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(The New York Times)   Defense Secretary Hagel plans to shrink Army to Pre-WWII level. But wait, there's more. A-10, buh-bye. Hello F-35. U-2, buh-bye. Hello Global Hawks   (nytimes.com) divider line 249
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8435 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Feb 2014 at 7:05 AM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-24 01:39:24 AM  
FTFA: some members of Congress, given advance notice of plans to retire air wings, have vowed legislative action to block the move

10 to1 that those are the same asshats pushing for austerity, deficit reduction,"fiscal responsibility", and "small government".
 
2014-02-24 02:43:11 AM  
When your local economy is nothing more than a parasite on the national economy, you deserve to be reduced to a ghost town.

I'm looking at you, Huntsville.
 
2014-02-24 05:58:09 AM  
Getting rid of the A-10 is a huge mistake.  There's nothing else like it for CAS.
 
2014-02-24 07:02:46 AM  

slayer199: Getting rid of the A-10 is a huge mistake.  There's nothing else like it for CAS.


Oh come on. There are better SSOs than CAS.
 
2014-02-24 07:04:06 AM  
FTFA:  "In addition, the budget proposal calls for retiring the famed U-2 spy plane in favor of the remotely piloted Global Hawk."

This is very shortsighted. It goes to show if you have you hands in the pants of those in the capitol (I'm looking at you Northrop Grumman), your less capable and unreliable aircraft will make it through downsizing.
 
2014-02-24 07:08:57 AM  

slayer199: Getting rid of the A-10 is a huge mistake.  There's nothing else like it for CAS.


I doubt it winds up getting cut. Air Force has always hated it because it can't dogfight, but it's just too cheap and too good at what it does. All Congresscritters who don't want to lose the jobs associated with it need to do is trot a few soldiers out, have them testify about how strong it is and how it is one of the few weapons we have that enemies truly fear, and viola! It stays.
 
2014-02-24 07:10:56 AM  
I'm OK with this.
 
2014-02-24 07:14:33 AM  
He wants to get rid of proven and respected technology that the military has used for decades and replace it with unproven tech that is much more expensive. Guy is an idiot.
 
2014-02-24 07:15:10 AM  
I thought we quit making the A-10 at least a decade ago.
 
2014-02-24 07:16:03 AM  

whistleridge: and viola! It stays


???

donrathjr.com
 
2014-02-24 07:17:47 AM  

onyxruby: He wants to get rid of proven and respected technology that the military has used for decades and replace it with unproven tech that is much more expensive. Guy is an idiot.


Don't worry, America always gets into some conflict with a pissant dictator or two where we can "prove" the technology.
 
2014-02-24 07:18:47 AM  
Good plan. Then we need to shift more of the $2B/day defense spending onto the multinational corporations, where it belongs. But none of it will happen.
 
2014-02-24 07:19:58 AM  
Good bye Thornbirds hello Goldie Hawns!

/Private Benjamin 1980
 
2014-02-24 07:24:22 AM  
Frakking Brilliant!  Because we'd never need to grow the Army again within a few years of declaring a "peace dividend".  This is not a repeat from 1939, 1950, 1963, 1981, 1991, 1999, 2001....

And God knows the only thing the Army is good for is breaking things and killing people.  Just ignore all the MEDCAP, humanitarian assistance, security assistance,  nation building in Latin America, military to military contacts, disaster relief....

 I do so look forward to the drama and outrage when Congress or the President says "Heyworth Army, could you just-"  "No can."  "What have we been budgeting?"  "Not enough to roll out of the base gates."  "WARRGGLLLEBARRGLE!"

I get it, we go to war with the Army we have, not the Army we'd like to have.  But why not have the Army we'd like to have on no notice?
 
2014-02-24 07:25:27 AM  
I heard this and Cuomo's multi-billion dollar pre-K education plan on NPR this morning. My first thought was "what country did I get teleported into while I slept?" Seriously, this is good news all around.
 
2014-02-24 07:25:28 AM  

RedPhoenix122: I'm OK with this.


I'm certainly OK with replacing manned U-2's with unmanned (but remotely piloted) Global Hawks.

The A-10's?  Well, *THAT* I think might be a mistake.  Maybe there is room to upgrade it, start cranking out new ones with upgraydded avionics and targeting systems, but the basic airframe itself can't be beat for what its job is:  Close Air Support.

The F-35 is just too slick (ie., fast) for the kind of "low and slow" CAS that ground forces need.
 
