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usair1489
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Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:22 am

Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:38 am

Inspired by the thread on how we could grow the US Navy, if Congressional funding is automatically pre-approved, how would you grow and/or modernize the U.S. Air Force?

Assuming the ground support equipment infrastructure is there for all fixed wing, rotary wing, and tilt rotor aircraft, here's how I'd go about this:

1. Everything due to be replaced due to age is to be replaced one-for-one. For example, you cannot replace 32 KC-10s for 24 KC-46s.
2. We will have to reopen a few bases that have been previously closed by BRAC action.
3. Innovation is going to play a huge role here.
4. I'm leaving out some manned aircraft types that aren't exactly relevant.
5. This will not include unmanned aerial vehicles as I don't have much knowledge on these aircraft.
6. I'm assuming current threats grow.

Here's my proposals, broken down by aircraft type, and I'll even throw in basing proposals in some instances:

A-10 Thunderbolt II
The current fleet of A-10s has survived round after round of avoiding retirement. The A-10s we have flying today are going to have to be retired; there's no doubt about it. I foresee the best replacement for the A-10 is an all-new build A-10D. These would need to be acquired in numbers equivalent to what we have in terms of A-10s today to replace the A-10 one-for-one at each current A-10 base plus a few more. I'd even throw in a couple additional Guard units with the A-10D; especially units that had lost their manned aircraft mission (Pennsylvania comes to mind here, this would require reopening NAS/JRB Willow Grove). There'd be 300 A-10Ds.

The A-10D would be the main attack and close air support platform and a smaller aircraft like the A-29 or an AT-6C would fill a light attack role. The light attack role aircraft could fill Air National Guard units in Cape Cod, a new unit in Georgia, and Illinois. Cannon AFB would be great as an A-29/AT-6C megabase, with all special ops at Cannon relocated to Kirtland AFB. There'd be 250 of these aircraft.

AC-130J Ghostrider
These will replace all of the older AC-130Ws; total number of AC-130Js should ideally be the same or increased by 10%.

B-1B Lancer
The writing is already on the wall for the B-1, slated to be replaced by the B-21. I do have a radical idea...

B-2 Spirit
The writing is already on the wall for the B-2, slated to be replaced by the B-21.

B-21 Raider
Two squadrons of B-21 Raiders should be based at Dyess AFB and Ellsworth AFB in addition to a squadron or two at Whiteman AFB and in Guam. With the ongoing threats with China, North Korea, and Russia I would also station eight at Eielson AFB in Alaska and reopen Plattsburgh AFB in New York. This would increase the number of B-21s built to about 200.

B-52H Stratofortress
The B-21 may eventually replace the B-52 or maybe there will be something else that'll replace the B-52. Let's keep modernizing the B-52 fleet and keep them at Barksdale AFB and Minot AFB.

B-X Super Bomber
I don't think the B-21 will be a one-bomber-for-all program. I do foresee a bomber with some stealth features and dump truck capabilities similar to that of the B-52. These would be based at Barksdale and Minot when it comes time to replace the B-52 as well as a reopened Plattsburgh. There could be maybe 65 of these when all is said and done.

B-Y Hyper Bomber
Innovation is going to play a key role here. Don't take the name of the bomber literally; this would be akin to a bomber with the B-2's stealth and payload with the speed of the SR-71 Blackbird or even faster; when you absolutely need bombs there and need it to be faster than the B-1. There won't be too many of these aircraft due to their highly specialized capabilities; probably no more than 40. These would need to be based at Eielson and Plattsburgh.

C-5M Super Galaxy
A fourth generation C-5 would be needed to replace the entire C-5M Super Galaxy fleet. Take the plans for the C-5B Galaxy and make a new-build C-5N Super Galaxy from this. The new Super Galaxy would resemble the C-5M, constructed of lighter and stronger materials that didn't exist in the 1960s and 1980s, powered by a GENx engine, with an MTOW the same as the C-5M but an empty weight below that of the C-5M.

C-17 Globemaster III
The USAF made a mistake here. With the Afghan mission earlier this year taxing the C-17 fleet, replacements will be needed. In my opinion the best option here will be taking the C-17 design and modernizing it for a new-build C-17B and replacing the C-17A one-for-one as well as additional aircraft for fleet growth. Existing C-17 bases across AMC, AFRC, and ANG would be utilized for the new C-17B, for which there would be around 300 in the fleet.

C-12/C-20/C-21/C-37
The King Air, Learjet 35, and Gulfstream fleets could be replaced one-for-one with new-build King Airs and the Learjet and Gulfstream fleets streamlined into one aircraft type.

C-130 Hercules (all models)
Replace one-for-one the existing C-130H fleet with the C-130J-30, keeping existing AMC, AFRC, ANG, PACAF, and USAFE units in place. The C-130 production line would keep running for another two decades. All existing older models of specialized roles of the C-130 would be replaced, if not already, with a J-model version. C-130J-30 growth would also occur with a new squadron stood up in Guam. It's going to be hard to replace a C-130 with something other than a more modern C-130. There'd be around 450 C-130J-30s.

CV-22 Osprey
The USAF will need more of these for specialized transport roles, not just special operations. There'd be 120 when all is said and done.

E-3 Sentry and all of the other C-135 variants
I've heard the USAF may replace them with E-7 Wedgetails, based off the 737-700. There has to be a way to miniaturize the E-3's 1970s- and 1980s-era radars and systems to fit a smaller footprint the same way computers went from being bedroom sized to fitting in your backpack. The 707 airframe did wonders for the USAF; I think the 767 can do that and more. A modern E-3 replacement can be a Wedgetail, but I'd foresee something based off the 767 to replace not only the E-3, but also the E-8C, OC-135B, all of the RC-135 variants, and the WC-135C/W. Aircraft numbers would remain the same for all the replacements, based at the same locations, with an E-3 replacement also based in Hawaii. Total among all these replacement planes would be around 94.

F-15C Eagle & F-15EX Eagle II
It's no secret we need more fighters and we are in a fighter shortfall. The F-15EX Eagle II needs to be ordered in greater numbers especially for homeland defense. They'd need to be based at all current F-15C locations. I'd also put up two squadrons at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho and two squadrons at Joint Base Langley-Eustis to replace the F-22 Raptor. There should be no fewer than 400 F-15EXs.

F-15E Strike Eagle
Replace all ~220 aircraft with new build F-15E Strike Eagles similar to that of the F-15EX but with the air-to-ground mission. They'd be based at the same locations F-15Es are currently based. With growth, there'd be 350 jets.

F-16C/D Fighting Falcon
They are going to be replaced by the F-35A Lightning II, there's no doubt about that. Every ANG and AFRC unit out there today will be equipped with either a modernized F-16 Block 70 or higher or with the F-35A. There needs to be a large number of both F-16s and F-35As in the USAF inventory. Shaw AFB may end up being an F-16 mega-base even more than it is today. I would add the F-16 mission back to the Iowa ANG, New York ANG, North Dakota ANG, Springfield (Ohio), and Virginia ANG and give the adversary roles in Nellis AFB and Eielson AFB the Block 70. The Thunderbirds will also be flying Block 70 F-16s. I would propose the modernized and "younger" F-16 fleet to number around 600. Current ANG units that could still fly the F-16 and not transition to the F-35A would be Arizona and South Dakota. All F-16 training would go to the Arizona ANG as Luke AFB would be solely F-35A training.

