Naval aviation went through a transitional period in 2012 as it struggled with the specter of upcoming budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty brought on by congressional dysfunction. The year started off on a high note as the F-35B program was released from its Secretary of Defense–imposed two-year probation period a year early. But reality began to sink in as the year ended, and one after another fiscal milestone was passed without a budget in place for procurement and operational necessities. Almost every program was faced with monetary cuts, and some were either merged with others or shuttered altogether.
U.S. Naval Aviation and Weapons Development in Review
By Commander Jan C. Jacobs, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)