A New York Times editorial on July 24 took a shot at the United States Air Force.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates canned the Air Force’s top civilian and top general in June because of a “pattern of poor performance” that included little items like a B-52 carrying six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles flying cross-country and nobody realizing the missiles were missing.
The Air Force also shipped four nose-cone fuses for Minuteman nuclear warheads to Taiwan.
Recently, the Air Farce screwed up the bidding on a $35 billion contract for refueling tankers.
Three Oops! and you should be out.
THEN THINGS GOT serious.
After Gates fired the big shots, the new bywords became reform and accountability.
According to the Washington Post, at least four ranking generals have been deeply involved in designing new airborne “comfort capsules.”
These capsules are two-room luxury pods to be inserted into the fuselage of military aircraft to carry top brass and their Very Important Guests.
These capsules would be like sports arena skyboxes with all the bells and whistles.
The Air Farce has been putting pressure on Congress for the last three years for permission to tap $16 million to pay for this indulgence.
The Air Farce wanted to take the $16 million from counterterrorist funds.
Has anybody checked the war on terror lately? How we doing there, partner?
PROJECT SLICC was uncovered by a private watchdog group, the Project on Government Oversight.
SLICC stands for Senior Leader Intransit Comfort Capsule and I’m pretty sure it would be pronounced “slick.”
Beds were supposed to have “no more than 50 percent compression of the mattress material.”
Congress said no to the $16 mil, but the service did cough up $331,000 in counterterrorism money to cover last-minute design changes ordered as the brass went ballistic about the color of seat belts, carpet and swivel executive chairs.
Nobody fussed about the drapes and full-length capsule mirror.
Drapes, on a capsule, inside an airplane?
All this is in addition to the Air Farce’s existing fleet of 100 planes meant for VIP travel.
Maybe if those big shots had to fly coach a few times, they could manage to tough it out like other folks.
Standing in airport lines might add insight and having to remove their shoes might reveal socks with holes.
My own personal idea of a comfort capsule has always been a porta-potty. Preferably close, preferably empty and preferably furnished.
Soothing blue would be nice, certainly not necessary.