Last week, a squadron of F-35 fighters took a step towards combat-readiness when they stepped-up from simulated weapon deployments, to training with real laser-guided bombs. These training exercises took place at Hill Air Force base in Utah (Source).

The F-35 is among the most advanced pieces of weaponry ever created.This super-sonic jet is designed to do everything from air and ground attacks, to surveillance and reconnaissance (Source). Not only will this warplane soon become a major part of every branch of the U.S. Military, it will also become one of the primary warplanes used by NATO and other close allies of the United States (Source). Despite some early reports indicating that the F-35 was out performed by F-16 (the very same plane that the F-35 is meant to replace) in dog-fights, most reports claim that the F-35 is superior to other fighter jets.

While there are obvious reasons that a country would be willing spend big bills on upgrading its’ air force, the F-35’s massive price-tag of around $1.5 trillion has sparked much controversy. As valuable as maintaining air-superiority may be, I believe that there are much better ways to spend tax payer money. Even prior to the extra costs added on due to complications and set backs, the $400 billion that the fleet was originally supposed to cost would have been enough to provide $600,000 homes to every homeless person in the United States (Source). The $1.5 trillion that the F-35 is now estimated to cost tax payers could have been used to do everything from feed every school child in the country, update infrastructure, and literally unilaterally funding every humanitarian crisis in the world.

Now, it is understandable to want to have the most advanced air force possible, but think about this… Imagine that instead of spending $1.5 TRILLION tax-payer dollars on creating a better machine to kill people with, that that money was instead spent making the world a better place.

Contributed by, F.B.

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