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A lot of this debate boils down to hardware. The dudes behind CSAR-X (-47) had a solid solution.  This paired with new technology (droids) actually offers realistic PR solutions.

Hanging our hat on the -60W doesn't offer a lot of dynamic capabilities similar to heavy lift options 

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To give them some credit, the Italian Army CSAR detachment actually had some pretty good organic capabilities (but not great range, since their attack helos can't AR).  

Did you see these capabilities or were they “advertised” as having them?

Be VERY skeptical when anyone outside the US offers a warfighting capability.

A lot is put on paper for show but you’d be shocked at what some call their ability to do CAS or CSAR vs the US standard.






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1 minute ago, di1630 said:

Be VERY skeptical when anyone outside the US offers a warfighting capability.

People are confusing fancy new aircraft with airmanship.  

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AFSOC is good at what it does operating in a low threat environment, but they’d be useless for CSAR in a near-peer war. ACs, MCs, Ospreys, U-28s, etc will all be a burning wreckage trying to get anywhere near an environment where fighters are being lost once the SAMs and AAMs start flying. AFSOC would ruin the RQS. A jack of all trades and master of none isn’t what you want trying to do a specialized mission. The reason our CSAR is so competent is because they don’t try and train to a plethora of mission sets, nor should they. The AF way of doing PR is much better than other branches, and the fact that training for the worst day of some dude’s life is their sole purpose is a major reason. Find one of the Navy exchanges and talk to them about the difference between the two. Also, look at some of the dumb shit the army has accomplished trying to recover people in Afghanistan. Everything from crashing their helicopters to unknowingly leaving individuals behind. AF CSAR hasn’t lost relevancy to people doing the job. The morons allocating funds who don’t see value in it because no one is currently dying or punching out is the issue. 

You too have been operating in the same low intensity conflicts the rest of us have. I’m not so convinced an HH-60 or HC-130 force would necessarily do any better. Probably the best thing you’ve got going for you is a natural integration framework to the rest of the CAF. AFSOC has a fair bit of diversity when it comes to operability and survivability in certain IADs...some more than others.

I’m not going to speak for the PJs, but I would be surprised if they didn’t have a decent home alongside the ST community. The -60s used to be AFSOC, and the command probably wouldn’t mind having them back. I’ll concede that once SOF gets their hands on it, tastings go up, but Pedro seems to have a pretty solid identity built on CSAR. As far as the -130s, AFSOC needs more lift. MC demand is far above what can be supported, and on top of that, it gets tapped to pull PR coverage anyways.

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3 hours ago, busdriver said:

When you only pay for partial coverage, but commit to covering everything, then there isn't enough peanut butter to spread around.

As long as those power point generated circles with shaded filler cover the whole of the map, the people in charge don’t care what reality is.

 

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5 minutes ago, Lawman said:

As long as those power point generated circles with shaded filler cover the whole of the map, the people in charge don’t care what reality is.

Prior to BLADE 11 there was a circle covering Raqqa too. We see how well the T+180 timeline worked out for them and they were still fighting over BOG numbers in 2017 two years after.  When I was in Iraq we actually had people from the CAOC questioning our need to XSAR because of the cost/effort of having us and an HC airborne. Meanwhile a 8+ hour XCAS for a B-1 is approved without second thought.  The fact that it took almost five months to get dedicated PR assets based in-country to provide less than a 2+30 response time is laughable.  Nobody cares about PR until they need PR.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Breckey said:

Prior to BLADE 11 there was a circle covering Raqqa too. We see how well the T+180 timeline worked out for them and they were still fighting over BOG numbers in 2017 two years after.  When I was in Iraq we actually had people from the CAOC questioning our need to XSAR because of the cost/effort of having us and an HC airborne. Meanwhile a 8+ hour XCAS for a B-1 is approved without second thought.  The fact that it took almost five months to get dedicated PR assets based in-country to provide less than a 2+30 response time is laughable.  Nobody cares about PR until they need PR.

We had some missions where the plan was if an aircraft went down to spur ride people out of the recognized crash site and stash them somewhere/anywhere because fuel wasn’t available to fly them to a friendly location.

This was next door to the big 60G footprint in country because we were basically told if any crap goes down, you are on your own, we have ACC missions to support over on this part of the map. 

I could get a B-52 to directly support our mission as a dedicated asset, but I couldn’t get PR. Between that kind of crap and seeing what the Italians did during 2 real live PR situations up north, nobody in our task force had any real faith in that side of the mission anymore. 

Edited by Lawman
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16 minutes ago, Lawman said:

This was next door to the big 60G footprint in country because we were basically told if any crap goes down, you are on your own, we have ACC missions to support over on this part of the map. 

Your concern is the land component didn't plan/resource for it's needs and then complain that the air component didn't plan/resource to cover the entire joint force? 

