Thursday, February 27, 2014

Budget Cuts

You're living under a rock if you've missed all the brouhaha surrounding the proposed cuts in the military budget.  It seems like everyone and their mom has something to say about the proposed cuts, which weigh heavily on the Army, said service to be cut from approximately 500,000 soldiers to 440,000 or 420,000 troops, depending on who you read.  The Navy will mothball a number of cruisers and the buy for the Littoral Combat Ship has been capped at the currently "paid for" number of 32.  One of the most controversial items in the proposed budget is the scrapping of USAF's entire fleet of A-10s... about which, this (from the Usual USAF Source):
USAF Will Scrap, Not Mothball, the A-10

The Air Force isn't planning to mothball its 283 A-10s, but simply retire the type wholesale as part of the Fiscal 2015 budget request, service Secretary Deborah Lee James said Wednesday. James told a Bloomberg defense symposium in Washington, D.C., that "the idea…is to…retire them fully" rather than put the A-10s into Type 1000 storage—meaning they could be returned to operations if needed—at the Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., boneyard. However, she said the A-10s won't be retired all at once, but rather over several years. "The beginning years would tilt toward the Active component," and the Guard and Reserve A-10s would be the last to go, she said. James emphasized that the A-10 is not the only close air support platform in the Air Force, and that in Afghanistan, it has actually only performed 20 percent of the CAS mission. The rest has been done by AC-130s, F-15s, F-16s, B-52s, and B-1s; all of which will be retained. "We have got this," James said of the CAS mission, insisting the service won't let down its brethren in the other services. The F-35 also will eventually take over the CAS role, she said. Retiring the A-10s will save $3.5 billion over the future years defense plan, she said.
—John A. Tirpak
That's the Party Line, of course.  I'm pretty sure the troops on the ground feel differently, at least that's the consensus of what I read about the subject on the milblogs.  Cutting the A-10 will face some serious opposition in Congress, too.  

Yet another case of living in interesting times, eh?

In other news... We poured our first cup at 1245 hrs today and are still reading the overnight mail and stuff.  This is gonna be one of those days when we go directly from coffee to beer... without passing "Go" or collecting 200 dollars.  That's the bad news and I hate it when this happens.  But the good news is we'll be back into the 70s today, so we'll take Happy Hour on the verandah.  Yays!


  1. Russian armored units getting ready to roll into Ukraine are also in favor of retiring the A-10.

    1. I most literally do NOT wanna go there.

  2. Turns out the A-10 didn't fare so well against shoulder-launched SAM's. The Ruskies have a lots and lots of those. I think the A-10 should have been retired the same week that the F-117 was. The U-2 is obsolete because a human is no longer required. Global Hawks are orbiting everywhere now, and they have a larger sensor payload. Move the U-2 pilots to the drones, and let them keep their diapers.

  3. "You're living under a rock if you've missed all the brouhaha surrounding the proposed cuts in the military budget."

    It's happening over here as well - to an alarming extent.

    1. I know... I've been following your defense cuts since the gub'mint got rid of all the Harriers and retired your aircraft carriers. Shocking.


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