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Mobility Guardian 2021


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Yeah it is - do you know how many bombers I want to have available to shoot JASSM vs. how many there are actually available? I don’t see an issue with trying to expand the ability to mass stand off muns. Doesn’t mean it has to be the primary plan, but it’d be nice to have the capability in a scenario where you want as many weapons flying down range as possible. Also, not saying this should be the #1 priority. 

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JASSM is already the weapon of the last war because of how long the TOF is versus how quickly threats move…on a warm launched platform that can retarget in flight. Cold launched from a cargo a/c? Might as well throw $100M on a burn pit fire.

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JASSM is already the weapon of the last war because of how long the TOF is versus how quickly threats move…on a warm launched platform that can retarget in flight. Cold launched from a cargo a/c? Might as well throw $100M on a burn pit fire.


I mean, so is Hellfire (or Maverick and Griffin for that matter) and we have no limit on the amount of money we keep pissing into that river.


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I mean, so is Hellfire (or Maverick and Griffin for that matter) and we have no limit on the amount of money we keep pissing into that river.


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It’s the true Army arms use hierarchy: missiles and bombs from CAS assets first, army helos second, himars, 155, mortars, and rifles last.

It’s how you ensure the most aid money gets to [insert SWA country here]
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It's a good thing JASSM shooters don't have to worry about LARs, timing, shot containers, spacing between shots, retargeting in flight...just push the pickle button and the weapon does the rest.


So kinda like a JPADS bundle that can fly further and go boom?

And some stuff is similar to conventional airdrop, where we plan CDE (oh wait, we have to call it ADE) with a stupid large CEP because winds (which you may not be able to get a good forecast or observation in execution) significantly affect parachutes and where the stuff lands.

Not saying it's a 1:1 comparison, but a lot of the concepts in airdrop seem similar to weapons employment concepts used by the CAF. Not saying I can do what you do (because I lack the appropriate training), but we do more than just "gear up, feet up, collect per diem."

Like Brabus was saying, this definitely won't be the go-to option, but if it works out it can help free up fighters/bombers to handle the more challenging targets, potentially increasing surge capacity without having to buy more platforms.
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6 hours ago, pawnman said:

It's a good thing JASSM shooters don't have to worry about LARs, timing, shot containers, spacing between shots, retargeting in flight...just push the pickle button and the weapon does the rest.

🙄

Good thing tens of thousands of pounds of airdrop loads don’t require any planning either. Just press the green light and the load does the rest. 

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3 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

JASSM is already the weapon of the last war because of how long the TOF is versus how quickly threats move…on a warm launched platform that can retarget in flight. Cold launched from a cargo a/c? Might as well throw $100M on a burn pit fire.

Call me crazy but war with a peer adversary will have a lot more immovable targets than a bunch of nomads living in huts on a mountainside. 
 

JASSM isn’t the #1 option but I think it’s a good option to have.

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6 hours ago, pawnman said:

It's a good thing JASSM shooters don't have to worry about LARs, timing, shot containers, spacing between shots, retargeting in flight...just push the pickle button and the weapon does the rest.

🙄

To get everyone back on the same page, I don’t think he is saying AMC guys couldn’t do it, just that it’s more than taking an airdrop qual’d crew and saying airdrop this here. You’d probably need some additional training. 
 

I think the idea has merit, but it definitely needs a hard look to see if it’s actually feasible for lots of different reasons, many of them already stated. But if I can throw more shit down range at the right time to get an intended effect, why wouldn’t I at least look into it?

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8 hours ago, BroncoEN said:

Good thing tens of thousands of pounds of airdrop loads don’t require any planning either. Just press the green light and the load does the rest. 

My point was that there's more to JASSM planning than "just click the button".  The argument put forth was that cargo crews wouldn't require any additional training to dump a pallet of JASSM out the back of the aircraft.  I don't think that's true.

Quote

I’m well aware of how JASSM works and is employed. Are you implying AMC guys can’t hit a release point on time at a specified altitude and heading?

I support outside the container thinking - this is worth pursuing. 

We have a five-page thread on how the AMC folks already aren't getting the training to do their primary jobs in a high-threat environment.  And now you want to put another mission set on them.  One that, as someone who has spent a lot of time training to JASSM, is very time and energy intensive to train to.