F-22 Raptor
Okay, there's talk of retiring the F-22 earlier than anticipated for a much more advanced stealth aircraft. Let's assume the F-22 is indeed retired. At a very minimum, the replacement advanced stealth fighter needs to be obtained in numbers greater than that of the F-22 and based in the same locations and numbers as F-22s are today. The advanced stealth fighter will also need to be based in more locations, such as an ANG unit in North Dakota and in Puerto Rico. They'd join two squadrons of F-15EXs at JBLE, which will end up having over 100 jets based there between three types when all is said and done. There would need to be about 450 of the advanced stealth fighters.

F-35A Lightning II
There really needs to be at least 2,250 F-35As when all is said and done. Luke AFB would remain as F-35A training but also gain one squadron that could deploy, as F-16 training would transition to Tucson. Spangdahlem AB in Germany and Aviano Air Base in Italy would see at least two squadrons of F-35As at each location. The same would apply for Misawa Air Base in Japan and Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The only current F-16 ANG units I would not see converting to the F-35A are Arizona and South Dakota.

Helicopters
The Hueys are being replaced and the HH-60Gs could be replaced with upgraded versions.

Tankers
I honestly think the USAF really foxtrotted this up. So, we're going to have to field the KC-46 in place of both the KC-10 and the KC-135.

Let's start with the KC-135. There's less than 400 KC-135s flying in the active duty, reserve, and guard. Each needs to be replaced one-for-one with a fully operational KC-46. At one point over 700 KC-135s were flying in the Air Force with 60 KC-10s. In terms of jet-powered tankers, we need to at least return to somewhere close to that number. The USAF really needs a giant tanker fleet to support all of the fighters, bombers, transports, and specialized mission aircraft. These also need to be based in other locations throughout the world, such as Aviano and Guam. There should be no fewer than 600 aircraft in the size and fuel capacity as a fully operational KC-46, which will fit the bill as a KC-135 replacement. Every location that currently operates the KC-135 should be replaced with the KC-46 on a one-for-one basis, with several ANG units operating sixteen jets (Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania come to mind). All Reserve bases currently operating the KC-135 would fly twelve KC-46s at a minimum. MacDill AFB, McConnell AFB, and RAF Mildenhall would all operate at least thirty-six KC-46s.

Now, about the KC-10. Replacing the KC-10 with the KC-46 makes no sense in terms of fuel capacity. The USAF is going to need a tanker with a much greater fuel capacity as the KC-46 like they needed the KC-10 back in the 1970s. A tanker based off the 787-9 would have a slight increase in fuel capacity over a KC-46 while a tanker based off the 777-8 is giving numbers closer to that of the KC-10. Besides its massive size and other obstacles, the 777-8 based tanker would be ideal, and it would be needed in greater numbers, say about 150 at the very minimum. Current KC-10 bases Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Travis AFB are perfect for this new tanker along with Fairchild AFB, Kadena Air Base, Guam, and a small subset of nine jets at NAS/JRB Fort Worth.

These high numbers would be needed to support not only the growth in fighters and bombers, but also with the growth in the U.S. Navy I suggested in another thread.

Presidential Fleet
The two VC-25Bs are a given. Replacing the C-32As and C-40B and C-40C might involve some sort of 737 MAX 9 or something along those lines. I personally think the 89th Airlift Wing will also operate supersonic transports from Boom or another company when POTUS needs to meet face-to-face with a world leader (when a Zoom conference won't suffice) as soon as possible.

"Special Operations" Fleet
I'm thinking C-32B Gatekeeper and others. I could see this unit adopting several supersonic transports from Boom, not publicly acknowledging the existence of such aircraft, and using it for "transporting people" in a hurry, in addition to using the C-32B or a subsonic replacement. Maybe something with speeds in the realm that the X-15 flew for those dire "we need to respond immediately" responses. The German, Polish, and Spanish special operations aircraft could all be replaced with one or two modern era aircraft types, maybe even a C-144.

Trainers
The current numbers of T-6A Texan IIs needs to grow by at least 30% and the numbers of T-7A Red Hawks should ideally equal that of the T-6A Texan II. Ideally at least 600 of each would suffice. The T-1A Jayhawk could be replaced with a T-8, based off the Cessna Citation, with 300 delivered to the USAF.

U-2 Dragon Lady
Can we make new build U-2s? I cannot foresee a UAV replacing a U-2.

What do you think?
 
petertenthije
Posts: 4502
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:00 pm

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:28 am

I think you’re going to need a LOT of money to even put a dent into your wish list.

To keep with the season, even Santa would not have the resources to do everything you want.
 
usair1489
Topic Author
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:22 am

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:42 am

Going to need this to make it happen:

Image
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2602
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:15 am

The USAF needs more F-35A. Lockheed needs to ramp production to 200+ a year. The US navy also needs more F-35C ASAP. I would try and reduce deliveries in the short term to other F-35 operators to get more aircraft for the USAF and let production catch up in later years.

The recent Super Hornets and F-15EX are only getting purchased due to the aged fleets as an emergency. There are not enough F-35's coming online to replace the 2000+ fighter fleet as they naturally age.

I would fast track the 6th gen aircraft that has apparently already flown . It is effectively a large long range supercruising fighter that uses two F-35 sized engines. I would fit standard F-35 engines and avionics into it to get it into service ASAP. This will help solve the medium term fighter shortage. Save the improved adaptive engines and lasers for a block 2 version.

Buy the Boeing Loyal wingman and add that into the fleet. It can be a dumb F-117 style strike aircraft to begin with and software updates can improve later.

I would aim to have only five combat aircraft types in 2040.

High: F-X or PCA 6th gen fighter.
Medium: F-35
Low: AESA equipped T-7
Drone: Boeing Loyal wingman.
Bomber: B-21

Short term aircraft availability at the squadron level is stopping a smooth fleet transition to 5th gen. They insist a fixed number of aircraft regardless of aircraft wuality. They should just accept lower aircraft numbers in the short term. If they are short a few aircraft per squadron they can just fly more hours in each F-35 in the short term and catch up later.

Boeing is pumping out hundreds of T-7 and Loyal wingman drones. Lockheed is pumping out F-35 and a small fleet of 6th gen fighters. Northrop is building the B-21 bomber.
 
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HowardDGA
Posts: 75
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:16 am

A-10 has performed very well by all reports. But MANPADS will probably make its survival difficulty, with unacceptable pilot losses.

Loyal wingman with the controller - or multiple controllers - in something like a G650 might be a more feasible replacement. But wiser minds than mine may have better ideas.
 
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kitplane01
Posts: 2404
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:11 am

usair1489 wrote:
Inspired by the thread on how we could grow the US Navy, if Congressional funding is automatically pre-approved, how would you grow and/or modernize the U.S. Air Force?