My point was that there are a ton of RFFs for PR forces, and everyone (including the joint staff) is happy to have the AF fill them, but we aren't resourced to be the joint community's CSAR assets.  When we're filling everyone's requirements, we're not maintaining proficiency at contested CSAR, and we're stuck doing other things when the balloon goes up.  Which is what happened in Iraq.

Joint doctrine makes it every service/component's responsibility to provide for their own PR needs.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, busdriver said:

Your concern is the land component didn't plan/resource for it's needs and then complain that the air component didn't plan/resource to cover the entire joint force? 

My point was that there are a ton of RFFs for PR forces, and everyone (including the joint staff) is happy to have the AF fill them, but we aren't resourced to be the joint community's CSAR assets.  When we're filling everyone's requirements, we're not maintaining proficiency at contested CSAR, and we're stuck doing other things when the balloon goes up.  Which is what happened in Iraq.

Joint doctrine makes it every service/component's responsibility to provide for their own PR needs.

There is no land component beyond portions of the map in a linear battlefield. Which is what Iraq was in 16-17. Again, my comment as to referencing spins. There were plenty of sections of the map where coverage doesn’t or can’t be readily made available, but we were will within the advertised circle of “we got this,” and were being flat told operating out there that if the call went out, the first asset to respond was gonna be an Army element 100 miles further East, because the guys who actually do this job couldn’t be bothered with the idea of supporting a named mission for those dirty Army people. 

Yes, having an entire portion of the Air Force advertise its self as “dedicated theatre PR” only to have the same said element tell the rest of the joint fight operating across those lines on a map to go F themselves when actually asked by the rest of the joint forces is unacceptable. If you are going to pretend to be anybody but the ACCs asset, then you damn well better be willing to accept all comers. 

Edited by Lawman

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On 5/18/2019 at 4:11 PM, Breckey said:

AFSOC want the airframes and funding, not the mission. The relatively small number of traditional PR events in GWOT and the ending of CASEVAC have hindered  the ability for CSAR to fight for itself. Everybody was all about it after BLADE 11 but since then that enthusiasm has dropped off the cliff. Also I feel the realization that the A2AD environment in any future conflict will severely limit the ability to get Jack back using conventional forces is starting to take hold.

But there's gotta be some leveraging of the stealth rotor-wing capability that is sorta openly known.

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what the Italians did during 2 real live PR situations up north, nobody in our task force had any real faith in that side of the mission anymore. 

Any chance for some unclass insight into this?


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1 hour ago, Lawman said:

Stuff. 

I'm not pretending anything.  In that theater, AF CSAR is 100% responsible to the CFACC, and weren't their to cover western Iraq.

Moving assets to support a CFLCC mission lengthens response time elsewhere, the decision to do so, or not rests with the owning component.  You're barking up the wrong tree.

I realize that things look stupid and byzantine when the closest guys aren't the primary responders.  We all don't work for the same Bobs, and "the joint fight" isn't as joint as the shiny brochure would have everyone believe.

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On the flip side we had an Apache PL in Afghanistan that we were trying to launch on.  We would have been on scene within 45 minutes, instead the Army retained primacy and waited 4+ hours to send a 47 with a MX team on board to fix the aircraft so they could fly it home.  Two guys were on the ground in indian country for 5 times longer than they needed to be because the Army wanted to keep it in their lane and not declare it a PR event. Joint looks good on paper and for night one scenarios. Low intensity burns reinforce the service-squabbles.

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9 hours ago, di1630 said:


Any chance for some unclass insight into this?


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Not much. Let’s just say the ground force commander out there was justified in his decision to apportion an Air Reaction Force and the required owned assets. Had that not been there to flex I’m sure a lot of people’s attention would have been gotten.

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7 minutes ago, Breckey said:

On the flip side we had an Apache PL in Afghanistan that we were trying to launch on.  We would have been on scene within 45 minutes, instead the Army retained primacy and waited 4+ hours to send a 47 with a MX team on board to fix the aircraft so they could fly it home.  Two guys were on the ground in indian country for 5 times longer than they needed to be because the Army wanted to keep it in their lane and not declare it a PR event. Joint looks good on paper and for night one scenarios. Low intensity burns reinforce the service-squabbles.

I’ve personally seen this exact situation 3 times...unfuckingbelievable.

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This event had a bunch of lessons learned as well. Suffice to say that primacy is still a thing and even if CFACC assets launch on a sortie the component commands will still get butt hurt. Bottom line: Jack was recovered and it is an academic and staff exercise at this point instead of people in cages.

 

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From the cheap seats, if I ever go down, please come get me ASAFP! I don’t care if you’re AF, Army, Italian, or Bernie Sanders. I’ll be the guy curled up in the fetal position weeping softly.

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13 hours ago, Danger41 said:

From the cheap seats, if I ever go down, please come get me ASAFP! I don’t care if you’re AF, Army, Italian, or Bernie Sanders. I’ll be the guy curled up in the fetal position weeping softly.

Eagle guy?

NTTAWWT...

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