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24 February 2014

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SAC Brat

The A-10 came after a lot of folks realized the non-zoomy A-1 Skyraider was extremely useful. Another idea at the time was for direct radio communication from the ground to support aircraft. How'd everyone forget the lesson's George Patton learned the hard way about using air support?

A re-do of the Treaty of Key West may be in order.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_West_Agreement

Like a large corporation, suffering because the departments put their interests ahead of the company's interests.

turcopolier

TTG

Sure. As the Brits might say, I also have "form" with the Skyraider. In 1972 my outfit (MACVSOG/STDAT-158) was running ops in NVN. We had a lot of air assets. We lost aircrews in NVN. The SAR package always included Skyraider. On one occasion I remember listening to the radio as a SAR package tried to pick a pilot up off the beach in NVN. The Jolly was nearby. The NVA were just off the beach. A Skyraider pilot made his run at them to clear the extraction. "I hit him! my God I hit him!. May God forgive me." pl

Lord Curzon

Indeed, it's ridiculous. But as with previous attempts to retire the A-10, the current proposals are subject to Congressional approval. And getting the lawmakers to sign off on the cuts could be easier said than done...I hope!

Tyler

Sir,

I believe I've told the story on here before about working the AfPak border with some SF types and taking fire from a Paki border outpost. The A-10 came down like the world's biggest, angriest, hornet and wiped it off the mountaintop before proceeding to hang out with us just in case, flying giant slow looping circles in the sky while we marched along. It was a comforting sound to have with us.

The fact that I continue to see AF officials disingenuously describe the A-10 as "designed for the tank battles of the Cold War" instead of as the CAS beast of all trades it is just goes to show how the real concern is "what's good for the generals when they retire" and not what the troops need.

I imagine the A-10 in VN would have been something of a game changer in that war, between its ability to take a slug on the chin and stay airborne as well as shatter anything the NVA could put into the field.

Tyler

The fact that drone operators refer to themselves as "pilots" and can be spotted wearing aviator jackets around FOBs tells you a lot about the AF mentality.

Pilots think CAS missions are demeaning? Grunts have managed to burn shit barrels and hold ground for centuries, but keep on dreaming about air duels with Sergei or Hong.

Medicine Man

Tyler,

It is not even the pilots who are the problem; well at least not the ones who fly the Warthogs. I've heard more than once that the A-10 air crews are really proud of their work. The story I keep hearing is the AF leadership that doesn't want to run the A-10s *or* give up the funding required to run them. Those kinds of perverse priorities just turn my stomach.

William R. Cumming

Out of curiosity what was the last time US forces fought without air superiority and is that discussion even relevant for 21st Century warfare?

Once again I ask is seize and hold a legitimate military concept for US forces in the 21st Century?

I keep hearing the USAF is training 125 "pilots" for each of its drones to allow 24/7/365 ops! Is this correct or even possible?

Mike C

WRC-

The Warthogs will go to the boneyard. Just one of the perversities of this retirement is 200-odd aircraft were being re-winged to keep them flight worthy out to 2040. 56 more wings were purchased from Boeing only last Sept.

I suppose Guadalcanal might have been the last battle US forces fought without control of the air, though they contested it. They were pretty spooked for a while in Korea when the MiG showed up. The F-86A was not a reliable beast early on.

My opinion: A discussion of air superiority is relevant. If we continue making these poor policy, planning, and procurement choices, we could end up surprised.

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