Assuming the ground support equipment infrastructure is there for all fixed wing, rotary wing, and tilt rotor aircraft, here's how I'd go about this:

1. Everything due to be replaced due to age is to be replaced one-for-one. For example, you cannot replace 32 KC-10s for 24 KC-46s.
2. We will have to reopen a few bases that have been previously closed by BRAC action.
3. Innovation is going to play a huge role here.
4. I'm leaving out some manned aircraft types that aren't exactly relevant.
5. This will not include unmanned aerial vehicles as I don't have much knowledge on these aircraft.
6. I'm assuming current threats grow.

Here's my proposals, broken down by aircraft type, and I'll even throw in basing proposals in some instances:

A-10 Thunderbolt II
The current fleet of A-10s has survived round after round of avoiding retirement. The A-10s we have flying today are going to have to be retired; there's no doubt about it. I foresee the best replacement for the A-10 is an all-new build A-10D. These would need to be acquired in numbers equivalent to what we have in terms of A-10s today to replace the A-10 one-for-one at each current A-10 base plus a few more. I'd even throw in a couple additional Guard units with the A-10D; especially units that had lost their manned aircraft mission (Pennsylvania comes to mind here, this would require reopening NAS/JRB Willow Grove). There'd be 300 A-10Ds.

The A-10D would be the main attack and close air support platform and a smaller aircraft like the A-29 or an AT-6C would fill a light attack role. The light attack role aircraft could fill Air National Guard units in Cape Cod, a new unit in Georgia, and Illinois. Cannon AFB would be great as an A-29/AT-6C megabase, with all special ops at Cannon relocated to Kirtland AFB. There'd be 250 of these aircraft.

AC-130J Ghostrider
These will replace all of the older AC-130Ws; total number of AC-130Js should ideally be the same or increased by 10%.

B-1B Lancer
The writing is already on the wall for the B-1, slated to be replaced by the B-21. I do have a radical idea...

B-2 Spirit
The writing is already on the wall for the B-2, slated to be replaced by the B-21.

B-21 Raider
Two squadrons of B-21 Raiders should be based at Dyess AFB and Ellsworth AFB in addition to a squadron or two at Whiteman AFB and in Guam. With the ongoing threats with China, North Korea, and Russia I would also station eight at Eielson AFB in Alaska and reopen Plattsburgh AFB in New York. This would increase the number of B-21s built to about 200.

B-52H Stratofortress
The B-21 may eventually replace the B-52 or maybe there will be something else that'll replace the B-52. Let's keep modernizing the B-52 fleet and keep them at Barksdale AFB and Minot AFB.

B-X Super Bomber
I don't think the B-21 will be a one-bomber-for-all program. I do foresee a bomber with some stealth features and dump truck capabilities similar to that of the B-52. These would be based at Barksdale and Minot when it comes time to replace the B-52 as well as a reopened Plattsburgh. There could be maybe 65 of these when all is said and done.

B-Y Hyper Bomber
Innovation is going to play a key role here. Don't take the name of the bomber literally; this would be akin to a bomber with the B-2's stealth and payload with the speed of the SR-71 Blackbird or even faster; when you absolutely need bombs there and need it to be faster than the B-1. There won't be too many of these aircraft due to their highly specialized capabilities; probably no more than 40. These would need to be based at Eielson and Plattsburgh.

C-5M Super Galaxy
A fourth generation C-5 would be needed to replace the entire C-5M Super Galaxy fleet. Take the plans for the C-5B Galaxy and make a new-build C-5N Super Galaxy from this. The new Super Galaxy would resemble the C-5M, constructed of lighter and stronger materials that didn't exist in the 1960s and 1980s, powered by a GENx engine, with an MTOW the same as the C-5M but an empty weight below that of the C-5M.

C-17 Globemaster III
The USAF made a mistake here. With the Afghan mission earlier this year taxing the C-17 fleet, replacements will be needed. In my opinion the best option here will be taking the C-17 design and modernizing it for a new-build C-17B and replacing the C-17A one-for-one as well as additional aircraft for fleet growth. Existing C-17 bases across AMC, AFRC, and ANG would be utilized for the new C-17B, for which there would be around 300 in the fleet.

C-12/C-20/C-21/C-37
The King Air, Learjet 35, and Gulfstream fleets could be replaced one-for-one with new-build King Airs and the Learjet and Gulfstream fleets streamlined into one aircraft type.

C-130 Hercules (all models)
Replace one-for-one the existing C-130H fleet with the C-130J-30, keeping existing AMC, AFRC, ANG, PACAF, and USAFE units in place. The C-130 production line would keep running for another two decades. All existing older models of specialized roles of the C-130 would be replaced, if not already, with a J-model version. C-130J-30 growth would also occur with a new squadron stood up in Guam. It's going to be hard to replace a C-130 with something other than a more modern C-130. There'd be around 450 C-130J-30s.

CV-22 Osprey
The USAF will need more of these for specialized transport roles, not just special operations. There'd be 120 when all is said and done.

E-3 Sentry and all of the other C-135 variants
I've heard the USAF may replace them with E-7 Wedgetails, based off the 737-700. There has to be a way to miniaturize the E-3's 1970s- and 1980s-era radars and systems to fit a smaller footprint the same way computers went from being bedroom sized to fitting in your backpack. The 707 airframe did wonders for the USAF; I think the 767 can do that and more. A modern E-3 replacement can be a Wedgetail, but I'd foresee something based off the 767 to replace not only the E-3, but also the E-8C, OC-135B, all of the RC-135 variants, and the WC-135C/W. Aircraft numbers would remain the same for all the replacements, based at the same locations, with an E-3 replacement also based in Hawaii. Total among all these replacement planes would be around 94.

F-15C Eagle & F-15EX Eagle II
It's no secret we need more fighters and we are in a fighter shortfall. The F-15EX Eagle II needs to be ordered in greater numbers especially for homeland defense. They'd need to be based at all current F-15C locations. I'd also put up two squadrons at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho and two squadrons at Joint Base Langley-Eustis to replace the F-22 Raptor. There should be no fewer than 400 F-15EXs.

F-15E Strike Eagle
Replace all ~220 aircraft with new build F-15E Strike Eagles similar to that of the F-15EX but with the air-to-ground mission. They'd be based at the same locations F-15Es are currently based. With growth, there'd be 350 jets.

F-16C/D Fighting Falcon
They are going to be replaced by the F-35A Lightning II, there's no doubt about that. Every ANG and AFRC unit out there today will be equipped with either a modernized F-16 Block 70 or higher or with the F-35A. There needs to be a large number of both F-16s and F-35As in the USAF inventory. Shaw AFB may end up being an F-16 mega-base even more than it is today. I would add the F-16 mission back to the Iowa ANG, New York ANG, North Dakota ANG, Springfield (Ohio), and Virginia ANG and give the adversary roles in Nellis AFB and Eielson AFB the Block 70. The Thunderbirds will also be flying Block 70 F-16s. I would propose the modernized and "younger" F-16 fleet to number around 600. Current ANG units that could still fly the F-16 and not transition to the F-35A would be Arizona and South Dakota. All F-16 training would go to the Arizona ANG as Luke AFB would be solely F-35A training.

