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Clark Griswold

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Clark Griswold last won the day on November 9

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About Clark Griswold

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  1. Clark Griswold

    What's wrong with the Air Force?

    Agree with your sentiment (incredulity that the AF does not view tactical operational leadership as "leadership" per se or a demonstration of ability that is indicative of future leadership potential, that it mistakes management of the day to day and admin of the AF more highly) and that yes men, shoe clerks, some other disparaging epithet, etc... are the impediment to change but in other news water is wet. We know what "the problem" is but it is the questions that arise from "knowing" that are important (IMHO): Is the problem cultural or procedural / structural? Both? If so, then what can be done? By whom? How do you convince an authority that could change / fix the "problem" that: a) the problem exists when the institution is basically functional (engine runs but sometimes backfires and belches smoke but it runs) and symptoms that would be recognized by someone not in the institution exist when it appears from the outside looking in that it works? Planes still fly, missiles are on alert, satellites are controlled, wrenches turn, gates guarded, etc... yeah, stories of cluster-foxes make the news occasionally but to the average citizen, reporter, congressman / staffer... the AF still works seemingly well. How do you transmit your insider perception to someone who could change things but has an outsider perspective? b) if you do get the traction to get the "problem" fixed, can the AF do it in a vacuum or do you need / have to get all the branches fixed? If the AF is changed in a way that is more operationally focused but very different than the way the other 3 branches matriculate their leadership (particularly the officer cadre) will that put the AF at a disadvantage in the arena of Joint Leadership? Will their be enough guys with enough staff experience and rank that the AF would have equal representation? c) if you get the authority to change, do we really know what to do? dog finally catches car and now wtf? We can all rattle off any number of immediate actions but I would guess that those would either be highly specific and limited to the little corner of the AF we are in or too vague to be implemented and have a desired effect institution wide. "Stop all the PC crap", "Focus on the mission", etc... are good ideas but what are they really? Start at the bottom or top? How do you change but are still ready for the call over the number of years it will take? That's a lot questions without a lot of answers / suggestions but the proponents of major change / reform (count me as one fwiw) need to say why we need to change, what we want to change to, how we are going to change and why going thru the pain / cost of changing is worth it. Until then, we're just going to be yelling into the void.
  2. Clark Griswold

    What's wrong with the Air Force?

    Then why did they become pilots? The AF never held a gun to my head to apply for pilot and pilot was not the only career choice selectable from my commissioning source (ROTC). If they are doing something that is highly sought after by cadets and requires much personal investment (enthusiasm, perseverance in the attainment of skill in it and professional focus) solely for future career possibilities are they really serving the AF with that choice or themselves? If the former, is it realistic to expect them to put 100% into mastering that operational skill and if the latter then how is that inline with the Core Values? Did the AF select someone that is personally committed to executing the majority of its operational responsibilities or pretended to so that they would be selected for something that would help them ostensibly in their career? Were they honest with the AF as to their intentions? Doesn't seem so based on your proposition they would be equally happy being in MX, Intel, etc... Excellent officers? Hmmm, don't think you can say that based on your explanation of your thoughts and some examination of them, just my two cents.
  3. Clark Griswold

    KC-46A Info

    Yup. The thing about the "tactical tanker" is that it is / probably would be the right amount of AR capability + strike support (Comm, EW, ISR, weapons truck, etc...) that a lot of Allies would want in one aircraft without the larger cost / footprint of a medium weight tanker. Enough AR to extend your punch but not so much for Global Reach (at least not without some leap frogging). Cheaper to train with and if you don't need the boom for your receivers it likely would way less technically complicated. How to pay for it is the 6.9 billion dollar question along with everything else...
  4. Clark Griswold

