Last year, when Pentagon chiefs threatened to cut funds for the F-22 Raptor, the Air Force unleashed a massive PR campaign for the jet -- even flying the thing over the Super Bowl.This year, it's the Army's Future Combat Systems modernization effort that could be on the chopping block. And, according to Inside Defense, "FCS supporters are taking it to the streets to make sure its program is defended... across the country, plying the time-honored trade of ensuring as many congressman in as many districts as possible are on board."FCS contractors haven't made any playoff plans, yet. But they are holding a dozen conferences around the country to talk up the guargantuan, multi-faceted project.
The size of the program gives backers the opportunity to tap a large number of lawmakers for support: The FCS industry base spans 159 congressional districts over 35 states, with 363 companies on board, according to materials released by the programs industry team.And, apparently, those contractors are using some rather odd arguments to support the program. FCS centers, in large part, around replacing the Army's current fleet of tanks and fighting vehicles with lighter, quicker, better-networked substitutes. Which is all well and good, for fighting Iran or North Korea. Hurricane relief? That's a bit more questionable, at least to me. But not to FCS' industry team, which "has been advertising how well FCS could work in a 'Katrina-like' event," Catherine MacRae Hockmuth reports for Inside Defense.