F-22 Raptor
Okay, there's talk of retiring the F-22 earlier than anticipated for a much more advanced stealth aircraft. Let's assume the F-22 is indeed retired. At a very minimum, the replacement advanced stealth fighter needs to be obtained in numbers greater than that of the F-22 and based in the same locations and numbers as F-22s are today. The advanced stealth fighter will also need to be based in more locations, such as an ANG unit in North Dakota and in Puerto Rico. They'd join two squadrons of F-15EXs at JBLE, which will end up having over 100 jets based there between three types when all is said and done. There would need to be about 450 of the advanced stealth fighters.

F-35A Lightning II
There really needs to be at least 2,250 F-35As when all is said and done. Luke AFB would remain as F-35A training but also gain one squadron that could deploy, as F-16 training would transition to Tucson. Spangdahlem AB in Germany and Aviano Air Base in Italy would see at least two squadrons of F-35As at each location. The same would apply for Misawa Air Base in Japan and Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The only current F-16 ANG units I would not see converting to the F-35A are Arizona and South Dakota.

Helicopters
The Hueys are being replaced and the HH-60Gs could be replaced with upgraded versions.

Tankers
I honestly think the USAF really foxtrotted this up. So, we're going to have to field the KC-46 in place of both the KC-10 and the KC-135.

Let's start with the KC-135. There's less than 400 KC-135s flying in the active duty, reserve, and guard. Each needs to be replaced one-for-one with a fully operational KC-46. At one point over 700 KC-135s were flying in the Air Force with 60 KC-10s. In terms of jet-powered tankers, we need to at least return to somewhere close to that number. The USAF really needs a giant tanker fleet to support all of the fighters, bombers, transports, and specialized mission aircraft. These also need to be based in other locations throughout the world, such as Aviano and Guam. There should be no fewer than 600 aircraft in the size and fuel capacity as a fully operational KC-46, which will fit the bill as a KC-135 replacement. Every location that currently operates the KC-135 should be replaced with the KC-46 on a one-for-one basis, with several ANG units operating sixteen jets (Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania come to mind). All Reserve bases currently operating the KC-135 would fly twelve KC-46s at a minimum. MacDill AFB, McConnell AFB, and RAF Mildenhall would all operate at least thirty-six KC-46s.

Now, about the KC-10. Replacing the KC-10 with the KC-46 makes no sense in terms of fuel capacity. The USAF is going to need a tanker with a much greater fuel capacity as the KC-46 like they needed the KC-10 back in the 1970s. A tanker based off the 787-9 would have a slight increase in fuel capacity over a KC-46 while a tanker based off the 777-8 is giving numbers closer to that of the KC-10. Besides its massive size and other obstacles, the 777-8 based tanker would be ideal, and it would be needed in greater numbers, say about 150 at the very minimum. Current KC-10 bases Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Travis AFB are perfect for this new tanker along with Fairchild AFB, Kadena Air Base, Guam, and a small subset of nine jets at NAS/JRB Fort Worth.

These high numbers would be needed to support not only the growth in fighters and bombers, but also with the growth in the U.S. Navy I suggested in another thread.

Presidential Fleet
The two VC-25Bs are a given. Replacing the C-32As and C-40B and C-40C might involve some sort of 737 MAX 9 or something along those lines. I personally think the 89th Airlift Wing will also operate supersonic transports from Boom or another company when POTUS needs to meet face-to-face with a world leader (when a Zoom conference won't suffice) as soon as possible.

"Special Operations" Fleet
I'm thinking C-32B Gatekeeper and others. I could see this unit adopting several supersonic transports from Boom, not publicly acknowledging the existence of such aircraft, and using it for "transporting people" in a hurry, in addition to using the C-32B or a subsonic replacement. Maybe something with speeds in the realm that the X-15 flew for those dire "we need to respond immediately" responses. The German, Polish, and Spanish special operations aircraft could all be replaced with one or two modern era aircraft types, maybe even a C-144.

Trainers
The current numbers of T-6A Texan IIs needs to grow by at least 30% and the numbers of T-7A Red Hawks should ideally equal that of the T-6A Texan II. Ideally at least 600 of each would suffice. The T-1A Jayhawk could be replaced with a T-8, based off the Cessna Citation, with 300 delivered to the USAF.

U-2 Dragon Lady
Can we make new build U-2s? I cannot foresee a UAV replacing a U-2.

What do you think?


You just wrote "buy lots of everything". I don't see how that's a useful strategy.

If you did have an extra $100B/year, you could spend it better than "buy lots of everything". Perhaps it might be interesting to reduce the total number of types in the USAF fleet for example.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:13 am

HowardDGA wrote:
A-10 has performed very well by all reports. But MANPADS will probably make its survival difficulty, with unacceptable pilot losses.


That's what I thought. But in fact, they did well. MANPADS were not an insurmountable problem. Maybe the future will be different than the past, but when people said MANPADS were gonna stop the A-10s in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were wrong.
 
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kitplane01
Posts: 2404
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:16 am

usair1489 wrote:
B-Y Hyper Bomber
Innovation is going to play a key role here. Don't take the name of the bomber literally; this would be akin to a bomber with the B-2's stealth and payload with the speed of the SR-71 Blackbird or even faster; when you absolutely need bombs there and need it to be faster than the B-1. There won't be too many of these aircraft due to their highly specialized capabilities; probably no more than 40. These would need to be based at Eielson and Plattsburgh.



This is (I mean with love) crazy talk. No one makes a hyper expensive design (mach three and stealthy and long range) and only builds 40. That gets unit costs into the many-billion $$$ per aircraft.

Also, stealth and mach three don't go together. A large bomber going mach three is going to light up every IR detector for a hundred miles.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 9:17 am

usair1489 wrote:
There'd be 300 A-10Ds.

The A-10D would be the main attack and close air support platform and a smaller aircraft like the A-29 or an AT-6C would fill a light attack role.

The A-10D is useless in the future. Drones on the low end and F-35 sitting at medium altitude with EODAS can do everything in low and high intensity conflicts.


usair1489 wrote:
B-X Super Bomber
I don't think the B-21 will be a one-bomber-for-all program. I do foresee a bomber with some stealth features and dump truck capabilities similar to that of the B-52.

No chance. Just buy extra B-21.


usair1489 wrote:
B-Y Hyper Bomber
this would be akin to a bomber with the B-2's stealth and payload with the speed of the SR-71 Blackbird or even faster.

No chance, that's what an ICBM is for.

usair1489 wrote:
C-5M Super Galaxy
A fourth generation C-5 would be needed to replace the entire C-5M Super Galaxy fleet. Take the plans for the C-5B Galaxy and make a new-build C-5N Super Galaxy from this.

The oversized mission has almost disappeared. 99% of the loads can be split over multiple smaller airlifters. The Kawasaki C-2 for example could carry 90+% of the loads that the C-5 fleets carries on a day to day basis. Obviously the C-5 loads would have to be split between 2 or 3 C-2 aircraft.


usair1489 wrote:
C-17 Globemaster III
in my opinion the best option here will be taking the C-17 design and modernizing it for a new-build C-17B and replacing the C-17A one-for-one as well as additional aircraft for fleet growth.


