Since we’re hating on Big Air Force this week for rationalizing dumping the A-10, let’s hate on them a little longer for more stupid shit from the Washington Post;
After spending almost $600 million to buy a tiny fleet of the planes over the past six years, stationing them in Mansfield and at two other National Guard bases, the Air Force flew all of them to a junkyard earlier this year. Five more planes, which the Pentagon already has paid for, will be mothballed as soon as they are built.
To Air Force leaders, it was all about economics. They deemed the small planes less efficient than larger, more commonly used transport aircraft.
To National Guard leaders in Ohio, however, it was all about politics. The decision to get rid of perfectly good planes, they argue, was driven by a desire among active-duty Air Force leaders to shift the burden of budget cuts onto the National Guard.
With no planes at the Mansfield base, the Pentagon would no longer pay for it — or the jobs there. Local leaders howled, and the state’s congressional delegation confronted the Air Force. The ensuing battle, which escalated into an intense political dogfight in Washington, was an opening skirmish in what many federal and state officials predict will be the next big clash over defense spending.
Haven’t we been hearing about how the National Guard and the Reserves are going to play a bigger role in the near future as the Pentagon draws down the active force? And, in the meantime, they’re spending money on aircraft that will be mothballed as it rolls off the assembly line. Yeah, I understand that contracts must be filled, but still, someone should have seen this coming six years ago and maybe not ordered the planes that they don’t really want.
As shrinking budgets force the military to thin its ranks, many active-duty leaders, seeking to protect their ilk, want the pain to fall disproportionately on National Guard and reserve forces.
I’m starting to get the feeling that someone in Washington doesn’t know what they’re doing. It looks like by the time the active force gets drawn down, there will be no National Guard or Reserve units left to fill their gaps.