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'Obsolete' Warthogs head to Iraq

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Good article with some poignant comments on not just the weapons system but the overall management of the types of wars we now face. (www.americanthinker.com) Mehr...

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R123154
R123154 10
What a bunch of fools there are in the Pentagon.They have tried ,tried and tried to scrap the A-10s for years to only find out no other plane can do what it does.
Smart bombs can replace this plane no way shape or form.Point being this,look back to Vietnam.The Skyraider did exactly what the A-10 does today.
Why in God's name dont these people talk to the guys on the ground their thoughts.Bet they would tell them something they Dont want to hear.
Yea I know,budgets,Balogna,how can they justify even one soldiers loss of life because they think the A-10 is to costly.Our men and women deserve all the support that can be given to their safety if only a little.Wake up.
preacher1
preacher1 8
After years of being there, they pulled them all out of FSM and replaced the 188th's mission with drones. I guess I can see some of that as far as consolidating facilities, but to try and do away with them altogether is not a good idea. As I said in another post, give them to the army, but be careful USAF, before long you won't have a mission yourself. The Navy and Marines are already cleaning your plow in places. You mission is close air support in the middle East and the F35 sure ain't gonna cut it. Remember the F4's being built with no guns cause all them Pentagon college boys said there would be no more dogfights. Somebody forgot to tell that to the MIG's over North Vietnam.
R123154
R123154 4
preacher1.You are right on the spot .My Brother was a Navy Seal then and what little he will talk about is the fact I wanted to know what it was like for him.He knowing I wanted to know the history of ground support that they had and he told me that the A-1 and the A-4s were their life lines then.
Like it or not wars are still won on the ground by our precious soldiers,that being said close in support is vital still.The A-10 does it best
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
I was an Air Force OV-10 driver in Nam. Looking back, it may have been the best job I ever had. When I went into the Army or Marine O'club I was met with cheers and free drinks. Those guys on the ground loved to hear the sound of an OV-10 overhead. I was Helix 25. They knew me. I knew them. And the
A-10? That's the airplane I wanted to fly.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Bronco driver! We flew a lot for the SOG bunch out of Quang Tri. Ever fly Covey for them?
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
No, wallace24. I flew as Helix25 out of Chu Lai in the 0V-10. I went into Quang Tri several times. I knew a lot of Covey's. I also flew out of Bien Hoa as Rustic61 for about a month. I had a Vietnamese French interpreter in the back seat then because the Cambodians didn't have very good English. Othewise, I was solo. I flew all over I Core. Me, the Covies and Nails.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Ahh! The days. We did some crazy flying. Best to you sir.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 7
Even in Vietnam the old A1 Skyraider was way more effective for close support than the F4s and the other jets.
BaronG58
BaronG58 2
They were also used to escort helicopters during combat rescue missions. Didn't we end up giving the A-1's in theater to the South Vietnamese Air Force?
chrisrod1
RVNF had several squadrons of A-1's at Bien Hoa Airbase when I was there with the 1st Cav in 1971-72. Our troops overwhelmingly preferred the Vietnamese A-1's to fly close air support for them over the US Air Force! Those RVNAF pilots were local heroes, including one RVNAF major I met who had been shot down 38 times flying close air support. We used to see the CH-54 Flying Cranes sling the recovered downed A-1's back in regularly. Tough old birds...
preacher1
preacher1 1
Seems like we at least gave them some of them. I remember some pic's of their El Presidente in the cockpit of 1 or standing on the wing.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
But later on, they were replaced by A-7Ds.
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
Flying hydraulic leak!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
All the ones we worked with in the Ashau valley and Laos came out of Thailand. Not sure what happened to them when we left.
JENNYJET
Ugly to some, large looking engines, armour plated hull and a devastating cannon in a jet that can fly at helicopter speed when necessary ad operate from small airfields, what better aircraft can be utilized for anti terrorism engagements?
WHEELC
CRAIG WHEEL 5
Any chance we can find the tooling and open up the production line again? New updated ones would be perfect, and it will be one of the only airplanes fighter pilots will still get to fly. I never met an A-10 pilot who didn't love the airplane and its' mission. One Guard pilot even bemoaned having to transition into the F-16.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
If you cannot find it, it could easily be made... I know the design prints are still around somewhere.
immermannjoseph
I am by no means knocking the F-16 - but I have to relay what an F-16 pilot told me one day. He said they have to be careful with low strafing runs so that they do not pull any debris into the large intake under the nose.
I agree with what preacher1 said - the Air Force better open their mind a little before they find themselves out of a job - at least until we get into space in a bigger way.
LordLayton
They would be absolutely stupid to scrap this plane at this time. The Warthog is exactly what is needed to fight ISIS who simply change their tactics to avoid detection from high altitude bombing. This plane has plenty of armor and can take a lot of damage while delivering devastating damage to our enemies. this plane is at minimum, a 30 cal mini gun with a plane strapped to it.
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 2
30mm, not 30 cal
preacher1
preacher1 1
yep, on the gun with a plane for sure.
nsbeach
They can run from a Warthog but they'll only die tired !
FLGeographer
Joseph Brown 3
The USAF has never wanted the CAS role. Not even when they were the Army Air Corps. Who got the glory over Europe in WW2? The 8th AF flying "strategic bombing missions" with their Memphis Belles and Bond drives(thank you Billy Mitchell). Who did the CAS, that you've never heard of? The 9th AF with their P-47s and A-20's. Thank God the Marines know how to do it correctly with their MAGTF fully integrated Air/Ground commands.
immermannjoseph
Well said, sir, and if I am not incorrect, wasn't the most dangerous mission (statistically) for fighter/bombers during WWII close air support? As you said - all the hard work and risk but little of the glory...shameful.
jdriskell
James Driskell 1
Got into an interesting argument with a bunch of young F-100 drivers at Misawa AFB, Japan in the early 60's. They maintained that air superiority was the key to defeating an enemy. My argument (I'm a Marine) was that until we put boots on the ground, no one controlled the ground and it was essential that the AF assist in providing CAS to the guys in the mud. Argument went on and on (thru numerous beers) until a big AF Major overheard the conversation and said, "The Marine is right!" So spoke Chappy James. He knew what he was talking about and went on in the AF to wear 4 stars.

