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A Sad Day Soon...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by simon99, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Washington (AFP) -
    Long disliked by the US Air Force, the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jet may finally be heading for the chopping block due to budget constraints.

    The "Warthog," first designed as a tank buster to target Soviet armored vehicles in the middle of the Cold War in the early 1970s, is shunned by many aviators.

    Although the twin-engine aircraft is slow, it is incredibly efficient at providing close air support for ground forces, making it an appreciated asset for the US Army.

    But the US Air Force "never had a whole lot of interest in a subsonic close-air support plane," explained Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with consulting firm Teal Group.

    "This is a plane for large land combat engagements and for the foreseeable future, you probably won't face too many of those and there's also the budget pressure."

    The US Air Force had tried several times since the end of the Cold War to scrap a large part of its A-10 fleet but then gave up in the face of a series of unexpected deployments such as the Gulf War and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "Just because they've had this long-standing dislike for the A-10 doesn't mean that they aren't right this time," said Aboulafia.

    The Defense Department faces $1 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade, half of them due to automatic reductions in spending known as sequestration.

    The US Air Force alone needs to save $12 billion in 2014, according to the service's Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh.

    So by 2015, the Air Force plans to part ways with its entire A-10 fleet -- 326 aircraft -- hoping to save $3.7 billion in the process.

    "It is the best airplane in the world at what it does," Welsh told lawmakers, noting he had flown the aircraft himself for a "thousand" hours.

    But "if we're going to look at what we must divest, not what we want to divest, but what we must divest, we have to be very honest with ourselves inside the Air Force about how much we can afford," he added.

    The problem with the A-10, which sports a heavy rotary cannon, is that it is limited to its only capacity to support ground missions, a big drawback compared to multi-mission aircraft such as the F-15 or F-16.

    "If we have platforms that can do multiple missions well and maybe not do one as well as another airplane, the airplane that is limited to a specific type of mission area becomes the one most at risk," Welsh said.

    "You only gain major savings if you cut an entire fleet."

    Speaking Thursday before the American Enterprise Institute think-tank in Washington, Welsh stressed that to make the same savings of $3.7 billion, "we would have to shut down three to four times as many F-16s squadrons as we do A-10s."

    "If that's the case, we can't do the mission," he added.

    The A-10 also only makes less than 30 percent of sorties for close air support missions.

    F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters currently contribute to such missions and the F-35 -- the Pentagon's main armament program -- is due to participate in the future.

    "Historical animosity," however, has seen the Army try to halt the Air Force's plans, Aboulafia said.

    "The A-10 is the best close air support platform we have today," Welsh's counterpart in the Army, General Ray Odierno, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in November.

    "It's performed incredibly well in Iraq and Afghanistan."

    Three dozen senators and lawmakers from both main parties wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month noting their "deep concern" over plans to scrap the A-10 in their respective states.

    "We oppose any effort that would divest the A-10, creating a CAS (close air support) capability gap that would reduce Air Force combat power and unnecessarily endanger our service members in future conflicts," they wrote.

    The letter was led by Senators Kelly Ayotte, Mark Pryor, Saxby Chambliss and Claire McCaskill, along with Representatives Ron Barber and Jack Kingston. It was also signed by nine other senators and 18 other representatives.

    Ayotte has proposed an amendment to the 2014 budget law seeking to delay until at least 2022 the A-10 fleet's retirement.
     
  2. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    No plane can take the punishment an A10 can take and keep flying. No aircraft protects it's pilot as well, and most importantly, it can rain pure hell to any ground target.
     
  3. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    [video=youtube_share;zCGNJ98LN1M]http://youtu.be/zCGNJ98LN1M[/video]
     
    rufus, sheepdip, BoonDocks36 and 3 others like this.
  4. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    I salute the ugly plane that put the hurt on more bad guys and saved more lives than many ever new.

    Fly forever A-10!
     
  5. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Sad. More military weakening by obumochev.
    That is a badazz machine.
     
  6. rufus

    rufus State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    The transformation continues...
     
