May 3, 2023

Senator Schmitt Inquires Air Force Official on Waste, Unanswered Questions from Secretary Lloyd Austin, andReplacement Plans for the 442nd Fighter Wing 

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt pressed Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III on bureaucratic waste in the Pentagon, unanswered questions sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin regarding DEI initiatives, and replacement plans for the 442nd Fighter Wing – based out of Missouri’s own Whiteman Air Force Base:

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  • In 2015, a report shed light on the massive inefficiencies and wasteful spending within the Pentagon.
  • This report was buried—data was stonewalled, and the alleged $125 billion this report alleged could be saved over 5 years was wallpapered over.
  • A few of the suppressed report’s findings include:
    • A “clear path to saving over $125 billion in the next five years” by trimming DoD bureaucracy – that savings could fund 50 Army Brigades, 10 Navy Carrier Strike Group Deployments, or 83 F-35 Fighter Wings for a full 5 years.
    • There were 1 million contractors, civilians, and uniformed personnel filling back-office jobs.
      • That workforce supported 1.3 million troops on active duty—a ratio of nearly one backend supporter to each warfighter.
  • Secretary Austin is still yet to respond to questions sent from Senator Schmitt regarding civilian workforce and training priorities of the military.
  • The U.S. military is currently in the midst of the worst recruiting year in the fifty-year history of the all-volunteer force.
    • The three largest services (Army, Navy, Air Force) will each miss their active duty recruiting goals this year.
    • Amidst this recruiting crisis, more than 8,400 troops were kicked out of the military for refusing the COVID vaccine.

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