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The end of the Naval Air Reserves???



 
 
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  #21  
Old July 5th 03, 11:36 PM
Josť Herculano
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Because of the lack of adversary units, (and the fact that in the last 3
"wars" that there was no credible air-to-air threat) the case will be made
that air-to-air training syllabi can be decreased and/or civilian units
flying CAT III aircraft will be brought in to augment the VFC's. This

"cart
before the horse" mentality will certainly work in the short term, but

will
leave Naval aviators ill-prepared for conflicts involving better equipped
and more serious forces.


From my amateur perspective, I'd say you nailed it elegantly and eloquently.
Some guys at the top seem to be suffering from the delusion that these
latest wars were high-intensity conflicts. Certainly, as you know infinitely
better than I do, there were a huge number of sorties and flight hours, but
I fear that the next one might be quite different.

I'd say high-intensity would be when you have a foe really trying to get his
fangs in your throat, when the planning and scenarios last about half an
hour before you get into crisis management (and stay there till the very
end), and you start getting some punches back. And it does not even need to
be more than what geopolitically amounts to a skirmish.

Lets say that something starts some serious exchange of fire in the Taiwan
straits. The CV battle group that's never far from there may be caught in
that for a few days while some serious worldwide diplomacy unravels it. And
the state and score of the disengaging CV will have monumental political
repercussions both in there and back at home.

For me, professional, in-house adversary work always meant you will fight
the way you train, and if you train really seriously, you'll be prepared.
Otherwise you'll have to get over the learning curve amidst the bullets and
the rockets, which a) takes time and b) is bloody. And you may very well not
have the a), and b) might be more than we can manage in the practical world.
Can the USN take a couple of Silkworms on a couple of CVs, and have them
limp home with some serious CVW losses and still be in a situation where it
is able to function? And I'm talking about the homefront in here, not about
the courage and dedication of the service members.

To have people train with "amateurs" for Gulf War III, makes me very
uneasy...
_____________
Josť Herculano


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  #22  
Old July 6th 03, 01:45 AM
Eric Scheie
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Excellent point about ownership, and a good lesson in leadership.


"Giz" wrote in message
...


It may not mean as much as it did in my community. At one time each
squadron
"pretty much" owned their planes. Transfers were infrequent. The upkeep
these
planes got was great. As we lost airframes to hours or mods the transfer
game
began. Rarely did you get another squadron's gem. A lot of maint hours
went
into bringing those planes up to a true FMC status. They were transferred
up,
but you know, kind of up. As I look back, that time was the first signal
that we
were headed for trouble. That I believe is the cause of my prejudice
against a
policy of transfers. There's nothing like ownership to encourage upkeep.
That's
more of a motivator than any CO could come up with. .




  #23  
Old July 6th 03, 03:31 AM
Eric Scheie
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"Doug "Woody" and Erin Beal" wrote in message
...


A better indicator might be the number of airplanes air wings deploy with.
On my first cruise, an air wing had 90 aircraft. My most recent cruise:
70. That's all funding-driven. Sure we still have 46-50 bomb-droppers,

but
we could have more (i.e. an even better tooth-to-tail) if the budget would
allow it. The leadership has allowed (even promoted) the decrease to keep
aircraft carrier decks filled and because it looks more efficient.


To key on the last sentence here - I wonder if the cuts that have been
proposed are an effort to create a perceived decrease in cost and increase
in efficiency. Even flag officers have people above them they have to answer
to. Unfortunately, short term challenges may be met with short term
solutions which may create long term problems.


[snipped bits here]


The net result will be
(a) "Termination" of the Navy's "insurance policy" (such as VFA-201

provided
for CVW-8 this year) and
(b) Loss of 60% of the Navy's adversary players (all reserve squadrons

right
now).

Because of the lack of adversary units, (and the fact that in the last 3
"wars" that there was no credible air-to-air threat) the case will be made
that air-to-air training syllabi can be decreased and/or civilian units
flying CAT III aircraft will be brought in to augment the VFC's. This

"cart
before the horse" mentality will certainly work in the short term, but

will
leave Naval aviators ill-prepared for conflicts involving better equipped
and more serious forces.


I recall hearing about a company in Florida that advertised adversary
services ( http://www.aerogroupinc.com/welcome.html ). Good, bad, or ugly, I
can't say. Could such a company step in and effectively fill the need for
adversary training? Perhaps. Might this be what the leadership is looking at
when they consider disestablishing reserve squadrons currently filling that
role? Would this create a perception of budget savings - would it "look more
efficient"? The question of whether a private company can fill this roll is
interesting. Contractors may have a somewhat checkered reputation, though
such a contractor would have to hire the same kind of people who would have
manned a reserve squadron.

Issues this raises are -

1. The loss of corporate knowledge for the strike community.
2. Can a civilian company hire and retain quality people and ensure the
training provided will meet the needs of the fleet?

Regarding the strike community, I think the loss of "corporate knowledge"
and effective training is a serious issue. While diminishing this capability
may save a few dollars in the short term, my feeling is that the bill will
come due in the long term. This bill will likely be paid in blood.

In the face of proposed cuts, this thread has identified a number of
problems. I'll venture some ideas for some solutions: (when the term
"reserve" is used, assume it includes the guard as well, when applicable.)

1. War fighters (NOT exclusively strike). Keep the reserves alive. Retain
good people and hard earned corporate knowledge in a robust environment
where it can be applied and the people in the fleet can reap the benefits of
training from experienced, motivated peers.

2. Logistics can be contracted to civilian companies. "Ash and trash" is not
a war-fighting specialty, and there are plenty of companies in business
right now that can provide aerial logistics capability. This would eliminate
the need for NAVAIRES C-9 and C-130 squadrons. How much money would be saved
if the replacement of C-9s with 737s was scrapped? Reserve C-12s and the
Gulfstream squadron in DC could be disestablished and their roles be
outsourced as well.

3. VP, HS, HSL. There are missions close to home, homeland security being a
new priority, that these communities can support, especially now with many
of our active (and reserve!!) forces deployed. A revised mission statement,
along with revised funding priorities would make these units invaluable
assets for homeland and western hemisphere tasking - an ideal role for
reserve assets. If HS and HSL still have to be eliminated, send the budget
savings to the Coast Guard.

The revised mission statement: decreased emphasis on ASW and an increased
emphasis on patrol, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

4. Create (and support!!) reserve units of experienced reserve personnel who
can be utilized in the training and operational augmentation of active
units.

5. All service branches get together to determine how their respective
reserve resources can be best coordinated and utilized to create a more
comprehensive and effective supporting force structure.

My 2 cents.....OK, maybe more than 2 cents, how about 2 bits?

Eric Scheie



 




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