Want to see a service secretary slap around the defense industry? I’ve been covering defense for a little while now and I’ve never seen a military official dole out the very public ass chewing to their industry partners like this one from Air Force Chief Gen. Norton Schwartz.
Schwartz is responding to a question from Defense Tech friend, aviation reporter Stephen Trimble, who also shot the video, about some critical comments Schwartz made on stage earlier at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium, and whether industry is letting the Air Force down. He says the military isn't blameless when problems arise similar to the F-35.
"But," Schwartz told leading defense executives, “this is no longer a time for wishful thinking, tell me what you can do, I expect you to deliver what you promise.” When asked by Trimble whether he thinks industry got the message, Schwartz said, “If they don’t, what occurred recently with the F-35 program is only the start.”
Trimble points out that the F-35 government program manager was canned but not Lockheed Martin’s lead guy. Schwartz's response: “Dan Crowley [LockMart’s F-35 program manager] doesn’t work for the secretary of defense. But he’s short $600 million. That ain’t trivial.”