Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/28/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

USMC has been delievered a non-combat operational aircraft.

The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) has taken delivery of its first operational F-35B, Joint  Strike Fighter (JSF). Unfortunately, the aircraft is beset by so many troubles the Marines cannot use it for combat.

The F-35 is impressive, but the Marines need it to work and taxpayers deserve accountability from the military-industrial complex.

The F-35 is impressive, but the Marines need it to work and taxpayers deserve accountability from the military-industrial complex.


By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/28/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: F-35, Marines, testing, cost, delivery

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the early days of World War II, the German U-boat fleets suffered with defective torpedoes. U-boat aces fired salvo after salvo, only to see their well aimed torpedoes miss, or explode early, alerting allied destroyer escorts.

Arguing with his commander, U-boat captain Wolfgang Luth asked, "How can I be expected to fight a war with a wooden rifle?"

The USMC now has a wooden rifle, and a very expensive one at that. Each F-35B costs over $200 million. However, the aircraft are unsuitable for combat because of extensive technical difficulties and backlogged work.

Although delivered, the F-35 will not be combat ready until at least 2015.

For example, the aircraft is designed to pair with a special, super high-tech helmet. The helmet features a streaming video visor display that allows the pilot to see what is around the plane in all directions. Essentially, it allows him or her to see the enemy, even through the floor of the cockpit.

The problem is that the helmet display suffers from lag, which is a temporary delay in the display of the information. In a split-second decision situation, the lag could prove fatal. Lag is considered a bane in the online gaming world, causing players of video games great frustration. Imagine now, how serious lag becomes when life, death, and hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line.

Also significant, is that the software the system uses consists of some 24 million lines of code, most of which still requires checking.

The aircraft also requires extensive testing of its weapons capability. Only recently did the F-35 complete a test where it dropped a bomb for the first time. The tests matter because the plane carries its weapons inside its body, a requirement to maintain its stealthy nature. To deploy a weapon, the F-35 opens a bay door, releases its weapon, then closes the door, all within a few seconds. During the time the door is open, the aircraft is more vulnerable to radar detection. This system must work flawlessly to minimize operational risk and therefore requires much more testing.

In addition to the testing, the Navy has already spent millions on new facilities to house and maintain the aircraft. Among the procured items are two new aircraft carriers that are being designed to handle the advanced fighter.

There is little doubt the Marines need the new plane. Most of the USMC's aircraft in service are showing signs of age and the well-worn F-18s and AV8B Harriers are approaching the end of their operational lifespans. Unfortunately, there are several issues that remain to be grappled with.

First, the military-industrial complex continues to consume billions in taxpayer dollars, and is openly delivering  a non-combat serviceable platform to the USMC. In a time of growing fiscal austerity, this is not an affordable luxury.

Second, the Marines both need, and mightily deserve operational equipment that will ensure they can succeed in their missions without unduly jeopardizing their lives. They should not be handed wooden rifles. That's not what Marines are for.

The hymn, "The Halls of Montezuma" tells us the streets of heaven are guarded by United States Marines. For the work they do, they deserve better.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... continue reading

Oregon shooting hero still in recovery: Donations for his medical expenses surpass $700,000 Watch

Image of Chris Mintz.


Chris Mintz left a happy birthday message for his nonverbal autistic son on Thursday before going to his classes at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Later, he reportedly set off fire alarms as a gunman opened fire. Mintz charged the shooter, was ... continue reading

Two farmers in Michigan unearth woolly mammoth remains Watch

Image of Because of the tight harvest schedule, the farmers gave researchers a single day to unearth the find. Excavators worked intently last week until sundown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two farmers in Michigan made a momentous find while they dug a drainage ditch. The remains of a woolly mammoth, enormous tusks intact, was unearthed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Bristle of Lima Township was digging in a soybean field early last week ... continue reading

President Obama shares how Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. makes him want to be better Watch

Image of President Obama with Pope Francis during the pontiffs visit to the U.S.


It has been a week since Pope Francis' historical visit to the U.S. However, his presence and inspiration continues to linger as President Obama revealed he wants to become better after his meeting with the Pope. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - The pope is back in ... continue reading

HURRICANE FALLOUT: At least four people killed in East Coast flooding Watch

Image of All-time rainfall records in both South Carolina and the southern Appalachians are being sorely tested with the new rainfall.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hurricane Joaquin made quick work of the Carolinas this weekend; flooding has been reported there, and heavy rainfall was reported from the nation's southeast to New England. At least four people were killed because of flooding. The Weather Bureau says that the ... continue reading

Ten Commandments to be removed from capitol grounds Watch

Image of


The Capitol Preservation Commission in Oklahoma, who is responsible for managing the placement of artwork on public property, has voted to remove a Ten Commandments monument from its capitol grounds. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reuters reported the Preservation ... continue reading

Rumored co-recipients of next Nobel Peace Prize criticized: one responsible for hundreds of American soldiers' deaths in Iraq Watch

Image of Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are rumored to be co-recipients of 2016's Nobel Peace Prize (Laurent Gillieron/EPA).


Secretary of State John Kerry is rumored to be receiving a Nobel Peace Prize after finalizing the Iranian nuclear deal due to his close relationship with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kerry's efforts to seal the nuclear ... continue reading

SHOOTERS LAST WORDS TO VICTIM: You're going to see God in one second Watch

Image of Survivors embrace and pray in the aftermath of the shooting which left 9 people and the shooter dead.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation continues to mourn the mass shooting of nine students at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Although the shooter's motive remains a mystery, religion may have been a factor in the killings. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Officials have ... continue reading

Heroic teacher warned classrooms to evacuate during the Oregon college shooting Watch

Image of Oregon shooting aftermath


A shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg left 10 people dead with one teacher shot in the head by a gunman described only to be in his 20's. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Terrifying and traumatic stories were shared by the survivors of the recent open ... continue reading

Christian Targets: College shooting leaves at least 10 dead Watch

Image of Victims were rushed to a nearby hospital (Roseburg News).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday, which left at least ten people dead. Reports have come forward that the shooter was targeting Christian students. ROSEBURG, OREGON (Catholic ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 3:1-10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 7-8
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:38-42
38 In the course of their journey he came to a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 6th, 2015 Image

St. Bruno
October 6: Bruno was born in Cologne of the prominent Hartenfaust family. ... Read More