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Thread: USAF MG (RET) Ricahrd Comer's Article in FEB AFJ on the USAF and IW

  1. #1
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default USAF MG (RET) Ricahrd Comer's Article in FEB AFJ on the USAF and IW

    I thought MG (Ret) Comer's article well developed and practical in many respects - it offer's a good counter point to other voices associated with the USAF on the path for air power in IW.

    Here is the link to An irregular challenge

    Here is the conclusion:

    These historical precedents demonstrate that the growing requirements of irregular warfare will also find a way to become satisfied. The first and best option is for the Air Force to lead the way in developing people, airplanes and units that will create air forces to fight insurgencies.

    Today, the Air Force controls air and space from the surface to the sun. Our partner nations, constituting the front lines fighting the global jihad, need to create a scaled-down similar capability within their own domestic airspace. As the only air superpower in the world, the Air Force is the best organization to take on this mission. To do it correctly means planning for the long term, moving patiently and empowering a lot of young airmen. Itís new and will require new aircraft, new wings and new thinking. It will create a new culture in our Air Force, regenerating it into the larger Air Force the country needs.
    Lots of good thoughts in the body, and well worth the 10 minutes to read it and think on it.
    Best, Rob

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    . “The Air Force needs to equip itself to fight the big wars,” he said. To fight the Soviet Union and the East Bloc, we have to win the air battle for superiority, he explained, and if we can do that, we can always use whatever is in that arsenal to scale down. We can always fight the lesser, if we prepare for the greater. And besides, he concluded, that’s low-intensity conflict (LIC), not war. “We need an Air Force for war.”
    Hmm I heard the same thing in the Army in the 1980s. I wonder if Comer and Dunlap exchange X-Mas cards. Somehow I doubt it. Then again Comer was a navigator and a spec ops guy--that means he was not really inside the AF inner sanctum.

    Still this makes an interesting contrast in reading Dunlaps's "smart-bombs make better COIN fighters than soldiers" aricle in SWJ mag Vol 10. We need to get Comer to write for us.

    Tom

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    Default General Comer's experience

    Tom,
    In fact, Major General Comer was not a navigator, he was a Rescue and Special Operations helicopter pilot. In fact, if memory serves me, he was the fisrt "pure" helo pilot to the rank of General, althoug he did fly some fixed wing as he commanded units with both types of aircraft.

    Otto

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed "Otto" Pernotto View Post
    Tom,
    In fact, Major General Comer was not a navigator, he was a Rescue and Special Operations helicopter pilot. In fact, if memory serves me, he was the fisrt "pure" helo pilot to the rank of General, althoug he did fly some fixed wing as he commanded units with both types of aircraft.

    Otto

    Thanks mate!

    That makes him even more interesting. Got a close friend from the AFSOC community.

    Best

    Tom

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Otto - was hoping you knew him -it'd be great to have him interact here. Best, Rob

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    As a fellow "Zipper Suited Sun God" who flies some of the pointy nosed jets, I applaud MG Comer's article. There are whispers within the aviation community to push for such a plan, but not at the levels that it should be. The culture of current commanders will hinder any such plan. Budget reasons will absolutely stop such a plan in its tracks as you are going against mainstream AF thought. If we create such an air force, inevitably an aircraft procurement will be heavily politicized, endlessly delayed and prone to become neutered by AF doctrine(see OV-10 operations in Vietnam where the powers that be pulled the weapons off the aircraft so they would take less losses since the pilot will be forced not to engage). If a IW wing were to form, I know a lot of disenfranchised pilots who would be willing to fly (read TAMI'd pilots in UAS/U-28s/RC-12s or pilots looking to get truly involved). The line starts behind me, but I won't hold my breath over a fast paced procurement.

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    I haven't heard anything for a while, but there was talk some time ago of forming an IW wing at AFSOC with A-10's and some of the AFSOC platforms dedicated to IW.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Otto - was hoping you knew him -it'd be great to have him interact here. Best, Rob
    Yea, we need to detain him here that's a joke. We need to extend him a nice invitation to come here.

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