President-elect Donald Trump has promised to “drain the swamp.”
Apparently for Trump, the swamp extends from Washington, D.C., to Fort Worth.
In a Monday-morning tweet, he again expressed skepticism about Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program and hinted that his administration might eliminate it or at least significantly scale it back.
Either way, his comment sent company stocks tumbling and left many North Texans worried for their livelihoods.
Without question, the F-35 program — the most sophisticated U.S. weapons system to date — has had its share of problems, delays and cost overruns.
But as top defense officials confirmed earlier this year, the aircraft’s reputation is now internationally solid — so much so that the F-35 will soon be outfitting fleets in Japan, Israel and the U.K., as well as the U.S.
Lockheed’s Fort Worth facility is undergoing a costly upgrade in preparation for an anticipated boost in production.
Trump’s tweet doesn’t confirm the program is on the chopping block, but it’s cause for worry given the aircraft’s significance to our nation’s defense and importance for the economy of North Texas.
Rep. Marc Veasey, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, was quick to respond with a willingness to discuss cost-saving proposals that don’t compromise military capabilities or Texas jobs.