I have gotten a ton of email with various articles attached talking about how plans are in the works to retire a whole slew of “legacy” (ie front line) aircraft types in a desperate attempt to protect the most flawed weapons procurement concept in modern history- the F-35 Lightning.
So far strong rumors are being passed around and even touted stating that the USAF will work to can the A-10, KC-10 and B-1 fleet so that “key procurement programs” can be protected. Even the F-15C community has been said to be vulnerable to meat cleaver cuts for the USAF’s FY2014 budget. At what point to the Generals and Civil Servants that have a major say over decisions like this just cease to have any credibility? If even a portion of these across the board fleet retirements are true than they are actually mortgaging America’s national security on a machine that has so far been nothing short of a disaster and whose central concept is now almost totally out of date and based on technology “choices” of the late 1990s. This is so stunningly stupid and offensive to the tax payer that it is actually personal. How many young soldiers lives have been saved by the A-10 with its comparatively infinite amount of cannon trigger pulls? How much gas have KC-10s passed to hungry fighters and transports during the War on Terror? These rumors, if true, amount to a sickening, short-sighted joke that is being spurred by inward career motivation, industry tyranny and plain old “go fever” for their pet project that is now “too big to fail.”
General Hostage and others have touted the prioritization towards multi-role platforms, in the meantime they have dropped key niche capability fleets to such low numbers that they now appear comparatively cost prohibitive on the books even though their abilities are superior, infinitely more proven and actually more cost-effective than their alternatives. These guys are now playing with a loaded deck and the geniuses in Congress who think they understand the big picture of air combat via a series of briefs delivered from those who are pushing these force structure gambles down their throats better not play along. General Hostage- tell the team of Green Berets about to be overran by Taliban nut jobs that the A-10 they so desperately need to deliver hundreds of rounds of danger close fire support that their bird of salvation was “rationalized” because it could not hunt enemy aircraft or go over the speed of sound (who cares about this anymore anyway?). The USAF has spent a decade of perfecting close air support and at the first chance they get the fast jet mafia pulls out the saber to cut the Warthog’s neck. Be ashamed of your military leadership on this one if such a “strategy” indeed materializes. Actually be furious.
If these buffoons actually attempt to kill the A-10 they better be ready to hand them over the US Army, where they belonged in the first place. An owner that will treat them with the respect they have won the hard way, in bloody battle.
Oh, USAF, also maybe you should totally cut the HH-60 Combat Search And Rescue fleet as well. I mean picking aircrews up after being shot down behind enemy lines is such a niche capability right? I mean we could eliminate the whole PJ community too! We could just act like it never existed! I mean why can’t the standard Army medevac and H-60 community pick up this “niche” mission right? Yeah I did not think so….
The possibility of cuts of entire fleets of tactical and strategic aircraft goes along with the fabricated idea that America will choose its wars of the future. The thought process is backwards. The DoD acts like it is time for a new fighter so we will build one and then set future doctrine so that future strategy and contingency planning support the fighter in development, not the other way around. News flash! The wars that may be on the horizon may not be ones of choice, where boots on the ground can be taken off the table at will. In fact the last decade plus has proven the opposite. Furthermore, if the USAF was serious about the “Pacific Pivot” than they would have canned this short legged fighter and would be procuring medium range UCAVs, massive stockpiles of standoff weaponry, and a regional fighter bomber (FB-22) instead…
Build advanced UCAVs and standoff weapons for kicking down the door and for goodness sake leave the A-10, KC-10, and especially the F-15C community alone until you have a proven and validated weapon system to replace them in adequate numbers. This is not politics, it is about the security of our country and the safety of the young men and women we put in harm’s way in seemingly endless wars. To the decisions makers who would actually prop up such a reckless strategy like this- blood will not be on your hands from slitting the Warthogs throat, it will be from the brave Americans who you left with air support from 10k feet so that you could have your “career making” abortion of a weapon system. Sickening.
Oh, and I know a lot of DoD and industry types read this website. If you would like to come and debate me on this issue I am totally available to do so. Come make your impotent case for such a reckless strategy for all to see, you will only embarrass yourself. Oh and your “F-35 is the only option” load of BS will not fly here. We know better, much better than that congressional shell game the F-35 lobby has been playing for over a decade. To anyone that would like to take my challenge, remember, I have NO dog in the fight here aside from logic and love of country, what about you???
Please speak out against this insanity. This strategy will break our air combat capability and is one way ticket to parity with potential foes, not dominance. The future is unmanned, especially for low observable deep strike and kicking down the enemy’s door, the exact mission requirements that makes the F-35 so expensive and inefficient. The idea that in thirty years the F-35 will be relevant is laughable, although the A-10 very well could be.
They all complained about the potential of a hollow air force for years, now they are making sure it happens. Nothing makes sense anymore with this branch of the our military. Time to clean house, before it is too late…