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Old 05-04-2015, 06:21 PM
 
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Maybe this should be placed in politics or great debates. Not sure, but I thought it was equally viable here. It seems like every few years when the Air Force's budget is about to get cut they trot out getting rid of their A-10s as a cost saving measurs. Maybe it is just a crass political move as they know the populace and Congress will fight for this proven aircraft.

After seeing this happen two or three times now in my adult life, I wonder why the US army is not allowed to operate its own fixed wing close air support element, and indeed why the Air Force controls this capability when its leadership seems to despise filling this crucial role. It seems to be something the Air Force hates, but which it refuses to allow the army to conduct because it would reduce the prestige of the Air Force. Do you think it is time for Congress to step in and force the Air Force to abandon this role while the Army takes it up? I can still see reason to allow the Air Force to control strategic bombing, aircraft to protect and open the way for these bombers, land based ICBMS, and air and spacecraft for intelligence gathering, but I really see no benefit to the U.S. for the Air Force to continue filling a role it seems to hate so much.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:33 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
26,534 posts, read 46,669,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
It seems like every few years when the Air Force's budget is about to get cut they trot out getting rid of their A-10s as a cost saving measurs. Maybe it is just a crass political move as they know the populace and Congress will fight for this proven aircraft.

After seeing this happen two or three times now in my adult life, I wonder why the US army is not allowed to operate its own fixed wing close air support element, and indeed why the Air Force controls this capability when its leadership seems to despise filling this crucial role. It seems to be something the Air Force hates, but which it refuses to allow the army to conduct because it would reduce the prestige of the Air Force.
The U.S. Military is constantly changing, budgets are always discussed, argued, and whatever you might think will happen will change the next day... Use that to your advantage. 22+ years continuous active duty followed by "consulting" for 10+ years after that...


Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
Do you think it is time for Congress to step in and force the Air Force to abandon this role while the Army takes it up?
No.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:58 PM
 
3,806 posts, read 5,651,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
The U.S. Military is constantly changing, budgets are always discussed, argued, and whatever you might think will happen will change the next day... Use that to your advantage. 22+ years continuous active duty followed by "consulting" for 10+ years after that....
Just want to clarify at this point that I am not a veteran in case anyone was under that impression.

So far the constantly changing military has been a detriment to my career(or at least cut short a job I enjoyed) but maybe one day it will go the other way.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:40 PM
 
18,094 posts, read 16,399,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
Maybe this should be placed in politics or great debates. Not sure, but I thought it was equally viable here. It seems like every few years when the Air Force's budget is about to get cut they trot out getting rid of their A-10s as a cost saving measurs. Maybe it is just a crass political move as they know the populace and Congress will fight for this proven aircraft.
They want to toss the A-10 because the USAF is pretty much controlled by the fighter pilot community, so they push their stuff first and everyone else has to lobby like as happens in politics.

The reason for cutting the A-10 is even more clear though; its role and usefulness compared to its cost have diminished over the years. While it has great success against the under-armed groups the US had been against over the last 15 years, reality is that portable, in-theater anti-aircraft systems have made great leaps since the A-10 has been introduced. The A-10 in fact can easily be brought down against a well-armed military, so the USAF just does not want to fund it anymore as these systems may eventually start finding their way into lesser armed groups' hands.

High altitude bombing/support and unmanned craft is the way the USAF wants to invest in, less risky. Also, helicopters have made great leaps in tech also since the A-10 was introduced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
After seeing this happen two or three times now in my adult life, I wonder why the US army is not allowed to operate its own fixed wing close air support element, and indeed why the Air Force controls this capability when its leadership seems to despise filling this crucial role. It seems to be something the Air Force hates, but which it refuses to allow the army to conduct because it would reduce the prestige of the Air Force. Do you think it is time for Congress to step in and force the Air Force to abandon this role while the Army takes it up? I can still see reason to allow the Air Force to control strategic bombing, aircraft to protect and open the way for these bombers, land based ICBMS, and air and spacecraft for intelligence gathering, but I really see no benefit to the U.S. for the Air Force to continue filling a role it seems to hate so much.
While in theory and practice it could work, and the USMC actually does this, it becomes then a "what is the limit?" As in does the USAF start operating tanks and artillery to protect its assets? Does the Army operate combat ships for combat support? While every branch has a little but of every branch in it, the lines are drawn for a reason; logistically and budget wise it makes sense as it reduces redundancy and overlapping responsibilities. Even with the USMC being a all inclusive force, it practice it really is in name only in many areas.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:23 PM
 
48,507 posts, read 90,505,211 times
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fact is I think they should decide what they need and want. So often senators fight to make them buy things from their district but support cuts. I was shocked to see we have 50 fighter squadrons now and 180 at time of gulf war. Could take ten years to rebuild to that strength. Pilots from gulf war are retiring to take commercial airline jobs replacing the Vietnam ear pilots who are retiring. make it worse. We always seem to be unprepared when SHTF in world. Like WWI and WWII when it does it cost thousands if not more lifes.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Washington state
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The Air Force doesn't exist, remember? It's the little green men that are real.
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
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The future of aerial warfare is not the A-10 or anything like it, it's unmanned aircraft.

In fact, forget about the future, the present of air-to-ground warfare is unmanned aircraft. Terrorists don't tend to have tanks sitting in the desert waiting to get blown up.

That is our current enemy.

The Chinese and Russians?

They also won't attack us with tanks waiting to get blown up.

The attack would either be aerial, or, more likely, in cyberspace.

Regardless, the A-10 would be of no help. It's a cool plane, but a dinosaur built for 20th Century wars.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:09 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
15,286 posts, read 8,130,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
.........After seeing this happen two or three times now in my adult life, I wonder why the US army is not allowed to operate its own fixed wing close air support element, and indeed why the Air Force controls this capability when its leadership seems to despise filling this crucial role.........
Because of
Pace-Finletter MOU 1952 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and
Key West Agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Inland Northwest
1,793 posts, read 1,302,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knox Harrington View Post

The Chinese and Russians?

They also won't attack us with tanks waiting to get blown up.

The attack would either be aerial, or, more likely, in cyberspace.
See bolded above...these attacks happen, daily.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:50 PM
 
24,565 posts, read 14,398,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
They want to toss the A-10 because the USAF is pretty much controlled by the fighter pilot community, so they push their stuff first and everyone else has to lobby like as happens in politics.
To be sure, the Fighter Mafia has always considered the A-10 to be the Forrest Gump of the family, and CAS to be the equivalent of cleaning bedpans. It's a cultural element: There are generals and colonels today who were taught as butterbars to despise the A-10 and CAS. That was true of CAS in 1973 when I enlisted, and it was still true in 2000 when retired. Being an A-10 pilot is not on the career path to CoS.

But that's changing despite the Fighter Mafia. At this point, it's A-10 pilots who have the most experience flying and fighting. In addition, the Air Force has been forced to adopt combat drone operations, and the Fighter Mafia had to step quickly to get on top of the drone program they initially disdained (and actually, still do).
Quote:
While in theory and practice it could work, and the USMC actually does this, it becomes then a "what is the limit?" As in does the USAF start operating tanks and artillery to protect its assets? Does the Army operate combat ships for combat support? While every branch has a little but of every branch in it, the lines are drawn for a reason; logistically and budget wise it makes sense as it reduces redundancy and overlapping responsibilities. Even with the USMC being a all inclusive force, it practice it really is in name only in many areas.
The CAS line is pretty easily brightly drawn, and unlike in the 40s, the Army knows now how to deploy and support Corps-level airborne assets.
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