Valerie Insinna Profile picture
Aug 25, 2019 11 tweets 3 min read Read on X
Hi, I’m the author of this piece. Not trying to pick on this guy, but I’ve been getting a lot of mail/messages from both F-35 supporters and haters demanding to know why I didn’t talk about [insert topic here], and I wanted to address that.
First things first: I’m Valerie, and I’m the air warfare reporter for @defense_news . I’ve had this job for three years, but even before then I’ve been covering defense technologies/budgets for years.…
As one might expect, I’ve written a ton about the F-35, including parts shortages, issues with its logistics system, the modernization of its mission systems, opportunities for integrated AI, stories in which I talked with pilots about its performance overseas, C2D2, Turkey...
With the story that ran in @NYTimesAtWar , I wanted to meet the average Times reader where they were. And when I meet normal people and they find out I cover defense, what I hear about the F-35 is, “Oh isn’t that plane such a disaster that it can’t even fly in lightning?”
A lot of the old stories about the F-35’s technical issues, while true at the time, have had a really long shelf life in the minds of most Americans—way past when those problems were actually fixed, in many cases.
That doesn’t mean the F-35 doesn’t have challenges, but my hope was that my story could give the average Times reader an update. The Pentagon isn’t talking about issues with the landing hook or lightning protection. It’s concerned with supply chain and software development.
And as a side note, I am always going to write about cost, because

1. It’s taxpayer money, and the public deserves transparency and accountability
2. It matters to the services, which are worried about their ability to buy and sustain F-35s in number, as well as the president
My story is pretty long, but at one point it was thousands of words longer. There was so much to say and I couldn’t fit it all in the 4,000 words I had. I hope people learned from it, and if you didn’t, head over to @defense_news and read our more detailed daily coverage.
But I hope that when people read this, they get a sense of how difficult it is to fix the many and varied problems the F-35 has had over its lifetime and how different stakeholders are sometimes at odds with each other.
I hope that readers finish my story with a more nuanced view on the F-35 than “THING BAD,” because it’s possible to look across the program and recognize both failure and success. And I hope that when people read this, they are better able to form a more educated opinion.
But anyway please read my story:…

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More from @ValerieInsinna

Nov 4, 2022
Pentagon Acquisition Exec Bill LaPlante says he was sitting in traffic and, "I think to myself, 'Ok, I'm the chief acquisition nerd talking to people at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. what is the judgement of those people that are in that room?'"
He's calling you a loser and he is correct.
LaPlante just referenced "Saint HIMARS, as the bloggers call it," which I think is a mistaken reference to @saintjavelin , which is unbelievably funny to me for some reason.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 23, 2022
Everyone is talking about giving A-10s to Ukraine, but I talked to a former A-10 pilot and a former F-16 pilot for this story and they gave some good reasons why A-10s are not a panacea.
Here’s a quote from Larry Stutzriem, a former A-10 pilot currently with the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, that didn’t make my story: “[A-10s] are extremely vulnerable… they're big and they're slow…” (1/)
Stutzriem: “They can suffer a lot of battle damage, but the modern threats kind of defeat that armor. … It would be a difficult choice to send an A-10 in there and see the pilot shot down.” (2)
Read 5 tweets
Feb 9, 2022
Have I been saying "embed" wrong this entire time?
These people keep saying EMbed instead of emBED and it's freaking me out.
Guys omg today I learned that it's emBED if its a verb but EMbed if its a noun
Read 4 tweets
Aug 8, 2021
Stumbled across one of my least favorite things this morning: People discussing what “real” Italian food is, and why “Americanized” Italian food is disgusting in comparison.

My aunt just gave me a collection of recipes passed down from my Sicilian family, so I figured I’d share
Here’s one Italian American classic that is sure to be controversial from the get go. Oatmeal in the meatball mix. “Ramono cheese.” Calling all pasta macaroni in the recipe even when the author is bilingual lol.
My grandmother’s lasagna recipe. A recipe that says “We don’t have a lot of money and I have a family of 8 to feed and this is just the first course.”

“Cook aldante...layer with macaroni.” Again, my grandmother spoke Sicilian fluently lol.
Read 11 tweets
Aug 6, 2021
Breaking news: If the Air Force doesn't accelerate change, it may--in fact--lose.

Exclusive, must credit.
I told @ImpalerCat if he didn’t stop scratching the couch I was going to make him listen to CSAF talk about the strategic threat and Image
holy shit Belbub jumped up on the railing at the top of the stairs and almost fell down to the lower level how did all of you people with children deal with this for a year and a half
Read 9 tweets
Mar 27, 2021
“There Will Be Blood” tho 🖤🖤🖤
These desolate vibes, I love them
There Will Be Blood Soundtrack : *dissonant chords*

Me: faster jonny
Read 4 tweets

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