accident. It is by design. We are heading for all out austerity-a goal shared by a Democratic president, and Congress and Socialists in other nations.

    Recently, Obama had the money to raid Somalia and Libya. Congress has money for this program. We need to pay attention to these people’s real priorities. Those show up in their budget. They work for the 2 percent and it behooves us all not to mistake that fact.

  12. To follow up on what Rick in Salt Lake said. I just watched the documentary Poster Girl. If anyone has not seen the film, it is worth your time. Not a long film, about thirty minutes. It is the story of former Army Sergeant Robynn Murray. Poster Girl was nominated for an Academy Award as best documentary. It is currently on Netflix.

  13. And with the McCutcheon v Federal Elections Commission case now before the US Supreme Court, we could see this kind of obligatory wasteful spending skyrocket as even more politicians will be even deeper in the pockets of the defense industry big shots.

    Yes, it is the politicians giving the military things they don’t want or need in their own self interest. These things do help politicians’ constituents back home, and thus that helps the politicians, and that is the real point.

    In case you should ask, no, we can’t use any of that money for things like PTSD treatment, rehabilitation for head injuries, prosthetic devices, transition counseling from military to civilian life, in-service and post-service suicide prevention, and such. Because, you know, that’s just a vote here and a vote there. Meh.

    Seriously, how many terribly injured soldiers and their families could be truly helped if the costs of just a few of these planes were diverted in their direction? That, I could support.

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