Over at Nellis AFB they are training to fight the next war

Nothing is foolproof, as my ol’ Pappy used to say, because the fools always find a way.

Thus it is in warfare — whether it is armor plate, moats, the Maginot Line, barbed wire and trenches, the Great Wall of China or mutual assured destruction (MAD). (The latter doesn’t work too well when the enemy embraces martyrdom and the apocalypse.)

Less than a month ago the Marines stormed into Nellis AFB with their latest toy, the F-35B, for Red Flag exercises. The story in the morning paper quoted an Air Force full bird colonel as saying the exercise was to train the various branches of the U.S. military to fight and win wars in space and cyberspace.

“This is preparation for what we may be called on to do in the future for this country,” he said.
At the end of the piece a Marine lite colonel was quoted as saying, “The training that we have right now and the scenarios that are going on can be applied worldwide. So at the end of the exercise, they’re basically … well-prepped for anything going on in the world, including whatever role we may have currently.”
Today WaPo has a piece datelined “NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.,” reporting that things did not necessarily go off as well as anticipated.
“Rank-and-file troops expected to carry out cyberattacks on enemy air defenses deviated from their plan without warning commanders and pilots,” the paper reports, thus leaving the U.S. aircraft at risk. (Mitchell’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will. Murphy stole it.)

The paper reports that Red Flag was established after so many aircraft were shot down during the Vietnam conflict in order to train pilots for air-to-air combat. (Though I’m not so sure the outcome of that dustup could be attributed to airpower or to the bicycles loaded with supplies that came down the Ho Chi Minh Freeway, despite the efforts of those who manned McNamara’s Wall.)

According to a Forbes article, the Air Force’s F-35A jet fighters have become operational. The Marines will be using the F-35B, a short-takeoff and vertical landing fighter, while the Navy’s F-35-Cs will be aircraft carrier-based, according to a Heritage analysis for the capabilities of the new fleet.

Forbes says the F-35A six times more capable in air-to-air combat, five times more capable in attacks on ground targets, and four times more capable in evading surface-to-air missiles. The Heritage piece relates the experiences of F-35 pilots who mostly found the plane superior to others currently in the U.S. fleet.

You can build a better fighter jet, and we should, and train for the next war, and we should, but always be wary of what the fools will come up with next.
Then there is Mitchell’s Law of Committees: “Any simple problem can be made insoluble if enough meetings (training exercises) are held to discuss it.”

An F-35 takes off from Nellis AFB during Red Flag exercises. (R-J photo)

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20 comments on “Over at Nellis AFB they are training to fight the next war

  1. Steve says:

    In 2014 they had to remove the Chinese made magnets and replace them with American made ones.
    The whole fleet isn’t even operational ready yet and even when so called complete (maybe next decade!) every plane will need to be retrofitted so they can be brought up to operational ready status.

    This program is really scary, it’s more about keeping Lockheed Martin in business than it is about building effective weapons of war.

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/222380-the-pentagons-official-f-35-bug-list-is-terrifying

  2. nyp says:

    I see that the Republican Party’s candidate for President of the United States is now suggesting Second Amendment remedies in the event a Democrat wins the election.

    I guess he was inspired by Sharon Angle.

  3. Trump has no couth, no clue, no rein on his mouth. Actually, I think that shows just how little he respects and/or understands “Second Amendment people.”

  4. nyp says:

    What is it about the modern conservative movement that the Republican nominee for President is Donald Trump?

  5. Steve says:

    Trump is not conservative.

  6. Patrick says:

    Conservatives are a rare breed. When it comes to elections, they don’t stand much of a chance unless they do what the conservatives try to do in most elections; forge coalitions with some larger group that has as many similarities as they can get (evangelicals) even while this often “dilutes” their pure blood as it were.

    The barricades have been overrun though in this election and no amount of farcical wailing for “our believed republic” and “flag burning” or what not is going to rally the Trumpets.

  7. Trump is not a Republican.

  8. nyp says:

    Yet he was nominated by the Republican Party and endorsed by all of the members of the Republican congressional leadership. Even more importantly, he won primary after primary, and earned the support of millions of life-long Republican voters.

    Could it be the case that a huge segment of traditional Republican voters are not motivated by a close reading of the collected works of Murray Rothbard but are instead motivated by the ethnic/racial resentment that Trump represents?

  9. That’s why some them have changed their voter registration to Libertarian.

  10. Steve says:

    nyp is ignoring all the Republicans coming out against Trump and several Republicans saying they will vote for Clinton.

    Might there be a fly in the ointment?

