What this Air Force Major General said is absolutely HEINOUS

My twenty-two years in the Army was as an artillery officer and my first combat tour in Operation Desert Shield/Storm was as the Task Force 2-16 infantry fire support officer. In my early years, I had the pleasure of calling in strikes in training and coordinating strikes of the most potent close air support platform perhaps since the P-51 Mustang — the A-10 Thunderbolt, aka the “Warthog.” There is no greater sound to a ground combat soldier than the high pitched whine and the “blurp” sound of the Gatling Gun cannon in its nose. Here it is in all its glory:

And so I find this story particularly disconcerting.

As reported by the UK Daily Mail, “An Air Force major general has been formally reprimanded and removed from his job for telling a group of officers that talking to Congress in a bid to block retirement of the A-10 Warthog amounted to ‘treason,’ the Air Force said on Friday. “

“An investigation of remarks by Major General James Post III, who was the vice commander of Air Combat Command, found that his words to some 300 airmen at Nellis Air Force Base on Jan. 10 may have had a ‘chilling effect’ on some of them, convincing them not to speak with lawmakers. Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said the Air Force action against Post was ‘important and correct.’ ‘Members of Congress must be able to receive unfiltered facts and opinions from service members…,’ he said in a statement. ‘Attempts to prevent or restrict that communication cannot be allowed.”

Let me make one thing clear, no senior officer should impart such undue command influence against any member of our Armed Services. The A-10 is a potent aircraft and should not be retired and should undergo a service life extension program.

I would recommend that the Secretary of Defense make the decision to transfer the A-10 from the U.S. Air Force to the U.S. Army and here’s why.

We are currently under the belief that air power can defeat an enemy — that has only been the case with the dropping of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You cannot defeat a ground enemy from 20,000 feet. And an F-16 or an F-18 are not primary close air support platforms. The F-35 has had major cost overruns.

In combat, when a ground force engages the enemy, it is a tactical imperative to bring to bear all weapon systems in order to destroy the enemy force — while maintaining ground engagement. Currently, when calling in for F-16 and F-18 platforms, ground elements must disengage because of the risk of circular error from the munitions being dropped and collateral damage — fratricide, friendly fire. The enemy knows that when the ground force stops engaging they are repositioning for just that reason — and so the enemy does the same. And the enemy tactic is, if possible, to flee into villages resulting in civilian deaths — which then become tools of propaganda.

The A-10 allows for the ground combat force to maintain engagement with the enemy as it comes in low and slow to deliver its weaponry — namely the 30mm rotating cannon in its nose. This is the perfect system to defeat engaged Islamic jihadist groups and the A-10 is well equipped to get into some tough terrain.

Here is why this system should be transferred to the Army. The U.S. Marine Corps fights in what is called the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It is composed of three elements as part of the task organization: a Ground Combat Element (GCE), a Air Combat Element (ACE), and a Logistics Support Service Element (LSSE).

The potent force deploys and fights as an integral unit, providing complete and total combat power to accomplish the mission. This is the model that should be utilized to develop a new Army combat capable force, the Brigade Air Ground Task Force (BAGTF), a self-contained combat force.

The MAGTF employs the AV-8B Harrier so the new BAGTF should employ the A-10 Thunderbolt. Currently the Army has Air Force liaison teams — tactical air controllers — that are attached whose purpose is to coordinate close air support strikes. Why not have the brigade commander in the Army just as the MAGTF commander owns these resources for his battle planning and execution — and have them not just attached, but assigned? They are immediately responsive.

The great thing about Marine aviators is they are trained first as Marine ground officers under the mantra, “Every Marine a rifleman.”

I love A-10 pilots, which I why I supported Air Force COL (Ret) Martha McSally so strongly to be a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. She knows what this platform that she once flew and commanded is capable of doing. And for any Air Force officer to condemn speaking of retaining this weapon system as amounting to treason is heinous.

“Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh, himself a former A-10 pilot, has said that given budget and personnel constraints, the Air Force needs to retire the plane to save money and free up people to learn to maintain the new F-35 joint strike fighter. MAJ GEN Post made his remarks while fielding questions from the airmen. He was asked about the status of the A-10 and began to discuss budget constraints facing the department and the reason for the decision to retire the plane. The inspector general’s investigation interviewed several witnesses who remembered Post using the word ‘treason’ to describe efforts to oppose the Air Force leadership’s decision to retire the plane, either via a social media campaign or by talking to Congress.”

“In his own written account, Post said he told the group the Air Force didn’t want to get rid of the plane but needed to because of budget constraints. He acknowledged using the word ‘treason.’ General Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, gave Post a letter of reprimand due to the findings and removed him from his position as vice commander.”

