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Sequester may force USAF to retire entire fleets of aircraft
Flight International ^ | 09/18/2013 | DAVE MAJUMDAR

Posted on 09/18/2013 3:04:39 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Sequester may force USAF to retire entire fleets of aircraft

The US Air Force will likely have to cut entire fleets of aircraft to comply with the Congressional sequestration law, says a top service official. In order to retain a force capable of operating across the spectrum of operations, the USAF will have to sacrifice single-mission aircraft in order to preserve multirole machines.

“The only way you really save money is to make entire weapons systems go away,” says Gen Mike Hostage, commander of the USAF’s Air Combat Command. That is “so that the whole logistics train, the whole support infrastructure that goes with it goes away.”

Though eliminating single-mission aircraft is the most efficient way to save money while preserving military capability, the problem is politics, Hostage says.

For example, the L-3 MC-12 Project Liberty aircraft has excellent capability, if funding was not an issue, Hostage says. Other single-mission aircraft that might be sacrificed include the Fairchild Republic A-10.

US Air Force

However, the Boeing F-15C fleet is likely to be preserved to some degree, even if total fleet numbers drop. The USAF is short on air superiority capability with its small fleet of 184 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors, Hostage says. The Lockheed F-35 will be able to fill that role when used in conjunction with the Raptor, he adds, although the F-22 will remain the preeminent air superiority machine for the foreseeable future.

The USAF has to prioritise recapitalisation over modernisation, otherwise the service faces the unsavoury prospect of facing-off against enemy forces with 45-year old fourth-generation fighters in the future. “No matter how you [modernise the capability], it is not tactically viable once you get to the middle of the decade,” Hostage says. The USAF is “screwed” if it does not modernise with the F-35, he adds. But if the worst came to the worst and the F-35 were to be cancelled, the USAF would need 350 new-build Raptors to get to 2030, Hostage says.

The F-35 is expected to be able to operate across a wide spectrum of missions. “In a perfect world, I’d like to have 1,000 A-10s I could do close air support [CAS] with,” Hostage says. “I can’t afford it. I can’t afford the fleet I have now.”

While it will be more expensive to do the CAS mission with the F-35 and perhaps not quite as “impressive” as the A-10 in that role, the stealthy fifth-generation fighter can perform the task, Hostage says.

Even the Boeing B-1 bomber or even the future Long-Range Strike Bomber will be able to perform the CAS role, he says. “I will not lose what we have gained in understanding how to support the army in the tactical battlefield,” Hostage says. “That was the mistake we made coming out of Southeast Asia.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: a10; aerospace; sequestration; usaf

1 posted on 09/18/2013 3:04:39 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Since we can’t have both guns and butter, may as well switch to a smaller Canadian/European/Japanese style defensive military. Our military has just become makework for many people who whine as soon as they’re deployed anyway; just shut it down. We shouldn’t be sending our people to die in such God-forsaken places anyway, and Vladimir Putin will now protect Western Civilization.


2 posted on 09/18/2013 3:09:58 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

General Hostage???


3 posted on 09/18/2013 3:12:14 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Obama: the bearded lady of the Muslim Brotherhood))
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Close Air Support performed by a stealthy aircraft? I bet the enemy troops on the ground will know that it’s there, so the “stealth” factor may not really register.


4 posted on 09/18/2013 3:14:55 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (21st century. I'm not a fan.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I don’t suppose they’d consider defunding Al Qaeda instead?


5 posted on 09/18/2013 3:14:59 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

....meanwhile, this year, 300 million to PUCkistan, who hid UBL for at least a couple of years.........and now he arms the terrorist...


6 posted on 09/18/2013 3:20:00 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: sukhoi-30mki

“to comply with the Congressional sequestration law”

Yeah, Congress did it.


7 posted on 09/18/2013 3:23:23 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Start by retiring the entire fleet of VC-25s.


8 posted on 09/18/2013 3:24:31 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: sukhoi-30mki
We were once the lone superpower in the world. Putin is laughing at us.

Thank you Baraq H. 0bama, mmm mmm mmm.

5.56mm

9 posted on 09/18/2013 3:25:42 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: kearnyirish2

Sure, whatever. Let us give up our custodies and sovereignty and call that “victory”. I am sure abandoning consciousness to the whims of materialists inMoscow will work great.