Nope. Mounted vertical maneuver is the goal of the US military. So no large fixed wing aircraft is needed to land on dirt or gravel strip. Vehicles will be sized in the 30t to 40t range. A quad tilt rotor will move them around the battlefield eliminating a forward operating base. A conventional airlifter will bring them into theatre to a safe smooth runway. The quad tilt rotor will then take them to battle from this safe airport.

I expect a relatively simple twin engine airlifter to replace both the C-17 and C-5M after 2040. I highly doubt it would be bigger than the C-17 and it would probably use a pair of 787 engines.

usair1489 wrote:
C-130 Hercules (all models)
Replace one-for-one the existing C-130H fleet with the C-130J-30, keeping existing AMC, AFRC, ANG, PACAF, and USAFE units in place. The C-130 production line would keep running for another two decades.

The JMR-ultra quad tilt rotor is coming soon. The C-130J will be made redundant. The Quad tilt rotor elimates not only the C-130J mission but all of the cargo helicopters. The quad tilt rotor can take cargo right to the end point.


usair1489 wrote:
F-15C Eagle & F-15EX Eagle II
It's no secret we need more fighters and we are in a fighter shortfall. The F-15EX Eagle II needs to be ordered in greater numbers.

Or ramp F-35 production as it is superior and cheaper.

usair1489 wrote:
F-15E Strike Eagle
Replace all ~220 aircraft with new build F-15E Strike Eagles

Or ramp F-35 production as it is superior and cheaper.


usair1489 wrote:
F-16C/D Fighting Falcon
I would propose the modernized and "younger" F-16 fleet to number around 600.

The USAF knows this is a bad idea. Adding AESA and the refurb is projected to cost $30 million per F-16 and they only gain 2,000 extra flight hours. For approximately $40 million Boeing could provide an AESA equipped T-7 of similar capability but the USAF gets an aircraft that can last 6000+ flight hours. Get rid of the F-16 fleet ASAP.



usair1489 wrote:
Tankers
I honestly think the USAF really foxtrotted this up. So, we're going to have to field the KC-46 in place of both the KC-10 and the KC-135.

The KC-46 can easily replace both. It is rare to need the huge offload of the KC-10. The B-21 and C-5M will reduce the need of big fuel offload.


usair1489 wrote:
U-2 Dragon Lady
Can we make new build U-2s? I cannot foresee a UAV replacing a U-2.

The original U-2 mission is gone. Its main job now is to test satellite before getting put into orbit.
 
petertenthije
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 11:34 am

kitplane01 wrote:
No one makes a hyper expensive design (mach three and stealthy and long range) and only builds 40.
Your right, something this expensive will only get build in the low 20s. Just look at the 21 x B-2 bombers.
 
petertenthije
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 11:38 am

Realistically, the USA already has anything and everything it needs to defeat anyone except for Klingons.

If you are desperate to spend additional money, divert it to the veterans association to build additional hospitals and to streamline their computer systems to make their work easier.
 
VMCA787
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:06 pm

Boy, talk about pipe dreams! Everyone is forgetting one very important factor. You are short of drivers and fixers right now. How are you going to expand the inventory and have the drivers and fixers to make it all work? Ain't going to happen. If the USAF were to get a bucket of money right now dropped in their lap, there is nothing they can do except park the aircraft and hope for some miracle to make drivers and fixers to magically appear!
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:45 pm

VMCA787 wrote:
Boy, talk about pipe dreams! Everyone is forgetting one very important factor. You are short of drivers and fixers right now. How are you going to expand the inventory and have the drivers and fixers to make it all work? Ain't going to happen. If the USAF were to get a bucket of money right now dropped in their lap, there is nothing they can do except park the aircraft and hope for some miracle to make drivers and fixers to magically appear!


* Pay the drivers and fixer more. Then more will join and more will stay.

* Hire Boeing/LM/etc to do more repair work.

* Transition from high maintenance aircraft to low maintenance aircraft. I assume a KC-46 requires less work than a C-135, and that some of the work can be done commercially. An MQ-4 just needs less labor than a P-8.
Last edited by kitplane01 on Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:47 pm

petertenthije wrote:
Realistically, the USA already has anything and everything it needs to defeat anyone except for Klingons.

If you are desperate to spend additional money, divert it to the veterans association to build additional hospitals and to streamline their computer systems to make their work easier.


I agree. What's the realistic scenario such that the USAF needs to 1.5X in size? The only one I can think of is "retake Taiwan".
 
VMCA787
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:30 pm

kitplane01 wrote:

* Pay the drivers and fixer more. Then more will join and more will stay.

* Hire Boeing/LM/etc to do more repair work.

* Transition from high maintenance aircraft to low maintenance aircraft. I assume a KC-46 requires less work than a C-135, and that some of the work can be done commercially. An MQ-4 just needs less labor than a P-8.



Number one has been tried with abysmal results. It's not all about money, and that is where the problem is.

Having BA/LM do more repair work is only good to a certain point. Their labor force and pool of potential employees are only so big.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 21, 2021 6:01 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
The only one I can think of is "retake Taiwan".


"Retake Taiwan" is an attrition situation. It doesn't matter how many planes you start with. Becomes how many planes you end up with.

So instead of spending money to fill inventory that may not have sufficient pilots, you should spend money to develop infrastructure to produce various models quickly once the fight begins. After all, chances are China will have stuff up it's sleeve and if you have a flexible enough industrial base, you can produce the required assets once China showed its hands.

It also means keeping both Boeing and LM in the fighter business to retain the industrial capacity.

bt
 
CX747
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 21, 2021 6:58 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
HowardDGA wrote:
A-10 has performed very well by all reports. But MANPADS will probably make its survival difficulty, with unacceptable pilot losses.


That's what I thought. But in fact, they did well. MANPADS were not an insurmountable problem. Maybe the future will be different than the past, but when people said MANPADS were gonna stop the A-10s in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were wrong.


Amen. Consistent hatred by others has only shown one thing. The A-10 is a warhorse that is not outdated, is far more capable than its detractors state and is the #1 platform for CAS.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:16 am

RJMAZ wrote:
The KC-46 can easily replace both. It is rare to need the huge offload of the KC-10. The B-21 and C-5M will reduce the need of big fuel offload...

The original U-2 mission is gone. Its main job now is to test satellite before getting put into orbit.


It really can't replace the KC-10 in many roles the USAF holds dear. The fighter-drag role, especially, the KC-10 is really just superlative in. The KC-46 is more a super KC-135, than an actual KC-10 replacement. The huge KC-10 offloads would be especially important in a Pacific conflict, as the tanker will need to fly 3-5 hours before arriving on station, refuel aircraft, and then return to home station. For a KC-46 to do the same mission will require a force extension, which the KC-10 would not require. Hence why the OPLANs are written specifically with KC-10s in mind for power projections roles.

Re: the U-2: according to my friends currently flying the Deuce, their mission is very much not simply testing satellite components, although, that is a subset of what they do.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:41 am

LyleLanley wrote:
It really can't replace the KC-10 in many roles the USAF holds dear. The fighter-drag role, especially, the KC-10 is really just superlative in.

My argument is more the question do you need that much fuel in a single tanker?

