Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Zoomie Weighs In... 
With some excellent ideas:

Via email:

I think you hit in passing another part of the explanation for our lassitude in Rwanda.  Yes, it is landlocked and thus difficult for the Navy to get a bead on.  And yes, airfields there were shaky at best though usable by our tactical transports.  The failing here was to look at our lack of deployable air transport capability and say that we couldn't do anything, and then to continue letting theater air transport assets not be bought. 

Given the chance I'd gladly drop kick the entire F/A-22 program in favor of more tactical transports (either upgraded C-130s or whatever might be on the drawing board to take their place).  The fighter generals have still failed to make the case for keeping the Raptor alive while strangling the transport and refuel communities. 

I've mentioned this in other fora but perhaps the idea of splitting up the USAF might serve to rein in some of the parochialism that seems to be stock in trade for the high rollers.  I'm thinking removing AMC and its budget and making it a DoD asset, call it Strategic Mobility Command.  In fact, put it under the same umbrella as the Navy's logistics operations.  Perhaps take the bombers and missiles and make that some sort of Strategic Command and also a direct DoD agency.  Leave the fighter yobs to fly their pointy nosed one seat wonders hither and yon as that seems to be all that they really want to do, anyway.  Could Gen Jumper's recent Rap-qual have been a better demonstration of the fighter mafia's tin ear?

If amateurs talk tactics and professionals talk logistics, why do we continue to treat logistics like an unwanted afterthought?

This lack of airlift capability is nothing new. We certainly knew about it long before Rwanda. I remember reading Drew Middleton's book "Can America Win the Next War?" in seventh or eighth grade. (Yeah, I was a geek.) He hammered on the U.S. lack of strategic airlift time and time again, while writing extensively about the difficulty of getting congressional funding for unglamorous projects, such as airlift. Fighters, yes. But medium-sized transport planes? With no high-tech, gee-whiz satellite missile guidance systems? Fuhgeddaboutit!

Splash, out


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