10 posted on 09/18/2013 3:29:41 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: sukhoi-30mki
For example, the L-3 MC-12 Project Liberty aircraft has excellent capability, if funding was not an issue, Hostage says

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

11 posted on 09/18/2013 3:33:26 AM PDT by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: kearnyirish2

The article doesn’t mention the forcing function. You can’t just park the aircraft and wait for funding later. If you don’t fly an aircraft something like every 90 days you lose its airworthiness certificate. Once that happens you have to box the aircraft up, send it to the desert, it’s then rebuilt, flown, recertified and returned to service. When Clinton was in office, he spent the spares money on non-military missions. Therefore they had insufficient engines, radios, radars, etc. So a plane would fly, get cannibalized for parts, so other planes could fly, then they’d try to rebuild it in time to fly again in (90 days?) By the time Clinton left office 50% of the air force and navy planes could not fly on any given day.

Another problem is the manufacturer of spares most likely will go out of the business. So, although the military may own the design, the guy with the secret sauce is now retired and living on a beach in Panama.

Congress could, in theory, supply just money for the military and hold up other funding. They’d say, “Okay, Obama, we’re going to hold your feet to the fire over immigration ‘reform’ and Obamacare, but here’s a couple of billion to keep the military running.” What Clinton did was repurpose the military to spend money on social projects. He had troops in full combat gear diapering AIDS babies in sub-Saharan Africa. So, Obama could say, “Fine. I’ll just man the Obamacare offices with the military.” It would become the War On Healthcare, just as Clinton had the War On Aids.

If we are going to seriously wound the military, now would probably be better than later. Russia and China will be much bigger in the coming years than they are now. Hopefully, America will learn its lesson for the next 20 years or so and not have future intercourse with socialism.


12 posted on 09/18/2013 3:40:04 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I call BS. The Air Force has been trying to make the A-10 go away for years but the Army objects. The Air Force signed up for the close air support role but don’t want it. I suspect they are using the sequester as an excuse.


13 posted on 09/18/2013 3:42:26 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

The gutting & hollowing-out of the US Military, continues.


14 posted on 09/18/2013 3:43:50 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: saganite

I’ll take a pair of A-10’s ,, maybe more ... and lease them to a local AIR attraction in Lakeland “Fantasy of Flight” ,, or just take rich tourists here in Orlando for a nice vomiting ride... either way they’ll stay fresh and functional ...


15 posted on 09/18/2013 3:52:05 AM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: Gen.Blather
Demographically we are doomed. The takers will always out number the makers now, and until the last dime of revenue or borrowed money is spent it will go to them. Then we may have a shot at getting the country back as the inner city drug wars and the food riots thin the herd of leeches out. The problem will be keeping the international vultures out. They smell the decaying carcase that is America...
16 posted on 09/18/2013 3:53:11 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: lavaroise

“Sure, whatever. Let us give up our custodies and sovereignty and call that “victory”. I am sure abandoning consciousness to the whims of materialists inMoscow will work great.”

We’ve lost the moral high ground to do much internationally anyway. In addition, we’ve lost a war in Iraq and are losing the war in Afghanistan (Obama has already signaled the date on which that one will be lost). Until we go to war with our ideological enemies (like Red China), then it is all a hoax anyway; could we make it a cheaper hoax?


17 posted on 09/18/2013 3:53:47 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
We’ll still be able to maintain air superiority over Liechtenstein

and the EBT cards will still work to buy crab legs

18 posted on 09/18/2013 3:54:12 AM PDT by silverleaf (Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.)
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To: Gen.Blather

I understand the issue with stagnation for military equipment. I don’t think Americans will have an appetite for war for some time; we’ve lost in Iraq, we’re losing in Afghanistan, and we give preferred trading status to our real enemies like Red China.

I’d think Obama intends to use the military for social rather than military purposes; why else would he push the gay thing (where they can serve but still can’t donate blood)?


19 posted on 09/18/2013 3:59:07 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Let’s face it: this is all part of THE PLAN tacitly being pushed by both parties. The US Military will slowly be eroded to pay for social benefits and interest on the debt (non-discretionary spending). Indeed, this is happening to the entire Government, but the Military is most at risk because (unlike most other agencies) you can’t reconstitute it’s capabilities on a dime. Once they are lost, they will remain lost without massive investment (which just isn’t anywhere on the horizon). And I say BOTH parties, because the Republicans have helped this along almost as much as the Dems—and I’m going all the way back to Bush I.


20 posted on 09/18/2013 4:00:34 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: Neidermeyer

I am glad I wasn’t the only one thinking SALE. A10s work for me and I must have a supersonic jet or two plus a couple of choppers. Do we get a discount since we already paid for them through tax dollars?


21 posted on 09/18/2013 4:29:11 AM PDT by momincombatboots (Back to West by G-d Virginia.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Turn the A-10s over to the Army. They are the ones that need them anyway.


