Skip to comments.Itís time to abolish the Air Force(Boston Globe Opinion piece)
Posted on 01/07/2014 6:17:54 AM PST by US Navy Vet
Boston Globe must be excerped only(copyright)
(Excerpt) Read more at bostonglobe.com ...
In my opinion the “National Security Act of 1947” AND “Goldwater-Nichols(1986)” have been DISASTERS for the Security of our “once-”great” Nation.
So, I guess U.S. air defense would be left up to citizens on the ground shooting up with their hunting rifles?
It’s a stupid thought
You EVER heard of the “United State ARMY Air Force”?!
Well, I remember my dad telling me he was in the Army Air Corps during WWII and then was transferred to the US Air Force in 1947.
No, I don’t think so. The reforms in both laws were absolutely necessary at the time based on hard experience (World War II, and then Vietnam and Grenada). Congressional meddling and social engineering is what has wrecked our military.
Don’t forget the Patriot Act which cemented the American Police State.
It is fair enough and it worth a discussion.
The intra-service rivalries are very costly.
I guess you could ask all those Iraqi Units on the highway to hell leading out of Kuwait about USAF as a military unit and being downhill and all. Oh! Wait, they’re all dead!
Yes, I have, being a student on the subject, and it became USAAF instead of staying USAAC for a very good reason.
I tend to agree with the author. You need ground to place an Air Force Base. To get that ground you need the Navy and the Army — both of which already have their own aircraft.
...but then again, I’m speaking as a Navy vet.
Let’s just get rid of Air Force One.
I’ve read on it too, and combat units outside the US were still principally manned by AAC units during WWII under control of AAF hierarchy in the CONUS.
1975 Thailand. Mayaguez Incident. Marines were flown in from Okinawa. The only helicopters were Air Force. When the attack came the Marine Captain told the Air Force Sargent where to land using Marine tactics.The AF Sargent told the marine to go F himself.
I wouldn’t even read the article when I saw James Carroll had written it.
I gave up The Globe after many years because of writers like this guy.
“Lets just get rid of Air Force One.”
But, but, how will Moochelle and Holder’s wife get back to DC from Oprah’s mansion in Hawaii?
Sure thing :)
728th squadron, 452nd heavy bombardment group -dad (pilot, B17)
Also the Coast Guard needs men (and women) on land and in the air to support its charter.
We should also have Space Marines, and a Space Army, and a Space Navy because that would just be really cool.
And we also need to start thinking about a Moon Army, Moon Navy (gotta cover all of those dry seas on the Moon), Moon Airforce, and Moon Marines.
And its not too soon to start thinking about defending Mars from those who would take her away from us.
Best post of the thread.
That’s about as stupid as saying we should eliminate the U.S. Marines.Afterall the Army can also make Amphibious landings onto the worlds beaches.
Each one of these services is there for a reason.The Air Force was once part of the Army and the reason the Air Corp became the Air Firce was that the congress believed that nation needed an Independent Air Force.
...and yet you completely ignore the security of our subterranean borders. Your plan would leave us highly vulnerable to a Chinese invasion from BELOW!
You are obviously weak on national defense.
We already are halfway there, with the concept of Unified Combatant Command. If an Air Force officer has his evaluation reports (and future career) being in the hands of his Theater Commander rather than in his Air Force seniors, and he's being judged primarily on how well he provides air support to the ground mission, then perhaps that will get his attention.
A next step would be to have the theater commanders have a bigger role in approving weapons systems. Perhaps, rather than having branch-connected generals and admirals, once we get past two-stars you are not associated with a branch.
The "shameful" war record you refer to started with Viet Nam when politicians started thinking they could manage a war better than generals could. Politicians have no business running a war...they lack the stones to do what's necessary without considering the political implications on their next run for office. To every politician who thinks they can do a better job, get your outta-shape ass out of DC, strap on an 80 backpack, and move to the front lines and then, and only then, are you in a position to make a suggestion as to what is to be done next. Making our troops wait for some political hack in DC to decide whether or not to take out a position that is killing our troops is assine. Let the experts make the decisions, not some two-faced politician sitting in his multi-million dollar office in DC.
The problem is that ground pounders don’t understand how to use air assets. As an ALO at Ft Hood, and later during a tour in Afghanistan, I spent a lot of time trying to explain to brigade staff the implications of having aircraft that move at 500+ mph. I could set up the aircraft over a mountain range and support fights in 2 valleys 50 miles apart, with the local commanders in both valleys complaining that “their” air wasn’t sitting on top of them.
Most of the brigade commanders I worked with wanted air assets to be a ADDITIONAL force, hitting targets their own men could already hit. But to use air well, you need it to be a MULTIPLIER, shaping the battle beyond the range of the Army guns.
