Pentagon Defends Cutting Guard’s Combat Aircraft

Pentagon Defends Cutting Guard’s Combat Aircraft

Lawmakers criticized the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 defense budget today, arguing that it will strip the National Guard of two key combat aircraft – the AH-64 Apache helicopter and the venerable A-10 Warthog.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s defense spending plan proposes to retire the entire fleet of A-10 aircraft, a close air support platform designed to kill Soviet tanks during the Cold War. The A-10 is operated by the Air National Guard and has been highly effective against ground targets during the last decade of war.

The budget also includes a significant restructuring of Army Aviation. Under the budget proposal, all Army National Guard Apache helicopters will be transferred to the active force.


“By taking away the Apaches, you have basically gotten rid of the combat aviation brigades in the Guard, so instead of having combat aviation brigades you now have combat aviation support brigades,” Duckworth, a former Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter pilot who served in the Iraq War, said during a March 6 House Armed Services Committee hearing. “Does that not change the fundamental nature of the Guard divisions and how they can go into the fight?”

Duckworth’s helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in November 2004. She lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Duckworth the combat aviation role of the Guard will be “fundamentally altered,” but the service will have 12 to 15 other systems that make it combat capable.

“In some ways, it will make us more interdependent,” Dempsey said. “That is where I think we are headed by the way more interdependence as opposed to interoperability. And by the way, the Air Force is probably ahead of the Army in that regard.”

Several lawmakers questioned the decision to retire the A-10 and let more modern fighters take on the close air support role.

“Is it true that if you are doing close air support missions that the fighter platform is more expensive per hour than the A-10?” asked Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah.

The Air Force is trying to reduce the number of platforms in its inventory to reduce the costs of logistics support and the infrastructure associated with it, Dempsey said.

Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., went as far as to say the no other aircraft can match the “flying-artillery” capability that the A-10 has delivered over Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I am a supporter of the F-35. I am a supporter of UAVs. I believe other air frames can perform aspects of close air support, but none can take the place and perform like the A-10,” he said.

Dempsey and Hagel didn’t agree.

“The A-10 is a wonderful system, but it’s also an old system and it’s also vulnerable to the high-intensity environment in a way that it is not vulnerable today in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Dempsey said. “The Air Force has other platforms that can produce that flying artillery you describe, so does the Army; it’s called the Apache helicopter. It’s a prudent budget decision made in the face of significant cuts.”

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I think it comes back to what you want the AIr Guard and Guard to do. As a State/Federal combination of missions you have the basics (1.) Transport aircraft (2.) Utility aircraft. Example:firefighting and rescue. And as for combat (3.) Home defense interceptors. The requirement for this is about 20 air sovereignty locations around the country. A-10s and AH-64s are useless for these missions and should be active-duty or assets reserve only.

What I find interesting is that now there are a few articles appearing in Canada that are calling for the Royal Canadian Air Force to buy decommissioned A-10s off of us. At least someone still recognizes just how valuable these attack jets are.

“Does that not change the fundamental nature of the Guard divisions and how they can go into the fight?”

Since WWII we have not deployed a Guard division. We don’t even fight as divisions anymore. We fight brigades and attack aviation assets are attached as they are needed. The Army’s reorganization is also fundamentally different that the Air Forces. Army units are not being closed down.

Valuable in a niche use only.

We no longer have the money to afford such specialized capabilities.

Jack of all trades and master of none is the order of the day. Get with the program sailor!

Beside the King of the Battlefield will always be there to put steel on target.

WOW, our so called military leaders have forgotten what the A-10 was originally designed for! It was designed to work in a “high threat” environment taking on the waves of Soviet tanks that were running through the Fulda Gap

there is no way the F-35 can do that mission let alone doing direct CAS mission, it doesn’t have the right gun, it doesn’t have enough rounds, it can’t fly low and slow, it can’t point it’s gun at the ground, it can’t hit anything on the ground, and it can’t take ANY damage

the A-10 is basically a flying tank, that’s fast, armored and has a very big gun with lots of rounds, the F-35 is none of those things.If the Army is so stupid (is that redundant) to not want the A-10 then they should give them to the Corp, they’ll make good use of them.

