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4 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

Agree to disagree...having led a 13 person crew in combat, when it is working properly the crew construct can accomplish FAR more especially in a dynamic and often confusing situation.  On more than one occasion I've seen a non-verbals completely change an engagement.  I've also seen having another set of eyes and ears stop a potentially very bad situation from happening. 

And how often do things become unraveled when just one or more of your 13 crew members are well below average? 

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Honestly I don’t even know why you guys take the time to discuss this. We’re not any closer to fielding a new airframe than we were 10 years and 1400 posts ago. The Air Force will never make the

Not a CSO, but this worked for me  

Hopefully one that's rigged to explode mid-flight

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4 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

On more than one occasion I've seen a non-verbals completely change an engagement.  I've also seen having another set of eyes and ears stop a potentially very bad situation from happening. 

I can't agree with this comment more.  ~1900 hours flying the U28 from the day tail 419 showed up on the ramp as a CSO (my service component at the time didn't make a difference), the close quarters of the crew coupled with the limited capes we had (compared to the latest variant of the bird), internal verbal and non-verbal comms were a daily part of life and vastly improved our on station performance.  Myself and a good "nerd" were always in constant non-verbal comms when we were on the hunt.  Very effective. 

I've also seen and worked with multi-single seat players that could make stuff happen in our unique use cases  (both in my time flying Navy and in the Hurby unit).  The argument cuts both ways, there is no one answer. 

Cheers

ATIS

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16 minutes ago, Sprkt69 said:

And how often do things become unraveled when just one or more of your 13 crew members are well below average? 

Not very often as the collective takes up the slack...it truly depends on the crew position.  One bad gunner and you likely won't notice as the lead gun while "deal with it."   The real issue is having a bad Aircraft Commander or one who is a weak leader.   On numerous occasions I've seen that second set of eyes make the difference in a key engagement, case in point I remember one engagement when the crew was focused on shooting two assholes who fire at our folks and were attempting to flee...they were running in a series of ditches along a wall, the other sensor just happened to be scanning from a wider angle and noticed a much bigger group attempting to sneak up on our ground forces.   On another occasion we were finishing off a group that had just conducted an attack, I came of the HUD to reposition the aircraft due to high winds and noticed a vehicle hauling ass a good kilometer from the current fight and well outside the view of the sensors, we finished our engagement and went after the vehicle, turned out to be a big HVI.

I am not trying to say one community is better than the other, just from a workload perspective I think a crew has more options and brain bytes in very complex fight.

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And how often do things become unraveled when just one or more of your 13 crew members are well below average? 


While I don't have nearly the experience of CH, the times I've seen the situation you describe has not been as detrimental as you might think. Yes, there are definitely times when one person can suck enough to pull the entire crew's SA down, but more often than not other strong crewmembers can pick up the slack until everyone is back on track.

In the case of someone really being terrible enough to be detrimental to the entire crew, it's about the same as a single-seat aircraft being operated by a crew member who is well below average.

there is no one answer. 


THIS


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there is no one answer.

Shack.  Everyone has their role, and the mission sets they're awesome at, the mission sets they're average at, and the mission sets they're horrible at/cannot do period dot.  It is naive to blanket statement say single seat is better than crew or vice versa.  I've seen many crew aircraft obliterate the enemy and pretty much nail it, I've also seen crew aircraft fuck the dog so hard I was embarrassed for them.  The exact same thing can be said for every F-XX community out there.  We're all on the same team with the same end goals - use your strengths, admit your weaknesses, and leverage other's capabilities every chance you get.  In the end, a lot comes down to the bros executing and many times a lack of equipment capability/"ideal" crew composition is overcome by superb skill, and other times no amount of awesome technology/"ideal" crew composition can save the below average dipshits from failing.

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14 hours ago, Seriously said:

If sensor fusion and some background automation/integration can take the place of a 2nd crew member, I would take that every day of the week over having 2 guys talking back and forth. Humans are an inherently weak link. Communication and decision making speed up tremendously when one person is processing the information. 

I couldn't say better than everything CH has said above.  I will add, however, that sensor fusion and background automation/integration are extremely expensive.  In fact, all those little assists can add up to the tens of millions, negating the purpose of a low cost solution.  Single seat may reign supreme in a fast-paced duel where agility and laser focused SA are king, but in the dirty light CAS/counterinsurgency slugfest, a crew makes complete sense.  Especially true when you account for international partners.

