Author Topic: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)  (Read 79692 times)

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Offline MCG

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Re: USAF to retire the A-10 Warthog
« Reply #50 on: June 24, 2014, 20:32:20 »
So, give them to the Army or Marines.
What should either service divest to afford the A-10?

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Re: USAF to retire the A-10 Warthog
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2014, 21:06:14 »
Any idea where they plan to go with the AC-130's in view of this move with the A-10.

And does anyone know how they compared in effectiveness to each other?
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Re: USAF to retire the A-10 Warthog
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2014, 22:11:53 »
Any idea where they plan to go with the AC-130's in view of this move with the A-10.

And does anyone know how they compared in effectiveness to each other?

Are you talking the AC-130 gunships?

AC-130A Spectre (Project Gunship II, Surprise Package, Pave Pronto) Nineteen converted from C-130As, transferred to Air Force Reserve in 1975, retired in 1995.
AC-130E Spectre (Pave Spectre, Pave Aegis) Eleven converted from C-130Es, ten upgraded to AC-130H configuration.
AC-130H Spectre Eight operational (active duty USAF)
AC-130U Spooky II Seventeen operational with (active duty USAF)
AC-130J Ghostrider Sixteen planned to replace AC-130H and increase fleet size. First test flight occurred 31 January 2014.
AC-130W Stinger II (MC-130W Dragon Spear) Twelve converted from MC-130Ws and operational (active duty USAF)

It looks like they're bringing 16 Ghostrider types on line, so we'll probably see them around for awhile yet.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: USAF to retire the A-10 Warthog
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2014, 23:05:34 »
Perhaps of interest to us as well is the "Harvest HAWK", which is essentially a gunship "kit" which can be fitted to the C-130 airframe. The USMC is looking into this for their fire support needs:

http://www.gunsandtactics.com/ac-130-gunships-for-the-usmc

Quote
AC-130 Gunships for the USMC

If you’ve done any appreciable amount of reading about the Vietnam War, you know that one of the grunt’s best friends in the air was the AC-130 Specter gunship, affectionately known in those days as “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Both the AC-130H and third-generation AC-130U Spooky pack a lethal combination of L60 40mm Bofors and M102 105mm cannons — yes, that’s 105mm, as in the light artillery piece. The AC-130U also boasts a GAU-12 25mm rotary cannon.

The AC-130U operates primary in support of special operations forces. Not surprisingly, the average Joes on the ground would like a piece of this devastating air support action, so the Marine Corps began looking at options. The problem, especially in today’s environment of shrinking budgets, was the price tag: a single 12-plan squadron of AC-130Js (the USMC variant) would cost as much as 45 KC-130J aerial tankers.

The Corps is used to dealing with budget constraints, however, and in that spirit began considering creative solutions. Their answer was the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK), which retrofits KC-130J tankers with a weapons package. The tankers tend to loiter over the battlefield anyway, since they can refuel both helicopters and jets, so why not make use of their spare time for fire support?

Harvest HAWK consists of four component sets formally called Capabilities. One is a palletized surveillance and fire control electronics package combined with a sensor pod that mounts on an external fuel tank hardpoint; the second is a rack for some combination of AGM-114P Hellfire missiles and DAGR 70mm laser-guided rockets, which also mounts on a hardpoint. Capability III is a 30mm cannon that mounts in the troop door, and Capability IV is a cargo ramp-mounted rack called “Gunslinger” that can carry a variety of munitions, with the Griffin A missile from Raytheon currently the mainstay.

Though a Harvest HAWK-equipped KC-130J is certainly not as capable as the AC-130U — which shouldn’t be surprising given the blending of two very different mission profiles—this option is also significantly less expensive. Future munitions options for Capability IV include the GBU-44 Viper Strike, which can be either laser- or GPS-guided, and a rocket-powered version of the unpowered Griffin designated Griffin B, which have the potential to further enhance the offensive capabilities of Harvest HAWK.

