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  1. This thread is in response to all the healthy discussion on an unrelated thread not about the RQ-4, so now there is a thread just for the GH. Hopefully this will help my community fight two battles, the battle to be embraced by big Air Force so we can showcase our capability and the battle to address concerns that we have no capability at all, aka U2 vs RQ-4. So, we would love to integrate in a more meaningful way at Red Flag and tap into our Intel Patch's talent...As it was explained to me, the billet for an organic intel officer was established within the last year. I assume there is an Patch wearer on base but there isn't one in our squadron after former SQ/CC left. I'm relatively new to the squadron so I don't have all the info, and hopefully some other guys will jump in and provide it. What I do recognize is we have NOT demonstrated a commanding capability that cannot be ignored by Nellis...and hence we have been ignored. Maybe we need to work on ourselves before we fight at the big kids table, or maybe we get some more support and we all get better together. #thedream As far as the U2 goes, how do you have an ISR capability fight that is unclass... As a start though, sensor parity seems an inevitable certainty from the simple fact that there is no physical/electrical/aero reason it can't be. Northrup Grumman is going to do the leg work to make it happen, they have a vested interest to do so. There isn't parity now, which is why we keep the U2. Good, our Intel is better because of it, but someday we will have parity and arguing about when that day will be here is boring. My guess is 3 years cause that is what I read on CNN. As far as old fashioned pilotage exploiting U2 capability...you are right, I am not aware of what you are talking about. But I will clarify that every 11X in the Air Force is part pilot part mission manager, your Qual check proves you can pilot, your MSN check proves you can manage. In the RQ-4 you can pass your qual check if on your engine out EP you don't touch anything and just make the appropriate radio calls (phone calls if MCE only ;) Hence a Global Hawk pilot is really a mission manager and not a pilot in my framework...it is semantics. Someday an 18X or even perhaps a Enlisted pilot will use good ol'fashioned mission management skills to exploit superior HAISR capability to that of U2, if only because they can do it at a desk and not in a space suit worrying about stall speeds and that SA-2. List of current shortfalls...cough...quibbling Sensor Parity, Dynamic Inflight routing w/ weather radar (significant software update and minor hardware), reliance on GPS/Satellites I'm tired so if someone else wants to join in we can talk about enlisted pilots too. And I haven't even mentioned all the things that make the GH superior to the U2 so hopefully this thread gets some discussion going.
  2. 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?
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