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On 12/29/2016 at 4:53 PM, ClearedHot said:

nsplayr did a good job of articulating the benefits...the key one being workload.

The second major advantage was a selling point for other versions of light attack and that was the ability to fly with a host nation aircrew member.  If you go back and read our doctrine it actually says we don't want to be in all these small fights, we want to build partner capacity to fight the small fights in their own back yard before the turn into something more serious that requires our participation.  The "reattack" on lite attack in the mid to late 2000's was based on the construct that we would fly the aircraft to country X, spend a period of time training them to fly and employ the aircraft, then our folks would fly home commercial and leave the aircraft for country X to fight with.

Another huge benefit not related to one or two seats is cost to operate.  The A-10, F-16/15E, B-1/52 and Gunships are all great airplanes but they are expensive to operate.  Scorpion and other versions offer 80% capability at 1/4 the cost.

Question for you CH referencing your comment on Building Partner Capacity, do you think some of our current partners/allies can handle what we would likely help them buy?  A-29s, AT-6, Scorpion Jets, etc...

Do we need to build/design a LAAR for them that we would probably find not meeting our requirements for Light Attack / ISR but for them meets their requirements / abilities?

Are they going to spend the money to train & maintain that equipment and skill set?  Are they going to buy the PGMs as they are not cheap per copy?

Not asking for any specifics (philosophical question really) but to you and the contributors on this thread, are or should we encourage these partner nations to deliver airpower in this mission as we do or should we look for something less capable but more affordable/easier to sustain & employ?

I doubt that these militaries will be / are as concerned about CDE / ROE, do they need the same precision strike capability with high end ISR?

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2 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Question for you CH referencing your comment on Building Partner Capacity, do you think some of our current partners/allies can handle what we would likely help them buy?  A-29s, AT-6, Scorpion Jets, etc...

Do we need to build/design a LAAR for them that we would probably find not meeting our requirements for Light Attack / ISR but for them meets their requirements / abilities?

Are they going to spend the money to train & maintain that equipment and skill set?  Are they going to buy the PGMs as they are not cheap per copy?

Not asking for any specifics (philosophical question really) but to you and the contributors on this thread, are or should we encourage these partner nations to deliver airpower in this mission as we do or should we look for something less capable but more affordable/easier to sustain & employ?

I doubt that these militaries will be / are as concerned about CDE / ROE, do they need the same precision strike capability with high end ISR?

Relevant note is that the 81 FS will be training the Lebanese on their US made A-29s.

Moody could become Tucson ala an international b-course.

http://www.acc.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/5725/Article/1025070/moody-selected-to-host-lebanese-a-29-training.aspx

 

 

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5 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Question for you CH referencing your comment on Building Partner Capacity, do you think some of our current partners/allies can handle what we would likely help them buy?  A-29s, AT-6, Scorpion Jets, etc...

Do we need to build/design a LAAR for them that we would probably find not meeting our requirements for Light Attack / ISR but for them meets their requirements / abilities?

Are they going to spend the money to train & maintain that equipment and skill set?  Are they going to buy the PGMs as they are not cheap per copy?

Not asking for any specifics (philosophical question really) but to you and the contributors on this thread, are or should we encourage these partner nations to deliver airpower in this mission as we do or should we look for something less capable but more affordable/easier to sustain & employ?

I doubt that these militaries will be / are as concerned about CDE / ROE, do they need the same precision strike capability with high end ISR?

The answer obviously is "it depends"....

As well all know training is what makes the difference and some potential partners do not grasp that concept.  As Americans we tend to think of ourselves as superior in both looks and intellect (I am after all a powerful and attractive man.)  In reality the differences are based on cultural situations and the educational system in each country.  Again flashing back on my own experience, when I went ot ACSC I had fighter pilots from both Canada and Mexico in my class.  Both were superb officers and it was interesting to see the differences in the approach to airpower from our two closest neighbors.  The Canadians obviously had F-18's (and are very good with them), they have a stronger educational system and at the time a stronger economy, that and their NATO membership drove them to a high-tech fighter.  The Mexicans had F-5's and were looking to replace these aircraft with something newer.  My Mexican Air Force classmate had just come from their AF HQ and shared the internal discussions which were centered on price but more important...maintainability.  The logistical cost of modern fighters is always more than the cost of the aircraft and it also requires more advanced technical training, at that point the Mexicans were leaning towards Migs because of those two factors and they were going to refuse the gift of some HH-60's for the same reason. 