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One of the main barriers I see when people debate airlift fires is everyone hears a few snippets of narrative and fills in all the rest with their preconceived notions of how it’s going to work (or not work).  Understandably, most of those preconceived notions are based on their individual backgrounds, but “traditional” isn’t how this is supposed to play out. If C-17s were going to employ JASSMs for targets sets the way a B-1 or Strike Eagle does it, sure, that’s not going to work great. This is not a one-for-one swap for CAF assets or to go after target sets the CAF will always be best suited for. There’s no intent for replacement here.

For the CAF dudes who don’t understand what’s involved in airdrop execution, airdrop really isn’t all that different from going to a LAR. Yes, MAF guys know how to make a ToT and release on parameters for a given thing. When MAF airdrop guys are saying there isn’t a lot of extra training involved, that’s what they mean. And in this regard, they are right. This system is designed for them to operate like they are dropping a normal heavy equipment platform. For the front-end crew purposes, it should be fairly transparent.  The platform then does the extra work once released.

Yes, pre-mission planning JASSM and supporting JASSM systems in-flight are separate topics with separate solution sets. That’s not what people are talking about when they say there isn’t a lot of extra training. I’d prefer to say away from that discussion in this forum.

This isn’t also just about JASSM itself. If this works for JASSM, this will probably work for other things that we have now, or we are getting in the future. Many of those are compelling when you can employ en masse. Also, not everything goes boom. Finally, what we have today isn’t the same stuff we’re stuck with 10-15 years from now. You needed a fabric covered plane with a bullet deflector on the prop before you could get interrupter gear to fire between the prop, then on to all-metal .50 cal firing beasts. The first deployed capability doesn’t mean that’s where development ends. But you’ve got to start somewhere.

There’s some interesting second and third order effects:

Red knows where we are going to operate our fighters and bombers. Now, look at the potential operating locations of austere capable airlift. CAF dudes, do you want all of Red’s hate directed at you, or would you rather Red having to trying and figure out who else is going to give them problems?

How many of our Allies and Partners have a robust bomber force, able to operate at range without AR and with significant payload capacity? Zero. Ok, now how many of them have airdrop capable airlift? Probably dozens. Again, this isn’t just about JASSM.  If you can throw a JASSM, you can throw something else. That something might not have to be US designed/built either. Our friends aren’t going to buying bombers or rapidly expanding their fighter force any time soon. Do you want access to effects or do you not?

It’s a lot cheaper/faster to build a new type of munition than a new platform. New munitions unlock capabilities that weren’t previously available to a given platform.  For some munitions out there, does it REALLY matter what platform you use if you’re going after a bridge or building? I know, people will come back with “it depends…” Point being, not every target requires the systems in a CAF asset to kill/degrade that thing. I’d argue if you’re sending the CAF after those, you’re squandering valuable assets when you have other options.

We’re not able to have the billons needed to buy and sustain a temporary surge fleet of traditional munitions slingers.  Even if we did, I’m sure Red wants us to keep on doing what we’re good at today. They have been spending the last few decades learning how we operate and I think they would prefer us doing “more of the same.”

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21 hours ago, BroncoEN said:

Just press the green light and the load does the rest. 

But how will he have time to do the rest, he’ll be too busy making sure the pilots are checking ATIS and adjusting the heading bug properly.

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But how will he have time to do the rest, he’ll be too busy making sure the pilots are checking ATIS and adjusting the heading bug properly.
I mean, they added a loadmaster check in the C-17 before landing checklist that is literally there to ensure the pilots put the gear down, so he's also busy making sure we don't land with the gear up. Again...
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On 6/13/2021 at 9:01 PM, Clark Griswold said:

Would that lead to or how would you prevent hoarding?

Train our tactical leaders to prepare wisely, be team players, and act like adults...waiting...I see the flaw.  My bad.

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10 hours ago, Zman said:

... Good stuff ...

Culturally the democratization of fires is the last thing the CAF will ever support, just said for context and discussion but I agree the targeting problem forced on the enemy, the potential introduction of new long range weapons when the platform options expands and what I think would be good for the Air Force, every platform a potential shooter 

This is isn't that revolutionary, the Navy is seriously looking at distributing fires to traditionally non-combatant platforms

https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2020/07/12/desperate-for-more-war-fighting-capacity-congress-asks-about-armed-logistics-ships/?sh=6d47408a1384

and the USMC are already adapting the Herc for short range fires ala Harvest Hawk

Just now, FourFans130 said:

Train our tactical leaders to prepare wisely, be team players, and act like adults...waiting...I see the flaw.  My bad.