I don’t supposed soldiers on the ground would consider themselves to be “niche” but perhaps you’re a zoom zoom flyboy who has to get back to base on time to tee off on the golf course-so you don’t care.

The A-10 was designed to survive in a “High Threat Environment” fighting Russian tanks and Air Defenses in Europe during the Cold War. So when they say it can’t Survive , it’s pure BS. They just want more “Junk Strike Fighters” and to Hell with the Ground Forces. They want to get rid of 300+ A-10’s so they can buy 21 F-35A’s for $3.6 Billion considering the F-35A costs $172.7 Million each. So 21 F-35A’s can equal 300+ A-10’s in Combat Capability. Ya Right!!!

How much the F-35 Really Cost? http://​defense​-update​.com/​2​0​1​4​0​1​0​3​_​m​u​c​h​-​f​-​3​5​-​r​eal

It does seem like the “Active Military” wants to De-fang the Nations Guard Units of Offense Capabilities all of a sudden. If it was 1 platform from 1 service it might make some sense. But ALL ?????

You make great points! The A-10 was not designed to operate in a permissive environment! It was built to fly into the jaws of death and into the mouth of hell (pardon the plagiarism…and the REALLY bad attempt to link current events with my post :-)) Granted, enemy air defense systems have evolved, and the A-10 — AS BUILT — would have a tough time today. But the A-10’s flying today are not the same A-10’s that were built in the ’70’s and ’80’s. They have ECM upgrades, optional additional countermeasure options, more effective top cover, and yes, the King of Battle, which, given the grid of an enemy ADA target, could make it go bye-bye REAL quick. Would we lose A-10’s against modern ADA threats? Undoubtedly. Would the cost offset the loss amongst ground forces WITHOUT the A-10? UNDOUBTEDLY. And I am not a grunt being cavalier with the lives of Air Force pilots. But as my old platoon sergeant used to say, “Rule Number One — In war, young men die. Rule Number Two — you can’t change Rule Number One”. I truly believe that Rule Number One is less applicable WITH the A-10 than without.

If getting along with the program means I have to throw reason out the window then I will never get with the program.

Apparently, the F-35 is a jack of no trades. F-35 supporters are slipping up and telling truthful things like General Michael Hostage here: http://​www​.theprovince​.com/​t​e​c​h​n​o​l​o​g​y​/​i​r​r​e​l​e​v​ant without accompanying stealth says general/9587730/story.html

General Hostage said the F-35 needs the F-22 since it is not an air superiority fighter. Isn’t that what a lot of the BS F-35 supporters fed congress was based on? How are our allies going to buy into this if they don’t have F-22s? They are being economically black mailed with jobs and R&D funds by the F-35 mafia and that’s the only thing keeping this thing going.

It’s not that we can’t afford to have aircraft with niche capabilities. It’s that our own military industrial complex is swindling so much money from us that we can’t buy the systems we need for good prices. The Super Hornet was one of a few exceptions and now its production line is going to go away. US military capability is deteriorating all because so many programs are being sacrificed on the altar to protect the F-35. This is corporate greed functioning at its best.

What is going on here? The A-10 is THE close ground support platform. Maybe we could train the Poles and other allies in its use. You’d think there was a deliberate plot to weaken our Reserve units. Somebody nervous about independent Guards?

Dempsey and Hagel are zoom zoom flyboys? Isn’t Dempsey and old armor guy, and doesn’t Hagel have a couple of PHs and CIB?

Alright kids it’s time to stop looking at this problem emotionally and instead think like a professional.

I’m just as guilty as the next guy of loving the A-10. BUT it brings nothing unique to the table.

F-16, F-15E and F-35 still have their air-to-mud missions and have greater range and get there and back faster so they give you more sorties. Plus they can actually shoot down bad guy airplanes because the have this thing called RADAR.

The Bone and UAS have it beat on loiter, range and in the Bone’s case payload.

Apache and Cobras fly even lower, slower and are more accurate.

And the King of the Battlefield will still get there faster and cheaper than any other option.

So what, asides from a really big gun, does the A-10 do that can’t be done by something else?

We don’t have the money to afford everything that we want and I agree that this sucks.
But it is being done.

Oh.

