OODA loop or (OO)DA loop?

These weeks in the Netherlands the Dutch Fighter replacement program will be speeded up for decision in parliament.  the D-brief will be talked about in the parliamentary defence commission and in a couple of weeks there will be another debate. But then the road will be open for the government to decide. eventhough no fixed price has been give and the used numbers and dollar exchange rate (US$ 0,7630 currently 0,88) has been one of a kind. In fact the 5 hard questions which should be answered before the PvdA (Labour) will give its go ahead hasn’t been mentioned anymore.

ALSO € 270 milion a year…. but then for just only 37 airframes. Oh now, we won’t make it.. the Dutch Minister of Defence raised the O&S cost to about 285 a year. OOOPS, this PvdA demand won\t make it. But what about the following: These 285 a year are the starting point of the Lifespan of the JSF whereas the F16’s are on the end of their life.  Is their anybody accounting this in parliament? No veto mr. Samsom?

Five requirements of the Labour Party

The road seems pretty for the government to purchase the JSF or the F-35. It should be there just met five requirements of the Labour Party. It is for Samson the “crucial question” whether you have 37 devices can perform the international missions you want to do.

Furthermore, the fighters may not be more expensive and “they must continue to meet the expectations that we have been held up.” If it is different, “the party does not go through.”Furthermore, the noise should be limited and the project needs more work for our country, preferably double what is currently expected.

None of them could be answered with a possitive answer though.

  1. It is clear that with just 35+2 test JSF you can;t properly operate an air force with all the required tasks. They now depend on cooperation with Belgium in order to succeed. They can operate a minimum number of aircraft and a very minimal number of pilots.
  2. The fighters are more expensive and the MoD counts with a unrealistic dollar exchange rate as shown above. There are many uncertainties which shouldn’t be uncertain after more than 10 years of planning, testing and production. This issue is specificaly interesting because not only is the aquisistion price unclear and falsely give to the parliament (on the one hand they say it will cost a certain ammount, on the other hand they say they don’t know. Strange thing is the prices are much lower even the USAF itself will pay for not to mention other partnercountries like Denmark Australia, and Canada e.g.) Beside the aquisition there is a strange thing going on with the exploitation costs (= Operation and Systainment=O&S) The RNLAF, not so long ago, complaint about the current F16 fighters they where becomming obsolete, and to expensive to operate. Why, They where / are at the end of their lifespan and the costs for keeing them up and running are much higher than it used to be… The current level is estimated at about € 270 a year for 68 fighters operating from 2 MOB’s Main operating bases Leeuwarden and Volkel estimated at about180 flight hrs a year each. The funny thing is that the proposed 35 + 2 JSf will cost the Dutch taxpayers ALSO € 270 milion a year…. but then for just only 37 airframes. Oh now, we won’t make it.. the Dutch Minister of Defence raised the O&S cost to about 285 a year. OOOPS, this PvdA demand won\t make it. But what about the following: These 285 a year are the starting point of the Lifespan of the JSF whereas the F16’s are on the end of their life.  Is their anybody accounting this in parliament? No veto mr. Samsom?
  3. The expectations of the PvdA where low, Ms. Eijsink has always been critical and she has stated more then once that she new of the fact that the technical requirements of the JSF had been downgraded time and time again. so what technical expectations is the PvdA thinking of?
  4. Noise is still not clear, there are some tests promised though, but that would be wll after the decision is taken, during 2016….
  5. More work for our countries industries?  well that is funny, they can’t promise us that, our industry has to fish to get the orders for the best price deals. (lowest possible.) As stated earlier Fokker has some orders ongoing but they all are follow-on orders, and a lot of that work will be done in the Fokker in Turkey. right. The same for engine overhaul and maintenance which will also be done in Turkey and Italy. later on maybe in the Netherlands.