If we are to be successful on this 21st century battlefield, it means thinking outside of the proverbial box and doing things which operationally and tactically make sense. Instead of cutting the A-10 program, let’s get rid of the respective Service Secretariat offices that have become nothing more than bureaucratic, political playgrounds for cronyism. As well, why not look at the growing civilian staffs at the respective Geographic Combatant Commands? Focus on supporting the warfighter and stop tying the hands of our men and women in combat to artificial budgetary constraints.

God knows, we can’t cut food stamps, but we can doggone sure cut the capability, capacity, and benefits to the best our country has to offer — the legacy of bravery, service, sacrifice, and commitment.

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20 Comments on "What this Air Force Major General said is absolutely HEINOUS"

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akatom3565
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Sounds like he is taking after his Commander in Chief!

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Drdean0
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Some folks just don’t want to win this war against terrorism

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Wm Reed
Guest

They want the warthog gone because muslims don’t want to be killed by a plane named after a pig. Probably go to hell or not get their virgins or something stupid like that.

omega2
Guest

PUT ANOTHER STAR ON THIS GENERAL AND REMOVE THE GENERAL IN THE CHIEF OF THE AIR FORCE AS NOTHING MORE THAN A PUSSY BUTT LICKER FOR BOZO THE OVAL OFFICE CLOWN!

Joe
Guest

What is “CHIEF OF THE AIR FORCE”? Please learn our terms before commenting.

omega2
Guest

TOP AIR FORCE OFFICER UNDER THE JOINT CHIEF STRUCTURE UNDER THE DOD SECRETARY! GOT IT YET! FORMER USAF MEMBER!

Lou
Guest

No Way you are former Air Force… Otherwise you would Know it is Chief Of Staff of the US Air Force. I hate clowns that are either stolen valor or claim service when you clearly can see thru the lines.

Scott Stroman
Guest

Colonel, you are right on!

Baroke Insane Owebama
Guest

We have to get rid of these killing machines, it just isn’t fair for the other guys!

Boomski
Guest

Thank you Mr. West for posting this. I reminisced watching the video, and am very sad to read about 1- the brave man who was disciplined, & 2- the retirement/cost conversations about that incredibly important aircraft. I was stationed at Elmendorf AFB in the 80’s & 90’s, and was amazed by those birds. The maneuverability is unsurpassed – I used to call them the Dragonfly because the way they could move was like that of dragonflies. If our “public servants” cannot find a way to keep these Dragonflies going, they should serve elsewhere, like a restaurant.

ervinsims
Guest

The Warthog should be funded and should belong to the Army.

David_Francis
Guest

I wondered as a PFC in Desert Storm why the A-10 wasn’t in the Army. It should have been because it was the Army that called in the strikes. Also POW’s in Desert Storm told us that no aircraft scared them as much as the A-10. It was the only plane that flew in close enough that they could shoot it with their AK 47’s, see their bullets hit and see the pilot wave at them before turning around for another pass.

Myers Tyson
Guest

Many times, it was an AF joint terminal attack controller calling in the strikes.

David_Francis
Guest

Thanks for the reply. I was an armored vehicle mechanic; so I wasn’t quite close enough to rub shoulders with AF personnel. I didn’t really know how that went. Certainly as a PFC, there wasn’t a reason for someone to break that down to me. I always enjoyed watching the A-10s. I still like the idea of the Army having their own A-10s to fight more efficiently on a three dimensional battlefield.

wxman
Guest

Absolutely. AF pilots serving on the ground with the Army as Forward Air Controllers.

TwinTurboTurtle
Guest

This isn’t about a plane capabilities. The A-10 Warthog was designed to protect troops in a ground war. No other plane has yet been designed to take its place. The push for the new F-35 is about contracts to build and multi-billion dollar contracts to maintain an inferior flying machine. Too bad you cannot put the vote to men and women that depend on the A-10 for air support, I’m sure they would vote to keep it. Instead congressmen will line their pockets and leave troops protected by the latest and greatest, yet inferior ground troop supporting plane.

gjsmith_62
Guest

Keep the A-10 and eliminate the Air Force, have the Army control those forces as it had in WWII.

Paul Sheridan
Guest
There’s something not quite right about the way the Air Force has it in for this plane. They’ve been trying to get rid of it for over a decade now and I can’t help but think that it’s precisely because it’s so popular with ground troops. Look at the wikipedia page for Air Force Chief of Staff and you’ll see that the job has been held by an unbroken string of fighter pilots from 1982 until 2008. The Air Force has always had a problem with thinking that its primary role is air superiority, shooting down other aircraft in high-G… Read more »