You know that now that I actually think about it the AC-130 carries an even bigger gun through the skies. And the Spectre is not going anywhere.

“I’m just as guilty as the next guy of loving the A-10. BUT it brings nothing unique to the table. “
=============================
The F-35 is what brings nothing to the table. A lovely little cannon with a pathetic ~122 rounds, and a glorious inability to meet even the multiple-times reduced mission profile at maximum cost to the taxpayers, while garnering only slightly better than 3rd generation performance.

The A-10 is a tough SOB that brings a 30mm vulcan cannon to the table with a butt-load of rounds, proven high survivability, a massive ordnance load, and high maneuverability that terrifies the enemy with its raw destructive power.

And — comparatively speaking: its dirt cheap.

The more I think about it the more I realize why the A-10 has been chosen for the boneyard.

Precisely the public reaction that its selection has garnered. Stark reality hits really hard doesn’t it? But the fact remains that we cannot afford it and keep our modernization on track at the same time.

The F-35 is reality. Don’t like it all you want but that changes nothing. It is happening.

If you want the A-10 too then you had better be willing to pay for it and that means an increase in the defense budget in order to keep it. Does anyone think that is likely in the current political climate?

Anyone?

Didn’t think so.

Goodbye Warthog, we’ll miss you more than we know.

yep, Holiday Inn Express is a card carrying member of the F-35 mafia

hey Holiday, you can go home now, you’ve earned your $29.95 for your postings, well done, bravo, give the man a medal or a trophy or something…

Yeah that’s right. If you can’t counter the arguments then attack the messenger instead.

I refuse to belong to any club that would have people like me as a member. But what I am is a pragmatist and from where I’m sitting it’s pretty obvious that the F-35 is not going away.

We don’t have to like it but we will have to live with it.

You’ll get used to it. According to some here I must be some sort of Lockheed upper manager. I’ll be rich once I can cash those paychecks for pointing out the positives of the F-35 and the fact that we need new aircraft other than upgraded fighters from the last generation.

The fact is we are over a decade into the program, it is quite far along, there has been no serious work on long-term alternatives, it has the full support of the USAF and USMC, it has significant export orders lined up, components for it are to be manufactured in most states and some allied countries meaning a lot of political support, and over 100 of them have already been produced.

For better or worse we have passed the point of no return years ago. It isn’t going to be cancelled and go away. They’re going to make it work come hell or high water. And it won’t be the best at everything. The F-35 is a “jack of all trades, master of none” but so is the F/A-18 and there are not many these days who would declare it a failure.

The F-35 program is estimated to cost $1 trillion. Time to cut our losses, and move on. I’m sure that all of the retired flag officers will get over it in time.

All true statements…but packaging this as an A10 vs F35 decision is a red herring. The nation needs to modernize its fixed-wing air power assets…USAF, USN, USMC. If it wasn’t the F35, it woud be the FXX. And no…upgraded 4th gen does not buy the United States what it needs going into the future. In order to pay for this capability in the current fiscal environment, in order to be able to achieve the air power effects the nation’s current strategy says we need, something has to go. After much study, the AF decided the thing that needed to go was the A10. And please…nobody come up on the net and say the DoD should cut GO and SES slots first, cause that come no where near to pay the bill. It might make some folks feel better, but feelings don’t pay the piper.

Nobody is saying the F35 is a one-for-one replacement for the A10, and nobody is saying the AF doesn’t want to do CAS.

I am on this program & you’re right, we’re not cutting anything except mabe the end state number. We probably won’t end up with the 2400 or so that were originally programmed. We’re alreday on our second block & getting ready to bed down 144 F-35As at Luke to include about 8 international partners.

PW: a “Vulcan Cannon” is a 20mm weapon system, the M61, the A-10 is armed w/a GE GAU-8 30mm multi-barreled (Gatling type) weapon. If not misstaken basic combat load is 1100 rounds. Just a fyi.….. kudo’s to your post!!!! no political slander against the GOP.…..I’m amazed!

We deployed NG Divison HQs in the last fight… 42nd and 34th — both in Iraq. True that the brigades have done multiple rotations.