22 posted on 09/18/2013 4:36:50 AM PDT by MCF
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To: Doogle; sukhoi-30mki; shibumi; Hardraade

0bama’s Secret $8 Billion Bribe To The Muslim Brotherhood

July 18, 2013 by Kris Zane

http://www.westernjournalism.com/obamas-secret-8-billion-bribe-to-the-muslim-brotherhood/


23 posted on 09/18/2013 4:41:51 AM PDT by LucyT
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Pump money into naval air. They are the first line of defense. The Air Force is obsolete. So is the Army for that matter. The Marines should be the size of the Army and vice versa. Sorry Army/AF types but that is the way I see it.


24 posted on 09/18/2013 4:48:23 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
"The US Air Force will likely have to cut entire fleets of aircraft to comply with the Congressional sequestration law"

Congressional sequestration law??? It's the OBAMA sequestration law. EVERYONE going forward, particularly Republican politicians, needs to make sure that the word "sequestration" is always preceded by the word "Obama".

25 posted on 09/18/2013 4:53:15 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: saganite

My immediate thought, too. The USAF leadership couldn’t be more transparent if they were made of Plexiglass.


26 posted on 09/18/2013 4:56:58 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Reminds me of a bumper sticker:


27 posted on 09/18/2013 5:01:29 AM PDT by 11th_VA (I want a president who won't enforce tax laws ...)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Want to really save money, USAF? Close down the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews AFB. The 89th and its subordinate units provide transportation for all the top government big shots including POTUS. If not a complete close down then eliminate 75% 0f the aircraft including: 1) VC-25A “AF One” B747-200B (2 assigned); 2) C-20B/H Gulfstream III/IV (7 assigned); 3) C-32A B757-200 (6 assigned); 4) C-37A Gulfstream V (4 assigned); 5) C-40B B737-700 (2 assigned).
28 posted on 09/18/2013 5:09:31 AM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: shibumi
bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears bears (repeating)

I don’t suppose they’d consider defunding Al Qaeda instead?

29 posted on 09/18/2013 5:22:39 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Henceforth, the Office of the President shall be known as IMPOTUS)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

The “Padlock the Statue of Liberty” Strategy


30 posted on 09/18/2013 5:22:47 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (Gun Control Haiku: Say "Registration" / And they call you paranoid / So say "Privacy")
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To: sukhoi-30mki

The US can afford to arm AlQuaida but not arm itself? mygosh


31 posted on 09/18/2013 5:25:59 AM PDT by grania
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Exactly what percentage cut was made from the DOD??

Originally it was said to be 5%, but that must not be!


32 posted on 09/18/2013 5:28:07 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

hussein is pleased his plan is working so well and so quickly.


33 posted on 09/18/2013 5:29:15 AM PDT by bgill (This reply was mined before it was posted.)
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To: kearnyirish2

“..I don’t think Americans will have an appetite for war for some time..”

our Islamist enemies have been planning for years to bring the battle to the streets of the USA. If they succeed American taste buds may have a dramatic change.


34 posted on 09/18/2013 5:33:29 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: central_va
sorta like the IDF..no service divisions/
interservice bickering..one service.

35 posted on 09/18/2013 6:02:54 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income & tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Hey. I've got an idea. lets spend multiple billions more on food stamps. That will solve the problem. After all, our strength is in our diversity, not our military might!
36 posted on 09/18/2013 6:34:25 AM PDT by Gritty (Nobody wants to hear about American exceptionalism when the issue is American ineffectualism-MSteyn)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Not only the A10 is questioned. Also the KC-10, the F-15C and CSAR helos!

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130916/NEWS/309160005


37 posted on 09/18/2013 7:04:41 AM PDT by MHalblaub ("Easy my friends, when it comes to the point it is only a drawing made by a non believing Dane...")
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To: Gen.Blather
"If you don’t fly an aircraft something like every 90 days you lose its airworthiness certificate."

No, it becomes a hangar queen and there are numerous ops checks and inspections to perform, but it doesn't lose it's "airworthiness certificate".

" Once that happens you have to box the aircraft up, send it to the desert, it’s then rebuilt, flown, recertified and returned to service.

No, the maintenance crews or CLSS teams from the specific depot facility will come in and perform all necessary maintenance, inspections and ops checks in order to return the aircraft to flying status. In addition, a FCF (functional check flight) will be conducted by a specially qualified pilot to ensure that all systems are operating correctly.

"When Clinton was in office, he spent the spares money on non-military missions. Therefore they had insufficient engines, radios, radars, etc."

This has happened for as long as I could remember. Even during the 80s with Reagan we still had "Cann Birds". Nothing really new under the sun.

38 posted on 09/18/2013 7:13:36 AM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

This article, IMHO, is ACC’s (aka the “Fighter Mafia”) attempting to keep all of their aircraft at the expense of the Republic’s security.