I think you have to take a short-term view in this arena, while it seems wasteful to send equipment to countries that won't maintain it or their skills over time, in the short-term it is still cheaper to gift and throw away some of there platforms if it puts out a fire in country X. 

When you get to higher level strategy these choices while difficult, really do revolve around money.  As a senior commander I remember going after a HVI with some DVs watching and a wonk actually questioned shooting multiple Hellfires at one person.  He had a very short-term view looking at the cost of an extra hellfire versus all the man hours, satellite bandwidth, fuel and brainpower it took to get to that one window of opportunity.

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6 hours ago, LookieRookie said:

Relevant note is that the 81 FS will be training the Lebanese on their US made A-29s.

Moody could become Tucson ala an international b-course.

http://www.acc.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/5725/Article/1025070/moody-selected-to-host-lebanese-a-29-training.aspx

Copy that - not a bad place to host an FTU.  

A-29s seem to be the choice of most for LAARs, would not be a bad choice for us either.

2 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

The answer obviously is "it depends"....

As well all know training is what makes the difference and some potential partners do not grasp that concept.  As Americans we tend to think of ourselves as superior in both looks and intellect (I am after all a powerful and attractive man.)  In reality the differences are based on cultural situations and the educational system in each country.  Again flashing back on my own experience, when I went ot ACSC I had fighter pilots from both Canada and Mexico in my class.  Both were superb officers and it was interesting to see the differences in the approach to airpower from our two closest neighbors.  The Canadians obviously had F-18's (and are very good with them), they have a stronger educational system and at the time a stronger economy, that and their NATO membership drove them to a high-tech fighter.  The Mexicans had F-5's and were looking to replace these aircraft with something newer.  My Mexican Air Force classmate had just come from their AF HQ and shared the internal discussions which were centered on price but more important...maintainability.  The logistical cost of modern fighters is always more than the cost of the aircraft and it also requires more advanced technical training, at that point the Mexicans were leaning towards Migs because of those two factors and they were going to refuse the gift of some HH-60's for the same reason. 

I think you have to take a short-term view in this arena, while it seems wasteful to send equipment to countries that won't maintain it or their skills over time, in the short-term it is still cheaper to gift and throw away some of there platforms if it puts out a fire in country X. 

When you get to higher level strategy these choices while difficult, really do revolve around money.  As a senior commander I remember going after a HVI with some DVs watching and a wonk actually questioned shooting multiple Hellfires at one person.  He had a very short-term view looking at the cost of an extra hellfire versus all the man hours, satellite bandwidth, fuel and brainpower it took to get to that one window of opportunity.

Good points.  

I think that is the rub, will it actually put out the fire or can the fire be put out, bigger question than whether or not a partner / ally should get airplane x or y.  Can this conflict be won militarily with what we are willing to spend / commit to our ally?

On the subject of short term costs vs. long term investment, I'll play Devil's Advocate and ask is that long term investment, in this case the manpower, satellites, fuel, etc.. to get to the HVI shot getting us closer to victory / acceptable outcome?  

Is this a tactic that is worth the cost? 

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18 hours ago, brabus said:

 

 

Shack.  Everyone has their role, and the mission sets they're awesome at, the mission sets they're average at, and the mission sets they're horrible at/cannot do period dot.

Clarification request - Are you speaking about specific communities regarding their missions and performance? Or individuals? If its the former, I agree. The latter, I couldn't disagree more - Manning a fighter means you should be able to execute every mission that your TMS is responsible for, notwithstanding proficiency limitations due to continually decreasing flight hours, etc...

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On 1/19/2017 at 7:19 PM, Sprkt69 said:

Only about a decade late. Sounds about right

Yup.  The AF will always make the right decision after it has tried all the wrong ones first.

Looking back around 2005, the smart kids should have seen the need for a less resource intensive (cost & logistics) way to deliver effects in a long term COIN / nation building operations but here we are, there will be other places to mow the grass so let's buy a lawn mower rather than using a combine.

