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Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans
for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be
limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI
all over again?
(7913 previous messages)
- 04:30pm Aug 19, 2001 EST (#7914
The Osprey records falsification case illustrates some of the
reasons why things can go wrong, and stay wrong, in the technical
decision making of the military and military contractors. I made
some observations on the point, somewhat critical of a senior
Marine, at a time when others were no doubt saying similar things.
3/14/01 5:22am ... MD979 rshowalter
3/14/01 5:37am ... MD981 rshowalter
3/14/01 6:18am ... MD983 rshowalter
3/14/01 6:31am .... MD985 rshowalter
3/14/01 8:25am ...
The submarine surfacing collision story of the same time involved
some similar problems. MD987 rshowalter
In the Osprey records falsification case, The United States
Marine Corps has responded in what appears to be an exemplary
fashion to such challenges. People are being held responsible, and a
broad, careful investigation is being done.
Similar concerns ought to apply in missile defense, where there
are many severe technical flaws to the program, if the program is
considered to be something that is to have military use.
If the Marine Corps can stand up to unpleasant circumstances in
the Osprey case, as it seems to be doing, key technical problems in
the missile defense program may be adressable, too.
The key issue involved, in terms of public policy, is not
punishment, though punishment can be important.
The key issue is establishing the truth, on technical matters
that are matters of life, death, and that involve enormous
- 04:33pm Aug 19, 2001 EST (#7915
Eight Marine Officers Are Charged in Osprey False-Records
Case by CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/18/national/18OSPR.html
"WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 — A two- star general is
among eight Marine Corps officers who have been charged with
misconduct in the falsification of maintenance records of the V-22
Osprey aircraft, Marine officials said today.
"Maj. Gen. Dennis T. Krupp, the commanding general
of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, was charged with dereliction
of duty on the grounds that he "knew or should have known" of
false maintenance reports on the troubled aircraft, the officials
"Also charged with violating military law were
five colonels and two lower-ranking officers, said Maj. Bryan
Salas, a spokesman for the Marine Corps' Atlantic forces in
"All of the accused have opted to have their cases
adjudicated in an administrative hearing by Lt. Gen. Raymond P.
Ayres Jr., their commanding general, Major Salas said. That
decision makes the possibility of a public court-martial less
likely, officials said.
"The charges stem from anonymous accusations
received by top Marine officials in January that officers in the
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron in North Carolina had
ordered that the maintenance records of the Osprey be doctored to
show enhanced performance.
"The Osprey, an experimental aircraft that can
hover like a helicopter and fly like a jet, has long been regarded
by Marine leaders as an essential component of their modern air
fleet. But the $40 billion program has been plagued by crashes and
cost overruns as the Pentagon makes crucial decisions about it.
"Two crashes last year, on April 11 and Dec. 1,
resulted in the deaths of 23 marines. Investigators concluded that
the false records did not directly contribute to the accidents.
"The charges announced today, though, indicated
that senior officers would be held accountable for the false
performance data. A Pentagon investigation released in June found
that a high-pressure atmosphere at the V-22 program had caused the
squadron commander, Lt. Col. Odin F. Leberman, to falsify records.
Some military officials then questioned whether a squadron leader
would take such actions on his own.
"Colonel Leberman was reassigned in January after
he was secretly taped ordering the falsified records. The other
officers remain in their positions, Major Salas said.
Each of the accused will be granted a private
administrative hearing, during which they will be given the chance
to present evidence and rebut charges against them, Major Salas
said. General Ayres will function as both judge and jury. If they
are found guilty, he may impose a nonjudicial punishment, which
could range from a punitive reprimand, restriction to quarters for
not more than 60 days or the forfeiting of a month's pay.
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