If 12 fighters are being dragged across the Pacific you might need 3 KC-10 where as you will need 4 KC-46. One KC-46 obviously can't replace one KC-10.

While the KC-46 might only start with two thirds of the total fuel capacity it has a better wing span loading, better wing area loading, better fuselage volume to MTOW ratio and better engines. So as the flights get longer the KC-46 should offload more than two thirds of the fuel.

The F-15C is getting replaced by F-15EX mainly because the maintenance cost savings pays for the new aircraft over time. I would assume the KC-10 is also maintenance intensive like the F-15C. Over 10 years 4 KC-46 might have significantly lower running costs compared to 3 KC-10.

I would say in a large fighter strike it would be far better to have more medium tankers than fewer large tankers. The more tankers you have the higher the probability one is closer to you when you need it.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:14 pm

I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sat Dec 25, 2021 4:44 am

RJMAZ wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
It really can't replace the KC-10 in many roles the USAF holds dear. The fighter-drag role, especially, the KC-10 is really just superlative in.

My argument is more the question do you need that much fuel in a single tanker?

If 12 fighters are being dragged across the Pacific you might need 3 KC-10 where as you will need 4 KC-46. One KC-46 obviously can't replace one KC-10.

While the KC-46 might only start with two thirds of the total fuel capacity it has a better wing span loading, better wing area loading, better fuselage volume to MTOW ratio and better engines. So as the flights get longer the KC-46 should offload more than two thirds of the fuel.

The F-15C is getting replaced by F-15EX mainly because the maintenance cost savings pays for the new aircraft over time. I would assume the KC-10 is also maintenance intensive like the F-15C. Over 10 years 4 KC-46 might have significantly lower running costs compared to 3 KC-10.

I would say in a large fighter strike it would be far better to have more medium tankers than fewer large tankers. The more tankers you have the higher the probability one is closer to you when you need it.


All valid points, just like the generic argument that booms in the air are more important than fuel in the air. It makes sense. Unfortunately, the tyranny of distance (especially with regards to missed AR diverts) changes the equation quite a bit. A KC-10 with 340K of fuel burns 18-20K an hour, where the KC-46 with about 215-220K burns ~ 10-12K. Considering a pacific conflict where the tankers will need to drag the fighters 1500+ miles to get to where they're needed, that gas comes in handy as everyone is flowing to their working areas. A KC-10 can do that and have 200K instantaneous give. The KC-46 would need to carry an additional 40-60K of gas to compete with the KC-10 in this situation. A better way to do things would be to launch a KC-46, 4 F-22s, as well as a KC-10: The KC-46 takes the first two or three fighter ARs, dumps the rest into the KC-10, and lets the KC-10 do the rest of the mission. Or have the 46 and 10 swap roles. Either way, the gas of the 10 is needed in that sort of fight. With more smaller tankers over long distances you run into the problem the British ran into with the Falklands missions: too many tankers isn't a good thing, either.

12 fighters would need 5 or 6 KC-46s, vs. the 3 KC-10s. That's a lot.

I don't think you can compare the F-15C and the KC-10. The C is structurally falling apart and was never meant to last this long. The KC-10 is mechanically sound and still has the highest mission-capable rate in AMC with many decades of life left: it was built to last for 120,000 hours and 100,000 cycles. They're nowhere near that, with the oldest jets ticking past 35,000 hours and 12-15K cycles. What's hurting the KC-10 is parts obsolescence because the Air Force never bothered to tech refresh the jet. All they've really done is update the jet's ADI and HSI, and they were forced to do that by ICAO rules. So you've got a bunch of 40-50 year old, obsolescent parts, held together with 40 year old kapton wiring, and a couple of circa-1995 small screens. That's what's costing $.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sat Dec 25, 2021 7:01 pm

How did AMP avionics mod fail in the KC-10? Heck, C-5A went to D-M with better avionics
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sun Dec 26, 2021 1:33 am

FlapOperator wrote:
I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.


You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sun Dec 26, 2021 2:30 am

kitplane01 wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.


You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.


Didn’t you just answer your own question? It cheaper, in peacetime, whether is in wartime is a different question.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:47 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.


You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.


Didn’t you just answer your own question? It cheaper, in peacetime, whether is in wartime is a different question.


Not really.

The USAF knows both the advantages (lower cost) and disadvantages (slower to be ready for emergencies, harder to send overseas, etc). If someone thinks the USF ought to change, it seems likely they see something differently or value this set of advantages and disadvantages differently. So .. What does FlapOperator see/value differently?

I'm not saying he's wrong. I'm just wondering what his different point of view is.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sun Dec 26, 2021 8:40 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
How did AMP avionics mod fail in the KC-10? Heck, C-5A went to D-M with better avionics


Pfft. The C-141C went to DM with better avionics!

The KC-10 is a poster child in "what could have been", at least for modernization. Prior to the CNS/ATM mod, there was one called GATM which looked very similar to the C-5 AMP's cockpit: 6 huge PFDs and nav displays, and engine instruments, etc. New radio and SATCOM installations, etc. but the FE panel would have remained as is. That either worked beautifully and was cancelled due to money, or worked terribly and was cancelled because it sucked, depending on whom you ask. Before that, the MD-10 mod was superficially looked at, but the AF believed there was too high a workload for the pilots or the FE mafia made overblown statements about how untenable it would be in operation, again depending on whom you ask. Either option would've been better than the CNS/ATM mod the 10 has now, which is essentially what the KC-135s got in the mid-90s with PACER CRAG.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sun Dec 26, 2021 8:41 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.


You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.


Money talks. On another note, missile officers generally don't deploy to anywhere of import. Unless they're heading up the deployed gym, at least.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 27, 2021 4:16 am

LyleLanley wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.


You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.


Money talks. On another note, missile officers generally don't deploy to anywhere of import. Unless they're heading up the deployed gym, at least.


Lots deployed to OIF, but yeah, if anyone can explain why a missilier isn't in the ANG other than bureaucratic inertia, I'd love to see it.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:18 am

The main reason is pretty simple. If the US had most forces in reserve when tensions are esclating the US would have to start activating units before the war starts. The activation would become public straight away. This could easily spook the enemy and initiate a war that would have never started.

It is best to keep everything on active duty so the military looks normal and calm but also ready to kick ass at any moment. "just normal training drills."

The ANG and reserve units are nearly always used to supplement the primary active units in a long duration conflict. So it is great to have fresh units to deploy weeks or months after the conflict starts.

On the other hand there are only so many fighter aircraft and soldiers that can be deployed straight away. Limits in refueling tankers, airlift and ships means a reserve division is good.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 27, 2021 1:37 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.


You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.


Money talks. On another note, missile officers generally don't deploy to anywhere of import. Unless they're heading up the deployed gym, at least.


Yeah, like North Dakota
 
Buckeyetech
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:39 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
I'd put 80% of the flying/operating USAF into the ANG/AFRes, starting with the Missile Community.


You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.


Didn’t you just answer your own question? It cheaper, in peacetime, whether is in wartime is a different question.


