The Campaign Spot

An Unmanned Radar, Watching Faraway Weather for Planes That Won’t Come

A perfect anecdote of Rep. John Murtha’s spending in his district, at the little-used, well-funded airport that bears his name:

Murtha also pushed for the Pentagon to install a state-of-the-art digital radar surveillance system to spot weather systems more than 100 miles away. But the $8.6 million radar tower has not been used since it was completed in 2004. The National Guard Bureau says this kind of radar is not part of its plans or priorities, though the Pennsylvania-based unit argues that the radar is a perfect complement to its air traffic control unit’s mission. The Guard has been paying roughly $1,500 a month to keep the unmanned radar spinning and says it hopes to get staff in the future for the facility.

That is at least $72,000 spent in four years for this radar to spin, doing absolutely nothing.