However, it seems like the desk flyers still haven't learn the CAS lesson.
tcmarks
Tim Marks 3
Like the boots on the ground, there is nothing better at winning a battle than an aircraft that has a little dirt on the undercarriage. The government 'think-tank' idiots who think that high flying supersonic aircraft, unmanned drones, and satellites will win any war have their heads in the wrong place, between their legs. Has anyone of these 'experts' reviewed the footage from Iraq or interviewed the ground troops involved with A10 sorites? Likely not, since they would clearly demonstrate the need to keep the A10 around and likely build some more. The fact that the enemy, any one of them, will drop their weapons and run for their ratholes any time an A10 is in the area or no mobile armor and artillery stands any chance against this aircraft are reason enough to use it every time some country or faction gets too big for their breeches. Considering the amount of damage this aircraft can inflict in an in-your-face knife fight and keep fighting even when wounded is a testimate to the designers of this 'tank with wings'.
preacher1
preacher1 4
Either they have not reviewed the Iraqi footage or they are so busy scrambling for $ to complete the F35, they have to have a sacrificial lamb.
jshhmr
josh homer 2
I remember watching something on CNN during the first gulf war. They were talking about the durability of the A-10. They interviewed a pilot who had most of the tail shot off by ground fire. He was still able to land safely. That's when I became a Warthog fan.
grinch59
Gene Nowak 0
Don't forget the one that came back with about 1/3 of a wing and landed safely. In addition, it had a female pilot. That sure got the drinks flowing in the officer's club that night.
Lerabougris
Lerabougris 5
What with the "female" pilot comment? It's like saying the aircraft is so good that it could RTB in spite of loosing a big chunk of wing AND in spite of a woman in the cockpit... In my book, anyone who has earned the right to wear pilot wings, strap on a warthog and drive it into harm's way to support our troops deserve respect and gratitude, regardless of gender, not this type of condescending sexist, remarks which are not the compliments some think they are. Would have one felt compelled to say "a male" pilot?
chrisrod1
Blah, blah, blah... I'm pretty sure the comment included the fact of the female pilot because they are fairly rare. I respectfully suggest you take the feminist rants elsewhere.
BaronG58
BaronG58 1
I think you might be reading too much into Gene's statement. I think he was giving her a thumbs up.
Lerabougris
Lerabougris 1
OK Baron, I know that no malice was intended on the part of Gene, but this is where the rub is, for old geezers like me. In my own time I've made this type of comments, admirative and well intended until, when they came of age, my daughters educated me... Now I realize that one cd come across as a well meaning clod but a clod nevertheless. Couldn't resit ribbing Gene a bit. Prejudices die hard, don't they? "Colored" people couldn't fly fighters, could they? Until came the Tuskegee men... The Japanese could'nt be good pilots, what with the coke bottle glasses they all seem to wear in the comics, until Pearl that is... Speaking of which, tomorrow is the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. To be forgiven, surely, to be forgotten, certainly not.
rj44444
Hugh REPLOGLE 3
The USAF wants to keep their shiny metal as far away from the "dirt" as possible; witness the B-52 in Viet Nam.
They had to grab the A-1s from the navy to get the job done. I don't think the USAF ever though of buying a plane for close air support until they were forced by "needs" and reluctantly accepted the (so undignified and ugly ) A-10.
I think it must be " beauty-in motion" to the "grunt.

