Friday, 6 June 2008

Today in the Air Force

So the secretary of the Air Force and the 4-star general over the entire Air Force…..resigned today. Its rare you would have an event like this. The downfall of two giants within the military. Each with a different cause for resignation.

The end for the Secretary of the Air Force…..Michael Wynne…came after the episode of the nuke missile disappearance last year. After the entire report came out….it became apparent that leadership throughout the entire Air Force had drifted in a very negative direction….perhaps over a ten-year period. Rather than view the full situation….more problems mounted with the episode of the nuclear fuses which apparently got shipped to Taiwan by accident. Again….a full investigation occurred with very negative trends obvious. To clean up this mess….its going to be more than what folks expect. So an entire mentality is going to be brought on board…..to completely change the focus within the Air Force. No names yet….but I would imagine a former Strategic Air Command “giant” being brought out of retirement and placed in the position to hold people accountable. You’ll notice his trend to stop reorganizations and halt the change-the-change-to-the-change-to-the-change mentality.

As for General Mosely? His end comes for a slightly different reason. Somewhere around 2003….he became good buddies with a guy out of Vegas who came in to fix up a “grand show” for the Thunderbirds demonstration team. The Air Force wanted to max out the media potential of its show….and this one vendor had the ideas to make this happen. Sadly….we have rules. There has to be a competition. And in this competition at Nellis AFB…..it was rigged so that the vendor won….even though the number two guy….was less in cost. The contracting squadron there cried “foul”, but it didn’t matter.

Then a second contract came up, and a third. A total of seven contracts….of an illegal nature were the final result….in the cost area of $50 million. General Mosely was involved in different aspects of each deal. So in the end….Secretary of Defense Gates….had no choice….he had to terminate a 4-star for financial incompetence. When everyone in your chain is trying to help you avoid jail….you ought to listen to their wisdom….or be prepared for jail.

My guess is that the Air Force will look for a non-pilot….maybe some three star in the logistics field or the communications field….and bring them up to be the chief of the Air Force….making a strong message to the pilot authority in the Air Force that something is really wrong with this behavior. We might even see a bomber pilot come out of nowhere...who has two stars today and has four stars tomorrow.

As for the secretary of the Air Force position....I'm betting on a management guy.....who has discipline in his character. We will likely hear some comment within two weeks as the Secretary of Defense searches for the two replacements.