I agree with most of your rant, but it isn’t corporate greed canceling the Super Hornet or F-15. The US government isn’t buying any more of these so-called “Legacy” systems, and the DoD is influencing all our allies to buy into the magic of the F-35. The defense contractors are by no means angels, but at some point the customer needs to shoulder some blame for making stupid decisions.

I agree 100% w/your post with reference to the latest variant of the AC-130 the AC-130W Stinger II / AC-130J Ghostrider.…. carries a 30mm “cannon” but compare 350 A-10’s (AD + ANG + AFRES)… to what 25 AC-130’s.… plus the “hogs” come in low & slow & blast away.… a very heavily armored aircraft… something the AC-130 doesn’t bring to the table. Just a “back-packers” perspective

Gee William _C1 just replace The ACA for the F-35 in your post & you have POTUS Obama Administration’s talking points.… it doesn’t deliver what we promised, you can’t keep what you had, but “we’ve come to far to turn back now”.… “Forward” only this will cost lives.… not waiting a month to see a doctor

Think Hagle and his cronies in there fat Pentagon offices want money and sexy planes more than combat ready and needed planes. Face it the F-35 is a joke and cannot do the job at all as well as the A-10 this is more of they want a sexy plane that’s new than a plane that works A-10s worked fine in contested air space in Desert Storm and can take damage that would kill four JSFs. The JSF cant carry enough ordnances like the A-10 and cant loiter on the battle field it can only do a bombing run and run home for fuel. Face it its Heagle wanting to punish congress for the cuts so he cant waste billions on true crap the DoD morons want like GCV etc.

As for the Army helos this is even more nakedly political. The Pentagon’s biggest idiot Gen Oredenairo wanted to replace the OH-58 he lost we don’t need a new Scout for now. So he made this plane as a plan of revenge to just get ride of the Kiowa and to punish everyone who disagrees with him. He is a idiot and I hope his plan fails.

Yes these Guard division HQ’s deployed and commanded different brigades than the BDE’s of the 42nd & 34th. Like I said we don’t fight as divisions anymore.

They had ZERO organic attack helicopter support which is the point I’m making. The Congresswoman is either ignorant or trying to create an issue where none exists.

Healthcare really is a lot different from a major aerospace industrial project like this. It takes a long time to get the production line and everything set in place. With healthcare its just writing bills that none of our elected representatives bother reading.

So now it’s gonna get real expensive to kill a jeep or a truck or low value targets. A round out of the A-10’s gun costs roughly 30 bucks. A Hellfire missile costs 80,000 $, I’m not sure what the SDB costs but I’ll bet it’s close to 80,000 grand.
What the hell is the Air Force going to use, to destroy low value targets, that doesn’t cost 500,000 $ a round ? And for Christ sakes.……Give the A-10 to the Marines !!!! Or change the rules and give it to the Army.

My late father served in the Army Air Corps as a B-29 navigator/bombardier in WWII and a flight instructor during the Korean War. Setting up the A-10’a for ARMY use is not as difficult as it would seem. The A-10 is a ground support aircraft for ARMY combat personnel and other friendlies. It is reasonable that the A-10 should be given control to the ARMY.

First off, the army reserves do not have combat units. The National Guard is there to replace active army units. If we do not have the equipment, then how are the National guard suppose to train to replace the active army like we have been doing for the past 15 years?

F-35 is completely unproven in any of its promised roles and we (nor anyone) knows its sortie rates, plus it’s true cost per unit is unknown and or unpublished (May be over 200 million a unit when price of engine is added). And in high threat environments it will need air cover because it was not designed to be an air superiority fighter and has poor fighter performance, hence the designation Joint Strike Fighter, strike being key word here. Think of it as an A-7 with stealth and sensor fusion and costing hundreds of million more (except A-7 is a better plane and tool for strike missions, can fly farther without refueling, carries a larger bomb load, can take battle damage, and cost a heck of a lot less to operate). And that’s an example of a plane from the 60’s.….….….

All these planes will have to go back to LM for fixes and upgrades at an unknown cost re concurrency.…..

And how is that code coming and when will vonder helmet work? And what happens, if it ever works, if it is damaged and or malfunctions (more likely) in battle without a HUD system as a backup.…..

