The Long War

When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan.  And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war.  That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War.  I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended.  That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]

Failure To Lead: The Islamic State Ascends

I recently shared amongst the five of us the first dispatch from VICE News on the Islamic State.  If you don’t have HBO, fear not VICE News posts everything onto their website and youtube channel.  Where these guys go makes Michael Yon look an amateur of epic proportions.  They go and get the story, for you and I. Today the top American Advisor in Iraq, LTGEN Mick Bednarek, was quoted saying: “This is not just an Iraqi issue. This is not just a regional issue. This is a common enemy issue that we’ve got to address.” Remember the $100M that went […]

Rest in Peace, A10 the “Hog”

There are two articles I recommend every ground pounder, Army and Marine Corps read.  The first at the Washington Post is about opposition to the retirement of the A10 “Hog” and the second over at Harper’s touching on the same subject, where the author Andrew Cockburn, who concludes: As I explain in my Harper’s feature, the Air Force’s decision to junk the A-10 while retaining the B-1 and the even more unwieldy B-52 bombers for close air support may seem inexplicable, but it is in reality quite logical. The service owes its independence from the army to its success in […]

Do We Need the A10?

Over at the American Conservative  a great article on whether we should keep or kill the A10 Warthog.  As a grunt I support keeping the A10 but we are going to have to quickly find a replacement or upgrade its capabilities as it is a little long in the tooth.

“Leave the A-10, Take the Cannoli”

An interesting take on the venerable A-10 Warthog, the “Vito Corleone of CAS”: I am going to do something for which I feel very bad; bang an additional nail into the coffin of the A-10 Warthog. I feel bad about this because I hold a deep affinity in my robotic heart for this unspeakably ugly aircraft, an aircraft which has put so many warheads on so many deserving foreheads over this last decade. But the A-10, the Vito Corleone of the manned-strike CAS family, is not long for this world. I’m not of the manned-strike CAS family, but I’m close […]

JCAS Symposium

If any loyal Op-Forians happen to be at the JCAS Symposium this week, look me up. I’ll be the Marine LtCol with the last name that starts with “P,” wearing lead-sled airborne wings. Beer will flow copiously thereafter.

Prince Harry the JTAC

This was forwarded to me by the guy who let me crash at his place on Emerald Isle for two years, now a fellow ANGLICAN and JTAC, and mutual acquaintance of LtCol P. Looks like I’m in good company in this job. Prince Harry provided air support for UK troops I wish it were all as easy as they make it sound in the article. Then again, if you’re a Prince, maybe it is. Hey, I’ll bet he didn’t get “drop-blocked” by an RCT air officer just before he cleared an aircraft hot. I mean, who’s going to say no […]

F-35B Lightning-II Reports For Duty

FIRST SHORT TAKEOFF/VERTICAL LANDING STEALTH FIGHTER UNVEILED AT LOCKHEED MARTIN FORT WORTH, Texas, December 18th, 2007 — The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35B Lightning II, the first fighter to combine stealth with short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) capability and supersonic speed, made its debut today amid customers from the United States Marine Corps, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and the Italian Air Force and Navy. Attendees at the rollout ceremony in Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth assembly plant included Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway. “The flexibility that the STOVL variant of the F-35 will add to the […]

Upgraded Warthogs

Hershel Smith of The Captain’s Journal has a piece on the upgraded A-10C Warthog. With the new mods, the A-10C now has capabilities nearing those of the AV-8B Harrier. Herschel believes in the A-10 as a counterinsurgency tool. Excuse me if I withold judgment for a while. Update: My entry was cut a bit short, and I didn’t get to elaborate much. Mike points out in the comments that it’s not fair to blame the A-10 drivers for the incident in Nasiriyah. Indeed, the battalion air officer was found to be ultimately culpable for the incident, and as Richard Lowery […]