The AFRC/ANG C-17 units are going through a serious manning issue on the full time maintenance side of the house now. Between guys getting burned out from op’s flying schedule, to not wanting to keep fitness standards until they’re 58, to vax mandates, and no TDY opportunities anymore. It’s the most “do more with less” than I’ve ever seen in the USAF, in my time.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:16 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
Lots deployed to OIF, but yeah, if anyone can explain why a missilier isn't in the ANG other than bureaucratic inertia, I'd love to see it.


Now I know who the E-9s checking shirts tucked in at the gym or sock colors in the chow hall worked for!

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yeah, like North Dakota


Good point. No one can say they didn't go into it with their eyes open. Missiles isn't SF where you can go anywhere in the world: Missile dream sheet choices fall within a very narrow lat/long box. And only those who have done their time without letting their time do them get Vandenberg.

RJMAZ wrote:
The main reason is pretty simple...


We know. The point with missiles is there aren't really deployment opportunities in that career field. They're not exactly advising CENTCOM's CFACC from the CAOC. Missileers do their job in an LCC in a hole in the upper midwest: they don't deploy to the Deid waiting to turn a key. Which means their peacetime and wartime roles can easily be done in CONUS. And if they don't need to deploy, then why not switch them from AD to the ARC? Give them AFTPs so they're not burning UTAs in a hole. We make it work with aviation, I don't see a reason they can't do it with missiles.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Dec 27, 2021 8:23 pm

The only way a missilier gets an AFTP is to launch WW III! /s.

Don’t they still have all the human reliability crap to maintain? I can see the headlines about reservist going bonkers in the hole and nearly launching a Minuteman. We know there’s loads of safety locks but the headlines wouldn’t tell the story. Like the BUFF that flew the nuclear bombs around.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:11 am

How many people are in the missile combat crew?

Saving 20% of their wages being in reserve would not be worth it.

Where as moving 1,000 fighter jets into ANG or reserve would save billions. That is 50,000+ crew in the squadrons and another 50,000+ staff at the bases that support the squadrons. Saving 20% of their wages is significant.

The vast bulk of the military wages are army soldiers, navy marines and support staff for aircraft. If you want to save on wages you start there.

The problem is global tensions are extremely high right now so moving forces into reserve is the exact opposite of what should be happening.

Looking at history the Cold War could never have seen the forces get put into reserve. The first Gulf War happened soon after. But at the end of Gulf War One that was the first point where half of the forces could have been put in reserve or ANG. But a decade later they would have been reactivated for Gulf War Two and would have remained active throughout Afghanistan. Now they would still be active due to tensions over Taiwan.

But in theory if there is global peace then the US should definitely put most of their forces into reserve. But that won't happen.
 
ItnStln
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:05 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The only way a missilier gets an AFTP is to launch WW III! /s.

Don’t they still have all the human reliability crap to maintain? I can see the headlines about reservist going bonkers in the hole and nearly launching a Minuteman. We know there’s loads of safety locks but the headlines wouldn’t tell the story. Like the BUFF that flew the nuclear bombs around.

What's AFTP? Wasn't the BUFF that flew nuclear bombs around active duty?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:35 pm

Additional Flight Training Period, inactive duty pay for reservist flight crews that requires a flying activity—launching a missile is the only flying missile dudes do. Yes, B-52; flew Chrome Dome missions, flying nuclear alert which ended decades ago. Then a wing moved some bombs via B-52, highly suspect.
 
ItnStln
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:53 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Additional Flight Training Period, inactive duty pay for reservist flight crews that requires a flying activity—launching a missile is the only flying missile dudes do. Yes, B-52; flew Chrome Dome missions, flying nuclear alert which ended decades ago. Then a wing moved some bombs via B-52, highly suspect.

Thanks! Yeah, it was highly suspect especially when one takes into consideration how many people the nukes have to go through before being loaded onto the aircraft. I'd say "highly suspect" is an understatement.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 28, 2021 9:39 pm

ItnStln wrote:
Thanks! Yeah, it was highly suspect especially when one takes into consideration how many people the nukes have to go through before being loaded onto the aircraft. I'd say "highly suspect" is an understatement.


I’m not sure GF was saying the 2007 5th BW (active duty) incident was suspect, but perhaps that ‘back in the day’ units would shuffle their nukes from base to base via B-52s, rather than using PNAF as the current practice is. They also used to carry nukes on training missions. That’s pretty suspect in my book.

The 2007 incident is actually completely understandable given the command climate in the AF in those days. Munitions troops thinking they had the right weapons (sans nuclear warheads) because they were going off their non-official system which wasn’t updated; radar-nav verifying serials of the ACMs on only one side because she was behind on her preflight; the AC pencil whipping the forms for same and they’re ‘only training warheads, anyhow’. System breakdown at every level means a classic swiss cheese mishap chain develops.

It didn’t help that apart from decertifying a crucial chunk of the nuclear triad, looking like complete idiots to everyone in the world except Russia, they’d also recently accidentally shipped some nuclear components to Taiwan (‘my bad!’) and had a few other events not hit the news, the entire culture was to blame. SAC 2.0 and a non-fighter pilot CSAF resulted.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:59 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:

You wanna say why?

If I remember right, a reserve fighter squad has something like 70% of the cost (so 30% savings) as a regular unit.


Money talks. On another note, missile officers generally don't deploy to anywhere of import. Unless they're heading up the deployed gym, at least.


Yeah, like North Dakota


Hey I get to wave at their turreted Security Forces Humvees when we pass them in BFE Montana while I'm digging dinosaurs in the summer. Have to tell the newbies not to go wandering up to THAT ONE FENCE and just pretend it doesn't exist.
 
ItnStln
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Re: Grow the US Air Force

Wed Dec 29, 2021 2:55 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
ItnStln wrote:
Thanks! Yeah, it was highly suspect especially when one takes into consideration how many people the nukes have to go through before being loaded onto the aircraft. I'd say "highly suspect" is an understatement.


I’m not sure GF was saying the 2007 5th BW (active duty) incident was suspect, but perhaps that ‘back in the day’ units would shuffle their nukes from base to base via B-52s, rather than using PNAF as the current practice is. They also used to carry nukes on training missions. That’s pretty suspect in my book.

The 2007 incident is actually completely understandable given the command climate in the AF in those days. Munitions troops thinking they had the right weapons (sans nuclear warheads) because they were going off their non-official system which wasn’t updated; radar-nav verifying serials of the ACMs on only one side because she was behind on her preflight; the AC pencil whipping the forms for same and they’re ‘only training warheads, anyhow’. System breakdown at every level means a classic swiss cheese mishap chain develops.

It didn’t help that apart from decertifying a crucial chunk of the nuclear triad, looking like complete idiots to everyone in the world except Russia, they’d also recently accidentally shipped some nuclear components to Taiwan (‘my bad!’) and had a few other events not hit the news, the entire culture was to blame. SAC 2.0 and a non-fighter pilot CSAF resulted.

The 2007 incident is what led to General Moseley getting fired, right? As for SAC 2.0, I agree that is basically what AFGSC is, but I never understood why they didn't just call it SAC. As for General Schwartz being a non-fighter pilot CSAF, I personally would like to see more diversity in the CSAF's background. If I'm not mistaken, aside from General Schwartz, they have all been fighter pilots for the last 40 years.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9183
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:06 pm

ItnStln wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
ItnStln wrote:
Thanks! Yeah, it was highly suspect especially when one takes into consideration how many people the nukes have to go through before being loaded onto the aircraft. I'd say "highly suspect" is an understatement.


