Copyright John T. Reed 2015
I just read an excellent article in the 1/26/15 issue of the Weekly Standard. It’s about the A-10 Thunderbolt ground-support jet. www.weeklystandard.com/articles/warthog-lives_823820.html
God bless the A-10. The Army loves it. Unfortunately the Air Force hates it, but only because they are a bunch of overaged teenage boys who want to be Tom Cruise (who actually played a Navy pilot in Top Gun—Navy and Marine air have the same problem as the air force. They want to fly glamorous fighter planes, period.)
I learned in the article that there is something called the Key West Agreement of 1947. It gave the Air Force a monopoly on fixed-wing aircraft (non-helicopters). Screw the Key West Agreement. I am adding this to the possible plot lines of my Unelected President novel. But I am almost finished that and may not be able to work it in.
I also heard from West Point classmates that the Air Force does not have enough troop-carrying planes, because they are too cool to fly such things. They do fly them, but the Air Force as a group doesn’t like them. And the end result of their resisting missions like ground support, delivering paratroopers to the drop zone, and ferrying Army and Marine equipment and troops is not enough planes and Air Force personnel to do those jobs adequately.
The A-10 is called the Warthog because it’s too ugly and too slow for the Tom Cruise wannabes in the Air Force/Navy//Marines. http://en.wikipedia.org/…/Fairchild_Republic_A-10_Thunderbo… It is one of the most successful military air craft ever for the U.S.
One way the Air Force tried to get rid of them was by giving them all to the National Guard. But the result have been to cause the National Guard to fly many missions in them in Bosnia and all recent conflicts up to the present.
Army and Marine units often request the A-10 by name rather than describe the target and ask for whatever air support the Air Force wants to send them. Just describing the target and letting the Air Force pick the equipment is normal with both air support and artillery. The fact that the Amy and Marines specifically request the A-10 means they do not trust the Air Force to send the best plane for the job—in combat! This is an astonishing fact.
I have accused Bo Bergdahl of treason. The A-10 story, and others, is literally the Air Force’s penchant for cool toys going so far as to prioritize their cool toys above the national defense and that is arguably treason or dereliction of duty.
Give the ground support and troop and equipment transport aircraft back to the Army Air Corps, phase out the piloted fighter planes, and let the Air Force handle mid-air refueling. Tell the fighter pilots to get out of the military and join NASCAR or some other organization that will let them be glamor boys and not have that quest interfered with by annoying side issues like defending the nation.
I am not interested in one damned post about the Air Force being great, patriotic guys who have done great things in combat. Everybody knows that. This post is about the Air Force demanding in 1947 to be in charge of all fixed wing then refusing to fully support the acquisition of equipment and personnel to carry out the ground support, airborne, and transport missions after they got that monopoly. They lied when they said they wanted those missions. They were just protecting and maximizing bureaucratic turf for selfish, interservice-rivalry reasons. Give the job back to the Army guys who say they want to do and who will actually do it.
John T. Reed