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A broken computer system is costing F-35 maintainers 45,000 hours a year. Now Lockheed Martin has to rebuild the whole thing
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The computer-based logistics system of the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin, which has been plagued by delays, will be replaced by another network made by the same company, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday.
The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) was designed to underpin the F-35 fleet's daily operations, ranging from mission planning and flight scheduling to repairs and scheduled maintenance, as well as the tracking and ordering of parts.
Ellen Lord, the Pentagon's chief weapon's buyer, said ALIS would be replaced with Lockheed Martin's Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), which will be streamlined for efficiency "with the voice of the maintainer and the pilots at the forefront of the requirements list."
Lord told Reuters outside a closed-door briefing to U.S. Congress that Lockheed Martin, the F-35's prime contractor, would work on ODIN under the current ALIS funding profile without additional cost to the taxpayer.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) had estimated that ALIS would have cost more than $16.7 billion over its multi-decade "life cycle".
ALIS was blamed for delaying aircraft maintenance, one of the very things it was meant to facilitate.
"One Air Force unit estimated that it spent the equivalent of more than 45,000 hours per year performing additional tasks and manual workarounds because ALIS was not functioning as needed," the GAO said in a November report.
By December 2022, ODIN will have replaced ALIS in all F-35s except those deployed remotely or on ships, Lord said.
John Garamendi (D-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee's Readiness Subcommittee, called two years "a very tight time frame."
"We cannot wait until there is a functioning ODIN to work on the other sustainment issues with the jet," he said in an interview after Tuesday's hearing. The F-35 has drawn criticism for having a higher than hoped for cost per flying hour.
ODIN will be based in the cloud and designed to deliver data in near real time on aircraft and system performance under heightened cyber security provisions, Lord said.
"We have heard our maintainers on the flight lines loud and clear when they say they want to spend less time on administrative maintenance on ALIS," she said.
Though the Army has yet to actually set an official recruiting goal for this year, leaders are confident they're going to bring in more soldiers than last year.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the Army was currently 2,226 contracts ahead of where it was in 2019.
"I will just tell you that this time last year we were in the red, and now we're in the green which is — the momentum's there and we see it continuing throughout the end of the year," Muth said, adding that the service hit recruiting numbers in February that haven't been hit during that month since 2014.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Active-duty service members, Reservists and National Guard members often serve side-by-side performing highly skilled and dangerous jobs, such as parachuting, explosives demolition and flight deck operations.
Reservists and Guard members are required to undergo the same training as specialized active-duty troops, and they face the same risks. Yet the extra incentive pay they receive for their work — called hazardous duty incentive pay — is merely a fraction of what their active-duty counterparts receive for performing the same job.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-3 of Moorestown, are partnering on legislation to correct the inequity. Known as the Guard and Reserve Hazard Duty Pay Equity Act, the bill seeks to standardize payment of hazardous duty incentive pay for all members of the armed services, including Reserve and National Guard components.
Another Marine was hit with jail time and a bad-conduct discharge in connection with a slew of arrests made last summer over suspicions that members of a California-based infantry battalion were transporting people who'd crossed into the U.S. illegally.