There where asked many questions, but the minister and ministry don’t even have to answer them correctly. In the end they can do whatever they want…. there is a majority who will give the JSF the go ahead. That doesn’t depend on truth and honesty, that doesn’t depend on the need to buy the military (all military) the right equipment in enough numbers and affordable enough the USE it in real live. No the great benefit of democracy is that the only thing important is a majority in parliament. That’s the real painful truth. and those parliamentarians doesn’t need to have one key goal; serving the Dutch people. no, some are serving their own interest, or the interests of certain shareholders. Not you and me, nut some shareholders of big (US companies. (remember Fokker is in the hands of an American corporation not Dutch owned)

“The hook is in”

There is the news about the repairs to all current JSF aircraft about 100 of them. There is news about the way the US navy looks at the JSf project: CNO: Next-Generation Navy Fighter Might Not Need Stealth
“You know that stealth may be over-rated,” Greenert said. “I don’t want to necessarily say that it’s over but let’s face it, if something moves fast through the air and disrupts molecules in the air and puts out heat – I don’t care how cool the engine can be – it’s going to be detectable.”

FIA Saab detailF22

Greenert also said the new aircraft may also need to develop new weapons for future threats, according to a report by the U.S. Naval Institute.

“It has to have an ability to carry a payload such that it can deploy a spectrum of weapons. It has to be able to acquire access probably by suppressing enemy air defenses,” Greenert added. “Today it’s radar but it might be something more in the future.”

Also, the next-generation F/A-XX aircraft may not need to travel at high speeds, the CNO added.

“I don’t think it’s going to be super-duper fast, because you can’t outrun missiles,” he said.

The new aircraft will also have the technological capability to be unmanned.

“The weight that we put on an aircraft due to the pilot is kind of extraordinary. You can take that off and put sensors on there instead,” Greenert explained.

As a matter of fact both Boeing and Saab are working on these kind of technologies.

FIA Saab slide 9

so why do the Dutch (and many other JSF style bobos ignore certain news and highlight only the things that fit into their way of thinking… only the JSF……?10561593_10152641454110628_6936233116840549503_n

OODA loop!

Talking to the JSFClub members: Lessons learned!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but most of the time, if I have a discussion with JSF lobbyists, especially those of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) –  I call it the “JSF Club” – there seems to be something wrong with the way they look at things. All critical reports, even from the GAO, USG, Pentagon, professional journalists, former Air Force fighter pilots even alternative fighter aircraft developers are rubbish, well according to them. I haven’t talked to one single fighter pilot who had a modest well balanced approach to the F16 fighter replacement program here in the Netherlands.  Besides the fact that “they” (from now one I will call them the JSF Club) don’t believe any worrying or “negative” news and lets face it “real live facts” (if you believe GAO, SAR, Pentagon reports)  they even seem to are “well” informed what the alternatives can do… better, they claim alternative fighter aircraft CAN’T do.  The interesting part is that they base that knowledge ONLY on information that suites them in their conviction of JSF Superiority. The fact is that the RNLAF in the period 2008 – 2013 didn’t contact the alternative  bidders Boeing, saab and Dassault. During the presentations all bidders declared to parliamentarians that they didn’t had any contact from at least 2008 onwards. The Dutch MoD door was closed for them! Strange? Well this story get even stranger> after these presentations the minister declared that here door was open to all the bidders to present their offers during a meeting.  But these meetings eventual where only intended to satisfy parliament. See the letter from Saab to the Standing parliamentary committee on Defence,  about this unjust way of business of the Ministry of defence aka the RNLAF bosses.

The MoD didn’t accept the offer of technical sensitive briefings about the capabilities of the different aircraft or the financial information related. Instead they only use Open Source information available on the internet or just name it Google… I wrote about this before, the consequence of using Google is that you can use the information that suits you best… What you get is a biased decision document based upon selectively googled information about alternatives, and selectively used “official” JSF data from Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon bodies. I wrote about this earlier.  This is actually true  for both the fighter pilots JSF club and the defence industrial lobby organisation NIDV they claim that only with the JSF they can earn money and make thousands of new jobs in the aircraft & defence industry.. . So how can the JSF club know exactly what a let’s say Super Hornet (international roadmap version?), Typhoon, Rafale or GripenE can do or can’t do if they didn’t have inside “detailed” information about the current technical and financial developments of these alternative fighter aircraft?

