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The confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday included a lot of questions for Air Force secretary nominee Mike Kendall about the contentious F-35 aircraft. That is only one big decision point Kendall faces if the Senate confirms him.

  • Lt. Gen. David Deptula (USAF, Ret.), Dean of The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, said a priority for the new secretary should be removing the nearly $40 billion in pass-through funds in Air Force accounts that the Air Force has no control over.
  • Another priority is to advocate for the Defense Department to use cost-per-effect force planning analysis, which goes beyond unit cost by looking at number of units required to achieve a mission effect, explained Deptula.
  • Deptula highlighted that the Space Force receives only 2% of the Defense Department budget and must be properly funded to conduct effective military operations in space.
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