O, and that sensor fusion thing is not really working at this point and it’s stealth is not at all angles.

One option is to re-purpose the A-10 as a bad ass combat drone. This would be very cost effective, as it would probably cost much less than a new predator

The Air Force have been trying to get rid of the A10 since Desert Storm they think it not high tech enough. The only thing this air frame done time and time again is prove that nothing can top it kill ratio and that includes the Apache work with both the A10 wins out. Hit a apache in rear rotor it going down bot hit a A10 in the tail and it still flies.

I bet the Ukrainians would like them about now.

First never going to happen and second it would be ridiculous to cut the F-35 after spending billions on it. To cancel it would leave no replacement and only a 187 F-22 to counter Russian PAK-FA’s and Chinese J-20’s and J-31’s.

As a matter of fact “RIDICULOUS” is an understatement. Because the US is on the verge of controlling most of the fighter market for decades to come. So, you would have us give it away????

The F-35 will be the most capable fighter in the world for decades to come. Even surpassing the F-22 Raptor in many respects. Honestly, you need to do you research before you make such statements. As it makes you look like a fool.……

Yeah, the main problem now is budget issues not with the end product.…..

You have no idea what your talking about! As one of the F-35 Test Pilots recently remarked.….the only naysayers of the F-35 are the ones that haven’t flown it or against it!

Well, the case is very logical for retiring the A-10.

1.) Only of value in low intensity conflict with no or little air threat.

2.) Very old design and has limited life left. (40+ years old design)

3.) Other types can perform vast majority of its roles. (Vipers, Strike Eagles, Lightings, Apaches, Sea Cobras, CUAVs, etc. etc.

4.) Lastly, just no budget to pay for it. So, all the above reasons are moot anyways.

LOL How long with the A-10’s last against Fulcrums and Flankers.

I’ll answer my own question. About as long as the Stuka lasted in the Battle of Britain against Spitfires and Hurricanes!

LOL Please, do tell us your qualifications on the subject as they compare to the current Sec. of Defense Hagel and US Army Chief of Staff General (****) Odierno??? Honestly, I am all ears to hear your expert option.

lol.

Not designed to operate in a permissive environment? Go read the requirements document from 1966… It specifies 14.5mm and down. It’s an aircraft designed to survive small arms and HMG fire.
Ref: Requirements Action Directive RAD 7–69 (1), “Requirements for a Specialized Close Air Support
Aircraft (A-X)”

Before Desert Storm. They said there would be no more tank wars.….. Wrong

Yeah…let’s get rid of one of the most sucessful planes over the past 20 or 30 years and replace it with.….(crickets chirping)

I would rather have a low and slow aircraft (A10) shooting close to me than some jet jockey rolling in from 20,000 ft and 600 mph.

I have worked building the A-10 and parts for it sine 1976. As a former Marine, this is the plane that I want to cover me in combat. Like me, its aged but still useful. If you must kill it, then sell it to South Korea, Germany, Poland and Israel. It still is the most effective ground support system.

Excellent point!! :-) I believe that during both of the last 2 wars, Irag & Afgstan. that at times, the Guard was the PRIMARY fighting force with regards to air units. Especially the A10 units. Removing both of these, instead of maybe cutting some back, seems to me would be removing the capability for the Guard to be a fighting force any more. At least not in the respect of how large a part they have played in the last 15 years.

That poor A10, people been wanting to get rid of that great plane for like 20 yrs or so. Always saying it cannot survive, its too old, technology is outdated, etc, etc. Seems to still be working just FINE, and has been upgraded several times in the last 10 years. I wonder if the vote was put to the ground troops, who REALLY UNDERSTAND its significance, what their say would be!! I think I know what it would be :-)

Cannot afford such specialized capabilities.…hmmmm…interesting.

Let’s see, the A10 costs somewhere between $7–10 million per copy vs how much for a F35 replacement…$75–100 million a piece.…yeah.….that makes a lot of sense. Then there is the cost per hour of flying, training costs, parts…Hmmmmmmm .…… that just doesn’t make sense!! :-)

Perhaps the Government will need the A-10s and AH-64s when the people rise up to topple the Government in the years to come?

Fortunately, few active duty pilots will fire on Americans and neither will the Guard and Reserve members.

