Gates Opposed AF Plans to Deploy F-22 to Iraq

Gates Opposed AF Plans to Deploy F-22 to Iraq

The Air Force wanted to send the F-22 to the Middle East and Defense Secretary Robert Gates nixed the plans, citing the strategic danger from the deployment if it were misread by Iran, among other factors. This comes from a single usually reliable source with knowledge of Air Force policy and operations.

Then-Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne sent a memo to Gates last December in which he made the recommendation, as well as laying out several major arguments for Air Force budget requests for the F-22 and bomber research and development, according to our source.

Central Command had approved the deployment request and we understand several Arab governments were also supportive of the Air Force effort. The main opposition to the request, we hear, came from Ryan Henry, principal deputy to the undersecretary of Defense for policy, who worried that Iran would interpret the deployment of the country’s most capable fighter as a regional escalation at a time when rumors were sweeping the region that the US was planning strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The argument for deployment of the sophisticated fighter was that the US needed to take the lead in the air war in the region. Right now, the United Arab Emirates deploys the most sophisticated fighter in the region, using the F-16 Block 60 50. Sending the F-22 would have allowed the US to field the world’s top fighter and provide ISR and targeting capabilities that no US or allied plane in the region currently posseses.

The Air Force wanted the F-22 deployed for the same sort of reasons that drove the service’s deciion to send B-2 bombers to Kosovo, to prove its effectiveness and demonstrate overwhelming US air superiority. A successful deployment — complete with videos of successful strikes and quotes from jubiliant air frews — might have led Congress and the public to support a substantial increase in the number of F-22s purchased. Gates has consistently resisted buying more than 200 F-22s while the Air Force has pushed hard to buy 350 planes at roughly $140 million per plane. Gates has said the F-22 is largely designed for war against a near-peer competitor such as China or Russia, not for use against insurgents or terrorists.

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UAE deploys block 60 F-16s, not the block 50s


Doesn’t the Air Force want 380?

It’s not a matter of supporting the troops on the ground, it’s a matter of deploying aircraft, etc that can do that job. The F-22 was not designed, as I understand it, for close in support.

Who cares what Iran thinks or feels, let’s do what’s best for the guys on the ground.

Iran does not care what weapons we have in the theater. They know that we could bring down there defences with what we have there already. That is not to mention the F-22’s could be flown in to theater and conduct there mission from the states.

Why would we want to send over a steal, air superiority jet; when we already have the A-10 overthere?

someone asked why should we send it. why not? we have it, it’s faster and better equiped, in and out! and for sure, who does care about what iran think’s, maybe this would make irans nut job pres. think before he open’s his mouth and spew his ignorance. besides the U.S. is ging to be there, iran, before it’s all said and done. (IMO)

We have to wait until Isreal strikes Iran. Having a stealth aircraft within easy striking distance of a country that expects iminent aireal attack would create alot of tension, and possibley destabilize the region. This is simple politics

I have to agree with Murf, to h____ with what Iran thinks, do what it take to best protect OUR troops!


Just like JG said … the F-22 is an air superiority fighter and isn’t equipped for CAS like other, less costly aircraft. What our troops really need is more UAV support to help individual units on the ground. The AF needs to develop more, less costly equipment that can meet these needs. The F-22 would only be a “show me yours” to Iran and other more-sophisticated militaries … not intended to improve a fight against an insurgency/terrorist network (low-tech adversary).

The reason why the A-10 isn’t good enough is simply because of Iran’s anti-air defenses. The last thing we need are our aircraft being shot down, and the Iranians getting our technology along with a POW if the pilot is still alive.

With stealth aircraft, we can just obliterate any aircraft they have and destroy ground targets without threat, while I’ll Navy makes sure they don’t try to do anything there.

With all of that, we just apply the same strategy as we did with Japan in WWII — bomb em until they surrender, unconditionally, without putting ground troops at risk — then we’ll go in and try to help em out. The Japanese said they would fight to the last man, women, and child to defeat America, and now we’re allies with them. The strategy for Iran is simply, air and naval strikes and don’t put anyone on the ground at risk. It may take a while for them to fold, but they will eventually.

Training—training—training! The only way to Know if the machine will do what it is designed to do IS to put the machince to work where the ground and air crews can find out how it works!!– Without putting the machine to work, you will NEVER know if we have wasted our money or not!! Training—training—training !!!

“The F-22 was not designed, as I understand it, for close in support.”

Neither was the Eagle, and it’s turned out to be a fantastic strike aircraft. Chances are, especially given the Raptor’s incredibly awesome sensor functions, that it will turn out to serve as an excellent CAS platform and of real use to the guys on the ground.

As far as Iran — they’ve doing a lot of chest bloating after Israel’s exercises over the Med, and negotiations seem to be going nowhere. It may actually be shrewd to remind Iran that their situation is, at best, precarious. It seems quite possible it would return them to the bargaining table in earnest or, at the very least, further undermine Ahmadinejad’s support in the Iranian Parliament (which is fragile these days anyway).