2014-02-24 07:26:27 AM  
Bring back the B-52's, I say!!!!
 
2014-02-24 07:30:49 AM  

slayer199: Getting rid of the A-10 is a huge mistake.  There's nothing else like it for CAS.


The A-10 sucks for close air support man.  SUCKS.   Its like trying to set tiny diamonds into an engagement ring with a #7 ballpeen.    The missions it performed in GW1 and 2 can be performed by a GH with hellfires and a gulfstream with two vulcans.

The trick is the world KNOWS their armor can't win so they're not gonna use it.  No armor, no need for armor busters.
 
2014-02-24 07:32:27 AM  
YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!
 
2014-02-24 07:33:13 AM  
We should be able to drown the military in a bath tub, like the rest of the federal government
 
2014-02-24 07:33:16 AM  
Shrink the army? Yes, as long as the eliminated units are the ones that haven't deployed under their own TOEs in the last 15 years.

Retire the A-10? Current airframes are pretty beat up, but we were complete idiots for not ordering new ones. That should have happened immediately in 2003, when it became clear how valuable that airframe's mission still is. See next comment.

Hello F-35? Oh, for fark's sake. Each F-35 will cost more than $200,000,000. Israel has bought brand-new F-16s in the last decade for around $22,000,000 each. We could fire up the A-10 assembly line again, improve the engine and avionics, and still build them for less than $30,000,000 each. There is absolutely nothing I've read about the multi-role F-35 that justifies its immense cost compared to previous-generation aircraft. We could field twice as many wings of F-16 and A-10s, and doubling the personnel cost still would be cheaper than buying the F-35. This project has turned into a huge shiat sandwich, but nobody is willing to take a bite out of it.

Replace the U2 with the Global Hawk? Sounds fine to me. I'd much rather lose a UAV than a living spy pilot.


Bigdogdaddy: Don't worry, America always gets into some conflict with a pissant dictator or two where we can "prove" the technology.


Because that's always worked so well for us in the past?

img.fark.net
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-02-24 07:33:50 AM  

slayer199: Getting rid of the A-10 is a huge mistake.  There's nothing else like it for CAS.


So?  Soldiers are expendable and it doesn't do much for Lockheed's bottom line.

You have to keep your priorities straight.
 
2014-02-24 07:34:15 AM  

Pick: Bring back the B-52's, I say!!!!


It's as big as a whale!
 
2014-02-24 07:36:37 AM  
The fiscal 2015 budget will also call for slowing the growth of tax-free housing allowances for military personnel and would reduce the $1.4 billion direct subsidy provided to military commissaries, which would most likely make goods purchased at those commissaries more expensive for soldiers.
The budget also proposes an increase in health insurance deductibles and some co-pays for some military retirees and for some family members of active servicemen.


That's some good priorities, there.
 
2014-02-24 07:38:00 AM  

prjindigo: The A-10 sucks for close air support man. SUCKS. Its like trying to set tiny diamonds into an engagement ring with a #7 ballpeen. The missions it performed in GW1 and 2 can be performed by a GH with hellfires and a gulfstream with two vulcans.

The trick is the world KNOWS their armor can't win so they're not gonna use it. No armor, no need for armor busters.


A guy I work with served in Iraq an Afghanistan and has told me...the Apache is awesome...but the A-10?  He loves it.  A-10's bailed them out more times than the Apache...and the farking thing is intimidating.

If the USAF doesn't want it, give it to the Army.
 
2014-02-24 07:39:48 AM  
www.washingtonpost.com

This is really good, BTW.
 
2014-02-24 07:40:18 AM  

slayer199: Getting rid of the A-10 is a huge mistake.  There's nothing else like it for CAS.


This.

I've seen it and the B-1 in action.  Both of those "old" airframes are far superior to anything that our two "modern" aircraft can achieve, and do it far more economically.
And achievement is a lot more than just being sexy at the air show.
You've got to be able to do it over, and over, and over, and not be crippled by some bug in software.
The A-10 is simply resilient.
And it's sexy.  But I like ugly sexy, so there's that.
 
2014-02-24 07:41:17 AM  
Hellllooooooooo Nurrrssssssseeeee!
 
2014-02-24 07:44:45 AM  

DrPainMD: When your local economy is nothing more than a parasite on the national economy, you deserve to be reduced to a ghost town.

I'm looking at you, Huntsville.

Ooooh what a shot. You're right though. I use to  wonder what it would be like if Redstone closed and Marshall was all that was left. Huntsville is built around the two and losing the two would destroy North Central Alabama.

