Thursday, June 12, 2008
F-22, The Death Knell for my Air Force.
Please understand, I love the USAF. I retired after 25 years of service with the USAF, and I have almost no regrets about my service, in any circumstance. My true regret is that my Air Force is dead, it will not come back, the USAF no longer deserves to be a separate service and it’s filled with pansies who run around in officer’s clothing.
To prove my point, you have to go back to WWII. I know, these days that is anathema to USAF officers. They are taught to look forward, carefully, inside the box and with a careful grasp of the risks involved.
Before WWII, President Roosevelt selected Gen. Marshall to be the boss of the US Military machine. That day, we won WWII. I know, it hadn’t been declared yet, but we won. Marshall cleaned house, ridding the military of the hidebound officers that ran the military and pulled in guys that understood the next war would be won by military machines, supporting the doughboys in the field. The tank, the airplane, the carrier and the submarine would rule the world, not the trench and machine gun. Marshall knew that peacetime leaders make shitty wartime leaders. He hired Bradley, Eisenhower, Patton, Hap Arnold, Stillwell, Nimitz and other guys that could do the job, alot of them junior to other guys...
Now, we spin the way-back machine forward to this day and age. The USAF has forgotten the lessons of the past. You know, the ones that made us a separate service... Close Air Support....
Iron bombs falling on the enemies head... (Your knee in the enemies chest, knife at his throat...)
Yes, SAC was a huge factor in the development of the USAF and the end of the cold war. Problem is, we won.
Guess what, the fighter guys made SAC go away, along with research and development. Now we have the F-22, the biggest waste of money in US History. NEWSFLASH... if the bad guys nail ONE of these $500 MILLION dollar abortions with a $25 million SAM, THEY WIN. Yes, they are cooler than sliced bread, but guess what, in virtually any next war scenario, they are USELESS. But fighter guys promote fighter guys. Transporters, tankers and the bomb droppers are all second fiddle to guys who pay more attention to risk management and accident avoidance than to innovation, leadership and a will to get things done.
Risk aversion, management and avoidance is now the benchmark by which officers are promoted. There is a feeling in the USAF that good officers can actually prevent accidents. Enlisted people are sent to risk management classes while officers are taught risk management as a leadership methodology.
Chuck Horner must be sick to his stomach - WHO DARES, WINS!!!!!!!
Not in this USAF, today we promote the guy who has no DUI’s in his squadron and no accidents. We don’t avoid unnecessary risk anymore, we avoid all risk. People die in the war business, get over it. The same risk managers managed to fly a loaded B-52 across the country with some very hot cargo. The pendulum didn’t stop there either. In fact, it cost the SECAF and COS USAF their jobs. They were risk managers who failed. (Pansies)
Without the primary purpose of the USAF, our leaders are not forced to think outside the box. They’re stuck so far in it that they can’t see the sides. We write mission statements on every wall, but we don’t grasp what the hell the primary goal of war-fighters must be, victory over ANY enemy. USAF guys die in war today while doing army type jobs, why? Because we forgot that our mission is to SUPPORT the guy on the ground, taking the territory, house by house if need be. How does the vaunted F-22 and CV-22 help that effort? (Hint, they don’t)
What is the primary purpose of the USAF? Support, wether you call it the air and space force or not, no risk manager flying at 41,000 feet takes ground. The 21 year old PFC on the ground takes ground and holds it.
Consider the A-10 and the F-22. The A-10 has a purpose, the F-22 has a goal. The A-10 supports the ground pounders in every way imaginable. The F-22 is the best air superiority fighter EVER. Too bad that killing the enemy 1 at a time in the air while they push their human waves into Seoul, or unify the USSR means WE LOSE. God help us if Putin or the Chinese ever get fiesty, we will lose. We have forgotten how to support the soldier on the ground. Add to that, we will never promote the guy that suggests we try to remember it. We retire the H-53 so we can make room for the CV-22, a wonderful hybrid that does nothing well, and everything slowly.
My USAF is stuck on gadgets and budgets. The day we told the army they couldn’t have fixed-wing ground support aircraft of their own is the day we lost the right to be our own service.
I suppose it’s fair that the USAF banked it’s future on the acquisition of 600 F-22s and now has to make do with 170 of them. Yes, that decision is going to cost the blue suiters everything. While I feel for the enlisted guys and junior officers, I think it’s only fair for the twaddling senior officers who cared more for their promotions than the good of the USAF (Yes, that means you, Col Stein.)
Now where are you and where is the USAF. You’re a trivial memory and the USAF is worse for your service, self serving as it was.
We had a slim chance with Gen. Dugan, a real man in a blue suit, but we instead opted for McPeak. A vegetarian pansy who couldn’t be in the same room with Chuck Horner lest his privates shrink to where he couldn’t find them again. McPeak’s great contribution to the USAF, V-neck tee shirts and the “Year of training” that took 10 years to recover from. If you ever read this, General, may you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome for the rest of your life for not having the balls to LEAD.
If any USAF officer reads this, please learn one thing. Leadership is not promotion, it’s putting your ass on the line when it counts and STAYING there. Command, don’t manage. Lead, don’t mitigate risk.
Sooner or later, my beloved USAF will go back to green suits, and they deserve it for not having guts. Hap Arnold proved we could do it, McPeak and his ilk proved we didn’t know what to do once we had it.
It’s kind of sad, but at least when we get re-absorbed into the Army, we won’t have to keep looking for some Air force warcry that none of our pansy ass leaders can seem to settle on. We don’t have traditions because we don’t deserve them. Gen Arnold would be in tears if he could see what we have done with his legacy. I, for one, would like to apologize to Generals Arnold, Spaatz, and Eaker. They had a dream, realized it, and thank GOD they don’t have to see it washed away by senior leaders who are watching the stock market more than the National Intelligence Reports and getting us ready for the next one.
HooooAH! (Learn it, blue suiters... and find a good tailor. Green will be in soon.)