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spotmaxdog

AC-130 AFSOC Questions

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Nice, but that was a Shadow. And they said it was because they were noncurrent on NVG landings so couldn't legally do it. Talons were first fixed-wing into Baghdad, plenty of video floating around to substantiate...

Don't hate CH, love.

Depending on your definition of 'combat zone' this is decidedly untrue.

I think the bigger consideration is that even if the Talons are doing some bad ass niche shit on days 1-10 of a conflict, for days 10-5000 (in the type of conflicts we're likely to be involved in over the next 20 years) they're just a glorified slick (and there's nothing wrong with the slick mission, just take issue with Talons fighting so desperately to differentiate themselves when they aren't doing anything special).

I will agree that the Talon is likely to be more exciting from a pure flying experience for a pilot. Mostly because there is more variety in the training profiles in comparison to turning circles for 4 hours (or 1.1 at Cannon). However, the gunship has a distinct edge in terms of being a rewarding mission.

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149496d1348292067-custom-wiring-looms-re

You'll all be J soon enough :beer: don't fight it, just let it happen.

However, the gunship has a distinct edge in terms of being a rewarding mission.

That's like your opinion dude.

Edited by B*D*A
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That's like your opinion dude.

No shit? You don't say.

Allow me to quote the original poster:

I'd like to hear some opinions from people that have been in AFSOC or have flown the AC.

Seems it's right on topic.

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No shit? You don't say.

Allow me to quote the original poster:

Seems it's right on topic.

Missing a Big Lebowski quote is grounds for banning in some forums...

Even if the quote isn't 100% correct.

Edited by Lord Ratner

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Depending on your definition of 'combat zone' this is decidedly untrue.

I think the bigger consideration is that even if the Talons are doing some bad ass niche shit on days 1-10 of a conflict, for days 10-5000 (in the type of conflicts we're likely to be involved in over the next 20 years) they're just a glorified slick (and there's nothing wrong with the slick mission, just take issue with Talons fighting so desperately to differentiate themselves when they aren't doing anything special).

I will agree that the Talon is likely to be more exciting from a pure flying experience for a pilot. Mostly because there is more variety in the training profiles in comparison to turning circles for 4 hours (or 1.1 at Cannon). However, the gunship has a distinct edge in terms of being a rewarding mission.

I couldn't agree more. Let us leave after day 10, very happy to oblige. Of course, in AFG right now (and also Iraq currently) no one else is doing IMC airdrops at night to the DZs that Talons are. Slicks, Js, C17s, no one. There is a difference in a Talon and everything else, and it isn't just hardware...

I disagree about the type of mission that we as a country will be involved in going forward. They likely will not be large scale operations like we are trying so desperately to extricate ourselves from now (rightly in my mind). They will be short-term, CT global-pursuit-type missions. Talons execute those missions extremely well, and crews train to that standard and with those specific users every day and night we fly. Gunships will certainly play an important role in those types of missions and with those users.

AC130s are awesome, and also fill an important niche mission, but the amount they shoot ratio compared to the amount they fly is pretty low. If the kid wants to fly AC130s, great - they need motivated and dedicated men to fill their ranks and I want him to pursue it. I personally would rather be flying to AMP-4 LZs a couple times every night with a couple very challenging airdrops a week when I deploy. Oh, and 100' threat penetration just came back yesterday, one more reason...

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I couldn't agree more. Let us leave after day 10, very happy to oblige. Of course, in AFG right now (and also Iraq currently) no one else is doing IMC airdrops at night to the DZs that Talons are. Slicks, Js, C17s, no one. There is a difference in a Talon and everything else, and it isn't just hardware...

I disagree about the type of mission that we as a country will be involved in going forward. They likely will not be large scale operations like we are trying so desperately to extricate ourselves from now (rightly in my mind). They will be short-term, CT global-pursuit-type missions. Talons execute those missions extremely well, and crews train to that standard and with those specific users every day and night we fly. Gunships will certainly play an important role in those types of missions and with those users.

AC130s are awesome, and also fill an important niche mission, but the amount they shoot ratio compared to the amount they fly is pretty low. If the kid wants to fly AC130s, great - they need motivated and dedicated men to fill their ranks and I want him to pursue it. I personally would rather be flying to AMP-4 LZs a couple times every night with a couple very challenging airdrops a week when I deploy. Oh, and 100' threat penetration just came back yesterday, one more reason...

Those are exactly the type missions I was referring to being likely to make up the bulk over the next 20 years, and the reason that the Talon hasn't been the first mobility asset in to every 'combat' zone over the last decade...not even a majority. It's too conspicuous, obviously affiliated with the U.S. military, and has too large a footprint. Although flying the Talon is viable as a route to the aircraft that actually have been the first in over the last decade.

