Monday, August 06, 2018

“The benefits” of the light-attack experiment? No, try “the shame…”

Nothing will start off a week right better than a wee little rant.

You simply must watch this video from DefenseNews. I can't embed it, so go to the link - I'll wait here. It is gobsmacking in its satire-proof nature.

I would have serious challenges scripting a more farcical description of the shameful slow-rolling by the USAF of the light-attack program.

Here is the crown jewel;
… great example of ... rapid procurement fielding…
Bullsh1t. We’ve known about this requirement since shortly after 9/11. I know, I was at C5F in late 2001 when we were talking EXACTLY ABOUT THIS REQUIREMENT AND HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE TO GET IT HERE!

Just like the riverine forces we ignored until well in to the IRQ conflict, these capabilities were ignored, starved, and killed by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. When we actually have a no-kidding shooting war on our hands, our Soldiers and Marines die because they don’t have the support they need and have to execute missions with more risk. We expend untold millions of additional monies and airframe time shoe-horning other assets to do a job they are not designed to do, and they do it in a suboptimal manner when they do.

As the Bronco part of this experiment showed us, we had this capability available for a “good enough” solution early on – but no. People far removed from the pointy end had other priorities. Mostly their own egos and pre-conceived notions about what war should be vice what it is … but they had priorties.

In the video, they brag about how they are at “90-95%” solution and apologize about not being 100%. Good googly moogly, is there no self-awareness here of promoting perfection as the enemy of the good? 70% is a passing grade. 2.0 and go is good enough when you’re being shot at … but then again … those making the decisions are not being shot at nor are at any threat of being shot at.

Heck, ignore the Broncos in storage. The Brazilians had Super Tucanos (variant AT-29B) ready to go in 2001 and Colombians had combat ready squadrons in 2006. Zero reason we had to wait for just a few to show up in AFG in 2016 with the Afghan Air Force. We should have had them in AFG and IRQ in 2005 with USAF on the side.

Well, as reports show today, we may have some by 2019. That means ready for a combat deployment by what – let’s use round numbers – 2021.

Two decades. Tell me more about our “rapid procurement” programs. Better late than never, but this is no time to pat ourselves on the back and say how awesome we are.

Taxpayer money wasted and their sons and daughters die unnecessarily because we have a procurement system that does not support the military; the military supports the procurement system.

That is our shame.

Rip it up root-and-branch. Like an untended and neglected garden, it is overgrown with vines, weeds, and saplings – holed and corrupted by burrowing vermin.

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