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The Airforce…..Falling Behind.


Education & Opinion.

Below is the weekly email note I receive from the Air Force Association president, General (Ret) Dunn, each week.  This is a good one as Gen Dunn uses commentary from a Senator, a retired Air Combat Command general, and from the mouths of the Taliban themselves with respect to airpower.

 The cuts to the F-22 (and TSAT, C-17s, CSARX, the Navy’s new destroyer, and the Army’s Future Combat Systems) are negligent, despicable, and will lead primarily to the death of our servicemen and women (especially F-15/F-16 pilots and ground forces) were there ever to be a Great Power “hot war” or even a war against an enemy with an air force.

Saturday June 13, 2009

AFA Members, Congressional Staffers, Civic Leaders, and DOCA members, one of you sent me a remarkable piece on Lee-Enfield Rifles, then secured the author’s permission for us to put it on our website. It is most readable and is what I call stream-of-consciousness writing … so be patient as you read it to the end. Secondly, I recently came across three quotes for your consideration. The first is by the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen Daniel K. Inouye. He said this in a hearing to Secretary Gates:

“Your decision to terminate the acquisition of the C-17s the F-22s the DDG-1000 and the Future Combat System vehicles — we have concerns that it may send the wrong signal to our friends and our potential aggressors that we are reducing our capability. It may also have a long-term impact on our defense industrial base. It may diminish our capacity to provide deterrence and reduce our strength that we provide to our allies. We hope that this is not the consequence, but some of us are concerned.”

A second quote is worth your consideration. It is from Gen (Ret) Richard E. Hawley, former Commander of Air Combat Command. He said:

“But institutions can have short memories too. And in the early 60s we entered another Asian war, this time in Vietnam, without a capable air-to-air fighter — without pilots schooled in the fine art of air-to-air combat — and without weapons to neutralize the emerging threat of surface-to-air missiles — and we paid a terrible price against a third-rate power.

In the six months from 23 August 1967 to 5 February 1968, Vietnamese MiG-21 pilots racked up a 16 to 1 kill advantage. In all, we lost 2,448 fixed wing aircraft to a third world military whose Air Force deployed fewer than 200 aircraft.

How easily we forget.”

The final quote is from a discussion between two Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan:

“Tanks and armor are not a big deal–the planes are the killers. I can handle everything but the jet fighters.”

For your consideration.

Mike

Michael M. Dunn
President/CEO

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