Remember, the "Queen-of-the-battle" is the infantry, everybody else is a supporting force.

I would jump at the chance to fly the A-10s for its mission.
konatom
T Economou 1
I would just at the chance to fly the A-10 for ANY reason. ;-)
jmeaders
John Meaders 1
Amen to that. Even the "King of Battle," artillery exists to support the Infantry! Give those A-10s and support elements to the Army. We'll make use of them.
LaneH10
Lane Hardison 3
The only fear the A10 should have is from the morons running our Air Force!
sparkie624
sparkie624 4
You are almost correct... Another Fear of the A-10 lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC.
LaneH10
Lane Hardison 4
You are correct! I meant to say head Moron! But said it for me! Thank You!
konatom
T Economou 1
Good one, Sparkie
preacher1
preacher1 4
There doesn't seem to be anything else in the arsenal that will provide effective CAS except the A10. They just need to fly it until they can come up with something as effective. Once it's turned loose, ISIS will come to hate it as the Iraqi's did.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
preacher1 2
I didn't.
canuck44
canuck44 1
Pretty safe bet if you did say it considering the current state of DOD financing, micromanagement from Hussein and VP Valerie Jarrett and the huge amounts of money consumed for the F-35. Also given the needs and the likelihood of a necessity to purchase large numbers, there is no budget item to cover it....lots for drones but nothing for manned aircraft suitable.

