It’s a shame it isn’t Halloween because I can’t think of anything scarier than what Navy Secretary Mabus is hinting at which is abolishing DOT&E (Director of Operational Testing & Evaluation). You’ll recall from numerous previous posts that ComNavOps considers DOT&E to be the saving grace of the military – the only reality check on the otherwise unbounded fantasies of the military where every weapon works perfectly and none need testing. Check this out from Breaking Defense (1),
“The Navy Secretary even had an unkind word for the Pentagon’s independent testing process. (He didn’t name names here, but the key player is the congressionally-mandated Director of Operational Test & Evaluation, DOT&E, which most on Capitol Hill consider a vital watchdog agency). 'Testing proves that testing works,' Mabus said, but not necessarily much more. ‘We spend sometimes hundreds of millions on these tests and it’s unclear what the tests are telling us.’ ”
Let me make it clear to you, Secretary Mabus, what the testing is telling you. It’s telling you that most of your weapons and systems are heavy on fantasy and light on performance – that your Navy is buying into the manufacturer’s claims hook, line, and sinker without asking for proof of performance. DOT&E is the only thing saving you from unmitigated performance disaster. You, sir, are an idiot to fail to recognize that DOT&E is the best thing the Navy has going for it.
The current crop of Navy leadership, significantly including civilian leadership, is as bad as I can remember in my lifetime. This kind of thinking is just scary beyond belief.
Note: For those who read the entire linked article, and in fairness, the rest of the proposed cuts described in the article may well be valid and worthwhile.
(1)Breaking Defense, “Cut ‘Pure Overhead,’ Navy Sec. Mabus Says: DFAS, DLA, DOT&E”, Sydney J. Freedberg, June 02, 2015