With only 8 AC-130H and 17 AC-130U aircraft in the inventory, the additional capability offered by Harvest HAWK will be welcome—which may be the reason why SOCOM itself has also taken an interest in the project.

The downside of the C-130 based gunship is it is very big and very slow, to the point that they only operate at night, and against enemies with limited GBAD and air capabilities. I suspect the real future for this sort of capability rests with some combination of UCAV and long range stand off weapons delivered from a variety of platforms.
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Offline Kilo_302

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Re: USAF to retire the A-10 Warthog
« Reply #54 on: July 02, 2014, 14:06:07 »
Food for thought:  http://aviationweek.com/awin/textron-unveils-scorpion-light-attack-recce-jet

Not the same role as the A-10, but if the Air Force is looking at a long term aircraft to provide support in a COIN environment something like this might fit the bill. Textron seems to think so anyways.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: USAF to retire the A-10 Warthog
« Reply #55 on: September 25, 2014, 12:07:31 »
The A-10 saga continues:

Defense News intercepts

Quote
If the A-10 Heads to Iraq, Don’t Expect Changes at Home.
Aaron Mehta / 3 days ago

On Monday, the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette reported that 300 airmen of the 122nd Fighter Wing, a National Guard unit based in Ft. Wayne, IN., would be deploying to the Middle East. Although the deployment has been in the works for a while, it only takes a short jump of logic to think these airmen will end up taking part in the ongoing operation to “decay and degrade” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS, sometimes referred to as ISIL).

(...SNIPPED)

So would a grand showing by the A-10 in Iraq, perhaps protecting Iraqi ground troops or mowing through lines of IS ground vehicles with its 30mm cannon, lead to widespread support for the jet and force the service to withdraw its plans?

It doesn’t seem likely.


It’s easy to assume a successful operation conducted by the A-10 would turn heads on the Hill and raise support for the plane. In theory, it could give supporters of the plane the proof they need to push back at the Air Force’s attempts to retire the system.

(...SNIPPED)
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Offline YZT580

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Just a month or so after being saved from the scrap heap, the A10 is heading off to war once again.  Stars and Stripes reports that the 122nd is slated for deployment against ISIS. 

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Just a month or so after being saved from the scrap heap, the A10 is heading off to war once again.  Stars and Stripes reports that the 122nd is slated for deployment against ISIS.

Warms my heart -- I guess the idiotic sorry I meant Supersonic fighter crowd wasn't as valuable as they thought...

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Offline S.M.A.

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Senator McCain aims to save A-10 from retirement
« Reply #58 on: November 07, 2014, 10:02:51 »
McCain to the A-10's rescue?

Military.com

Quote
Sen. John McCain Vows to Save A-10 From Retirement

Associated Press | Nov 07, 2014

PHOENIX – Sen. John McCain says the Air Force won't be able to retire the A-10 Warthog ground attack jet now that he's in line to become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
McCain said Thursday the A-10 is the best close-air support aircraft ever made and there is "no doubt" Congress will prevent its retirement. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson has 80 of the twin-jet planes and trains A-10 pilots.

McCain says there's no replacement for the jet's close-air support mission and pointed to a June friendly fire in Afghanistan where a B-1 bomber mistakenly targeted American troops, killing five.

(...SNIPPED)

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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2014, 12:30:50 »
Update.

http://www.ibtimes.com/10-thunderbolt-deployed-iraq-fight-against-islamic-state-1729923

A-10 Thunderbolt Deployed To Iraq For Fight Against The Islamic State

By Christopher Harress - 26 Nov 14

The once-endangered A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, saved from the scrap heap by Congress earlier this year, will now fly operations in Iraq after previously being deployed to Afghanistan this year. Only a handful of the aircraft will make the journey to southwest Asia to take part in the fight against ISIS, the rest remaining behind in Afghanistan.

