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A-10 Being Retired Due To Lack Of Funding


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manayunkman

17th,

 

STANDING OVATION !!

 

Thank you for your service

 

Peter

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I think that we are seeing a continuing shift by the blue suiters away from air-to-mud manned platforms. When the AF first moved to mothball the A-10s, armed drones were only a concept. Now that those have been proven as a combat multiplier, I think they will be the main replacement for the A-10.

 

Personally, I would rather have someone in a cockpit that I can visually communicate with if necessary than having someone controlling the weapons system from thousands of miles away,

 

It will be interesting to see if the Army develops its own drone fleet.

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Leatherneck72

I'm sorry, but even the best drones with PGM's can't replace a strafing A-10 with it's 30mm diplomacy...not even close.

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17thairborne

You are both right! Technology does not solve everything, it complicates matters and increased the chance of fratricide. There is a link between eyes on the ground and eyes in the air that add a level of comfort to the grunts. We make mistakes too, but there is a difference between viewing the battlefield through a soda straw (camera lens) and having your head on a swivel. Drones have their purpose, but I'd rather have someone overhead who is in it with me.

 

We are talking about starting airstrikes in IQ, but without someone who knows how to call in fire on the ground to sort out the targets from the fray, we are asking for trouble.

 

If I were running the Army I would get for the A-10s and put them in the Aviation Brigades. I know there are issues there, but it can all be sorted out.

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Let me rant please!

 

1. A very sad testament to what's wrong with the senior leadership system in the military. Spent 4500 hours drivin' Hawgs and I can tell you it is one hell of a CAS platform. Having done CAS from the Army perspective with the 11th ACR, and then with the AF in an A-10, I know the sentiments in the air and on the ground. No one was ever attacked on the ground when we were overhead in an A-10. The dorkheads in man-dresses knew better.

 

2. The brass that says they can do it with some other platform are full of shyte! They started with the F-16, then the F-15E and B-1 now its the F-35. All too fast, no loiter time and ridden by those with a fighter only mentality. They do not understand that every event (except nuke delivery) in the AF is support for the grunt who seizes and holds terrain!!! Analyze the news of a recent fratricide by a B-1 doing CAS (Laughable that they call it CAS, and sad that it ended in tragedy).

 

3. Watch the post-military job trail from the brass who are running the show now and in a few years and you will see where most of them get their jobs; working for the military industrial complex, or lobbying with other scum-bags within the beltway.

 

4. The Army Brass is complaisant too, because they had their sacred cows to guild. They turned a blind eye to the AF scheme of getting rid of the Hawg. The grunts are now on their own, having to rely on Army Airpower. Thankfully those guys know what they are doing and understand what their mission is. They could give a hoot less about image and status, they just want to be where the heat is protecting the brotherhood with cannon, 2.75" and hellfire. Good on you guys!

 

Okay....I'm done now....you can turn the flame on me, but I had to reply.....sorry to rant :dry:

 

attachicon.gifa10photo.jpg

 

No flaming needed. You sir are spot on.

 

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Legion Para

Technology didn't win in Southeast Asia and it isn't doing so in Southwest Asia. I remember when the powers to be didn't think the F4 needed a gun.

 

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Unfortunately the United States military has to relearn lessons with each conflict.

 

There has always been a need for such planes as the A1 and the A10. God love 'em.

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17thairborne

Technology didn't win in Southeast Asia and it isn't doing so in Southwest Asia. I remember when the powers to be didn't think the F4 needed a gun.

 

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Unfortunately the United States military has to relearn lessons with each conflict.

 

There has always been a need for such planes as the A1 and the A10. God love 'em.

 

There are quite a few fighter pilots who owe their lives to those who flew the Spad and crewed the Jolly Greens. Loiter time, lots of daisy-cutters and nape, and a thinking man with good eyes.

 

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My personal experience with the A-10 in 2012 in Paktika Province along the AF/PAK Border:

 

When our forces were in contact, the enemy knew that we would bring in support, either rotary or fixed wing support. If that support was fixed wing and we could not get positive ID, the aircraft would drop in altitude to where they were audible for a show of force. If it was a Bone or other type of aircraft the fight would usually continue until a bomb was dropped. However, if we were able to get "Hawg" on station, not only would the enemy break contact at the sight of the A-10 screaming at 500 ft over the mountains, but they would usually stop moving and communicating over the radios. That is how terrified they were of the aircraft. Being on the ground their are few things more reassuring than to here the BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR as that 30mm starts laying down some serious lead.

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Just to make sure I was not misunderstood. Before I switched to the AIr Guard, I spent 16 years as an Infantryman. I agree with all of those who say we need the A-10 as it is one of the best friends a grunt could have. I don't believe that it will happen, but I would like to see the Army take over the A-10 and integrate it into its aviation assets.

 

My comment about switching to drones is how I see the future of CAS. The Air Force doesn't want to dedicate an aircraft to air-to-ground, so their next best option for a dedicated platform is the drone. I will be interested ot see how the Navy and Marines react.

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17thairborne

Beast,

You are probably correct in that the AF continues to rely heavily on UAVs. They really ramped up the school house for the pilots in the last 10 years. They never really liked the Hawg after the Warsaw Pact disintegrated. They have been dwindling the numbers ever since. Grated we don't need as many tank killers now, but they never envisioned it would be a great CI platform.

