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Clark Griswold

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Clark Griswold last won the day on March 29

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About Clark Griswold

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  1. More on the incident and a Google Earth shot of where it occurred: https://www.newsweek.com/mexican-soldiers-question-disarm-two-us-army-troops-apparent-confusion-about-1401939 Looks like rural / suburban area, where the river snakes and could be confusing, where oh I don't know a lighted 30' barrier would clearly mark the border and stop illegal crossing between both countries would be helpful....
  2. Apparently Mexico doesn’t have a problem with using its military without restrictive ROE on the border... https://www.theblaze.com/news/mexican-soldiers-detain-us-soldiers https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/04/19/politics/mexican-troops-american-soldiers-border/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theblaze.com%2Fnews%2Fmexican-soldiers-detain-us-soldiers Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. What the other side of the pond is thinking about: Airbus looking at a family of big wing ISR/C2/Patrol/VIP based on A320neo https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/news/en/2018/07/Airbus-evaluates-an-A320neo-multi-mission-version.html https://defpost.com/airbus-evaluates-military-multi-mission-version-a320neo-airliner-a320m3a/ Just grist for the mill, 320s are built now in Mobile so the made in the USA container is checked (parts from subs are another issue) but maybe Big B needs a loss to re-focus on not delivering new jets with FOD in them, little details like that... On whether or not to recapitalize or not with a large manned aircraft vs. going with a purely distributed networked system... from the original article: The Air Force must instead divide the RC-135 recapitalization into wartime and peacetime requirements and choose at least one new manned big-wing aircraft, just as it has in seeking a replacement for the Open Skies Treaty OC-135s and approving a replacement for the Constant Phoenix “nuke sniffer” WC-135s. But what should this peacetime airplane look like? IMHO, it's not an either or situation but rather both but then how much of each and then what are the new requirements for the current/projected operational environment that each will operate in? Distributed and networked systems are fine to add to existing manned/unmanned platforms (assuming no undue burden for joining them into a network) and bringing RPAs on-line for augmenting the delivery of C2 and theater level ISR with AMTI, GMTI, MMTI, ELINT, etc... however that new capability due to the advancement/miniaturization of sensors & links doesn't displace the need for a large, specialized ISR / C2 family of platforms, with them being manned IMHO being the best approach. New big wing manned platforms coupled with RPAs integrated into the ISR/C2 platform community will bring: - Room for growth in equipment and space for additional crew members if necessary for new sensors. - Always incorporate some or all of the PED process via their crews to make the intel they collect usable to the customer directly and timely. - Flexibility that unmanned systems will likely be unable to answer in the near term (next 10-15 years). Satellite footprints, link vulnerability to EA, airspace restrictions on unmanned systems, downlink spectrum access in host nations, logistical challenges for unmanned systems, etc... also, sometimes it is just easier to send a manned platform for a short time vs. the fairly involved process to get an RPA to a new op location. If you wanna maintain X CAPs for the next 15 years, set up RPAs; if you want to monitor yearly military exercises for 1-2 weeks then go home, deploy a manned platform. - Viable career community for the crews and specialists. With manned and unmanned, there's a larger place to develop well rounded leaders and experienced crews / specialists, they will likely spend a larger portion or the entire career in this community. All that said, there is a valid requirement for fielding operational systems that we know can not go into a A2AD environment, not all of the AF's missions are in those environments. We (the AF) have a tendency to get infatuated with some new technology or idea and then just go all in without being a bit cautious about departing from ways of business that have done well for us in the past and we should be prudent about abandoning. Dropping our large, manned platforms for ISR/C2 for as yet not operational way of performing this mission (distributed networked sensors) with no corollary operational experience from which to confidently infer should give us pause. A bit skeptical attitudes to radical changes, prudent feasible improvements and a realistic approach to requirements...
  4. 2 This photo sums that up perfectly: An ally flying a new modern tanker, refueling a new modern C2 platform over an AOR supporting combat ops now... while we put 500 million dollar radars in 40+ yr old 707s using old motors, just now getting a very basic flight deck update being refueled by 50+ yr old tankers... On fleet density vs larger fewer platforms... valid point. Keeping it real and trying to minimize risk, replace the E-3 with the E-7. Good enough to support American platforms in a Coalition, good enough for the USAF to fly now. Smaller platforms to replace JSTARS, G-650 based sounds fine. EA / ELINT G-650 also. RIVET / COBRA / OPEN SKIES / CONSTANT PHOENIX etc...probably needs to be a 767 based platform for range, size, power, space, etc..
