How Many B-2’s Do We Need It If 69% are Broke All the Time?

MEDIA CONTEST: New B-2 readiness reporting – MESL provides more accurate listing of B-2 capability:

Outstanding New Writer Entry 4D12/28/2006 – Air Combat Command (USAF), MEDIA CONTEST — [ilsm: The Joseph Goebbels award for spreading sunshine.]

28 Dec 2006: Col. Bob Wheeler, 509th Operations Group commander. “With the limited number of B-2s, every aircraft is critical to the fight. This new system gives our senior leaders a onepage snap-shot of what is available today for any contingencies anywhere in the world.”

Yes, we own about 20 B-2’s and at any given time 14 of these critical airplanes are broken. Either the airplane ain’t so critical or the fight ain’t so critical.

“Since Whiteman has been using the revised MESL [ ilsm: MESL is a list of individual systems on the airplane which if broken means the plane cannot do one or more of its mission. safety stuff means no fly, weapons down means cannot shoot] , the B-2’s mission capable rate has improved. The B-2’s readiness rate for fiscal year 2005 was 30.5 percent.”

If your porsche were broken 69.5 per cent of the time would you be happy?

“For example, during all our recent inspections and local exercises, Whiteman met the aircraft tasking ‘with flying colors,'” General Miller said.

They have dumbed down the inspections. To make the B-2 look okay, just honky dorry that 7 of ten are broken all the time.

“Fiscal 2005 is a perfect example Colonel Dulong added. “While the single dimensional MC statistic was 30.5 percent, we flew our 6,000 hour flying hour program–all aircrews were trained, we succeeded at the longest sustained deployment the B-2 weapons system has ever had, and we demonstrated our capabilities in an operational readiness inspection. I applaud Team Whiteman for their phenomenal successes,” Colonel Dulong said.

Great they get to drive the things 300 hours per airplane aper year, or an astounding 25 hours per month.

There is no weapon system that cannot be shelved. If the right questions are asked, like: “how much downtime and maintenance costs do we pay for and still say the thing is a wonder weapon?”

Do you suppose there is something better we could do with the billion or so a year we spend to keep 6 or 7 of the 20 $2B a piece exceptional capabilities running?