According to Air Force Central Command, the aircraft arrived over four days between Nov. 17-21 as part of the newly reformed 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, which was disbanded after 10 years of service in the Middle East. It provided security during the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

The initial deployment to Afghanistan in September involved 300 airmen from the Indiana National Guard, specifically from the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron based at Fort Wayne, Indiana, also known as the “Blacksnakes.”

While the Pentagon tried to get rid of the aircraft, chiefly because of upcoming sequestration in 2016, Congress unanimously saved it at the eleventh hour.

The low-flying aircraft, also known as the Warthog, is a favorite among ground troops as it offers accurate and powerful ground support that other fighter-bombers, which must fly higher and faster, cannot provide.

“They’re going over there because there’s a need … to be postured for a combat rescue mission,” said Jennifer Cassidy, an Air Force spokeswoman. “While they’re there, we will maximize their use,” Cassidy said.

The aircraft will be used against the Islamic State group, which has until now been targeted by airstrikes from high-flying U.S. and coalition aircraft.

The Air Force did not specify how many A-10s were in theatre except to say that it was an “expeditionary squadron-sized element.” The service also declined to say where the A-10s would be stationed during the operations, due to diplomatic sensitivities.

This most recent deployment comes after the Republicans won the Senate, likely thrusting John McCain to the chairmanship of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. The Vietnam veteran has been a key advocate for the aircraft, and his leadership, which is yet to be confirmed, will likely see the aircraft’s services retained for years to come.



http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2014/11/26/a-10s-deply-iraq-islamic-state/19520527/ 

A-10s deploy to fight in Iraq


By Brian Everstine, Staff writer 4:22 p.m. EST November 26, 2014

Several A-10s from the 163rd Fighter Squadron of the Indiana Air National Guard have deployed to southwest Asia to support Operation Inherent Resolve, along with other operations. The A-10s were previously deployed to Afghanistan, but have moved to southwest Asia to focus on the fight against the Islamic State group.

The deployment includes about 300 airmen, the Indiana National Guard said when the squadron first went to Afghanistan in September.

The aircraft arrived over several days from Nov. 17-21, according to Air Forces Central Command.

The Warthogs are the first combat aircraft for the newly reactivated 332nd Air Expeditionary Group, The unit was deactivated in early 2012 after operations ended in Iraq. The unit provided overwatch for the last convoys out of Iraq.

The Indiana Guard's 122nd Fighter Wing is one of the units slated to lose their A-10s under the Air Force's proposal to retire the fleet. Under Air Force plans, which are being blocked in Congress, the unit would receive F-16s in 2019.


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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2014, 10:33:09 »
The A10 won't be retired for now...

Defense News

Quote
Compromise NDAA Blocks A-10 Retirement, OKs White House's Syrian Rebels Plan

WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a Pentagon policy measure that blocks A-10 retirements and greenlights plans to arm Syrian rebels, a measure that should hit the House floor this week.

Senior aides from the House and Senate Armed Services committees told reporters Tuesday a compromise 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would clear the military to spend $519 billion (including $19 billion for the Energy Department) in base funds and $63.7 billion for America’s conflict

(...SNIPPED)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #61 on: December 05, 2014, 09:52:04 »
A-10 article.

http://www.wired.com/2014/12/a10-warthog-isis/

In one famous A-10 incident, Air Force Capt. Kim Campbell was sent to defend Army troops in the early days of the Iraq War in 2003. After firing on Iraqi Republican Guard troops, Campbell took an epic amount of enemy fire. Both hydraulic systems failed, forcing the pilot to switch to “manual reversion,” a mechanical backup that allows limited flight capability. Campbell kept flying for more than hour, safely returning to Kuwait despite being riddled with hundreds of bullet holes and a massive hole in the right horizontal stabilizer.