I certainly do feel more comfortable with the blog "hall monitors" being on duty.
preacher1
preacher1 5
Well, work or not, we will get the F35, at whatever price. Looking at a post awhile back and now updated info as well, final assembly may be in one place but they have a big enough vendor program in about every state, and with powerful congressmen & Senators to boot, that it ain't going away, so we may as well hold their feet to the fire and see if they won't bring out something decent.
ToddBaldwin3
Todd Baldwin 3
Lockheed-Martin did an excellent job of "Political Engineering" on this program. They learned from the failed A-12 how to do that.
tcmarks
Tim Marks 2
In the current cut-throat game of winning a primary defense system contract, it takes more political pandering and lobbying than just having a low bid anymore. The F35 will be a good system once deployed for delivering ordinance to a target and being able to fight its way back out of theater. But it is not a close support aircraft, too fast and not enough fuel on board to even consider being a replacement for the A10. Congress is holding the purse-strings and the lobbists screaming in their ears are driving the (slow) execution of the A10 with no regard for role it plays in warfare and the fact that within the current inventory it is irreplaceable.
preacher1
preacher1 1
LOL. yep and we are the chumps tat have to pick up the tab.
NF2G
David Stark 1
The only secret weapon is the one that has never been used. A classified arsenal is either useless or a temporary secret.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
preacher1 5
Well, having been around since back in the day, you develop contacts and hear about a lot of things. Sometimes you can comment on stuff by what you have heard or what may have happened. I like to listen; you never quit learning and that is why I don't have a lot of answers at times.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 8
Dude has forgot more about this stuff than most of us here will ever know. You're out of line, and showing your own ignorance.
preacher1
preacher1 3
tks, bud
preacher1
preacher1 3
tks all ya'll other guys for the down and up votes
dackman
dackman 2
At one time in our not so distance past, military leaders thought we didn't need a gun system on fighter aircraft such as the F-4 because all dog fights would be with air to air missiles. Look how well that worked.
fwvaydik
Frank Vaydik 2
Ever since the warthog was developed it seems ot me the Air Force has tried to get rid of it in spite of the fact it is the ideal aircraft for ground attack. Is it because the plane is not fast and glamorous?
Cantom
Tom Dials 2
Good to see Spads mentioned and, as a guy humping a ruck in those days, Wallace is right on the mark. The A-10 is a worthy successor and scrapping it would degrade CAS capability significantly. If the AF doesn't want the airframe, take the spaces, faces and budget and give it to the Army - and then open the production line and retool the airframe...it'll last as long as there are close fights on the battlefield.
jkudlick
Jeremy Kudlick 2
Perhaps the USAF and DoD brass need to figure out that just because an aircraft type is old, doesn't means it's worthless. For proof, just look at the B-52 and KC-135 - some of those birds have been flying for over 50 years. The A-10 was built for a specific mission, it has proven it does it well, and if it really needs to be replaced, it shouldn't be replaced with a one-size-fits-all approach. I guess they forgot about the Bradley Fighting Vehicle debacle, as well?
preacher1
preacher1 3
Well, if it must be replaced, replace with something in kind. Build another plane around a cannon and see what you come up with. As I said earlier, give them and the mission to the Army. I bet they'd take 'em.
RichardSeemore
Richard Seemorer -1
This sounds like a disgruntled officer or boot who the brass never listened to.
pdezan
Paul De Zan 2
The USAF has wasted more money while producing less results than any government agency in all history. Of course they don't want the GS role: their entire rationale for their existence as a separate branch of the military is that they can win wars from the air...which they can't. Never have, never will.

At the same time they have insisted on and had codified into federal law a monopoly on land-based fixed-wing aircraft, which is why the Army got stuck with dangerous, vulnerable deathtrap helicopters instead of something brilliant like the A-10.

If I could be dictator for a day, one of the first things I'd do is reconstitute the ARMY Air Corps.
preacher1
preacher1 3
All other services are taking over their own support roles as self contained units. Give the A-10's and the CAS mission to the Army and let the USAF fend for themselves. When the cold war was over and SAC went away it lost a whole lot of importance.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Much as I think the A10 is perfect for its mission, I have to take exception to Paul's negative comments about helicopters (as an ex driver). The A10 gets down and dirty but not quite down and dirty as helos. We insert, extract, AND kill the enemy face to face. Would I like them covering me in a hot LZ? You bet!
pdezan
Paul De Zan 2
About 5500 US helicopters were destroyed during the Vietnam Conflict. That was the last time the US was up against well-supplied opposition over a long period of time. If it happens again helios will be swept from the skies like so many gnats.

