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Yeah, the platforms are the bacon to be brought home by Congressman Porkulus and as our short cycle political system works on the premise of "What have you done for me lately?' vs. "Is this the right / best thing to do?" it will need to be considered when trying to keep the force relevant for the next fight(s). Just to get it done, do we need to request new / modified iron to get Congress interested as that will generate more spending that they can take credit for? If so, will that drive us to cheap(er) solutions but ones that we can change out relatively quickly if we find them wanting?
Divestiture of the Hog just brings out the emotions in the churn of what to buy, get rid of, change. I think it is (mistakenly) interpreted as the AF not caring about the 19 year old in a TIC, aviation/military reporters wanna feed that belief the AF is only concerned about fast jets, air to air and techno solutions to give certain segments of their readership the confirmation of what they believe and don't like about the AF.
Anyway, if money grew on trees I'd wanna see the A-10 units converted F-16s while in the background, the yet to be seen but discussed new 4+ gen fighter would also get an attack variant developed simultaneously. Noting too ambitious but one that widened the low speed envelope, expanded range/loiter, probably better EW suite, etc...
The biggest thing to preserve from the A-10 community is the CAS expertise. Believe me, when and F-16/F-35/A-10 pilot talk about CAS, its very different among the communities. The A-10 community is unique. Can it be preserved in a different airframe? I doubt it. Does it need to? I’m not sure. I’m all for dumping outdated warfare. I can tell you I’d rather show up to a MCO battlefield in an A-10 loaded with laser mavs than a F-35 in (laughable) beast mode. Maybe sone better weapons will help in the future.
Reports are that one of the dudes was engulfed in flames before he got caught up in the power lines. Pic seems to back up some sort of fire incident.
Prayers he pulls through alright.
I think your high/med/lo is a good concept. Kill the A-10, move the “CAS culture” to specific F-16 squadrons, as well as A-29/AT-6 squadrons. The A-10 is awesome, but it’s not sound to continue it (or the 15C for that matter) more than a few more years, given the current and future threats in the world.
Read the book Kill Chain - discusses how fucked our acquisitions process is and how our thought process is backwards from what it should be. One of the main premises is how we focus too much on platforms/making new versions of platforms instead of developing revolutionary new ideas and mindsets in how to face emerging problems. It’s very interesting.