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/debates-clinton-trump-johnson-stein-226806

  11. nyp says:

    Indeed. There is a not-insubstantial segment of the conservative movement that is not primarily motivated by racial resentment and nativism.

  12. Steve says:

    double negatives are poor grammar

    The segment you refer is not a majority of conservatively minded people. Not just in the USA but the world over.

  13. Bill says:

    It is doubtful that this new weapon will be the wonder weapon that it is being touted to be. Few are but we must keep pace. In a nuclear age it can be fatal to fall behind.

    It was once said that the long bow was going to be the end of civilization. It wasn’t. Neither was gunpowder. Atomic, biological and/or chemical have the potential to do so. Given man’s propensities it may well happen.

    One thing is for sure. Mankind will continually devise new stratagems to conquer others. Perhaps it is hard wired into our genes as part of Darwin’s survival of the fittest.

    We have to be ready to fight. Today, the U.S. has multiple enemies. In addition to the nation states that would challenge us with their weapons and armaments, we have a new type of enemy that believes in waging total war on men, women and children. They are not constrained by normal rules and wish to kill or convert all others in the name of their religion. They care nothing about the constraints of mutually assured mass destruction and in fact would relish the idea of martyrdom in one cataclysmic holocaust.

    There has always been only two basic ways to keep the peace in the world. The first is by surrendering. That rarely works as countless oppressed peoples can testify. The second way to assure peace iis by being strong and prepared to fight.

    Peace through strength served us well during the cold war. Today, it is a doctrine that too many in our country are unwilling to embrace. We have to be able to face all of our enemies. On the one hand, we must be prepared for conventional warfare and on the other kills indiscriminately innocent non-combatants wherever they are found. All in the name of what they profess is their religion.

    Most Americans long for peace. We all long for that Utopian world where mankind lives in peace. Over the centuries it has been an illusion. If it were attainable we would not even need traffic cops.

    Some have urged that we should treat these persons who would kill us with understanding and love because he/she is acting in this manner simply because he/she comes from a place where there is poverty and ignorance. The assumption is that these persons have adopted their “extreme: view of their religion simply because there are no jobs nor is education available Their logic would seem to conclude that only if there were jobs programs, student loans and economic aid from the rich of the world then things would change. This thinking also overlooks that many of the terrorists are well educated and come from wealth. Osama Bin Laden is the prime example. Most overlook that a virulent anti-west form of Islam is taught in countries that our ostensibly our allies. Saudi Arabia is the prime example.

    We cannot really call those who would kill us Muslims although they identify themselves as such. While these folks claim to be Muslims, our President and others of our leaders say they cannot be labeled as Muslim Terrorists because…..? We hear that those who would kill or conquer all that do not practice Islam as they dictate are not Muslims because they have “hijacked” a peaceful religion.

    These terrorists of a name that we dare not speak must be different from those Chrisitians in our own Country that our President has held up to scorn for “clinging” to their guns and religion. Those terrorists are also different than those Christians who formed the the Ku Klux Klan whose policies of racism were advanced using Christian principles. And, of course, those terrorists cannot be branded Muslim but our President reminded us that the Christians were responsible for the Inquisition and the (gasp) the Crusades. It is politically correct these days to blame the Christians for the Ku Klux Klan and the Inquisition but you cannot call Muslim Terrorists by their name. Why didn’t he blame the Democrats for the Ku Klux Klan as the founders were southern democrats. Maybe just an oversight. I rather doubt it when he seems to see some sort of moral equivalence between Israel building settlements on the West Bank and Jihadists killing people.

    We do need to keep current militarily and we do need to train our men and women of the Armed Forces. That is not an excuse for wasteful boondoggles and ineffective training that have plagued us in the past..

    Above all, we need to keep in mind that there is more than one type of enemy. We must not fall into the trap that wars can be won by remote control. We have seemed to be moving towards a belief that we can have “sanitary” wars where only the bad guys get killed. While advanced weapons systems and electronic intelligence are useful and necessary, in the final analysis, in war, there inevitably are be boots on the ground.

  14. Steve says:

    Patrick….answer the phone, it’s the pot calling!

  15. Patrick says:

    Steve: it was just the proctologist. He said he found your head.

  16. Rincon says:

    “There has always been only two basic ways to keep the peace in the world. The first is by surrendering. That rarely works as countless oppressed peoples can testify. The second way to assure peace is by being strong and prepared to fight.”

    Prepared to fight, yes; anxious to fight, no. We are too anxious to fight. Few countries have used their armed forces as extensively as us for at least the last half century. According to this article, there have only been 5 years since 1940 that we were not at war. True or false? http://www.infowars.com/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/

  17. Steve says:

    Stay classy, kettle.

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