The Air Force needs more aircraft of every size and shape to replace the quickly aging fleet. That includes tankers, fighters, transports and yes, UAVs.

We need a force that can fight the current asymetrical battles and keep any near-peer at bay. Wake up Congress!

We have total air superiority in the Mideast at present. The need for the F-22 is minimal. And, it is not really a ground support aircraft.

Why waste airframe life and so forth when it’s not needed?

The only argument that has some validity is that a token number in the Mideast would allow field evaluation and eventual improvements to be made.

More armed advanced UAVs might make more sense.

Anyone want to think how an extremely stealthy plane with phenomial ISR sensors would be used in the CENTCOM theater?

How about finding, targeting, and assessing a regional adversary’s military locations, troops, etc. as well as some very interesting research facilities that are causing the world great anxiety?

Think people — Think out of the box — we are not facing a convential threat or a Western threat! We are in an asymmeterical global war and we need to stay ahead of our adversaries.

It’s Hitler all over again. Give them a inch and they will take a mile. You can believe the ragheads.

Wow, with things in Georgia as they are, I would think having some 22’s in Iraq right now would be what we need. I guess hind-site is 20/20.

I wonder how the F-22s would fair in an air supremecy campaign vs Russia in Georgia.

It really is simple. The f-22 is currently designed as an AIR to AIR superiority fighter. The argument is justified on both sides though-USAF wants to prove its capabilities as an aircraft in theater (obviously no air to air threat though)-The SecDef is thinking in terms of costs. Think about that for one second. It costs money to maintain and ship aircrafts overseas. The USAF has a mighty big budget, and I am sure the SecDef is thinking “hmmmm. I am currently increasing the force of the Marines and Army, why are we focusing on this F-22?” The f-22 is needed for future threats, so lets keep that bad boy. But, we may wanna focus on our current mission at hand and start funding those ground pounders and attack aircrafts. Just think about it. Think big picture. We DO NEED this aircraft to establish our dominance, but cmon. Especially the USAF argument of wanting more F-22… not now. Not a good idea. Alotta tax payer money…

I don’t understand why Gates is against the F-22. The F-35 is totally inadequate as a replacement for the Raptor. The F-35 is too SLOW and too lightly armed to match up against the top of the line the Russian and Chinese such as the Su-30. If we don’t buy sufficient numbers of F-22’s to replace the F-15 we can go ahead and forget about being a super power.

you guys should do your homework! The f-22 raptor is great at dropping jdams ‚they scored above 90 percent accuracy rate with a bomb drop radius of 10 feet in exercises. which makes it one of the best attack plattforms( accuracy wise) ever! And with supercruse it can get to places in a hurry decreasing the time it takes to get to our guys saves lives. Mr gates didn’t want the Raptor deployed because he has a different agenda. mr. gates — the more you can do with airpower the less you put our troops in harms way, this saving lives . On gulf war #1 saddam could wait for the air war portion of the campaign to end because he was helpless to stop us from picking his armies apart from the air. that’s what happens when you gain controll of the airspace above your enemy,which is why the raptor is so important especially to the ground troops. With Russia and the French selling state of the art fighters around the world it makes of very dangerous for F-15s in future conflicts and if you don’t controll the airspace you can forget about close air support, A-10s would be in the rear with the gear. This is the point the poeple don’t understand , the F-15 is 30 years old. A Su-30 MKI with thrust vectoring with a good pilot is very scary against an F-15, so why loose pilots and jets when you can spend the money ( putting Americans to work) and not have to worry about it. Plus the F-22 does so much more than kill other jets, it is a kick ads Sam killer , it can plot, localize & fix targets and it is great at dropping bombs, as well as being great at electronic warfare . We are going to need to replace the 30 year old F-15s , well some say build new ones(F-15s) . In todays dollarsit would cost 100 million each according to Boeing , which makes no sense at all when you could spend 40 million more and get a raptor that can do so much more!!

come get some… kill those iraqi deep shit.… kill those bastards iranian nukes.…

F-22 should dominate air power.…US should purchase more 500 units

Now, it is in the open.
Defense jobs is not about Defense but it is all about Jobs. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…
It makes no difference the airplane cannot be detected by radar, ben Laden has no radar.
It makes no difference it can beat any fighter airplane in the world, now and for the foreseeable future, ben laden has no airplanes.
It can fly low and drop bombs but if it flies low, it can be shot with a high power rifle.
Would you like to fly one in Afghanistan?
Would you like your son, or daughter, fly one in Afghanistan?
It is so far ahead, we will not sell it to Australia or Japan and both offered to pay its exhorbitant price of about $150 Million each.
Tomorrow, when you read your newspaper, remember nothing is what it seems.
It is all about jobs for loyal voters.
It is not about defending the nation but about defending someone’s re-election.
After all, dumb tazpayers will take as true whatever they read.

I think they should use the F-22 after spending millions of dollars on the thing. But it’s not built for this type of war. but then again they need to use it somwhere and somehow.

Why then is Holloman Air Force Base having daily training flights of the F-22s which daily produce sonic booms which keep destroying USA citizens’ homes and producing unneeded stress on humans & pets?


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