Abolish the Air Force?

Eleven C-130H Hercules’ and 13 C-130J Super Hercules’ prepare to take off Dec. 6, 2014, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas in support of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School's Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B. The C-130H models are from various Air National Guard units and the C-130J models are from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. In addition to the C-130s, the JFEX included approximately 20 C-17 Globemaster IIIs and various other aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero)

Eleven C-130H Hercules’ and 13 C-130J Super Hercules’ prepare to take off Dec. 6, 2014, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas in support of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’s Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B. The C-130H models are from various Air National Guard units and the C-130J models are from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. In addition to the C-130s, the JFEX included approximately 20 C-17 Globemaster IIIs and various other aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero)

Jerry Pournelle: Abolish the Air Force

As to the rest of the Air Force, it is more interested in the Air Force than winning wars, and considers supporting the field army as beneath contempt. A slow old Warthog does a much better job, but there is no glory in that. Best to use fast jets… which of course are imprecise and cause a lot of collateral damage. Everyone knows that a force of propeller driven P-47 fighters of WWII would be more effective for supporting the field army than what we use. And the Army must be crippled, not allowed to have effective air power in taking territory.

Murdoc would love to see close air support given to the Army, and he thinks the Air Force would love it too, in the end. Give the Army the ability to buy and operate CAS fixed-wingers and let the Air Force own strategic bombing and air superiority.

Not sure about transport. Should the Army own its own air transport? Then what about naval transport? Should it own its own ships?

Comments

  1. Not sure about transport. Should the Army own its own air transport? Then what about naval transport? Should it own its own ships?

    The Army does own its own ships.

    1. I actually didn’t know about those. Thanks. I do know about the Joint High Speed Vessel program in cooperation with the Navy.

      But when it’s time to move an armored brigade from the US to Europe or Africa or wherever, should the Army have its own fleet of heavy ocean-going transports? I could see the argument for it, but that would be duplication of effort and resources, too.

      As for CAS, I don’t think allowing the Army to own and operate fixed-wing support aircraft would be bad at all. They would choose different aircraft and use them differently than the USAF would.

      1. I believe it is duplication of effort too. But I don’t think the Navy should necessarily do ocean transport. First, I don’t think they really want to. And second, they are a fighting force. So maybe ocean going transportation for all services should be done by the merchant marine with the Navy providing escort security when necessary.

        As for fixed wing, the Army did operate the little C-23 Sherpa and was supposed to get the C-27J Spartan. But I think that might have been cancelled.

        To really give you something to ponder, what about transferring the 82nd Airborne from the Army to the USAF? The 82nd relies heavily upon the USAF by nature. Plus there is a precedent. The Luftwaffe in WW2, not the German army, had the paratroop units. This might be akin to the Navy having its naval infantry, i.e. the USMC. Maybe it’s time for the USAF to have its own fighting unit too.

Comments are closed