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2014, 21:43:38 »
The A-10s proving their worth again over Iraq:

Military.com

Quote
A-10s Hitting ISIS Targets in Iraq

Dec 17, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
U.S. commanders have been sending A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft in recent weeks to hit ISIS targets in Iraq but not in Syria, Pentagon officials said Thursday.
The use of the A-10s followed the announcement last month by military officials that A-10s had deployed in mid-November to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"While they're there we will maximize their use," an Air Force spokeswoman said at the time.
The A-10 Warthogs have conducted multiple strikes against ISIS in central and northwestern Iraq but have thus far been restricted from flying missions in Syria, the officials said.

(...SNIPPED)

Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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Offline MCG

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #63 on: December 17, 2014, 22:34:06 »
I wonder if concerns over hostile AD assets are what is keeping the A10 out of Syria.

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #64 on: December 18, 2014, 10:26:48 »
I will point out again that the SU-25 (an A-10 analogue) has been effectively swept from the skies of Ukraine by a handful of SPETNAZ operators using or coaching the locals in how to use up to date MANPADS. Ukrainian aircraft were constrained from coming close to the border because the integrated Russian GBAD umbrella can reach over and cover a fairly wide swath of Ukraine as well.

While the A-10 and their pilots could be considered superior to Ukrainian Frogfoots and their pilots, I doubt the difference is so much as to negate the advantages of up to date GBAD. IF ISIS were to get their hands on modern Russian MANPADS and training, I suspect the use of A-10s in Iraq (not to mention Iranian SU-25's) would be tightly restricted.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline KevinB

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #65 on: December 18, 2014, 18:09:27 »
I suspect that USA countermeasures for MANPADS are superior to Russian, as well as the general Pilot skills.

  My guess is it is more of a Political decision not to commit them at this point
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #66 on: December 26, 2014, 23:31:06 »
Better hang onto those A-10s. F-35 woes include, apparently, a poor CAS capability:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/26/newest-u-s-stealth-fighter-10-years-behind-older-jets.html
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Offline S.M.A.

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A-10 opponents fail in crusade to kill off great CAS plane
« Reply #67 on: January 19, 2015, 19:08:41 »
The A-10 opponents in the USAF and US DoD have lost for now...

Weekly Standard

Quote
The Warthog Lives!
Happily, the Air Force has failed again in its crusade to kill off a great plane


Excerpt:

(...SNIPPED)

Fortunately, Congress wasn’t gulled, and the latest National Defense Authorization Act forbade the USAF from retiring the A-10. It helped that the politicians fighting for the A-10 included not just McCain but also Sen. Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire, whose husband flew A-10s in Iraq, and Represent-ative Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel who herself flew A-10s in combat.

ISIS also played a role in saving the A-10. A single squadron of Warthogs would have been enough to stop the ISIS blitzkrieg into northern Iraq—especially given that during the summer the Islamist force moved in long, vulnerable convoys of pickup trucks. Though it will be harder to dislodge ISIS forces now that they are hiding in Iraq’s towns, the Pentagon has deployed an Indiana National Guard A-10 air wing to Iraq, where it has been in action supporting Kurdish forces.

While the A-10’s supporters have won for now, the underlying problems with the Air Force remain. There’s an argument to be made that if it is institutionally unwilling to take seriously the mission of delivering close air support to American troops, as seems to be the case, then it would make sense to abolish its near-monopoly on fixed-wing aircraft and hand the A-10 over to a resuscitated U.S. Army Air Corps that would be pleased to have it.

(...SNIPPED)


Plus more on their current deployment as part of Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq:

Defense News

Quote
A-10 Performing 11 Percent of Anti-ISIS Sorties
By Aaron Mehta 5:02 a.m. EST January 19, 2015
The A-10 Warthog has performed 11 percent of US Air Force sorties against the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS.

(...SNIPPED)

« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 19:25:56 by S.M.A. »
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Offline S.M.A.

