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Air Force secretary says she needs more airmen; America should listen

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Old September 5th, 2016, 04:37 PM   #1
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Air Force secretary says she needs more airmen; America should listen

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articl...-should-listen


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Our Air Force is now the smallest it has been since before World War II. In terms of manpower, it is smaller than at any time since it was made into a separate and independent service in 1947.
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In the summer of 1990 I was a brand new squadron commander at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. I could never have imagined that during one of my initial staff meetings with my new wing commander boss, he briefed that we were going to war! During Operation Desert Shield, the Air Force had 188 fighter squadrons. Today, we have 54. In 1990, we had 511,000 active-duty airmen. Today, we have just over 317,000. We have 3,000 fewer aircraft and 4,000 fewer maintainers. As these numbers went down, the operations tempo went up.
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It is now expected the Air Force will be short 700 fighter pilots by the end of 2016 and the number is expected to increase to a thousand in just a few years. Simultaneously the Air Force is 4,000 maintainers short.
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Our competitors are not asleep. They are closing the gap in space, cyber, and in strategic deterrence. They are fielding advanced air defenses & their own advanced aircraft.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:01 PM   #2
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Yep, the good old perpetual war machine needs feeding.

This country got along just fine without a Military-Industrial complex or a standing army until the end of WWII. (Indeed, the founding fathers warned us about one) We won every war and in between the nation's wealth grew.

After WWII we ignored Eisenhower's repeat of the Founder's warning. We've been at war ever since we've never won any of them.(We never will. That's not the goal) The nation's wealth has slowly been poured down a rat hole. But we sure have a lot of nice toys - unless they get "too old".

The A-10 works just fine but the Air Force wants to retire them - 'cause the F-35 is just too cool don't you know.

Oh yeah, we "need" a new pistol also.

What a racket.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:14 PM   #3
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I've always been an advocate of "Peace through superior firepower". You do NOT make a great wine by allowing your grapes to wither on the vine.

While I will allow that our politicians have done a crappy job of utilizing this great resource, we must maintain & improve it in perpetuity. If we do not weild the biggest stick, someone else will.

God bless our troops, they deserve the BEST tools and training we can give them.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #4
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I thought there was going to be a joke about seamen in here.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:34 PM   #5
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I've always been an advocate of "Peace through superior firepower".
Except that it has never happened like that. Nice feel good saying though.
The truthful way of saying that is: "A standoff through an arms race". I grew up in Houston during that "mine is bigger than yours" era.
Neighbors had bomb shelters and us kids were cynically taught to duck and cover under our desks. What sickness. But hey, the military had nice toys.

As for the necessity of maintaining the "Big Stick", the British tried that before us. Their Navy was the finest in the world for a century. By pouring their national wealth into keeping the sea lanes open they allowed other countries such as America conduct trade for free, so to speak. Britain lost. It's America's turn. To bad humans can't learn from others mistakes.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Flyboy56 View Post
Except that it has never happened like that.

Nice feel good saying though.
Um, Cold War?

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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:49 PM   #7
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Perhaps the "logic" is that less airmen will need fewer airplanes.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:52 PM   #8
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I will never understand why they kicked out so many great Airmen over the past few years and now suddenly say they need them back. I wish I had the numbers on hand... but it was only what, 2 years ago? They forced out thousands.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 06:01 PM   #9
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I will never understand why they kicked out so many great Airmen over the past few years and now suddenly say they need them back. I wish I had the numbers on hand... but it was only what, 2 years ago? They forced out thousands.
EXACTLY! That's the point. It's not about readiness. It's not about need. It's not about protecting the country. It's about perpetuation of the machine.

I live in South Texas - an area that is T.H.E. pilot training mecca. I'm an Instrument Instructor Pilot. Friends are sim instructors at NAS Corpus and Kingsville. The Air Force version is just up the road in San Antonio and Del Rio.

The program is this: More bodies. Nobody makes any money with a cadre of permanent professional pilots*. WE NEED SOMEONE TO TRAIN. That's what pays the bills so to speak. Get rid of the already trained and get some new ones. Just like equipment. The Ma Deuce is too old. We need a new .30mm Chain Gun for our Humvee replacements. Humvee replacements? Yep,look it up.

* this is why when the 1st Gulf War started the first ones to go were the Air Guard units. The weekend warriors are the old competent guys. Go back and look at the average age in the photos.


