Q: The Pentagon's Inspector General a couple of days ago came out with the final report on the V-22, the status of the program. And the overriding message of the report was that the Navy and the Marines were moving fairly quickly to a production decision, despite about 22 major deficiencies in the program that won't be fixed or haven't been fixed yet. Has DoD seen the report? And if you have, do you have a reaction to that? The implication being not all the bugs are going to be worked out of this major multibillion-dollar program before it moves into full-rate production.
Quigley: Well, here's a copy of it, and you're welcome to one at the news desk or anyone else who wishes, after the briefing is over. Let me just read from the last paragraph of the last page. "The recommendation from the DOD IG is that we recommend that the V-22 program manager, prior to the Milestone 3 Review, develop a detailed plan that includes the following: specific actions required to correct the 23 waived -- 23 -- waived major operational requirements, dates by which the operational requirements will be corrected, dates by which the operational requirements will be tested, funding amounts that will correct the deficiencies and retrofit existing aircraft, and actions to ensure adequate logistics support." The Department of the Navy comment to that recommendation is: "Concur. A plan to identify how and when waived operational requirements will be funded, corrected, and tested needs to be developed prior to the Milestone 3 Review in December. The V-22 program office is in the process of preparing a detailed plan that addresses the status of the waivers. We estimate completing the recommended action by September, and review of the plan will be incorporated as part of the Milestone 3 Review process." And that's a quote from the last paragraph of the last page.
Q: Will the --
Quigley: Let me just say everybody wants this system to work properly. It is in everybody's interest that a good, tough review of the program at all levels be conducted. But as with any other new aircraft development program, there are going to be bugs in it. We look forward to the rigorous testing and the reviews of the program to find those bugs, so that those responsible for the program can work out a plan to correct them and come to an aircraft that will serve our military well for many years to come. So this is not something we're shying away from; we welcome the closest possible scrutiny of the program at all levels, so that we can all work towards a good aircraft that's safe and reliable and affordable and meets all of our criteria by the time it's put into the field.
Q: So you, OSD, find the Navy response credible, and not just blowing smoke and it won't be ignored?
Quigley: Indeed. Indeed.