/On the cool side I'd have fewer neighbors and more privacy though.

 
2014-02-24 07:45:33 AM  
His reasoning on eliminating the A-10 makes sense but that aircraft has been a favorite of mine for 25 years.
 
2014-02-24 07:45:38 AM  

Laobaojun: Frakking Brilliant!  Because we'd never need to grow the Army again within a few years of declaring a "peace dividend".  This is not a repeat from 1939, 1950, 1963, 1981, 1991, 1999, 2001....


A lot of these wars were completely elective and had little to do with national defense. We could pick our fights better and have gobs of money.
 
2014-02-24 07:47:46 AM  

slayer199: If the USAF doesn't want it, give it to the Army.


Per inter-service agreements, the only fixed-wing aircraft the Army is allowed to have are small utility aircraft.  Combat and larger cargo aircraft aren't allowed.

/Army can have all the helicopters it wants, though.
 
2014-02-24 07:48:38 AM  

rolladuck: The A-10 is simply resilient.
And it's sexy.  But I like ugly sexy, so there's that.


The euphemism I like for an attractive ugly girl is "peasant beauty".
 
2014-02-24 07:49:42 AM  

The top 20 countries ranked by global military expenditure in 2007, in millions of constant 2005 US dollars:

i.imgur.com



I think we'll be okay. Just a hunch.
 
2014-02-24 07:50:18 AM  
The Air Force has always hated the A-10.  It's unglamorous and isn't a sleek fighter jet.  But it is un-paralled in its role.  They've tried to kill it for thirty years.

Fark the F-35.  I say that as an ex-AF man who loves fighter jets.  Fark that boondoggle.  Keep researching fighter jets that's fine, but don't produce any when the F-16 and Super Hornet are still more than capable.
 
2014-02-24 07:52:51 AM  

MrBallou: FTFA: some members of Congress, given advance notice of plans to retire air wings, have vowed legislative action to block the move

10 to1 that those are the same asshats pushing for austerity, deficit reduction,"fiscal responsibility", and "small government".


No bet.
 
2014-02-24 07:53:48 AM  

dittybopper: The euphemism I like for an attractive ugly girl is "peasant beauty".


I'm adding that to my repertoire.  Thanks!
 
2014-02-24 07:58:54 AM  
The A-10 is better at CAS than the F35 will ever be, and far cheaper to maintain and operate. It's also a proven asset, and like others have mentioned, it's one of the few weapons that scares the enemy. If you don't believe me hit up YT or liveleak and try to find that one where some coalition country (Great Britain maybe) that calls in danger close a little too close. The Air Force has always hated the A-10 because it's not fast and cannot into dogfighting. Pilots in GW1 had first gen planes that didn't have upgraded navigation or night capabilities. They used the thermal cams on newer ATG missiles to navigate at night and score kills. Whatever benefit we get from the F35's stealth is a moot point for CAS, because we're not going to risk ground troops somewhere we don't have total air superiority. The F35 is terrible and worse at everything the A-10 does./TLDR, A-10 is cheap, kills durkas, doesn't afraid of anything. Also dat gun.
 
2014-02-24 08:00:39 AM  

clkeagle: Hello F-35? Oh, for fark's sake. Each F-35 will cost more than $200,000,000. Israel has bought brand-new F-16s in the last decade for around $22,000,000 each. We could fire up the A-10 assembly line again, improve the engine and avionics, and still build them for less than $30,000,000 each. There is absolutely nothing I've read about the multi-role F-35 that justifies its immense cost compared to previous-generation aircraft. We could field twice as many wings of F-16 and A-10s, and doubling the personnel cost still would be cheaper than buying the F-35. This project has turned into a huge shiat sandwich, but nobody is willing to take a bite out of it.


A-10s and F-16s can't take-off from carrier decks, much less amphibs.

That having been said, they screwed-up the F-35 (though not the way people usually complain about). It was supposed to be a Swiss-Army knife - but one of those small ones, not one that includes scissors and a magnifying glass. And that pretty much hoses it for the Navy.

I blame the Marines.
 
2014-02-24 08:01:29 AM  

antron: whistleridge: and viola! It stays

???

[donrathjr.com image 500x200]


I think he meant "walla!".

/pet peave
 
2014-02-24 08:01:37 AM  

clkeagle: Because that's always worked so well for us in the past?


That was arrogant stupidity on our part and clever work on the Serbs' part. It's not the aircraft that failed. It worked as advertised.
 
