I’m about to get in trouble with my fighter pilot father-in-law, but here are the facts:
I agree with the Never.Gonna.Happen.
But what might be argued instead is to amend the NSA o’47 to give fixed-wing close air support to the Army.
Let Wes Dabney fly Warthogs!
It’s still never.gonna.happen. But it’s worth using the argument to force the two services to play better together.
…and while we’re at it, let’s rename the Department of Defense back to “War Department.”
All sorts of problems w/ putting CAS and other fixed-wing support back in w/ the Army.
To begin w/, the Air Force only allows officers to fly. The Army, of course, allows lesser beings to do so. So, kludging the two back raises a bureaucratic problem.
In addition, I think you’re introducing a false dichotomy. Is air support somehow divorced from the rest of the air campaign? I think one of the things the Air Force has shown (incl. through the work of folks like COL John Warden) is that a truly combined arms air campaign is a sight to behold.
Moreover, control of the air is vital to ground ops. But air and ground ops are not so clearly separated (as seen in AirLand Battle). You use SAMs, in conjunction w/ deception, counter-air strikes, SEAD, and air superiority sweeps to get control of the air. You use air power, in conjunction w/ MLRS, arty, SF, etc., to apply firepower for the maneuver elements. I think that separating out one air function for the ground is as likely to become a money and concentration sinkhole as it is improve air support to the ground forces.
One weenie’s thinking….
1. You’ll have my blues when you rip them from from my cold, dead corpse …or if you can find them in my closet. I haven’t worn them in years.
2. It’s not just the “brass” that violenty opposes reunification. I would say everyone does. If we wanted to be in the Army, then we would be.
3. Good luck recruiting. The biggest selling point of the Air Force is that it’s “Not the Army”. The Coast Guard would probably benefit tenfold by any reunification.
4. We’ll have to give up the “dumb soldier” jokes. That’s the cruelest cut of all.
5. Millions of dollars will be spent having to stencil and mark everything so Private Dumbass doesn’t hurt himself.
i agree it’s never going to happen, however i think the army needs to face a reather unpleasent fact
- your grand glory days are over. america has hit a point where we cannot stomach a high body count. you can bet your boots the only places you’ll be going into where the air force hasn’t already bombed the hell out of are places the air force can’t. like inside a mountain.
while joining the army and air force won’t happen, the army is moving ever closer to being a giant police force, guarding bombed-out holes and basically sweeping up after the air force.
note: i know that the special ops are doing a lot of ground work and helping to aim the bombs being dropped to the targets
On a recent overseas flight I sat next to an Army SSgt who shall remain nameless. What I got from our conversation was this: other services weed out the hopeless in boot camp. In Army bootcamps, the objective is to make the recruiters look good by passing damned near everyone, and also by passing the weeding-out responsibility on to whatever unfortunate soul happens to inherit the hapless and hopeless.
Until the Army gets its collective shit together by some other means than by spending large sums on a largely pointless and confusing advertising campaign, Army will continue to be the bottom rung of the services.
These ideas keep returning because the US Air Force keeps shunting off close air support as an embarrassing task like taking out the garbage. This is because the Air Force’s political interests dominate their missions ( not a new story in the Pentagon ). They give it second rate aircraft, second rate attention and third rate tactics. The Marine Corps shows that one can do aviation professionally and keep a strong CAS mission.
Hate to tell your relatives, but the reuniting of the Army and the USAF is going to happen.
The USAF’ Fighter Pilot Mafia’s answer to every question relating to airpower is the “F22.” The F22 is for the Air Force what the Crusader was for the Army brass.
The real replacement for the F15 and F16 is a future version of the armed Preditor UAV.
You don’t need an officer-pilot to fly a robot.
Nor do you need a seperate military flying service either.
I’d agree with you, Trent. Except the problem (vulnerability) with a remote UAV is the radio control link, while the problem with a fully (or even partially) autonomous UAV is the current state of decision-making software. Yes, UAVs might someday replace manned fighters. But not before F-22 is well into its service life, IMO.
A Predator doesn’t carry enough munitions to do much more than ruin the days of some guys sitting in a hangar. The F-22, on the other hand, is primarily an air-to-air fighter, which is a role that’s far in the future of UAVs. If you want to argue that UAVs can currently (or even in the near future) replace the JSF, then we can talk about that.
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