It seems that the JSF Club has a very high degree of preference and prejudice… but how is that possible, with specialists who are high skilled and well trained? One of my encounters with a certain highskilled, well trained higher ranking officer (fighter pilot)  of the RNLAF unveiled a lead to what could be the problem… the OODA loop.

Meet the specialist
It all started with a twitter conversation I had with Mr. marten Hendriksma about a non-related subject. (about a year ago) To see things in the right perspective this person currently is the head of Fighter Operations. His previous position was the head of the F-35 transition team… and of course a operational fighter pilot… so this one not the least person. He claimed I was OODA-looped again…. Buddy!

Marten Hendriksma@MHendriksma5 apr.

@jcmeinen Here you go. You got OODA-looped again buddy. #kzag2beren http://www.noordhollandsdagblad.nl/stadstreek/denhelder/article27032932.ece/Commandant-Evertsen-gestraft-na-drankincident-met-twee-vrouwen-en-twee-zeesoldaten

In which I replied:

Christiaan Meinen@jcmeinen · 5 apr.

@MHendriksma  weer een dagblad en geen officiële verklaring? Wat is hier de OODA looo? #kzag2beren ?

(translate: Again a newspaper and not a official explenation, what do you mean with OODA looo… )

As you can see I made a small typo… one o to many instead of the p.

The reaction of mr. Hendriksma prompted:

Marten Hendriksma@MHendriksma5 apr.

@jcmeinen Het is niet OODA looo maar OODA loop. Je zit weer vast in de eerste O.

(translate: It isn’t OODA looo but OODA loop. Your stuck in the frst O.. )

I replied:

Christiaan Meinen@jcmeinen · 5 apr.

@MHendriksma @janvenekamp sorry voor de typo je begreep vast wat ik bedoelde. .. OODA this http://www.jsfnieuws.nl/?p=1139 🙂

(translate: sorry for the typo you must have understood what I meant? …. OODA this…J)

I forwarded the link to a very interesting article on JSFNieuws.nl : Three Reports on the F-35: One of Them Informative.  This article, written by the well respected Winslow Wheeler: Director, Straus Military Reform Project, CDI at POGO. Besides that this article isn’t based on rumours or assumptions, no this article is based on official reports from the GAO and DOD Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs).

A few days ago, Breaking Defense reported an $11.5 billion cost decrease in the F-35. The outlet proclaimed “This is no program estimate that critics might savage. This comes from the Government Accountability Office’s definitive annual Assessment of Selected Weapons Report [sic.].”
Breaking Defense also quoted GAO’s report (titled “Defense Acquisitions: Assessment of Selected Weapon Programs”) that the newly discovered reduction in costs was “due solely to efficiencies found within the program as no decrease in quantities was reported.” (See pages 11-12 of the GAO report.)

So the authority of this article and documents should be clear, also to mr. Hendriksma.

Marten Hendriksma@MHendriksma 5 apr.

@jcmeinen Stukken van Mr Wheeler en JSFnieuws lees ik niet meer. Ik weet dat het programma gezond is en ben op de hoogte van voortgang.

(translate: I don’t read pieces of Mr. Wheeler and JSFNieuws.nl anymore. I KNOW that the program is healty and am aware of progress )

Marten Hendriksma@MHendriksma 5 apr.

@jcmeinen Mr Wheeler zit al decennia vast zonder te observeren. Elk groot program recht op dit soort criticasters. C’est la vie

(translate: Mr. Wheeler sits stuck without the ability to observe for decades now. But every program has the right to have such critics. That’s life. )

Marten Hendriksma@MHendriksma 5 apr.

@jcmeinen Benieuwd hoe lang u dit volhoudt. Wordt met de dag moeilijker om voortgang en succes te ontkennen. Maar laat u niet ontmoedigen.

(translate: Im curious how long you can maintain this. It will be harder for you every day to recognize progress and success. But don’t be discouraged.)

I replied:

Christiaan Meinen@jcmeinen 5 apr.

@MHendriksma mr Wheeler citeert officiële US documentatie. Er gaat iets fout met je OODA loop.