  5. I don't think it is a matter of cutting but the best / least bad allocation of finite resources to cover all the missions / responsibilities assigned to the AF. Not sure if the author of the article is going to to follow up with his argument for another large manned aircraft with a discussion on what the requirements would be but from the cheap seats... - Range / Endurance: at least 4000 NM in mission configuration / 10 hours endurance unrefuelled - Open Mission Architecture / Sensor flexibility / Growth potential - Other capes (AR, Self-defense suite, etc..) Basically a 737 NG platform.
  6. From War on the Rocks: https://warontherocks.com/2019/04/air-force-manned-reconnaissance-at-a-crossroads/ From the article: The world today isn’t the Cold War world of yesterday, and Cold War requirements should not justify acquisition of new assets for tomorrow’s military needs. The RC-135’s innocence has long been compromised as it has evolved from its original peacetime role into a valuable combat asset, but both missions must be performed in the future. No single replacement solution can meet both of these disparate operational requirements. The U.S. Air Force must look beyond its obsession with warfighting to identify and procure a second manned big-wing peacetime replacement for the RC-135. Overall the article was pretty good but the last point (last sentence of the article) I thought made a particularly interesting point, I think obsession might not have been the right verb for the AF approach, prioritization on warfighting (major conflict preparation has to be number one but not necessarily one that takes up a disproportionate amount of resources from other missions, contingencies, etc..) but it made the point that not everything is peer v. peer with double digit SAMs and 4/5 gen fighters weapons free lobbing missiles at anything that flies, there's a range of military operations. Big Wing ISR/C2 may not fit into peer v. peer on Night 1 anymore but has a role to play in AF/Joint ops across the range. Recap would not be cheap but a new Iron Triangle based on a common platform (ideally) seems reasonable. Thoughts?
  7. Well there you go Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Concur Two engine fighters could provide some capabilities the F-5s, A-4s, etc.. might not be able to provide, the high fast flyer profile but if the customer wanted that they would have asked for it. Not sure if MiG-29s could deliver that repeatedly without causing over-taxing engine use (early overhauls, replacement, etc...), there might be some platforms divested from other AFs that would be supportable, F-4s maybe Mirages but cost would be crazy for a particular threat profile vs. a more generic one Cobham has some interesting platforms for delivering ADAIR, particularly the Falcon 20 based platforms with EW pods https://www.aerosociety.com/news/flying-for-the-dark-side/ Surprised the American providers haven't looked into this as it seems the most cost effective BVR threat replicator platform.
  9. Copy all - just a bit surprising to me (view of military aggressors) but understood it is not the program of the 70s / 80s, nor the same operational environment. Yeah, I see that point. The private contractors with the profit motive took a pass for a reason. War Zone had a good article on that idea, contractors & customers being very realistic about aggressor requirements and costs to get to their desired solution: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/25075/how-f-5s-beat-out-f-16s-for-the-navys-latest-commercial-aggressor-contract
  10. Yeah but using fanboy reasoning and disregarding logic we're going with second hand MiG-29s... #neverhappeningever NOTE - tedious rant to follow: To me as an outsider looking in (herbivore), the Aggressor mission could be/should be a good deal assignment to retain AD fighter types and retain in the military fighter types in specialized ARC units that want to move on but keep a military affiliation. I hear the AF's argument that the cost of organic Aggressors are too high and that contracted Red Air (mostly) is the future but in our sprawling budget, there has to be enough margin for a specialized fleet of aggressors to retain pilots on AD or the ARC, provide credible opponents and develop pilots in their operational skills. From this article: As we can all see it costs a shit ton to train a replacement pilot for almost any platform, in terms of money just on this graph and figure 3 years on average to get an AC, 2 ship flight lead, etc... in terms of time. Retention is key (duh). So we're throwing some money at the problem (good), now we need to add to that pull factor(s) and have good deal, only in the military opportunities that will retain talent. Just a guess but the possibility of flying exotic/foreign jets and employ them in tactical training would make me or an average fighter dude seriously consider staying in AD or rushing hard an ARC unit that had that mission. This tactic in the strategy