No, not a flaw just a risk.  Like most things in life if used properly it is a benefit if not a hazard.  Probably a mix of the two ideas at some appropriate ratio is the right answer and adjusted as conditions change is least bad solution.

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These problems are complex without perfect solutions right now.  I'm glad smart people are working on them.  Hopefully what everyone at all levels (to include Congressional) starts to realize is that there isn't enough capacity in any fleet. 

We are ready to start strapping fires capability on to airlift platforms, who knows, maybe we can sling some under the wings of tankers and big wing ISR after that.  Because this will help solve the capacity problem inherent in the CAF world.  But then we run in to the loss of airlift capacity available to the Joint force which has a follow on effect of affecting logistics capacity to enable Joint fires. 

Some of us who are weary about the idea of dedicating airlift (especially strat airlift like a C-17) to fires missions is because we've sat in too many discussions where when operating at 100% efficiency, we are still only able to present 50% (+/- 10%) of required airlift to the JFACC.  And so lots of things are already cut and delayed which would enable maneuvers and fires.  In theater level exercises this is always hand-waived with magic fairy dust, "Well, white cell has allowed us to move those pieces where we need them to be so we can move towards the next objective."  Sometimes I fear that our leaders who grew up in that world have actually learned that there is indeed infinite airlift and air refueling capacity.

It would be nice to return to a world where we have 550 C-130s, 200 C-5s, 400 C-17s, and the CRAF available.  The ever increasing march towards efficiency and minimizing excess peacetime capacity has left us all hoping to rob Peter to pay Paul.  But then we walk in to the room with the Army and they object because it doesn't work with their scheme of maneuver.  Luckily this is all exercise and design problems right now.

Edited by Fausto
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These problems are complex without perfect solutions right now.  I'm glad smart people are working on them.  Hopefully what everyone at all levels (to include Congressional) starts to realize is that there isn't enough capacity in any fleet. 
We are ready to start strapping fires capability on to airlift platforms, who knows, maybe we can sling some under the wings of tankers and big wing ISR after that.  Because this will help solve the capacity problem inherent in the CAF world.  But then we run in to the loss of airlift capacity available to the Joint force which has a follow on effect of affecting logistics capacity to enable Joint fires. 
Some of us who are weary about the idea of dedicating airlift (especially strat airlift like a C-17) to fires missions is because we've sat in too many discussions where when operating at 100% efficiency, we are still only able to present 50% (+/- 10%) of required airlift to the JFACC.  And so lots of things are already cut and delayed which would enable maneuvers and fires.  In theater level exercises this is always hand-waived with magic fairy dust, "Well, white cell has allowed us to move those pieces where we need them to be so we can move towards the next objective."  Sometimes I fear that our leaders who grew up in that world have actually learned that there is indeed infinite airlift and air refueling capacity.
It would be nice to return to a world where we have 550 C-130s, 200 C-5s, 400 C-17s, and the CRAF available.  The ever increasing march towards efficiency and minimizing excess peacetime capacity has left us all hoping to rob Peter to pay Paul.  But then we walk in to the room with the Army and they object because it doesn't work with their scheme of maneuver.  Luckily this is all exercise and design problems right now.

I will tell you the most interesting CTC I was ever in was the one where the White Cell actually limited logistics because the ground force just hand waived that part of the problem set.

Suddenly you had OCs keeping extreme tabs on the ammo/fuel/water distribution and it was amazing to see leaders either adapt or fail miserably.

“What do you mean we have 29 Hellfires in the AHA and that’s it?”


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On 6/15/2021 at 7:06 AM, Zman said:

How many of our Allies and Partners have a robust bomber force, able to operate at range without AR and with significant payload capacity? Zero. Ok, now how many of them have airdrop capable airlift? Probably dozens. Again, this isn’t just about JASSM.  If you can throw a JASSM, you can throw something else. That something might not have to be US designed/built either. Our friends aren’t going to buying bombers or rapidly expanding their fighter force any time soon. Do you want access to effects or do you not?

Agree with everything you wrote except the bolded part above. Can't tell you how many times I've seen a partner nation's airdroppers admin-killed before the vul even started. 

Not going to speak for Hercs, but C-17 AD capes have enough holes and shortcomings in them that I think you'd often be disappointed with the results in a world where the ALR is above moderate (reference the past 100 posts for reasons why). That said, US AD capes in general are far beyond what could reasonably be expected from most of our allies, so I'd caution against putting too much faith in that particular aspect of this COA.

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