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Old September 5th, 2016, 06:07 PM   #10
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Maybe folks have caught on and don't want to go fight a war we don't intend to win. Anyway, they can always slow the economy down so civilian jobs are scarcer. That worked last time.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 06:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Flyboy56 View Post
EXACTLY! That's the point. It's not about readiness. It's not about need. It's not about protecting the country. It's about perpetuation of the machine.

The program is this: More bodies. Nobody makes any money with a cadre of permanent professional pilots. WE NEED SOMEONE TO TRAIN. That's what pays the bills so to speak. Get rid of the already trained and get some new ones. Just like equipment. The Ma Deuce is too old. We need a new .30mm Chain Gun for our Humvee replacements. Humvee replacements? Yep,look it up.
The M2 Is 80 years old. The Humvee is over 30 years old. The B-52, which I used to work while on active duty, is 70 years old. Those are 3 primary platforms that have been in heavy usage since their inception.

Attrition is a fact of life in the military. Young, able bodied men are the lifeblood of any military. Ours is the best, with the highest standards. Unfortunately, due to the high ops tempo & crappy civilian leadership, the "machine" is wearing out.

The military industrial complex exists because it must, if we are to maintain a global presence. Unfortunately, we've allowed corrupt politicians to enrich themselves through this mechanism.

It still does not counter the fact that we must continue to innovate, improve, and give our kids the best of everything with which to accomplish the mission.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 06:49 PM   #12
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The M2 Is 80 years old. The Humvee is over 30 years old. The B-52, which I used to work while on active duty, is 70 years old. Those are 3 primary platforms that have been in heavy usage since their inception.
Then build new ones. The M2 is still the finest heavy machine gun ever made. BUILD NEW ONES. But nooooo, we need a super duper newfangled one that is a piece of crap.

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The military industrial complex exists because it must, if we are to maintain a global presence.
And just why do we need "a global presence"?
Because it pays well - that's why.

But hey, The U.S. is driving force in technological innovation. Just look at the progress we've made in the area of prosthetic limbs.
Absolutely shameful.

Anyway, enough of this for me. I'm off to watch the Hunger Games with my daughter. Now that I think about it, Isn't that an interesting commentary.

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Old September 5th, 2016, 06:51 PM   #13
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Air Force secretary says she needs more airmen; America should listen
i don't think she could handle more men

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 05:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Flyboy56 View Post
Then build new ones. The M2 is still the finest heavy machine gun ever made. BUILD NEW ONES. But nooooo, we need a super duper newfangled one that is a piece of crap.

And just why do we need "a global presence"?
Because it pays well - that's why.

But hey, The U.S. is driving force in technological innovation. Just look at the progress we've made in the area of prosthetic limbs.
Absolutely shameful.

Anyway, enough of this for me. I'm off to watch the Hunger Games with my daughter. Now that I think about it, Isn't that an interesting commentary.
2 reasons why we need a global presence: Russia and China. World War 2 best explains why your shortsighted thinking's wrong.

FN's still making the M2 and the B52 will be nearly 100 years old before they replace it. I think we're getting our money's worth.

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 06:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Flyboy56 View Post
Yep, the good old perpetual war machine needs feeding.

This country got along just fine without a Military-Industrial complex or a standing army until the end of WWII. (Indeed, the founding fathers warned us about one) We won every war and in between the nation's wealth grew.

After WWII we ignored Eisenhower's repeat of the Founder's warning. We've been at war ever since we've never won any of them.(We never will. That's not the goal) The nation's wealth has slowly been poured down a rat hole. But we sure have a lot of nice toys - unless they get "too old".

The A-10 works just fine but the Air Force wants to retire them - 'cause the F-35 is just too cool don't you know.

Oh yeah, we "need" a new pistol also.

What a racket.

Interesting concerns, many friends and family hold them also.

Just my observation but the period of the 'military industrial complex', overly complicated systems, change for change's sake and social engineering began after WWII, when our politicians decided they could run a war more efficiently than our military. We haven't won one since. They are getting longer and longer with no resolution. We had to 'hire' increasing numbers of military to work around increasing political inefficiency.

Sometimes you just have to kick in the door and toss in a hand grenade.
But............
Picking up little dead bodies for 10-20 years garners more votes for empty campaign promisers.

Vent your frustrations where they will do the most good.

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