I’m not sure GF was saying the 2007 5th BW (active duty) incident was suspect, but perhaps that ‘back in the day’ units would shuffle their nukes from base to base via B-52s, rather than using PNAF as the current practice is. They also used to carry nukes on training missions. That’s pretty suspect in my book.

The 2007 incident is actually completely understandable given the command climate in the AF in those days. Munitions troops thinking they had the right weapons (sans nuclear warheads) because they were going off their non-official system which wasn’t updated; radar-nav verifying serials of the ACMs on only one side because she was behind on her preflight; the AC pencil whipping the forms for same and they’re ‘only training warheads, anyhow’. System breakdown at every level means a classic swiss cheese mishap chain develops.

It didn’t help that apart from decertifying a crucial chunk of the nuclear triad, looking like complete idiots to everyone in the world except Russia, they’d also recently accidentally shipped some nuclear components to Taiwan (‘my bad!’) and had a few other events not hit the news, the entire culture was to blame. SAC 2.0 and a non-fighter pilot CSAF resulted.

The 2007 incident is what led to General Moseley getting fired, right? As for SAC 2.0, I agree that is basically what AFGSC is, but I never understood why they didn't just call it SAC. As for General Schwartz being a non-fighter pilot CSAF, I personally would like to see more diversity in the CSAF's background. If I'm not mistaken, aside from General Schwartz, they have all been fighter pilots for the last 40 years.


It’s only fair, the CSAF before that were all bomber pilots.
 
ItnStln
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:47 pm

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:56 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ItnStln wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:

I’m not sure GF was saying the 2007 5th BW (active duty) incident was suspect, but perhaps that ‘back in the day’ units would shuffle their nukes from base to base via B-52s, rather than using PNAF as the current practice is. They also used to carry nukes on training missions. That’s pretty suspect in my book.

The 2007 incident is actually completely understandable given the command climate in the AF in those days. Munitions troops thinking they had the right weapons (sans nuclear warheads) because they were going off their non-official system which wasn’t updated; radar-nav verifying serials of the ACMs on only one side because she was behind on her preflight; the AC pencil whipping the forms for same and they’re ‘only training warheads, anyhow’. System breakdown at every level means a classic swiss cheese mishap chain develops.

It didn’t help that apart from decertifying a crucial chunk of the nuclear triad, looking like complete idiots to everyone in the world except Russia, they’d also recently accidentally shipped some nuclear components to Taiwan (‘my bad!’) and had a few other events not hit the news, the entire culture was to blame. SAC 2.0 and a non-fighter pilot CSAF resulted.

The 2007 incident is what led to General Moseley getting fired, right? As for SAC 2.0, I agree that is basically what AFGSC is, but I never understood why they didn't just call it SAC. As for General Schwartz being a non-fighter pilot CSAF, I personally would like to see more diversity in the CSAF's background. If I'm not mistaken, aside from General Schwartz, they have all been fighter pilots for the last 40 years.


It’s only fair, the CSAF before that were all bomber pilots.

Very true! I would like to see a bomber pilot become CSAF again, or a rotary wing guy. Perhaps a pure MAF guy, and General Schwartz doesn't count as he went AFSOC.
 
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LyleLanley
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:33 pm

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:40 pm

ItnStln wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ItnStln wrote:
The 2007 incident is what led to General Moseley getting fired, right? As for SAC 2.0, I agree that is basically what AFGSC is, but I never understood why they didn't just call it SAC. As for General Schwartz being a non-fighter pilot CSAF, I personally would like to see more diversity in the CSAF's background. If I'm not mistaken, aside from General Schwartz, they have all been fighter pilots for the last 40 years.


It’s only fair, the CSAF before that were all bomber pilots.
I would like to see...become CSAF...Perhaps a pure MAF guy, and General Schwartz doesn't count as he went AFSOC.


Count me out: the last sort of CSAF we need is a MAF'er. You'll never find a more tactically deficient, queep-focused senior officer than one from the MAF. All they understand is airline-style metrics, brute efficiencies and dog and pony shows. Schwartz was bad enough and he at least had some snake-eater stink on him from when AFSOC wasn't AMC-lite with cooler uniforms.

I pray the next CSAF comes from either the bomber or fighter (so long as not strictly F-15C) communities. BUFFs, b-ones, hawgs or dudes (Strikes) would be great. God help us all if they're from the MAF.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9183
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:01 am

There’s some high-octane, weapons grade truth right there!
 
ItnStln
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:47 pm

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:46 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
ItnStln wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

It’s only fair, the CSAF before that were all bomber pilots.
I would like to see...become CSAF...Perhaps a pure MAF guy, and General Schwartz doesn't count as he went AFSOC.


Count me out: the last sort of CSAF we need is a MAF'er. You'll never find a more tactically deficient, queep-focused senior officer than one from the MAF. All they understand is airline-style metrics, brute efficiencies and dog and pony shows. Schwartz was bad enough and he at least had some snake-eater stink on him from when AFSOC wasn't AMC-lite with cooler uniforms.

I pray the next CSAF comes from either the bomber or fighter (so long as not strictly F-15C) communities. BUFFs, b-ones, hawgs or dudes (Strikes) would be great. God help us all if they're from the MAF.

What's so bad about a strictly F-15C CSAF? A BONE or another BUFF CSAF would be cool.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:03 pm

If we got a meateating CSAF, he'd get slow-rolled by his civilians just like every CSA has been since Reimer. Reimer wanted to do some really fascinating stuff that really threatened the entrenched civilian bureaucracies. As long as the number of .civs outnumber the .mil officers the DOD will be a jobs program.
 
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LyleLanley
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:33 pm

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:17 pm

ItnStln wrote:
What's so bad about a strictly F-15C CSAF?


If you have to ask you'll never understand.

I'm with Flapoperator, though: Civilian control over the military is great. Civilian micromanagement of the military is not.
 
Cadet985
Posts: 2271
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 6:45 am

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:06 am

So this is something I have thought about and have been researching, but before I post here, is there anywhere I could find what’s in the Boneyard that could hypothetically still fly?

Marc
 
bpatus297
Posts: 646
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:51 am

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Jan 10, 2022 2:58 pm

Cadet985 wrote:
So this is something I have thought about and have been researching, but before I post here, is there anywhere I could find what’s in the Boneyard that could hypothetically still fly?

Marc


I would guess that information is classified.
 
RetiredWeasel
Posts: 876
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:16 pm

Re: Grow the US Air Force

Mon Jan 10, 2022 3:47 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
Cadet985 wrote:
So this is something I have thought about and have been researching, but before I post here, is there anywhere I could find what’s in the Boneyard that could hypothetically still fly?

Marc


I would guess that information is classified.


Many aircraft in the Boneyard could be made to fly again, but would take enormous amounts of money to be an effective weapon's system again. At least 2 B-52s have been born again that way. You can get lists of all the aircraft parked there at this website: http://gmap.nl/amarg-area-inventory/

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