Saturday, October 13, 2018

Is the US a paper tiger?

I haven't been keeping track of the hurricane that struck Florida for a number of reasons.  Having said that, I did note that a major Air Force base was hit and observed numerous reports that several planes were damaged.

I discounted them

No way in hell a commander would leave high dollar aircraft in the path of a hurricane.

Apparently I was wrong. 

This statement by a reader left me stunned...

A while back the airforce said 46% of entire F-22 fleet is not operational; I had no idea what that really meant (not flyable? flyable but other shit don't work?).

Now we know: 22 out of 55 can't be flown out prior to hurricane, that's 40% (if extrapolate to entire fleet ) not flyable.
F-22's were left in their hangars?  22 out of 55 couldn't be flown out?  WTF over!!!

Our most vaunted fighters aren't in flyable state?  That demand by Mattis that the service get up to an 80% flyable state within a year makes nothing but sense now.

But why did this happen?  I have a few theories...

1.  By allowing a percentage of the fleet to remain in an unflyable state makes the case for recapitalizing with the F-35 easier to make.

2.  Having so many aircraft down makes the case for more money easier to make.

3.  Lack of trained techs to maintain the aircraft.

4.  The endless war on terror is savaging our fleet.

The list could probably go on, but I'm not in the mood so I'll leave the theorizing to the tribe.

But a patriot has to ask an uncomfortable question.  If this extends past just our air fleet and illustrates the state of our ground and naval forces does that mean that despite all the money we spend on defense we're essentially a "paper tiger"???

I really don't know but hopefully you guys have more data points and a clearer view of things.

What say you?  Paper tiger or just a maintenance blip? 

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