The Cost of a Celebration

President Donald Trump held America’s Independence Day celebration with a Salute to America, centered at the Lincoln Memorial.

Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told—the story of America.  Today, just as it did 243 years ago, the future of American Freedom rests on the shoulders of men and women willing to defend it.

Just to pick out a couple of things: The Wall Street Journal cited “Democrats” complaining about

the use of military hardware for a traditionally nonpartisan celebration.

Because defending our nation’s existence and celebrating those who do that defense isn’t nonpartisan.  Sure.

And this one:

The Pentagon has said it wouldn’t have cost estimates until next week at the earliest.

I have some estimates now—not on the costs of the military units’ performances, but on those costs unique to their participation in the Salute to America celebration.

The aircraft—and their pilots—used consisted of

B-2 stealth bomber
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
F-22 Raptor
F/A-18 Hornet
Air Force One
Marine One

Their cost that’s unique to the celebration is a good approximation of zero.  Those sorties flown—every single one of them—count as nav currency sorties and formation-keeping currency sorties, and they are a direct substitute for sorties that otherwise would have to be flown as part of any pilot’s currency training.  Furthermore, the fuel and maintenance resulting from the sorties also are already accounted for in those required currency sorties.

M1 Abrams tanks
M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles

Here, the costs will be somewhat incremental, but some—the transport part—will count for existing currency requirements, similarly to the aircraft costs.

The incremental costs just aren’t that great.

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