Hagle could give the A10 to the Army or Marines and they would prove the total value of this air frame! The men and women on the ground don’t want to loose this support. AC 130 and A 10 are both needed!

You seem to miss the basic point. The Ground forces are being cut Are to remain on the sidelines for the next few years. Nobody in Washington is backing any major Ground force operations for the next 20 years. Thus they need no jet powered Stukas for support.

Do you see us sending troops any place after 12 years of war? No. That is the issue.

You do not need a 30mm DU shell to kill a jeep.

Lance, it is nothing but a jet powered Stuka. It is still MIg bait. The B-1 & B-52 had carried more tonnage & done more of the work than the A-10 has. The Need to reduce Air Guard units is what is going here.

Not for 40 more years. The F-35, the F-15E’s, B-1B & B-52G’s will. The 30mm while nice, has few real targets..

Reducing the Guard. Afterall, we’re not expecting any attacks on CONUS from our NAFTA partners, are we? We’ve already been invaded.

Here is another aircraft being tossed out with the trash, “because its time has come and gone” per Hagel, et al in the DOD. Really? Why do I remember a NAVY plane whose time had “come and gone” BEFORE the AIR FORCE grabbed onto it, because “WHAT, it was SLOW and could LOITER over the battlefield, rather than being a zip right by after one run aircraft. The plane, Anyone, Anyone? OH YEAH. The A1E SkyRaider aka the SPAD.
Everything and then some of what we are continually hearing is the “weakness” of the A-10. Once more, we get to see people in the Pentagon, reliving history, because it seems they just can not learn. I would DEFY any B-1 to do what the A-10 can do as a ground support airpower platform. Sure, bombs can be dropped on the enemy, but can anyone really and truly say the enemy will be taken out the first time from altitude? Can a F-15, F-16 or FA-18 pilot truly and completely truthfully say he/she took out all the enemy forces at a particular location after they have done a bombing or strafing mission; because they KNOW they have to get in and get out rapidly, or suffer shoot down. A-10 pilots can truthfully say that, because they are flying a bathtub of armor, with wings.
Think about this historical fact. one of the most feared airplanes of WWII was the Russian Stormovik Tank buster and ground attack Aircraft. It was slow and flew low. Guess what, it too was a “flying bathtub” of ARMOR; just as is the A-10. So I would suggest, in a respect way that SecDef Hagel and the Air Force Chiefs pushing so hard to get rid of the A-10, take a step back, take a very HARD look at just where on the map the Ukraine is located, how FLAT this particular section of the world is, and HOW MANY tanks the Russians have near there; which the A-10 was specifically built to fight and win over. Are we to once more sit back and allow history to run rough shod over us all; because we just can’t seem to learn? It sure seems that way, doesn’t it? .

Little known fax: the 30mm cannon developed for the A-10 originally had the shells priced at $11 apiece. A certain procurement officer named Colonel Dilger (distant cousin) instituted a bidding process which reduced the price of the shells to slightly over $1 apiece. But his reward was early retirement.

Know the facts! Learn more @ http://​www​.SavetheGuard​.weebly​.com

Not correct in regards to the Army units not being closed down. If you take a NG Combat Aviation Brigade(CAB), remove the two ATK BN, w/ ea BN having 24 aircraft(AH-64), it will be replaced by a single ASSLT BN w/30 aircraft(UH-60). So you lose one BN of personnnel and equipment , and then the support pieces are also reduced to cover the reduced aircraft requirement. All in all the NGB would lose 400–500 personnel per CAB.

Really? Where is it stated that CAB’s will get ONE FULL BN of of Blackhawks to replace the Apache’s? Why can’t you have Guard lift BN’s units with less (e.g. 15 UH60’s) than required helos but still at full strength personnel wise? We did it all the time in the active component.

What attack BN’s are being closed down?

In the end the Guard will have more Blackhawks than the active component. With the active component losing 20% of it’s strength and the Guard projected at losing less than 5% I think there is very little to complain about.

Where’s the “one Army” talk now?

