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(Talking Points Memo)   GOP on the Hill: Fark it, let's not do anything. The sequester is all bluff. GOP at home: WHAT THE HELL HAVE WE DONE?   (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 53
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3604 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Mar 2013 at 8:19 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-28 04:38:37 PM

Firethorn: Dog Welder: and our last generation of aircraft are still better than anything any other country is using.

Just to nitpick, no, they aren't.  We're currently only maintaining a lead due to upgrades, better weapons mounted to the planes, improved support(AWACs, refuelers, mission planners and such) and more expert pilots.

We needed the F-22 and F-35 in order to keep the lead, in addition to the whole deal that the average USAF plane is now older than it's pilot.  In the case of B-52s, we've had the grandfather, father, and son all fly the same jet, and we're looking at adding the grandson to the mix.  It can handle it, but an F-15/16 has a lot more stress on the frame, they're only good for so many flying hours.


Sorry, I have to nitpick the assertion that the average USAF plane is older than its pilot.

The average age for enlisted USAF personnel is 29 years.  For officers it's 35.

http://www.afpc.af.mil/library/airforcepersonneldemographics.asp

The average age of a USAF aircraft is 25 years.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local-military/air-forces-a gi ng-fleet-gets-no-relief-from-budget-/nW2HX/

However, your overall point is correct: we are making the most out of some very old planes (B-52s, U-2s, KC-135s) and much-needed modernization is not going to be cheap.

In some cases, new technology will render some fleet modernizations moot.  For example, those big ol' E-3 Sentry AWACS planes may be replaced by drone aircraft, which also reduces the need for escorts and tankers.
 
2013-03-28 06:19:50 PM

Parthenogenetic: Sorry, I have to nitpick the assertion that the average USAF plane is older than its pilot.

 Hmm...  The enlisted figure is irrelevant because, well, enlisted aren't pilots.  Also, pilots are a subset of officers, and they tend to be a bit younger, but it seems the average 'rookie' pilot is 24.


So I concede that, it was a half-remembered statistic I remember reading somewhere.
 However, your overall point is correct: we are making the most out of some very old planes (B-52s, U-2s, KC-135s) and much-needed modernization is not going to be cheap.

Nope.  Sure, we don't need to replace all the planes, but I have objections - readiness, preparedness, and such about operating combat aircraft we can't replace.
 
2013-03-29 12:09:13 AM
Around here the teabaggers are happy with the sequester.  They're convinced all the budget cuts have already happened and it was painless.
 
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