This is not a pleasing blog to write. The Washington Post got ahold of a Air Force story, and milked as much as any news organization could.
The Air Force kept trying to come back to congress and clear around $16 million of GWOT (Global War on Terror) funding. They wanted to buy something. This is the sad part of the story. They decided that there were so many generals and political figures in congress and the senate....who were now traveling to see the war on terror.....that they needed to use cargo planes to achieve this "mission".....so they wanted "comfort capsules" to be installed on military planes.
You are likely standing there and thinking....."comfort capsules"? What the hell is that?
This is a container like box. You go and sit inside of this. It has carpet, leather chairs, and real luxury....at least what you could shove into a box with.
Apparently....they got part of the funding and even started the production of the first capsule.
The Air Force leadership involved....went on to write many requirements into this package. It eventually included beds, a couch, a table, a 37-inch flat-screen monitor with stereo speakers, and a full-length mirror.
Along the way....several comical events occurred. One request was that the color of the leather for the seats and seat belts in the mobile pallets be changed from brown to Air Force blue and that seat pockets be added; another was that the color of the table's wood be darkened. The guys who had the contract for the seats....announced that this change would cost extra money.....so changing the seat color and pockets alone was estimated in a March 12 memo to cost at least $68,240, EXTRA.
All along the way....junior officers and enlisted quietly suggested that this whole thing was headed to a comical end. It was a joke....a highly expensive joke. The generals didn't care.....just march on was the general attitude.
I sat and reflected upon the loss of the Strategic Air Command leadership in the early 1990s. If anyone had approached them about such a requirement....they would have pulled a KC-135 tanker out to the ramp....tossed in twenty seats....thrown a ice box with 100 beers onboard....and told the VIPs to strap down and be prepared to haul ass.
I’d like to start a trend...VIP in need of travel...doesn’t matter if you are a general or a senator...climb into a jump seat of a cargo plane for twelve hours and eat out of a cardboard box like your humble soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines. Make an example out of yourself and use shame and peer pressure on any military or political figure who complains. The fact is that the vast majority of these folks...don’t need to travel. They can be just as foolish at home...as they are on the road.