Skip to comments.Saving the U.S. Air Force
Posted on 02/11/2005 4:07:50 AM PST by Truth29
SAVING THE U.S. AIR FORCE
By RALPH PETERS
February 11, 2005 -- We need to save the United States Air Force from itself. This critical component of our national security has become corrupt, wasteful and increasingly irrelevant. The problem doesn't lie with the front-line pilots or ground crews. The cancer is at the top, in the Department of the Air Force and on the Air Force Staff.
Consider just a few recent problems: Former Air Force Secretary James G. Roche, who resigned last month to evade a corruption investigation, has just been cited for ethics violations in dealing with the defense industry. The service's top acquisition official, Darleen Druyun, is in prison for her role in a corrupt tanker-leasing deal. The scam had been a top priority under Roche. The Air Force's top lawyer got the boot for sexual shenanigans with subordinates.
The service continues to demand the nearly useless, $300-million-per-copy F/ A-22 fighter, a Cold-War legacy system wildly out of sync with our security needs.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Hits the bullseye here.
The tail is wagging the dog.
Untrue IMO. F-22 is not needed right now in Iraq. However, in the Asian theater, F-22 is an asset.
With the possible scenarios there, very true.
So - who's going to pay for hundreds of C-130 replacements to carry the vehicles that don't fit because they were designed without regard to airlift?
The Army knew what size to make a Stryker - ignoring it has caused problems. But you cannot replace an entire fleet of aircraft just to make an Army vehicle fit after it was mis-designed.
I'm not sure that there is really anything new, here. All the writer is doing is shining a light on a fire.
Corruption in the Pentagon isn't new, nor is it limited to the Air Force. Look at the Bradley Fighting Vehicle that cost $1.5B and 15 years to develop because the Pentagon brass kept changing the requirements. Or, the $600 toilet seat/$900 hammer/$1200 coffee maker nonsense of the 70s.
The Pentagon does purchase unique systems that can't be bought off-the-shelf. However, that doesn't mean that every screw, nut, bolt and rivet that goes into the construction and assembly has to be unique as well.
Fiscal responsibility is NOT a Pentagon hallmark, however, the weapons they control are what make us safe and free. There are corrective actions that can/should be implemented to reduce overall government waste and spending on frivolous stuff, but we need to make sure we draw the line carefully and not just start slashing at everything that moves.
Much of the cost overrun is due to the Pentagon brass changing requirements AFTER production starts. The vendor shouldn't have to eat the cost of the Pentagon constantly changing paddles in mid-stream . . . . . but, neither should the taxpayer.
There's a happy medium that may simply be implementing more technical contract review before approval. Or, it may be a "corporate culture" issue in the Pentagon that requires more strenuous policy changes.
The Air Force and Navy are both wedded to an outmoded industrial age view of warfare in which machine fights machine and the best machine wins. We are the best in the world at that type of warfare. However, our enemies don't fight that way. Our national military strategy is beginning to take the people-centric, land oriented nature of warfare into account. Resources should follow, but there is huge resistance from those wedded to the machine model--i.e. Admirals, Air Force Generals, many in Congress, and of course the defense industry.
This guy is an idiot. He wants a replacement for the A-10...it is called the A-10C, which starts test shortly. No reason to build an entirely new design when the old one still works - particularly with upgrade.
I'm not a fan of the F-22, but scrapping it and starting over would make defense contractors salivate. Yeah, lets spend MORE money without actually buying anything - that's the ticket!
The 'shock and awe' he denigrates paid dividends when a much smaller force than ever before kicked Iraq's butt in an incredible invasion.
He wants to bring in Army generals to run the USAF - good Lord! Have you ever worked with Army generals? They don't have clue one about airpower - which is fine...I don't pretend to know about tanks or infantry, just wish they would return the favor.
He also fails to understand that Iraq is probably NOT the only threat we will face over the next 30-40 years. The F-15 has been in service for 30 years and will need to stay in service for another 10+...we don't build fighters to face the threat 2 years from now - they need to perform well for the next 30.
What a crock!
The point is we cannot afford to build an entire fleet of designed from scratch tactical airlifters.
Also, airlift can NEVER carry significant amounts of Army equipment - it must travel by land or sea because no planes in the world - including C-5s - can haul enough to move a division (or even brigade) of Army equipment in a timely manner. Infantry, yes - but if it has wheels or tracks, it just weighs too much to fly.
There is a reason Ford doesn't distribute their cars to dealerships by air...
For the most part, I've enjoyed Peter's columns over the years, (once you filter out some of his virulent anti-Rumsfeld animus)..He's an out-of-the-box thinker, and that only helps to jumpstart the debate. What I found most curious, in his comments about the future of the USAF, was no mention of the role of UAVs..future designs of pilotless aircraft. Many feel that is the future of war..That the F/A-22 is the LAST manifestation of the fighter...and that the USAF has yet to make the type of 180 turn that the Navy did when overnight the BB was displaced by the carrier.
The USAF is putting tons of money into UAVs. It is far easier to get UAV research funded than aircraft. I assume that means the USAF agrees with you.
I think this just nailed the AF. Spot-on.
I didn't know that...I'll search and try to find some specs. I haven't seen anything on this.
It is an upgrade to allow the A-10 to carry JDAM and modern targeting pods (they have a limited capability right now). Not sure if new engines are included - the A-10 needs some, but last I heard the engines weren't a go. They just recently decided to designate it a new model of the A-10.
Great airplane - hope they get new engines soon.
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