When air is hitting targets the Army can hit, you are doing a type of close air support - and that means you have already screwed up either your planning or execution, and are now trying to salvage a mess. That isn’t exactly wrong, because sometimes bad things happen and all there is left to do is a salvage operation with CAS. But most Army commanders want CAS as their first choice, which means they do not understand how to employ air effectively.
THAT is why the Air Force was split off from the Army in the first place.
It makes more sense to greatly down size the Marine Corps and transfer its duties to the Army. Maybe, just a thought, in the form of more airborne units.
I have often thought, and western civ/history seems to confirm, that our liberty, republic and pocket books would all be better served with a peace time military establishment comprised of:
1. A large, modern, and widely deployed professional Federal Navy comprised of a submarine, surface, and air arm second to none. It would combine the current Navy and Coast Guard and strategic/tactical air forces. It would perform the full scope of force projection and continental air and coastal defense. There could be a cadre reserve component to rapidly expand its TOE in the event of war. They should be prohibited from police or law enforcement except for Coast Guard type activities.
2. A full time professional Federal Marine Corps/naval infantry as we have now to remain the point of the spear and rapid reaction force. They should also be prohibited from any activity in law enforcement or domestic security. Of course fully integrated armor, arty, and MAC/TAC would be in this force.
3. A very small cadre professional army (10%+/- of a fully mobilized force) backed up by a greatly expanded part time state controlled National Guard that also replaced the Reserves component of the Army/Marines. Think the Swiss system (and our own pre-1916 system) combined with an improved Heinlein’s Starship Troopers concept of natural rights for all, but voting rights only coming with “citizenship”. “Citizenship” which itself comes from life long reserve military service. States appoint and fund and train all NG troops and officers who have equal standing with the Federal cadre forces. The NG would also replace the federal FEMA role.
4. A small federal air force responsible for SAC missiles and missile defense combined with NASA for space exploration and defense.
Will never happen since money and power is involved. Just dreaming of a free and well armed society decentralized to the state and local level that would require widespread popular support for foreign adventures.
So douse me in kerosene and flame away.
That is bovine secretions...AF NCO's do not make decisions, the pilot does...and no AF NCO would dare tell a Marine Captain to F himself...just don't happen. Go tell your nonsense to someone who would believe it!
Keep Air Force One, and retire its occupants.
President Cruz will need it.
The article follows many that decry amy military power, at all.
1. Mourn the Battleship, many submissions, many Communists performing self-gratification (this is a nice public reading forum, so I comply.).
2. Mourn the Submarine;
3. Tear Down the Air Force, (using minor things as drones that seem to make major news items)
4. The Army needs to be de-populized in a peacetime economy (Jimmy Carter ran with this one).
5. Because of ICBM’s, we don’t need a surface Navy.
6. Since we do not have major police actions, we don’t need the Marines.
Do you get the train of thought here, folks?
All of these types of column submissions are always running rampant during Democratic administrations.
And what about all those great golf courses?
The Air Force thinks of themselves more as civilians rather than warriors. Back a few years ago, I attended an airshow at an AFB and the enlisted were walking around with no covers (hats to civilians) on their heads, some were walking around without their ABU tops on, and not one stopped and rendered a salute during the National Anthem. And a lard assed Major who saw the EM's yucking it up instead of saluting did nothing.
Just last year I was working on a project on an Air Force base, and it is seriously like a freaking resort rather than a MILITARY base.
I remember seeing the Air Force weenies freak out over on Military.com when it was announced that they had to do PT in the morning.
I’m a proud USAF retiree, don’t wear it on my sleeve much, if at all and could accept logical and rational criticism, but this guy, no.
Not much “food” there...more like a few kibbles.
The author benefits from having 20/20 hindsight and from ignoring the strategic ramifications of having beauracrats and politicians interfere in military planning and operations.
This, for example; “The Air Force created myths of gaps first bomber, then missile that existed only in the minds of wing-wearing planners...”
Sure, it’s easy to look back on it now, over 40-50 years later and say how deceptive the planners were...but were they really deceptive? Or were they responding to the advances in technology and intelligence to ensure the USA had the edge in any potential conflict with the Soviets?
“...even as Air Force strategic bombing has long since proved to be irrelevant in asymmetrical wars, whether against the Vietnamese, Iraqi insurgents, or Al Qaeda.”
ROE in each of those campaigns directly influenced the effectiveness of our airmen and aircraft.
IOW, IMO, the author is an idiot...
“Lets just get rid of Air Force One.”
I agree, force the Kenyan born commie to fly space available in the cargo hold of an old DC-6
It’s time to abolish old media newspapers like the Boston Globe.
Remember this, all branches have their problems. I worked with people from all the services there is screw offs in all of them. Also, when I was in the Air Force, I don’t remember any Army,Navy,or Marines that could beat the Ammo troups in sand lot football. Yes, we beat all of them.
