F-22 Whistleblower Wants Job Back
The lawyer for one of two F-22 pilots who went public with their concerns about breathing the air supplied by the aircraft is calling for his full reinstatement and the withdrawal of a letter of reprimand on his record. The Newport News Daily Press is reporting Virginia Air National Guard Capt. Josh Wilson complained to his superiors that a charcoal filter installed in the fighter's oxygen system to combat other contamination issues was actually making matters worse. Shortly after he told his commanders that an Air Force doctor had recommended he not fly the aircraft, the superior officers refused to renew his orders to fly with Air Combat Command, dropping his pay by 90 percent and chopping benefits. At the same time, Boeing was concluding a study that led to recommendations the charcoal filters be removed. That recommendation was made on April 2. The Air Force took the advice and started removing the filters about the same time Wilson and Air Force Maj. Jeremy Gordon went on 60 Minutes to publicly complain about the issue. Virginia Sen. Mark R. Warner and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., released the study publicly on Friday.
Wilson has been off active duty for more than two months and his lawyer Frederick M. Morgan Jr. is calling for the withdrawal of the letter and Wilson's reinstatement "a critical first step" to resolving his client's situation. Wilson has responded to the letter of reprimand but has not had his hearing before the Flying Evaluation Board. Guard officials had not commented to the Daily Press on the latest developments by the weekend but military officials up to and including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have said Wilson and Gordon are protected against reprisals under the military whistleblower provisions.