The General Mike Hostage, ACC/CC, failed to mention the last two, or is it three now?, Joint Operating Environment (JOEs) studies. These are unclassified studies signed off by all services that address security issues covering decades. In 2008, the JOE made a major shift in defense orientation when it stated that irregular warfare (aka terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan) would be the predominate threat facing the US through 2025 because it was the only form of conflict that nations/non-nations who opposed the US could engage in and survive.

That report, again signed off by all the services, not just a major service component, meant that the majority of ACC’s aircraft are inappropriate for the threats facing us for the next 15 plus years. What good is a Mach-1 plus stealthy fighter with limited air-to-ground munitions loads in irregular warfare? Check the impact of the Mach-1 plus fighters with limited air-to-ground munitions loads in Vietnam as documented by the GAO and AF Historian reports.

As for the MC-12W Liberty Aircraft; it is the primary method of locating ground irregular warfare fighters. Without it ACC would have to operate more expensive AWACS and JSTARS aircraft to collect some of the same targeting data required by the F-35 to be effective. Its a “kill chain” issue.

IMHO, General Hostage’s remarks are nothing less than another attempt by ACC to absorb Special Operations and spend its Congressionally controlled monies on ACC projects. I saw it first in the mid 1970s and again in 1995. That year I had documentary proof in the form of an ACC internal briefing recommending that AFSOC become a numbered AF under ACC control. The notes page for the first briefing slide cautioned staff members NOT to discuss the briefing with AFSOC or SOF personnel at any level. Things got interesting when the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict forwarded the briefing with notes to me and others for comment and review.


39 posted on 09/18/2013 7:39:46 AM PDT by Nip (BOHEICA and TANSTAAFL - both seem very appropriate today.)
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To: kearnyirish2

It is a question of models not of secular powers. The Swiss one aint bad, the US constitution is best. Fail is fail, small or big. Abandoning custodies and responsabilifies to this or that makes absolutely no difference in cost, it is all the same retarded consciousness.


40 posted on 09/18/2013 8:19:45 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: Gritty

Indeed, i see Obama phones in Colorado saving flood victims. ( sar off)


41 posted on 09/18/2013 8:21:24 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: elpadre

Indeed, the liberals antiwar want us to become suicide bombers. islam is peace indeed, what an appetite.


42 posted on 09/18/2013 8:23:35 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: Hardraade
General Hostage???

Straight outta Central Casting. ;)

GENERAL GILMARY MICHAEL HOSTAGE III

Gen. Mike Hostage is Commander, Air Combat Command, with headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va. As the commander, he is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense.

43 posted on 09/18/2013 8:26:31 AM PDT by Half Vast Conspiracy (Proportionally, Ft. Hood is to Ft. Worth as Washington Navy Yard is to Arlington, VA.)
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To: Nip

The faster, the greater the coverage. It’s a combined arms system approach of cavalry and aerial artilery. Without a system it does not work.

F15s in Afghanistan would be able to pop anywhere in minutes or seconds and help direct artillery strikes or provide gunship overwatch.


44 posted on 09/18/2013 8:50:21 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: SZonian

Thank you for the information. My, apparently incorrect observations, came from a discussion with a Navy jet mechanic. So, why can’t they just mothball the existing aircraft and lower the spares buys to the lowest amount that will keep the contractor alive? Are they playing poker and bluffing? I know the Air Force has been trying to get rid of the Warthog forever. I thought they had given them to the Army.


45 posted on 09/18/2013 2:11:42 PM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: elpadre

“our Islamist enemies have been planning for years to bring the battle to the streets of the USA. If they succeed American taste buds may have a dramatic change.”

They brought it 20 years ago in the ‘93 bombing, and in the Brooklyn Bridge shooting, and the LAX terminal shooting, and 9/11, and Fort Hood, and the Fort Dix conspiracy, etc. etc. etc.

Americans would love to deal with our Islamist foes in the US; unfortunately we’re not allowed to. Most see no point is going halfway around the world to do it when the enemy is already inside the gates.


46 posted on 09/18/2013 3:00:24 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (The talking heads have admitted is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: saganite
I call BS. The Air Force has been trying to make the A-10 go away for years but the Army objects. The Air Force signed up for the close air support role but don’t want it. I suspect they are using the sequester as an excuse.

It's a lot more than that. A lot of folks in Congress would like to make the older systems go away so that eventually (sooner) we have to build more new systems to replace them. That would make their defense industry lobbyists happy.
47 posted on 09/20/2013 10:56:42 AM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr

Except the Air Force doesn’t have a legitimate close air support platform on the drawing boards. They’ve proposed subbing the F-16 in the past and that’s not a solution.


48 posted on 09/20/2013 11:47:06 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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