(translate: Mr. Wheeler quotes official US documentation. There is something wrong with your OODA loop.)

Mr. Hendriksma replies:

Marten Hendriksma@MHendriksma6 apr.

@jcmeinen Nee hoor, Observe en Orient doe je niet door een Wheeler-rietje of met oogkleppen op maar SItuational Awareness obv big picture.

(translate: Nope, Observe and Orient you don’t do by a Wheeler-straw or with blinders on your head but based on situational awareness based on the bigger picture.)


Finaly I thanked Mr. Hendriksma for his inside he gave me.

Christiaan Meinen@jcmeinen6 apr.

Bedankt @MHendriksma voor denkstof over #OODA #JSF het resultaat zie je terug in een blog. Wellicht op http://www.jsfnieuws.nl @Dutchforce21

(translate: Thank you MHendriksa for giving me thinking substance about #OODA #JSF. The result you will see back published in a blog. Probably on JSFNieuws  or Dutchforce21 blog.)

How is this possible? An active serving high ranking fighter pilot and current head of Fighter operations of the RNLAF. Seals off certain information that’s coming to him… just because he… doesn’t like the news, doesn’t like the tone? Doesn’t like the author? How come some types of information from the same sources do find their ways to the Dutch Parliament… and others… like this one doesn’t?

Well as I said. Mr Hendriksma made me think about the problem… And maybe we can find it in the OODA loop way of thinking.

OODA loop theory
The phrase OODA loop refers to the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and USAF Colonel John Boyd. Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the strategic level in military operations. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes.

Nothing wrong with this I should say. Well in theory there isn’t anything wrong with it indeed. There are certain drawbacks with the OODA loop though. An important human capability called “memory” isn’t part of the OODA loop process. It may be so that a situation has already been done, so that the OODA loop need not to be completed. Learn from you past mistakes and improve that knowledge with enhancements isn’t part of the OODA loop.

If you look at the way the JSF Club and persons like Mr. Hendriksma… and many others act and react there are some typical things to recognise.

The OODA loop applied to the F16 replacement program

  • Observe –The people who are supposed to collect ALL available info and data regarding JSF and all other candidates aren’t doing what they supposed to do in this fase. My experience (and I can say I hear this a lot from others) is that JSF Club members are talking about assumed capabilities and proposed KPI of the JSF as being already realized. But many of those aren’t and some even will never get realized according to current news (See a full list of examples). Don’t they realize this? Why do they suggest to parliament this isn’t the case? To use the famous words of Steven Seagal:

“Assumptions are the mother of all fuckups.”

 I presume they should collect info without any prejudice? Without being preoccupied and focused on JSF? Besides this unrealistic unfunded focus on the JSF and its assumed capabilities the strange thing is they also use an unbalanced prejudged and selective (unfair/poor) judgement of alternative aircraft while it is proven now they don’t have quality intelligence to do so? What If this process goes wrong… it will mean that you cannot orient correctly. The means to collect the information is to try things out, to talk with specialists with certain knowledge and to share this information broad. This means that an organisation like the RNLAF should facilitate discussions with people with specific knowledge…e.g. about alternative aircraft, about other ways to accomplish missions (not the STEALTH way but for example the Payloads over platforms concept) It means that Dutch Fighter pilots should have flown the Super Hornet, Typhoon, Rafale and Gripen demonstrator in latest configurations and test future capabilities of those aircraft e.g. in simulators. These things didn’t happen. These kind of discussions aren’t possible within the current RNLAF JSF Club. If you disagree… your out. Or you don’t know what your talking about. So if someone like Mr. Wheeler gives you official information from GAO march 2014 document…..