  7. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I spent a lot of my military career in support of armored operations. I dont need to tell you guys how I feel about A-10's. Be glad we have them and the other guys dont. If the AF doesnt want to continue flying CAS missions ( air to mud ) then turn the planes over to the army and train some army guys to fly them. I have always felt that the army needed its own fixed wing aviation assets instead of relying on the AF. If the marines have planes, the navy has planes, the army ought to as well. Sort of like the old Soviet frontal aviation. Sort of like the Brit model of flying RAF Harriers off of Royal Navy ships. Helicopters, while great, arent the answer to all tactical problems. Something about those Coke bottle size shells.......:)
     
  8. Diamondback

    Diamondback A cold, wet green Hell Well-Known Member

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    More Hogs, less Stupid Hack Generals.

    Or, grant an exemption to the Key west Accord and let the Army and the Marines have 'em, since they actually WANT the program let them assume responsibility.

    The USAF: Petulant, spoiled, rebellious children since the 1920s. (I know, I grew up in an Air Force household.)
     
  9. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    The air force began in the army.
    WWII it was called the Army Air Corps
     
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  10. mosinguy1

    mosinguy1 out by the ocean Active Member

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    Has and always will be my favorite attack plane. I will never forget the few times I saw them in action!!!!!! To low to slow Warthog!!!!!!!!!!

    As mentioned above no plane protects its pilot better, plus triple wired controls, foam in fuel and a weapon as big as a VW bug.
     
  11. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    A mini canon with wings.
     
  12. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    I knew a guy that did a few tours in Afghanistan and he told me the only time he was truly scared was when two A-10s started circling his unit.
     
    BoonDocks36 and (deleted member) like this.
  13. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, some people's "trash", is other people's treasures. I hope many demilled planes make it to museums, acrobatic teams and any private collector who can afford them.

    Although, I am concerned demilling might not be possible. I've read the A10 is actually a cannon with a plane built around it. I wonder how integral is the cannon to the airplane's structural integrity. :(
     
  14. Diamondback

    Diamondback A cold, wet green Hell Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, Pentagon policy is "if we can't have it nobody can", to the point of scrapping perfectly good choppers and cargo planes with hours left on 'em rather than try to find buyers. It took Congress virtually ramming a Minuteman III up their bunghole by passing legislation ORDERING it to let Collings Foundation keep a single F-4 Phantom flyable...
     
  15. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    You are quite right. The Air Force did begin as the Army Air Corps. However they have been a seperate service since what.....? 1947 or so? And they have always been reluctant in seeing the Army with anything but helicopters. This hasnt been the best idea or use of assets IMO. It would be much more efficient for the army to run all CAS missions and let the Air Force run the strategic, air combat, and logistic missions. At least thats how I see it.
     
  16. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    That was my point.
     
  17. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    When you're in the sandbox and you see an A-10 fly over...its a pretty darn reassuring feeling. Like have a nice warm blanket on a cold night.
     
  18. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

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    To make a fair trade from the Airie Farce to the United States Army, the trained AF personnel, should be transfered, to keep hands on use, without new training! The trade would be equal, if the Army gave the Airie Farce, TWO Platoons of the UNITED STATES Army Glee Club singers, their ~mascot~ A little terrier doggie. Plus the Unisexual Cheer Leading Squad, that is trained to "dance" to the Glee Clubs err, uhh, singing.

    Of course, this would give the Airie Farce, the Worlds Largest Military Glee Club, adding to the three BA-Tallions of Glee Club Singers that are Already Airie Farce members, and they could then Dispatch a Ba-Tallion, to Washington, DC...TO allow the USMC White House Detatchment, to ~Stand Down~ from the hardest work they ever faced, in their Leather Neck history: keeping a straight face when they see the Commander in Thief smile, and wiggle his ears.

    philip,

    (all above, on just my First Cuppa Dairy Mart Coffee, I treated myself today, as my Frozen Pipes thawed out, safely, at ZeroFiveThirty this morning, and after taking care of that, I finally WENT to SLEEP.... I did guard mount on Bunker 3Alpha last night, TayNinh was safe when the Sun came UP.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  19. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  20. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    What side was he on?

    That long "BUUUUURP" sound the guns made gave Hajji nightmares. To me it was comforting.
     
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