The leaders of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee want answers about why a billion dollar Air Force program was canceled without providing any benefit to America’s national security.
Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich,. and John McCain, R-Ariz., respectively the chairmen and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta inquiring into the decision to terminate the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS).
In the letter, the duo refer to the failed project as “one of the most egregious examples of mismanagement in recent memory.
“We believe that the public and the taxpayers deserve a clear explanation of how the Air Force came to spend more than a billion dollars without receiving any significant military capability, who will be held accountable, and what steps the Department is taking to ensure that this will not happen again,” the senators wrote.
Billed as a revolutionary way to manage parts and equipment across the Air Force, ECSS was a key part of the service’s strategy toward meeting a 2017 audit requirement. But the system never worked right, and ended up costing taxpayers more than $1 billion since work began in 2007.
ECSS was canceled earlier this month after Pentagon officials calculated that completing the program would cost an additional $1 billion, while producing only a quarter of the capability it was originally supposed to have, with fielding delayed until 2020.