For VA’s four largest medical-facility construction projects, when comparing November 2012 construction project data with the cost and schedule estimates first submitted to Congress, cost increases ranged from 59 percent to 144%, representing a total cost increase of nearly $1.5 billion and an average increase of approximately $366 million per project. The schedule delays ranged from 14 to 74 months with an average delay of 35 months per project.
— From a Government Accountability Office report, here, released Friday into Department of Veterans Affairs' hospitals under construction.

1,000

— The number of flights flown by the Air Force’s oldest F-22 fighter, Tail Number 4007 (making it the James Bond jet among airmen). The $350 million plane has been flying since a month after 9/11. During its 1000th sortie at Edwards Air Force Base April 19, the Air Force said the plane tested software upgrade 3.2A, designed to “enhance its lethality and self-defense capability.” Too bad, for taxpayers at least, that it hasn’t needed either. No F-22 has flown a single combat mission since becoming operational in 2005. It sat out the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. At this rate, it’s going to take a long time for any F-22 pilot to become an “ace” by downing five enemy aircraft.

712

— The number of people killed in Iraq in April in acts of terror and similar violence, including 595 civilians, the UN reported Thursday. It was the deadliest month in the country in nearly five years, since June 2008. There is increasing talk that religious civil war looms. In related news, the Pentagon announced that Lockheed Martin has landed an $830 million contract to provide Iraq with its second batch of 18 F-16 jet fighters.
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