discovered it,” Levin said. “And as
a result, the Navy did not know
about it either.”
A component on the P-8A Posei-
don’s ice detection module went
through a similar route, beginning in
China, before it ultimately was
installed on the Boeing Co. plane.
Problems began to surface in
December 2009, when an ice detection module failed on Boeing’s flight
line. BAE Systems, which manufactures the module, investigated the
failure and discovered that the failed
part — as well as others in the same
lot of aircraft — were not new, but
rather had been sanded down and
remarked to make them look new.
BAE notified Boeing of the prob-
lems in January 2010, called the
counterfeit parts “unacceptable for
use” and recommended they be
replaced. But it took Boeing until
last August — when the committee’s
investigation was well under way —
to send out an alert to the Navy that
the module contained a “reworked
part that should not have been put
on the airplane originally and
should be replaced immediately.”
“Boeing did not notify the Navy
until August 17, 2011; more than a
year and a half later and only after
the Committee asked Boeing
whether they had notified the gov-
ernment,” according to a Senate
Armed Services memo on the
results of the investigation.
Charles Dabundo, Boeing’s program manager for the Poseidon,
acknowledged during a Senate
Armed Services hearing Nov. 8 that
counterfeit parts are a “serious
industry-wide issue that has affected the P- 8 program.” Boeing used
“government-approved quality and
material disposition processes” to
address the issue, he said.
In the case of the module, Dabundo said, there was not a safety
threat. Boeing, he said, used a commercial standard to wait until there
was an actionable piece of information before notifying the Navy.
“If you’re not in some areas of the world at all, then things
can fester there and become a bigger problem later. The
trade-offs become how we distribute our Navy around the
world both from the perspective of security operations and
also exercises with allies.”
Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert
Chief of Naval Operations
On how budget pressures may impact the U.S. Navy’s ability to maintain a
global presence in the future.
Agence France-Press, Oct. 19
“We don’t have any command and control, or anybody permanently up [on Alaska’s northern slope]. We don’t even
have a hangar where we could put a couple of helicopters
or an aircraft. There has to be some level of minimal Coast
Guard resources up there to be able to sustain a forward
Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr.
Coast Guard commandant
On the lack of Coast Guard assets and infrastructure near the Arctic region.
Associated Press, Oct. 15
But Levin soundly disagreed
that safety was not an issue.
“You’re kind of shooting dice
with the mission and the lives of
our people here,” he said.
At press time, Levin was working on an amendment to the fiscal
2012 defense authorization bill
that would address some of the
concerns raised during the committee’s investigation and aim to
cut down on the number of counterfeit parts in military systems.
Among the options he was considering is increasing inspections at
U.S. ports and requiring defense
contractors to replace counterfeit
parts themselves rather than pass
along the cost to the government —
“no ifs, ands or buts,” Levin said.
By placing the financial burden
on industry, regardless of the type
of contract, Levin and others hope
defense companies will have finan-
cial incentive to make sure their
subcontractors use only legitimate
parts from legitimate suppliers.
Panels Ask About Impact
Of Cuts on Seapower
Concerned about the impact of the
pending defense budget cuts, two
House Armed Services subcommit-
tees held a hearing Nov. 3 that
looked at what U.S. national securi-
ty would be like on “A Day Without
Seapower and Projection Forces.”
Seapower and projection forces
subcommittee chairman Rep. Todd
Akin, R-Mo., and readiness subcom-
mittee chairman Rep. Randy Forbes,
R-Va., opened the hearing by noting
that the military already has taken