On 9-11, airline cockpit crews were slaughtered like sheep by thugs armed with box cutters. In response, the government instituted what seemed a sane, sensible program to train and arm our pilots: the Federal Flight Officers (FFO) program. Now, looking to make budget cuts where possible, the Obama Administration is planning on reducing funding for the program by 50%; with the program’s ultimate elimination imminent.
With soaring debt and a govenment running yearly deficts of over a trillion dollars, budget cuts are both necessary and laudable. But the cost to each taxpayer of putting a FFO in the cockpit runs a paltry $15: certainly a bargain if another 9-11 style hijacking occurs and armed thugs attempt to sieze an airline by overpowering the flight crew.
Yet, according to Janet Napolitano, this Program is not “risk based“. Testifying before House Homeland Security Committee, Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary tried to make the argument that reinforced cockpit doors; not trained, armed officers, was the “last line of defense” in the event of a hijacking.
Consider: most of these pilots and co-pilots are military veterans. Unike so many Obama officials, the use of firearms is not something either alien or distastful to them. Had these trained FFOs been in the cockpit of those airliners on 9-11, that day might very well have fallen out quite differently.
Now, instead of forcing our pilots to act the sheep; we have empowered them to protect their aircraft and the traveling public.
Yet Napolitano and the Administration want to force these brave men back into sheep’s clothing.
Will that make anyone safer?
I think there are smarter places to make budgetary cuts than here.
What do you think?
See Napolitano testify before Congress on this here: