posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 07:27 AM
There was a very interesting article on the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser today.
Try Military.com, in which it is confirmed that F-22 Beddowns are occuring at Elmendorf, Holloman and Hickam. In addition to the Langley and Tyndall
units (the latter a 'schoolhouse' full of high time instructors, much as Eglin once was.)
What it comes down to is three things:
1. The F-22 is so advanced that nobody who belittles it does anything but prove what the USAF has abandoned the field on. Namely that if they cannot
criticize for costs or 'dated mission' design, they will /choose/ to acknowledge, as a last resort, how dangerous it is to their 'state of mind'.
Of course the guilty conscience tends to do paranoid flips on it's own and so tends to resent any added stress.
2. The F-22, despite all USAF lies to the contrary, needs MASSIVE running room to engage in sustained supersonic ops. In the signature tests off
California, this amounted to 400 miles of PMTR range space. Alaska, Hawaii and New Mexico all have fairly decent, interconnected, government reserves
for this very purpose.
3. We are pulling out of NATO. Most of our ground forces will be gone by 2015 and while we may preserve one or two springboards (Lakenheath,
Alconbury and Aviano come to mind) for 'Emergency Purposes'; I doubt even they will last once the EU sees there is no gain to be had from continuing
to ease U.S. deployment efforts. Because they will consider 'that half' of the world to be theirs to mind. We'll see how well they manage but
with critical force assets now less than the absolute minimum for a '2 MRC' simultaneous campaign stance, it more or less makes sense that we would
realign with the threat axis that remains.
Of course everyone is just kicking themselves for losing Vietnam (Taiwan, The PI and soon Okinawa) NOW but at least we are oriented in the direction
that gets us to SWAPR in a kinda-rush.
I given you can never deploy faster than you can prestage tanking to make the theater entry happen (I doubt if the F-22 'drags' well) I don't
really find it wise to put principal forced entry assets in bluewater-forward conditions by which surprise attack by sub cruise, ICBM or irregular
forces could interdict rapid leap off. But since, despite the Daedalus' and OT's of this world, the F-22's ability to -actually do much- (without
Spiral 1/2 A2G radar capabilities) is actually fairly limited, I don't see what they are screaming and hollering about. Oh wait...
P.S. I also don't like the notion of ANG crews being part of an RDF capability. Given the security involved in the F-117 effort, I find it hard to
see them being able to achieve either the total system competencies or the closed-base environment required using part timers who must also be
constantly availabe for deployment/training rotations (such as they are) and the minute-man response. Again, it may just be that the U.S. is so
pathetically apologist now that they feel the need to compromise on everything lest someone think we are too 'militarist adventurist' for /their/