Less than two weeks ago President-elect Trump tweeted that the F-35 program was over budget and that he was requesting a bid for a ‘comparable Super Hornet’.
Today we have word that his incoming Secretary of Defense, Retired Marine Corps General James Mattis supports the program with a “clear commitment” to its continuation.
Watch Raw Footage of F-35B Final Testing on USS America (LHA 6)
Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said he personally met with Mattis and was encouraged by his support for the F-35. It should be noted that the company that makes the engines for the F-35, United Technologies has its headquarters in Farmington, Connecticut.
Blumenthal commented in a statement on his meeting with Mattis, “I was encouraged by his clear commitment to American air superiority and the important role of the F-35 program in sustaining and enhancing it.”
“General Mattis has a deep and insightful appreciation of the need for care and caution in the use of military power – a perspective that could provide a sense of balance and stability in a Trump administration,” Blumenthal said. – Hartford Courant
Mattis also met with other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in preparation for his upcoming confirmation hearings and requesting a waiver to become the Secretary of Defense. Federal law prohibits a prior military member from serving as Secretary unless they have been retired and out of the service for seven years. Mattis retired in 2013.
One Democrat, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, from New York has already publicly stated she will not vote for the waiver.
Do you think Mattis should be granted the waiver?
Featured Image Courtesy of F-35B by U.S. Navy photo, Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tommy Lamkin, via Wikimedia Commons