When air is hitting targets the Army can hit, you are doing a type of close air support - and that means you have already screwed up
Not sure how to read this sentence. As an Army ‘grunt’ during TET 68 I was never so glad to see AF F100s circling to make bomb runs in ‘close’ air support when our 1 company of 199th Redcatchers encountered a battalion size NVA unit. I can only highly commend the pilots who dropped 500 pounders just a few hundred feet from our positions. The Army air support gunships tried to provide support but the heavy AA machine guns that an NVA battalion has with them made their support impossible. I surely wish the AF pilots after saving our asses were able to return to an air conditioned hooch and quaff a cold one.
Keep AF1, get a new passenger.
Sell your inter-sevice rivalry bullshit somewhere else...people like you bore me...your over generalizations and anecdotal evidence are just that...yours.
Why don’t you go and tell the compatriots and family members of these folks that they’re “civilians rather than warriors”? Jerk.
In the past 50 years, the US Air Force kept the Soviet Union from waging nuclear war on us. The US Air Force kept the communists from taking over South Korea and Western Europe. In the past 50 years, the US spent seventeen trillion dollars in The War On Poverty, and to what end? Generations of welfare recipients whose only accomplishment is that they vote Democrat. It’s time for that Peace Dividend from The War On Poverty.
I see three flaws with your otherwise excellent analysis.
One, the "wings" should be separate and independent services. Otherwise the parent organization might favor one over the other.
Two, the various naval services should be broken into separate surface and submarine services. That way, there could be a US Army submarine service. Because you never know when we will need to sneak a small tank in somewhere.
Three, you make no mention of expanding the Joint Chiefs to accommodate all these additional services. The more bureaucracy the better!
The entire Air Force doesn't need their own special tiger stripe camo leisure suits. The ONLY ones in the Air Force who need camo uniforms are the air crews, PJ's, FAC’s and the Security Forces. The rest can go back to wearing OD green BDU style uniforms.
The Navy doesn't need their aquaflage and the half dozen other camo uniforms they have. The only ones in the Navy who need camo are SEALS, air crews, corpsmen (when assigned to Marine units)
The Army has been a train wreck ever since Shinseki was CoS. First starting with the cook white looking ACU’s which proved ineffective in the desert and especially Afghanistan. Lessons lerned from Afghanistan brought Multicam into the mix, and now they're going to change the uniforms once again with something new.
At least the Coasties have it right in that they keep their uniforms simple.
Bite me wing wiper
Unlike you I don’t give a damn what service you’re in, you wear the uniform, you get respect until you behave like an a-hole, like you did.
Got any words for the families of those “examples” I gave?
And I was damn good “wing wiper” btw...I wonder how many Army, Spec Ops or Marines our pilots helped out with CAS. I really don’t care, all I know is they couldn’t have done it without us “wing wipers”.
Got any more cute, childish names to post?
The USAF CH-53D helos were used because the USMC versions had neither drop tanks nor air-to-air refueling, due too budget constraints. The only way to get the range would have been internal 500 gal. ferry tanks which left no room for cargo or pax.
Another problem was that the Air Force pilots were not allowed to practice tactical approaches and landings. They came into the hot LZ like they were landing at LaGuardia and two aircraft were promptly blown out of the sky.
USMC CH-53s use a technique called a "Buttonhook", coming in low, over the treetops at 150kts. When abeam the LZ, drop the collective, roll into 90 degree bank and do a horizontal autorotation. This bleeds off forward airspeed and allows you to drop into the LZ quickly and with lessened exposure to ground fire, while at the same time, not advertizing your intended LZ.
Another service, looking to gain fame & glory by having a presence on the mission, sent a senior NCO. When the aircraft landed, he refused to leave and wrapped both arms around the seat stanchions. The Marines tried to throw him off bodily. I don't remember if they succeeded.
My last billet in HMH-461, a USMC CH-53 squadron, was as the S-2. My Intel sergeant had been on that mission and related the above story to me. We had a framed photo of those two downed USAF CH-53s in shallow water just off the beach LZ.
“In the past 50 years, the US Air Force kept the Soviet Union from waging nuclear war on us.”
Nice that you leave out that Navy’s ballistic missile submarines which are much harder to find and thus destroy compared to fixed bomb magnets such as Air Force bases.
“The US Air Force kept the communists from taking over South Korea and Western Europe.”
And let’s ignore the Army and Marines in South Korea that hold the line, and ignore the Armored Cavalry Regiments in Germany who’s mission was to grind any Soviet advance into Germany to a halt at Fulda and Hof gaps allowing the heavier armored and infantry divisions to mobilize and move to the front.
Right, through 2 World Wars, the Army fought from the air.
Right, through 2 World Wars, the Army fought from the air.