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A-10s upgraded with new wings
« Reply #68 on: January 23, 2015, 12:32:43 »
Preparing the A10 to serve for at least one more generation:

Boeing Roll Call

Quote
A-10 Thunderbolt II Gets New Wings, Ensures the Sound of Freedom into 2035

The A-10 Thunderbolt II plays a key role in protecting our troops and it’s about to get a makeover.

The U.S. Air Force’s A-10 Warthog, a twin-engine jet designed for close air support of ground forces, is receiving new wings that will improve mission availability and help save the Air Force an estimated $1.3 billion in maintenance costs over the next 30 years.

In recent months, Boeing was awarded three follow-on orders for a total of 56 replacement wings and is on contract to build up to 242 wings at its plant in Macon, Ga.


The A-10 is known for its excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and its ability to deliver weapons with great accuracy. A-10s can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1,000-foot ceilings and 1.5-mile visibility. With its significant range and short takeoff and landing capability, it is uniquely suited to serve in and out of locations near the front lines.

This makeover will allow the A-10 to continue to protect our troops and to operate into 2035.

(...SNIPPED)

Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2015, 13:03:52 »
Bad news for IS.

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2015, 01:20:55 »
Bad news for IS.

Making bad guys pay dearly for bringing knives to a gunfight since 1983  :nod:
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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2015, 10:00:03 »
The battle over the A-10's future isn't over:

Defense News

Quote
Ayotte Pledges to Oppose A-10 Retirement

WASHINGTON — The US Air Force announced it will try to retire the A-10 Warthog fleet in its fiscal 2016 budget request. And once again, a top member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is rallying opposition to the move.

Just hours after the service unveiled its budget plan, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., released a statement pledging to fight against the retirement of the Warthog.

(...SNIPPED)



Military.com

Quote
Air Force Maintains Plans to Retire A-10 in '16 Budget Proposal

Feb 02, 2015 | by Michael Hoffman and Bryant Jordan
Air Force leaders have not backed off their push to retire the A-10 in the Pentagon's fiscal 2016 budget request while the service has significantly boosted its investment in developing a next generation bomber, according to service budget documents.

The Air Force is requesting about $137.8 billion in its fiscal 2016 proposed budget as part of the overall $585 billion the Pentagon has requested for 2016. The $137.8 billion represents a slight budget reduction from the $138.3 the Air Force received in 2015.

Air Force leaders have said the budget has forced the service to balance maintaining the aging fleet while also paying for the development of next generation aircraft like the Long Range Strike Bomber.

Congress has flatly denied the Air Force's previous attempts to retire the A-10 fleet that Air Force leaders have said is necessary in order to free up funding and manning for the introduction of the F-35A.

(...SNIPPED)

Our Country
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- Winston Churchill

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2015, 20:21:29 »
Ah, the perpetual self licking ice cream cone that is Pentagon vs Congressional budgetary priorities.
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2015, 12:53:06 »
Ah, the perpetual self licking ice cream cone that is Pentagon vs Congressional budgetary priorities.

True - but in this case

"Congress has flatly denied the Air Force's previous attempts to retire the A-10 fleet that Air Force leaders have said is necessary in order to free up funding and manning for the introduction of the F-35A."

The plane that really can't do CAS...

  I mean clearly we are in a war with someone that has a first rate offence, and don't need CAS  ::)

The AirForce's of the world seem to be populated by idiot pilots (nothing against the good pilots [most who fly helo's  ;)] but it seems like the majority of pilots fancy themselves the current rendition of a Sopwith Camel pilot off to do battle against the Hun in a aerial dogfight man to man.   Very romantic, and I am sure gets chicks at the bar, but about 1% relevant to today's mission criteria.

Kevin S. Boland
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Offline cupper

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Re: A-10 Warthog to be retired by USAF (maybe)
« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2015, 19:47:45 »
Can you imagine what the Pentagon could do with the same budget, but the autonomy to spend it the way they want to spend it, rather than have to use it to help get some 2 bit politician from Podunk Backwater reelected?
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

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Let's Go CAPS!