And I don't disagree. For a pilot the MC is, in general, a more exciting profile (there are brief periods of exception to this). Preference between missions depends on whether you get more enjoyment from periodically flying a large aircraft on the margins of safety, or from having an operator come through the door of the squadron unannounced in his dress uniform to track down the crew that he credits with saving his life. Different strokes. They're both worth being proud of.

I have a hard time defending the AC without caveat as performance in the community has taken a real hit since Cannon came into the picture, but I do have to mention this based on your last post:

The value added by the AC-130 to the mission does not lie solely in its ability as a fires platform...not even close. It has capabilities apart from actually employing firepower that no other asset in the world has. If you removed its guns, it would still be in high demand. That's something that I've seen forgotten increasingly over the last decade by everyone involved...including the user, and sadly even within the community that operates it.

Ratio of missions flown to shoots is immaterial (for the gunners it can understandably be rough, but that's another subject). Some of the most memorable missions I've ever been a part of didn't involve any weapons employment and I know for a fact that had a Gunship not been there, no matter how many other type assets you had to replace it, friendlies would have died. Instead they didn't, and a round never left the aircraft.

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Would you like your Gatorade delivered from 100'?...1000'?...at night?...or during the day?...via penetration?....from an ensemble of six navs or three?...it's like a Denny's menu worth of sweet, tactical options. Purple drink available, anywhere, anytime!

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Those are exactly the type missions I was referring to being likely to make up the bulk over the next 20 years, and the reason that the Talon hasn't been the first mobility asset in to every 'combat' zone over the last decade...not even a majority. It's too conspicuous, obviously affiliated with the U.S. military, and has too large a footprint. Although flying the Talon is viable as a route to the aircraft that actually have been the first in over the last decade.

- Right, there are certainly less overt options that are inappropriate to discuss here, but in terms of attributable assets the Talon is still most likely first in.

And I don't disagree. For a pilot the MC is, in general, a more exciting profile (there are brief periods of exception to this). Preference between missions depends on whether you get more enjoyment from periodically flying a large aircraft on the margins of safety, or from having an operator come through the door of the squadron unannounced in his dress uniform to track down the crew that he credits with saving his life. Different strokes. They're both worth being proud of.

- Right, and this has happened in both communities. I also had a man's entire extended family write my crew a letter with his kids including a signed card in crayon for saving his life. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I'm guessing this is more common than you may think, including outside Talons/Gunships and AFSOC.

I have a hard time defending the AC without caveat as performance in the community has taken a real hit since Cannon came into the picture, but I do have to mention this based on your last post:

The value added by the AC-130 to the mission does not lie solely in its ability as a fires platform...not even close. It has capabilities apart from actually employing firepower that no other asset in the world has. If you removed its guns, it would still be in high demand. That's something that I've seen forgotten increasingly over the last decade by everyone involved...including the user, and sadly even within the community that operates it.

- Agreed, but then let's get it out there, counter to what you see on AFN and the AFSOC homepage that makes it look like 10 minutes after takeoff to 10 minutes before landing it is raining Armageddon on America's worst enemies, the AC130 is also a decent manned armed-ISR platform that often goes days and weeks without shooting anything but a boresight target. And it does this mission FAR more often then it does a fires mission.

- Along the same lines, the value added by a Talon is not necessarily in its TF radar or other specialized equipment either. More likely it is the crew's attitude and focus on mission execution, and creatively solving problems and making smart decisions to that end.

Ratio of missions flown to shoots is immaterial (for the gunners it can understandably be rough, but that's another subject). Some of the most memorable missions I've ever been a part of didn't involve any weapons employment and I know for a fact that had a Gunship not been there, no matter how many other type assets you had to replace it, friendlies would have died. Instead they didn't, and a round never left the aircraft.

- Got it, see above.

I didn't intend to hijack this thread, I do love the AC130 - and I am happy that it's there to lay it down when needed. I'm happy to discuss the T2 mission and why I love it via PM or the MC130 forum.

Edited by LJ Driver

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I was gone way more in AMC than I am now in AFSOC. I had 4 weeks between my 1st and 2nd deployment in AMC. In AFSOC deploying inside 1:1 dwell is not allowed without waiver and my squadron is moving towards 1:2 with hardly any flying TDYs while CONUS. Just make sure your wife isn't disillusioned by all those nice C-17 assignments to McChord or Charleston. You will perpetually live out of a suitcase.

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FWIW, I've never gone more than a week without shooting. Granted there can be dry spells and some boring missions but everyone has those days/nights. Bottom line check the scoreboard, there is always somebody that needs some killing in the world and gunships do it more than any other platform.

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FWIW, I've never gone more than a week without shooting. Granted there can be dry spells and some boring missions but everyone has those days/nights. Bottom line check the scoreboard, there is always somebody that needs some killing in the world and gunships do it more than any other platform.