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I don't see the AF moving far away form cool aircraft as they are a cult in that service. No one actually flies in a drone. NO one gets to wear cool wings. No one gets to fly REALLY FAST and paint their name on the fuselage on a drone. No one gets medals and attracts women and gets promotions in a drone.

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17thairborne

NO one gets to wear cool wings. No one gets medals and attracts women and gets promotions in a drone.

 

Jon,

Your point is well taken, but they actually have UAV Wings and they do award medals for actions while operating the UAV. It brings up a huge debate whether or not there is actually bravery involved. Bravery usually entails risk of bodily harm or death to the recipient of the medal. What is at stake for UAV operators is the risk they take to their career longevity and sanity due to the threat of fratricide, bombing a wedding party, crashing into a school bus or baby milk factory etc. Those are all heightened risks that can land one's career in the dumps, cause a flight evaluation board to meet and strip you of your wings, or for gross negligence cause UCMJ action. Some of them are treated for PTSD. No threat of bodily harm though!

 

The AF is doing its best to erase any distinction between the career of those who choose manned verses unmanned platforms. In the end, the UAV operator is not at risk for bodily harm or death and usually goes home to a family each night, unless deployed somewhere, while the list of dead pilots is very long dating back to pre-wwI times with West Point graduate, Lt. Thomas Selfridge having the ignominy of being the first man killed in an aircraft.

 

What most of us did for the few combat awards we received for A-10 missions we flew pales in comparison to the daily existence of a 19 year-old grunt on patrol in AFGH. Little we did comes close to the threat he faced every day, but there are exceptions. The risks for the UAV operator are even further removed, but the AF does not see it that way. Air Medal for gunning the sh!# out of man-dress wearers who may have MANPADs and are firing RPG and 12.7mm on a lone convoy does not come close to a Bronze Star awarded to a grunt during an ambush fighting for his life. He usually never gets any award anyway, but should. As I always say, everything the AF does is support for the Army!!!!

 

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As I always say, everything the AF does is support for the Army!!!!

 

 

Which is why the Marines rightfully need to continue to have their own air force that is in tune with, trains with and knows its mission is to serve the grunt on the ground.

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17thairborne

 

Which is why the Marines rightfully need to continue to have their own air force that is in tune with, trains with and knows its mission is to serve the grunt on the ground.

 

EXACTLY. AF should have split off into a strategic component after ww2 and left all the tactical stuff to the Army. I guess there was a huge debate about armed fixed wing aircraft and the AF was able to wrestle control of everything that fell into that catagory. Forever more will the AF dance to it's own tune both on the tactical and strategic side. The Marines, on the other hand, have it right.

 

Every Marine pilot I met knew his mission was to keep the Marine on the ground alive and victorious. (Even if he was a fighter pilot :) ) Outside of the small community of Hawg drivers, my opinion on that matter was not accepted!

 

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Legion Para

Even at the best of times, medals is a touchy subject and I won't express my views here.

 

In past conflicts pilots were at much greater risk. With that said, some A 10s did sustain battle damage.

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Legion Para

17thairborne:

 

I know there are women A 10 pilots. Did any fly combat in Iraq or Afghanistan?

 

Major Tamara, a United States Air Force fighter pilot instructor.

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Garandomatic

I think I recall seeing something on the internet a couple of years ago about a female pilot that brought a VERY shot up A-10 back from a mission.

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Legion Para

This must be the story you are thinking of:

 

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Campbell_(pilot)

 

 

The damage occurred when she was flying a mission over Baghdad on 7 April 2003. "We did our job with the guys there on the ground, and as we were on our way out is when I felt the jet get hit. It was pretty obvious it was loud... I lost all hydraulics instantaneously, and the jet rolled left and pointed toward the ground, which was an uncomfortable feeling over Baghdad. It didn't respond to any of my control inputs." She tried several procedures to get the aircraft under control, none of which worked; last, she put the plane into manual reversion, meaning she was flying the aircraft without hydraulics. The aircraft immediately responded. "The jet started climbing away from the ground, which was a good feeling because there was no way I wanted to eject over Baghdad." With some technical advice from her flight leader, Lieutenant Colonel Turner, she flew the injured plane for an hour back to the air base. "The jet was performing exceptionally well. I had no doubt in my mind I was going to land that airplane." Landing was tricky: "When you lose all the hydraulics, you don't have speed brakes, you don't have brakes, and you don't have steering."[3]

 

 

Kim Campbell's A-10 suffered extensive damage.

For this action in aerial combat she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.[4]

 

On the ground it was discovered that her A-10 had sustained damage to one engine and to the redundant hydraulic systems, disabling the flight controls, landing gear and brakes, and horizontal stabilizer. A detailed inspection revealed hundreds of holes in the airframe and that large sections of the stabilizer and hydraulic controls were missing.[5]

 

"She's one of the few pilots who ever landed the A-10 in the manual mode," said General Richard Myers, USAF, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[6]

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17thairborne

Sorry I missed the comments...just got back. Yes there are several who have flown A-10s in combat and these are but a few of them. I think that's KC or Killer Chick as she was known.

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