to retain fighter pilots would not be cheap but neither is replacing them and keeping the ones you have and want to keep is lower risk as they are a known quantity and likely to be successful in this next assignment/role. Figure a fleet of 85 aggressor aircraft and crew at 3.0. Program 500 hours an FY per tail at 12k a flight hour with CLS based MX. Add 35% for other stuff my bar napkin math is missing (cadre tng, ranges, expendables, etc...) and the total bill comes to 688.5 million. But, if you factor in retaining the 225 pilots in the program and and say its 50/50 AD/ARC, you can also save X number of pilots on AD from separating by their interest and desire to fly unique iron. Depending on tour length, keep it 3.5 years, you rotate out 40 pilots every FY and you could line up up to 80 with 2 year planning. All that gonkulation comes up to 200+ fighter dudes retained on AD, which equates to about 1.95 billion (average fighter tng cost figured at 9.75 mil). That's a savings of about 1.26 billion if you retain your people all while further developing your cadre of experienced fighter pilots, profit. Just requires us to shed the traditional way of thinking how to do things and asking for relief from the machine not designed to work, the AF requirements, acquisition & contracting process. Good bonuses, golden apple programs to retain and perform needed tng, mission focused culture will help sustain the 11F force. On block 30 Vipers being the best aggressors: https://theaviationist.com/2015/03/26/f-16n-best-adversary/
  11. That’s one use Pick this one up too btw - it’s already restored and good to go: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/mig-29-for-sale-for-465-million-2019-1 Buy the Hungarian MiGs and the other one now you have 20. Just a WAG but figure 25 million to refurbish and modify for aggressor service with a common standard. Figure in another 10 million to overhaul the spare engines and buy whatever spares you can get. Probably about 10k an hour to fly and get CLS MX - golden apples to reach for... Poland would help us out (training, MX, logistics) as they are looking at divesting their 29s and want closer military ties with us. They’ve got 30 still in service, start flying them at the new base Ft Trump in Poland 🙂 and then set up shop in the CONUS. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. On the subject of ADAIR... https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/27320/marine-corps-f-5-aggressors-are-receiving-red-net-tactical-data-links and if you're in the market for some second hand MiG-29s with spare engines, Hungary can hook you up... http://alert5.com/2019/04/13/no-bidder-for-hungarys-mig-29s/ 19 jets with 20 spare motors for $10 million, bargain... as money grows on trees, this would be perfect for a specialized aggressor unit (Guard/Reserve ideally IMO). Update with the above mentioned red-net tac datalink, civilian avionics suite, other updates, etc... profit
  13. If only there was an aircraft designed to provide Attack, Observation and ISR in one airplane, ideally suited to combating VEOs in COIN & LIC, inexpensive to fly, low technical risk, easy to operate and capable of delivering a variety of effects (observation, strike, multi-int ISR) in one platform and on every mission.... This aircraft could even have an open architecture and be flown by CAF and SOF, customized for each. One might want several FMV sensors, A2A radar and the other a SAR and EO cross-cue capability, space and power for other systems in a compartment... The units equipped with this plane, could train almost exclusively for this mission set and get really good at it, allowing 4/5 gen equipped units to focus training mostly on high end fights, there could be cross-flow between these manned platforms and experience in operations across the spectrum could be gained... Sarcasm rant - Complete (P). Directed at the AF, not anyone on this thread.
  14. Not only robot wingmen but IMHO this loyal wingman RPA concept should be expanded but based on one common Air Vehicle with multiple ways to employ it, changeable in flight, rolling from human directed to AI directed as required: - Loyal wingman to a manned platform serving / defending that formation and under a flight member's control - AI directed platform as a singleton or in an unmanned formation - On mission directed by an airborne controller via multiple secure LOS links for minimized latency Keep the first generation realistic and affordable-ish: Good endurance but doesn't have to have the legs of a Global Hawk, 3 hours on station from a 500 mile launch or AR point. Decent missile capacity, 4 AIM-120s internal capacity, external stores capable when LO not needed any longer. Good radar and IRST, but less capable systems than the manned platforms is acceptable to keep costs under control. Open Mission Architecture
  15. This one time at Bomber Camp... https://www.bombercamp.org and the video...
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