SECDEF Hagels’ last proposal was 40K from the ARNG & 20K from the USAR an aggregate of 12%, I guess a degree in “Organizational Mgmt” doesn’t have a heavy math requirement

My References 24 Feb. “The proposed budget also envisions a 5-percent reduction in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.” http://​www​.defense​.gov/​n​e​w​s​/​n​e​w​s​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​.​a​s​p​x​?​i​d=1

or 5 Mar Wash Times “The Army National Guard would see its numbers shrink from 355,000 to 335,000 and the Army Reserves would draw down from 205,000 to 195,000 soldiers, according to the Fiscal Year 2015 defense budget request.” http://​www​.washingtontimes​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​2​0​1​4​/​m​a​r​/​5​/ch

Colonels in my experience avoided shooting from the hip and looking uninformed.

BTW, I don’t have an Organizational Mgmt degree but you’re two for two.

I got my info from the SECDEF’s Press conference carried on C-span, a little more recent than last months Def News, or a Washington Times reporters notes. I guess you could say I got it from the horse’s mouth.….…..kinda like Commander’s Intent.….missed you @ the “Point’s” grad ceremony, would have like to have meet such a learned-ed Officer.…..I must have u confused w/someone else named majrOd with a web page listing his academic accomplishments

post script: those rif numbers were in an article right on dodbuzzz.com.….…HA! eat crow willy

Feel free to post your nonexistent evidence.

BTW, the last link I posted was less than a week old.

You’re confusing the ends of a horse.

I know that the ‘Boots on the ground’ need CAS. Yes the A-10C can fly low-slow and get the job done. What aircraft can haul air to ground weapons and loiter with the HH-60’s ?? All of the previously mentioned aircraft (F-15, F-16, B-1, AH-64’s) are built for specific missions. Let the A-10C’s do their job — to kill the enemy — FLY, FIGHT & WIN. Let’s put America FIRST.

When you consider that the F-106 set records that still stand in 1959, Top speed of Mach 2.31, which is still the single enginved aircraft record, and that it was capable of supercruise at over 900 knots, I should say that it is the F-35 that brings northing new to the fight.

If it were to be coveredd with a stealth coating, the F-106 just might even be stealthier than the F-35.

AS for durability, the Air force magazine had pictures of an A-10 that flew back to base in Iraq after taking a missile through the wing. I believe that the story stated that this A-10 was repaired and returned to work.

What modernization? The F-35 is slower, carries fewer munitions, is less amneuverable than just about anything, including 1970s F-4s. The F-35 has no attempt to hide the heat of the exhaust from heat seeking missile or infra red detectors, which are common on all Russin aircraft. If the opponenet is a Russian Sukhoi with vectorable hrust, which most of them now have, the Russian can dodge the missiles that the F-35 fires, all 4 of them. and then ssplash the F-35 at will.

The short of it is that Obvama has destroyed our Air Force.

Tiger, it is just cheaper than any other method that we have, and it can kill a tank just as easily.

Dempsey is a bald-faced liar, traitor and all around moron.

“The Air Force has other platforms that can produce that flying artillery you describe, so does the Army; it’s called the Apache helicopter.”

What a joke. What Dempsey neglects to mention, of course, is the combat statistics between the Apache and Hog. The Apache, while a great platform, has consistently been chewed to pieces when faced with concentrated AAA threats. From Gulf War I to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Apache has shown a severe vulnerability against AAA fire when operating in an open environment with no place to hide.

OTOH, the A-10 has taken massive damage in all the wars it has been in, and comparatively few have been lost because of it. To say that the A-10 cannot operate in a “modern high threat environment” is beyond disingenuous. From 23mm AAA fire to MANPADS, the A-10 can take multiple hits and most likely continue with the mission. Imagine what a single 12.7mm round would do to an F-35 on a strafing run.

Smart weapons are not the end-all be all of future CAS. When you have troops in the midst of an extended battle on the ground, you need a platform that can loiter without fear for a long period, and able to bring impressive on-call firepower to bear as needed. While the Apache is great in a low-threat environment, the A-10 can do this in most all battlefield environments. The only way the A-10 is at risk is if you send them into an area where the enemy has dominant air superiority, or foolishly fly them at a high enough altitude to be taken out by modern medium and long range SAM systems.

The bought and paid for LockMart lunatics are now running the asylum.….American fighting men and women be damned.