    KC-46A Info

    That's exactly what I thought also about significant use of commercial AR (status issues for crew, civilian vs. state aircraft issues, ownership of iron, logistics problems because of those factors, etc...). Ditto on contractors stateside and all military crew dawgs permanently in the sandbox fears. If this idea is percolating in the Building, I hope a tanker toad is at the table to make the case that CONUS based AR in training, exercises, business efforts, etc... is important as it builds experience prior to deployment, there is only so much that can be simulated and dealing with X factors in the air is how airmanship is made. On tanker capability I am with you on the need for a new strategic tanker or getting the 10 upgraded, somehow FedEx got theirs done. I am though starting to think we are using the past too much as a model for how we will operate in the future, what I mean by that is that the last 25 years have been over uncontested airspace with the very late "Grey Zone" AOR of Eastern Syria with Russian SAMs and Fighters capable of threatening but choosing not to. A spectrum of tanker capabilities with increasing ability to sense/defend against threats inverse to size is where we should be moving to IMHO. We sorta have that but are only meandering that way, it should be our procurement strategy for Air Refuelling for Mobility and Persistence. Strategic and Medium can be met with a 777 tanker or updated KC-10 and KC-46 (fixed) respectively. The new level needed IMHO is a tactical tanker, LO not required but Reduced Signature with self-defense & some EW with networked capabilities, lower off load required as it is designed to give strikers a last shot of gas just prior to ingress or a small shot on egress with the tanker itself having a relatively short on-station time. Basically the Israeli proposed Small Smart Tactical Tanker. Looking at a G600 I wonder if with a ton of money you could modify for lower signature with reshaped engine nacelles, delete the winglets, V-tail, recessed antennas, etc... and add hard points (2 wing, maybe 3 centerline), air to air radar with a new light weight boom. Wouldn't have to go deep into the WEZ sts but close enough or inside the A2AD area to be useful but not a liability as it would not need excessive DCA coverage.
  5. Clark Griswold

    KC-46A Info

    Copy all Not an advocate for privatized AR, not opposed to it, but believe it should be a small niche in the way we provide operational support. Curious, how much does the RAF rely on commercial AR? Didn't know they used it. No doubt the KC-330 is not perfect but given that it is operational now, that is a strong point for acquisition for the USAF IMHO. 777 tanker would be a better choice (assuming a conventional AR capability installation, no camera system but a boom pod) for a replacement strategic tanker but that's only vaporware so go with what is available now IMHO again. The 46 ain't perfect but it is what we will have, 34 on the ramp waiting to be fixed and delivered to the AF. But will it make sense to operate a mixed fleet of medium tankers when the 46 is minimally acceptable for ops?
  6. Clark Griswold

    KC-46A Info

    They made a helicopter to go with Frakentanker Buy an Airbus tanker for the strategic tanker if the 10 is to be retired, get some new tanker iron fast(er), light a fire under Big B to get their stuff in a sock. With no other competition for heavy military aircraft they've become complacent.
  7. Clark Griswold

    KC-46A Info

    Not as far as I know Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Clark Griswold

    KC-46A Info

    KC-45... not dead yet? https://247wallst.com/aerospace-defense/2018/12/05/lockheed-martin-airbus-team-up-to-supply-a-tanker-in-case-the-air-force-needs-one-that-works/ From the article: The immediate effect is to poke a finger in Boeing’s eye. The Chicago-based aircraft maker has had its struggles delivering the KC-46 on a contract to replace 179 KC-135 tankers, about half the existing fleet of 400 of the older tankers. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon indicated that it may be interested in more refueling capacity than the Boeing contract is set to deliver. Officials met with potential suppliers to discuss acquiring refueling capacity on a fee-for-service basis and that the military would need 7,000 hours of such services annually, according to a draft requirements document.
  9. Clark Griswold