You think gunships shoot more than MQ-9s?

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I said killing/body count not shooting, yes and I meant manned anyway.

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I have a hard time defending the AC without caveat as performance in the community has taken a real hit since Cannon came into the picture

Have you operated gunships out of both Hurby and Cannon, or otherwise what's the basis for that statement?

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Shameless plug ahead...

Take a hard look at U-28, you will not be displeased. I won't say other AFSOC aircraft are one-dimensional but the U-28 can change from day to day. Frustrating at times but always awesome in the end. There are several defined "mafias" and the U-28 is probably the least powerful but that's because folks fear it ( my opinion). There's a long history of single engine exploits in AFSOC and that's not likely to change anytime soon....until we go multi-engine, then it will just be that much more awesomer!

Cooter

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Missing a Big Lebowski quote is grounds for banning in some forums...

Even if the quote isn't 100% correct.

Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?!

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Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?!

Nice, but the quote should have been "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man..."

Mark it zero!

WalterSobchak.png

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Nice, but the quote should have been "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man..."

Mark it zero!

WalterSobchak.png

You said it man.

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Have you operated gunships out of both Hurby and Cannon, or otherwise what's the basis for that statement?

Yes. And instructed/evaluated at both. And aside from the subjective feeling that things have declined, I've seen the stats with respect to training washout rates and disqualification of recent IQT grads that were, subsequent to passing their checkrides, found incapable of performing the mission. Sadly, most of them made it to combat before their performance was deemed intolerable. That should never happen on a platform that routinely deals in life or death, but AFSOC doesn't put a priority on that fact anymore. It will eventually bite them, but until something goes horribly wrong, they don't seem to care. However, the question should have been did you fly gunships before and after Cannon came into the picture (also yes).

Although not to the same degree, the 4SOS has been impacted by Cannon as well. People know that once you're in the community the likelihood of ending up at Cannon at some point is high, and they're opting to take other assignments. Do not mistake this as selfish bitching about quality of life at Cannon; it is not.

You think gunships shoot more than MQ-9s?

There is a difference between wasting a guy while he walks to get mid-day tea with his cousin (whether he deserves it or not) and neutralizing the imminent threat of a guy who just launched an RPG from 100m and is in the process of getting the next round into the tube.

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Yes. And instructed/evaluated at both. And aside from the subjective feeling that things have declined, I've seen the stats with respect to training washout rates and disqualification of recent IQT grads that were, subsequent to passing their checkrides, found incapable of performing the mission. Sadly, most of them made it to combat before their performance was deemed intolerable. That should never happen on a platform that routinely deals in life or death, but AFSOC doesn't put a priority on that fact anymore. It will eventually bite them, but until something goes horribly wrong, they don't seem to care. However, the question should have been did you fly gunships before and after Cannon came into the picture (also yes).

Although not to the same degree, the 4SOS has been impacted by Cannon as well. People know that once you're in the community the likelihood of ending up at Cannon at some point is high, and they're opting to take other assignments. Do not mistake this as selfish bitching about quality of life at Cannon; it is not.

Fair enough. I only took part in the Cannon side of the community apart from a TDY or two to the promised land of HRT. In my experience, the standards were VERY high, many crew members (as you mentioned) either washed out of IQT/got Q3'd soon after/got quietly shuffled out of the community, and I didn't get any sense of an acceptance of lesser quality in comparison to the Florida days of yore. Still, my perspective is admittedly limited.

In regards to the broader topic of this thread, gunships will likely be at Cannon for a long time to come, but I believe those who operate them will continue to be well-trained and professional regardless. Also, for what it's worth, I deployed less often in the AC than I did in my previous non-AFSOC platform.

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Nice, but the quote should have been "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man..."

Mark it zero!

WalterSobchak.png

You are entering a world of pain.

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Thread necro but due to some insanity with AFPC and med group I got reassigned to AC-130 to Hurlburt! Crazy, huh? Guess dreams do come true sometimes.

Question about the pipeline, is the training at Little Rock abbreviated for the gunship (4 vs 6) and followed by some kind of weapons training? Is that held at your gaining base or is there a AC weapons school somewhere?

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I know the AC-130 schoolhouse is at Hurbie. Not sure on answers to the rest...

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Question about the pipeline, is the training at Little Rock abbreviated for the gunship (4 vs 6) and followed by some kind of weapons training? Is that held at your gaining base or is there a AC weapons school somewhere?

U model pilots go through an abbreviated syllabus at LR, then to Hurlburt where you'll do MQT with an entire crew of new guys, including new AC's, at the 19th. Afterwords you'll PCA to the 4th

For W, no clue...they aren't a real gunship, so they go somewhere else

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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