Sounds like he’s an old Arty guy, and he may not be up to date on modern Arty evolution either. I’m not, so I can’t comment, but I thought they were reducing Arty as well.

I totally agree with this statement. Time to use the forces for the missions they were originally established, and that certainly doesn’t include part time National guardsmen hopping around in sophisticated high performance aircraft so as to getting their jollies off.

So, the Apache can do the “flying artillery” role of the A-10, according to Hagel. Hm. Which aircraft gets there fastest, stays longest, and delivers the bigger bang. Supposedly, i’s a old airframe. Well, sports fans, it wouldn’t be if the morons had REOPENED THE PRODUCTON LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!

hmm, let me see. Trust the USAF to make the right military decisions, or trust the politicians to make the right military decisions. Let me get back to you on that…

what is that saying? “The right thing is not always popular, and the popular thing isn’t always right.”

The AH-64 Apaches and aircrew of the National Guard are combat reserve forces for the U.S. Army. Additionally, they are also part of a Task Force in which the National Guard possesses Combat Brigades, which are comprised of (Light Infantry, Armor, Artillery, Air Defense, Mechanized Infantry, Engineers, Chemical, and Combat Aviation / Support Aviation units). This means that the National Guard can deploy to theaters of war an entire Brigade that is self-supporting, self-sustaining — with Combat Aerial assets to support troops on the ground… much in the same way Marines deploy to the battlefield.

By removing Combat Aviation assets from the National Guard you diminish the fighting capability of the overall Army in three ways: 1.) You remove the Task Force capability of the National Guard to support combat missions; 2.) You remove the reserve Air Combat forces of the Army… since the National Guard — NOT the Army Reserve is the only reserve component aside from the Marine Corps Reserve that possesses Rotary Wing Combat Aircraft; 3.) You remove the ability of experienced Combat Aircraft Pilots and Aircrew to serve in a reserve capacity for the Army by continuing their service in the National Guard, which means that if they wish to continue to serve in Combat Aircraft units as reservists, their only option is now with the Marine Corps Reserve.

As for the A-10… the Air Force is making a decision solely based on its wants for the Air Force and not the NEEDS for the overall Combat Readiness & Survivability of troops on the ground. If the Air Force no longer wants to support troops on the ground — i.e.- the Army, then let the Air Force transfer the A-10’s to the Army National Guard — and then allow the Army National Guard to transfer the AH-64 Apache to the Regular Army.

If the leadership at the Pentagon are envisioning future battles to be fought in a conventional manner, then the facts are undisputable — the A-10 Warthog / Thunderbolt has proven itself as a formidable fighter not only in conventional war, but also in War on Terrorism. The number of lives on the battlefield saved by A-10 and the pilots and crewmembers who fly and support this aircraft will never be fully known, but it is without a doubt that the loss of the A-10 will result in a significant loss of troops on the battlefield in future wars.

The final thing to consider is that the morale of troops is quite often the significant single contributing factor to winning battles in overwhelming odds and ultimately the war — securing not only victory for America, but perhaps our future existence as a nation.

As a retired USAF CSAR pilot, the A-10 is without a doubt the best aircraft to perform the SANDY role.

Could the V22 be Armored enough to take the beating that the A10 does? It’s faster than a helo and could loiter as well.

Things come back to haunt you when you make bad decisions and this is one of them

Then it will be to heavy and it does not manuver very well.

Part time? The guard and reserves know the aircraft more than any rotational active duty person. Most guard and reserve forces have spent their entire careers working on one aircraft. What active duty get? 2 to 5 years tops. The reserve forces can and will continue to be a consistently capable force.

Gordon: as a former 11B & attack helo pilot: I agree with you!!

Are they really proposing that the Army return to the days of Aerial Rocket Artillery (ARA)?

Grossly under utilizing the Apache in that role would be a horrendous waste/misuse of an otherwise great weapons system …

Lets place the soldiers, Marines, airmen/women and sailors on the ground 1st! …

Although the USMC was forced to take them operational, there are still problems/bugs being worked out when it comes to the V22.

&, I seriously doubt the Osprey can take the licking and keep ticking like the A-10 does …

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