  • Orient – This main process is one of the most important processes of the OODA loop. In other words if you do this process wrong… you will end up with a disaster. This process is used to order the intelligence picked up with the first process Observe. To do this we get to a real human factor. Genetics, culture, identity, tradition, previous experiences eg. And this is one of the trouble spots for the JSF club within the RNLAF. They want to buy American whatever it may cost. They experience their big US colleagues during exercises and operations they experience US training and “unlimited” resources. They fly a very successful and operational fighter aircraft at the moment, the outstanding General Dynamics F16 (yes, it wasn’t Lockheed Martin who designed the lightweight Fighting Falcon)

They see the American way of doing business: can make everything we want to make (in exhaustive funds right?). They want to be that big American hero themselves. But still they are in the orientation fase…..  What to do with information that doesn’t suit you? And what to do with the alternative fighter aircraft which compete to your darling? Say its nonsense? Well that’s exactly what the RNLAF did and still does towards the Dutch Parliament. The selectively googled report Actualisation F16 replacement program is just that as I explained before.  Just look at the JSFNieuws.nl website and find out many more of those issues.


  • Decide – The problem for the JSF Club is that because of their unhealthy focus on the JSF there can be only one decision and that’s buy the JSF. Whatever it will cost (and wil cost the rest of the Armed forces) and whatever it will take. Once the RNLAF had the intention to buy a total of 114 JSF. The Business case was build around 85 JSF, but JSFNieuws disclosed way back in 2008 that this would never happen. But whatever it may cost… the current number of JSF proposed is 35 plus the already 2 test aircraft which need very expensive updates. Way back in 2008 there already have been so many signs of failing JSF development, KPI’s which have been downgraded (many times) but no matter what they still decided to remain focussed solely on the JSF. What they should have done, with all available relevant information was to reassess their moves and reorient on alternative aircraft. This didn’t happen in 2001, 2008 and also the 2013 decision was purely based on selective faulty information. With still proposed numbers downgraded to 35 (plus 2 test aircraft).


  • Act – And then the act part: well the only act they can do is force the parliament and government to buy test aircraft. MP Angelien Eijsink (PvdA / Labour party) said several times (before here party chose to turn once more into the JSF club / camp) regarding the JSF: the hook is in!


The financial millstone of defence is named JSF, but facts don’t bother anymore. The decision is taken, to use the words of the American defence specialist Winslow Wheeler (many times quoted by Dutch PvdA (Labour) MP Ms. Eijsink “the hook is in”. The fish is caught on the hook.


The Twitter conversation
Back to the twitter conversation with Mr. Hendriksma… (and as I repeat with many more fighterpilots of the JSF Club in many other occasions…

I was OODA looped because I pointed out that I trusted more on official statements (non JSF related) than on an article by the Dutch Telegraph (a untrustworthy newspaper in my opinion). The second thing I think is very interesting is that Mr. Hendriksma says he does not want to read news from Mr. Wheeler or JSFNieuws anymore. What about the Observe and Orientation? Howecome He “knows” the program is healthy? How is that possible? The GAO and even the Pentagon state they don’t know themselves. There is no fixed price for purchase, Operations & Sustainment. The software development is a very concerning point, and then the weight, Sortie Generation Rate and other KPI are far from certain. He accuses Mr. Wheeler of not being able to observe.. and in Mr. Hendriksma goes further by accusing Mr. Wheeler of wearing blinders and that he himself sees the bigger picture. How can Mr. Hendriksma see a big picture that doesn’t exist because JSF and many of its capabilities are factual unknown.  What actual has been confirmed by official GAO and Pentagon reports is about. SGR, RELIABILITY, SOFTWARE, INTEROPERABILITY, WEIGHT and so on….. It looks to me if this isn’t exactly the meaning of the OODA loop is it?

Place your own experience
I would like to ask all readers about their own personal experiences with discussions with JSF club members like industry and or fighter pilots in all partner countries to give their statements as a comment under this article. Maybe it will be needed someday.

Last words to Mr. Bogdan JPO
I would like to give the final word to Mr. Bogdan the General in charge of the JPO. During a conference, sponsored by Aviation Week, Lt. Gen. Bogdan, PEO of the JSF Program Office, spoke with the press about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in relation to the FY2015 budget.

We assumed the airplane was going to be very, very smart. We also assumed ALIS was going to be very, very smart, the system that takes the information off the airplane and does all that prognostics. As it turns out, neither of them is very smart today.”

The [integrated master schedule] has shown us the critical path to both of those events is not software, … but modifications to the airplanes.

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