2014-02-24 08:03:03 AM  

onyxruby: He wants to get rid of proven and respected technology that the military has used for decades and replace it with unproven tech that is much more expensive. Guy is an idiot.


Once upon a time that proven technology also was  unproven. Besides, there is thing called an "arms race". Technology that might have been great 10 years ago may be obsolete now for a variety of reasons.
 
2014-02-24 08:05:14 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: Laobaojun: Frakking Brilliant!  Because we'd never need to grow the Army again within a few years of declaring a "peace dividend".  This is not a repeat from 1939, 1950, 1963, 1981, 1991, 1999, 2001....

A lot of these wars were completely elective and had little to do with national defense. We could pick our fights better and have gobs of money.


Why would we do that? It's not like we have failing schools, hungry children, people who need healthcare and any number of other issues that need attention.
 
2014-02-24 08:05:50 AM  

Tannhauser: The Air Force has always hated the A-10.  It's unglamorous and isn't a sleek fighter jet.  But it is un-paralled in its role.  They've tried to kill it for thirty years.

Fark the F-35.  I say that as an ex-AF man who loves fighter jets.  Fark that boondoggle.  Keep researching fighter jets that's fine, but don't produce any when the F-16 and Super Hornet are still more than capable.


Depends on how many aviators you're willing to lose. Politicians understand low body-counts keep them safe. So even if the F-35 was only 10% better at keeping the aviator safe, they'd go for it.

The F-15,16, and 18s are all darn fine 4th gen aircraft. But they're 4th gen. And the SAMs have only gotten more dangerous, not to mention competing aircraft.
 
2014-02-24 08:09:06 AM  
boy, this wont encourage any dumbasses. Hello world, your on your own.
 
2014-02-24 08:09:52 AM  

spamdog: That's some good priorities, there.


Well because of the last decade of wars, we've kinda generated a great amount of vets than we had in 2003. Vets cost a shiatload. Something has to give, better to drop a percentage than to cut a pension program entirely.

slayer199: If the USAF doesn't want it, give it to the Army.


I've heard that there are calls to get rid of the USAF and merge them into both the Navy and Army as respective air wings within those branches. I'd be curious if that idea gets any traction.
 
2014-02-24 08:11:25 AM  

Joe Blowme: boy, this wont encourage any dumbasses. Hello world, your on your own.


Yes, I'm sure the world will simply explode in to war if there is any shift in bloated US military spending.

The neo conservative world cop scenario has been shown to be a failure. You guys had your shot and blew it.
 
2014-02-24 08:12:04 AM  
I would just like to say that my experience from living under occasional A-10 flight patterns is that the damn things would be utterly terrifying if I thought they were gunning for me.  They're big, ungainly, screech like a banshee, and have enough firepower to take out small nations.  Given its reputation and proven performance, it's probably one of the best military investments we've made.

If the AF doesn't want them, as others have said, give 'em to the Army.  I'm sure the Army would see the value and keep them operating.
 
2014-02-24 08:12:24 AM  

Bigdogdaddy: onyxruby: He wants to get rid of proven and respected technology that the military has used for decades and replace it with unproven tech that is much more expensive. Guy is an idiot.

Don't worry, America always gets into some conflict with a pissant dictator or two where we can "prove" the technology.


Like helicopters in Afghanistan? Lol
 
2014-02-24 08:17:03 AM  

vygramul: Tannhauser: The Air Force has always hated the A-10.  It's unglamorous and isn't a sleek fighter jet.  But it is un-paralled in its role.  They've tried to kill it for thirty years.

Fark the F-35.  I say that as an ex-AF man who loves fighter jets.  Fark that boondoggle.  Keep researching fighter jets that's fine, but don't produce any when the F-16 and Super Hornet are still more than capable.

Depends on how many aviators you're willing to lose. Politicians understand low body-counts keep them safe. So even if the F-35 was only 10% better at keeping the aviator safe, they'd go for it.

The F-15,16, and 18s are all darn fine 4th gen aircraft. But they're 4th gen. And the SAMs have only gotten more dangerous, not to mention competing aircraft.


The best way to keep aviators safe is to not put them in aircraft to begin with. I realize the service, especially the AF, have a strong emotional attachment to the act of flying - but there is less and less reason for warplanes to haul meat around with them every year. We could save a lot of money and get the jump on the competition if we accepted that now, rather than later. But we won't - the very idea invokes apoplectic rage in some quarters.
 
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