But that's not really the point. The point is that USAF procurement objectives are about moving money to defense contractors, not about meeting real combat mission requirements. Any organization that can work so tirelessly to get rid of the A-10, the best troop support aircraft in the world, while claiming with a straight face that the F-35 will be the most formidable GS aircraft of all time is either taking bong hits or over-performing at being a professional liar. The troops on the ground are the ones who will pay for that.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
So how would you move/supply troops in and out of triple canopy mountainous jungle? The A10 in desert terrain can be the aggressor. In Nam it would not be able to find the enemy. Is a great plane and has no rival for its mission. But I notice helos also have an equal status in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
NF2G
David Stark 1
You forget the US Postal [Dis]Service and Amtrak. LOL.
fenclbogus
Ray Fencl 2
Real Easy - Transfer the Warthogs to Army Aviation. Army Aviation has more pilots than the Air Force anyway.
kd5byb
kd5byb 1
I'm all for that! :)
chrisrod1
I absolutely agree, but a quick review of the history of the US Army's Grumman 0V–1 Mohawk in Vietnam would be instructive here. The Army's initial use in Vietnam of Mohawks armed with rockets and 50 caliber machine guns was very effective in performing close air support for the troops. The Air Force had a cow and managed to wrangle a prohibition on arming of mohawks. Sometime after that, the commander of the 12th Aviation brigade rearmed his Mohawks and used them with deadly efficiency. It caused a huge uproar and again the disarming of the Mohawks. Bottom line, the US Air Force does not tolerate any competition for fixed wing CAS from the U.S. Army; they can't make that stick with the .Navy or Marine Corps. I respect the United States Air Force on most of their missions, but their politics on CAS are more than a little weasely.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Good to hear... Excellent planes, should be utilized more.
jamesr359
Rusty Mckay 1
If the Air force wants out of close air support, Give the A-10 to the Army.
blueashflyer
blueashflyer 1
"cleared in hot!"
FritzSteiner
Fritz Steiner 1
This magnificent warplane should never be withdrawn from service. The Air Force wants it gone because it doesn't fit the hotshot, fighter pilot image. In the Air Force pecking order the A-10 ranks just above barrage balloons and those who fly them are looked down on as a form of Untermensch.

I have long held that the A-10s and those who fly and maintain them should be transferred, lock, stock, and barrel to Army Aviation where they belong as an integral part of close air support for Army ground operations.
chalet
chalet 1
The A-10 was being pushed out of the inventory thanks to behind the schenes maneuvering of Lockeed as they want all the Pentagon money that they can grab, it does not matter that the F-22 and F-35 turned out to be awfully expensive sub-performance fighters.
KenClutter
Ken Clutter 1
It does the job it was designed to do in a theater that is perfect for the assigned mission. For once congress got it right.
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 1
Like congress had anything to do with specing it out... They paid the bill, but it wasn't them who designed it.
Detonate
Detonate 1
I worked with the A-10 community at Langley starting in 2002. We were planning to put an advanced digital radio system on the Hog. Of course the rest of Air Combat Command HQ considered that a waste, since the aircraft was being phased out. So much for that thinking.
augerin
Dave Mathes 1
I think the A-10 is one of the greatest air support platforms ever built and
if nothing else, just its presence instills quite a 'fear factor' to any ground force.
Long live the Warthog!

[This poster has been suspended.]

Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 2
What does this have to do with the A-10?
preacher1
preacher1 1
A comparison on CAS during 'Nam
wbnethery3
Bryan Nethery 1
I read "AF1" as "Air Force 1"... and agree with Bernie's question... what does Air Force 1's arsenal have to do with the A-10 or CAS?
preacher1
preacher1 1
I didn't comment on the other one about AF1. Bernie's question was originally not below that comment either. It's all out of sequence. His question was original under Wallace 24's.
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 1
No, not at all. My question is directed at zksuh, and I'm wondering, as Bryan surmised, how what may or may not be aboard Air Force One has anything at all to do with the topic at hand. I'm not sure why you ever saw it below Wallace's comment.
preacher1
preacher1 0
IDK either but that's where it was and the reaaon I responded. Thanks for clearing it up.

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