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 9:50 AM, Clark Griswold said:

But speedy employment is not typically a problem in the typical mission of a LAAR, IMO.  The challenge first is to develop comprehensive SA: players (ground/air), effects called for, locations, frequencies, timeline (on station time, etc.)...

The JTAC / GFC could be calling for fires immediately but usually not in these missions, even arriving overhead with a TIC in progress, a single seat is not going in first thing guns blazing.

 

I agree.  Although my experience goes back 45 years, as an OV-10 FAC I usually flew solo and handled things fine (good weather, known friendly locations, minimal bad guy actions, etc.) but when the poop hit the fan (multiple TICs, really bad weather, poor visibility, nighttime, and frequently a combination of most of them) the ability to launch with two guys really helped to figure out things, keep track of multiple situations, keep an extra set of eyes on which way was up and where the high terrain was and track where other dangers were.  Two seats for that kind of mission is very helpful, but you can always operate solo if you need to do so.  Also, if the aircraft carries an FMV sensor, you definitely need a separate set of eyeballs focused on that!  I never had a crew communication problem, but its easier with two than with 13.

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7 hours ago, HiFlyer said:

I agree.  Although my experience goes back 45 years, as an OV-10 FAC I usually flew solo and handled things fine (good weather, known friendly locations, minimal bad guy actions, etc.) but when the poop hit the fan (multiple TICs, really bad weather, poor visibility, nighttime, and frequently a combination of most of them) the ability to launch with two guys really helped to figure out things, keep track of multiple situations, keep an extra set of eyes on which way was up and where the high terrain was and track where other dangers were.  Two seats for that kind of mission is very helpful, but you can always operate solo if you need to do so.  Also, if the aircraft carries an FMV sensor, you definitely need a separate set of eyeballs focused on that!  I never had a crew communication problem, but its easier with two than with 13.

Cool.

Just my two cents but the increase in capability/requirements has made the second crew member more necessary... multiple sensors to manage on single platforms, data / comm saturation (multiple radios, MIRC, data linked from other platforms, etc.), complex engagements, etc... almost all the technology added has increased the workload not decreased it.

Buying OA-X with two seats or offered in single / dual seat configurations is the best strategy to manage the range of missions a LAAR could be tasked against and potential growth.

Two more articles on the subject...

https://warontherocks.com/2017/01/light-attack-removing-the-veil-on-oa-x/

https://warisboring.com/stop-disrespecting-the-turboprop-c00acd3fff3a#.e2co17g4q

 

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7 hours ago, Kiloalpha said:

I'll make this perfectly short and simple. It's ugly. Real, real ugly.

Won't deny that it has a... unique aesthetic appearance... yeah, let's go with that... but it gets the job done or could if it finds someone to take it home.  Unfortunately for Textron-Airland, it's almost closing time and no one is offering a ride home.

 

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Mentioned again in a speech yesterday.

“So we have all the operational data from that test and so this is the next iteration, which is OK we got the data – industry what do you got?” Goldfein told an audience at a Feb. 23 Center for Strategic & International Studies event.

“What do you got that’s shovel ready? I’m not interested in something that requires a lot of research and development here. I’m looking for something that I can get at right now commercial, off-the-shelf, low cost that can operate in an uncontested environment and can deliver the capabilities that we need.”

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10 hours ago, HU&W said:

Mentioned again in a speech yesterday.

“So we have all the operational data from that test and so this is the next iteration, which is OK we got the data – industry what do you got?” Goldfein told an audience at a Feb. 23 Center for Strategic & International Studies event.

“What do you got that’s shovel ready? I’m not interested in something that requires a lot of research and development here. I’m looking for something that I can get at right now commercial, off-the-shelf, low cost that can operate in an uncontested environment and can deliver the capabilities that we need.”

It's in the zeitgeist now. McCain wants 300, that seems a bit high but an order of 100 to 150 seems about right.  Now the question to answer is where / how will you crew this aircraft as quickly as you can procure it?

Would the pilot need to be an IFF grad or could those relevant syllabus portions (surface attack for example) just be taught in Initial Qual?  Just guessing that the delivery of unguided or direct fire munitions is not really how this platform will be employed most of the time so would that really need to be a pre-FTU requirement?  Honest question.

The Afghan A-29 syllabus (I assume) rolls everything into one syllabus, repeat the same method with a USAF LAAR program (IMO)

CSOs - qualify in the same class or separate from the pilots?

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