    AF Light Air Support Aircraft

    Yup. Consider a 60 airplane buy, figuring acquisition per tail at $20 mil a tail for fly away cost, operation at $2,000 per hour (likely less but plan conservatively) and sustainment at $300k per tail in depot mx, logistics, training expendables and other costs (again very conservative). Program in 750 hours per tail per FY (fly it a lot) and that groks out to $90 mil in flight hour costs and $18 mil in sustainment costs, plus Murphy's Law costs (guess that at 15% extra) so that sums up to just over $124 mil. Spread the acquisition, FTU and other start up costs over 3 FYs and that's about $420 mil (add another 5% per tail when acquiring) Not chump change but affordable when you consider that if you replaced LAAR in CAPs for 4/5th Gens when you could (AOR permitting) - you come up with the money very to pay for it quickly because it is so much cheaper to fly than 4/5th Gens. At $40k per flight hour (figuring in tanker support) generically for 4/5th Gens, to get the $124 mil per FY to afford the LAAR you would need to replace about 3,100 flight hours from the 4/5th Gen fleets. But since you're not flying those fighters to do those missions, you don't need to fly those tankers so in reality its not even that many hours, split it between the fighter and the tanker and now you only need to cut 1,550 fighter and 1,550 tanker flight hours and you've found your money to pay for your new and very useful, affordable and relevant LAAR's per FY operational costs. What you would have to cut / reprogram to acquire in those 3 FYs assuming your rich uncle doesn't come thru with an unexpected windfall is the $420 mil question... likely you should retire your 5% of your oldest / brokest 4th Gens and that would likely pay for all if not most of it. Another cost saver would be to not send selectees for the LAAR program to IFF if they are not already graduates and train them in their mission fundamentals in the LAAR, frees up another slot for dudes selected for fighters. Just buy one AF... the math will work itself out, morale will improve and this will be one step towards getting your mojo back... *Posted in the naive hope someone who is important in the AF with enough authority and clout will read and realize we don't have to take an elephant rifle every time we go hunting.
  10. Clark Griswold

    The Next President is...

    On the subjects of Presidents, policy and humor: Bush 41, rest in peace sir and a job very well done.
  11. Clark Griswold

    AF Light Air Support Aircraft

    Copy all and resignedly agreed. Still rooting for that snowball in hell though...
  12. Clark Griswold

    AF Light Air Support Aircraft

    Agreed with all sentiments that the chance of LAAR actually happening is low and about a snowball’s chance in hell if ACC is the MAJCOM to make that call but is AFSOC still a realistic possibility to acquire a LAAR? Core functions are not technically still doctrine so could AFSOC just make a play for having another fires platform? Is there the appetite for this? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Clark Griswold

    AF Light Air Support Aircraft

    Unfortunately no but I wonder if this with the training / cooperation done with the Nigerian AF if this will influence / encourage the AF on whether or not to actually acquire our own LAAR and then if many of our allies / partners are flying A-29s, will that shut out the AT6? As the Scorpion is no longer in contention for this potential ACC led acquisition program, I am neutral-ish on the turboprop contenders but if it were up to me, I would select the AT6. LAE has finished with Dec being slated for RFPs and Sept 19 for selection. Low chance IMO but better than no chance one will be acquired. https://www.janes.com/article/82236/us-air-force-releases-timeline-for-light-attack-aircraft-procurement But it has some fans in Congress: https://www.airforcetimes.com/opinion/commentary/2018/09/09/commentary-the-us-air-force-needs-a-light-attack-aircraft/ Who the hell knows what they'll do, I was surprised when the Airbus tanker was first selected over the Boeing back 2008 and even though that lasted for about 10 seconds till Boeing protested and wrested it from Airbus it was / is an example of the AF doing the unexpected sometimes.
  14. Clark Griswold

    AF Light Air Support Aircraft

    A-29s made by SNC selected by Nigeria and approved for sale: http://alert5.com/2018/12/01/sierra-nevada-corp-given-contract-to-supply-12-a-29s-to-nigeria/ But we still don't have one after 12+ years of "studying" it...
  15. Clark Griswold

    What's wrong with the Air Force?

    Worth a read on what troubles the AF: https://warontherocks.com/2018/11/heed-the-grail-knight-can-the-air-force-choose-wisely/