Cool A-10 story

Saw this linked on Blue’s…a story about an A-10 mission during the recent Iraq war. Pretty amazing stuff.

Kim Campbell is the daughter of a San Jose city councilman. I read an interview with her in the local newspaper (the SJ Merc). Her initials are KC, but that’s also her call sign.

When asked by a reporter what “KC” stood for, she answered, “Killer Chick”.

The Pentagon is still planning on getting completely rid of the program. That ought to work out well.

Yeah, I still don’t understand that. Why? Everything I’ve heard is that the A-10 excels at its job.

Because a few fucktard Cold War general jerkoffs like F-16s.

If I became President today, there are two non-foreign-policy-related changes I would make to the military, day one. I’d undo the “everyone gets a black beret” thing that has killed the morale of the Army, and I’d get rid of the abominable F-16 program in the Air Force. My god those things are horrible. I mean Christ, stealth bombers are expensive but at least they work and don’t kill dozens of pilots (and many more of the expensive jets) each year due to malfunctions and other trivial crap.

I’d shovel all the wasted F-16 money half into the A-10 and half into the F-14 or F-15 programs.

Not to be a jerk, but why is this amazing? Because it was a chick flying?

I think it sounds pretty routine: A-10 hit by ground fire, loses hydraulics, pilot flies it home manually, lands, Pentagon rolls it out for the press to see, photogenic pilot poses beneath bullet holes.

But she is pretty hot in a ‘woman in uniform’ way.

 -Tom

Nope, it’s amazing, in a sense, because the A-10 worked as it
was supposed to. Took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’.

The fact that it was a woman pilot was irrelevant; I just loved the
interview with her after the fact.

Besides, given their ability to multitask and their hand-eye coordination, women, on average, can theoretically be better fighter pilots than men. The top instructor at Miramar for a number of years was a woman, but she was listed as a “test pilot” because women weren’t allowed to be combat certified back then.

We already knew that from all the cool Gulf War 1 stories. I wish I could find the link but there was one with a picture where an A-10 had huge hole shot through the left main wing, along with lots of bullet holes like you see here. FWIW, I also wondered if rywill was amazed simply by the gender of the pilot.

Nope, it’s amazing, in a sense, because the A-10 worked as it
was supposed to.

So it’s amazing when things work like they’re supposed to? Even in the article, the pilot downplayed the incident in traditional supercool militaryspeak: “It’s nice when things work as advertised,” she said.

Color me unamazed. Any combat aircraft is going to have some sort of contingency for a hydraulics failure. As Tim noted, A-10s have come back with a lot worse than this.

The fact that it was a woman pilot was irrelevant

Poppycock. The noteworthy thing here is that the pilot was a chick. It’s good PR for the Pentagon and they know it.

 -Tom

I think the contigency for other craft would be “Eject” - but I know there are some people more familiar with the Air Force then I am around here.

Tom, this may come as a shock to you, but often times Military equipment doesn’t perform exactly as the manufacturers state it will in combat situations.

A-10’s at the very least need some heavy updates - most of them are not all weather capable, and they are getting fairly old. Plus they’re not fast and sexy like the newer jets. Theoritically the Strike Eagle’s and the F-16’s can handle the rolls the A-10 perform, and they wouldn’t need to keep different spare parts or train people how to maintain the A-10’s anymore. It’s all about budgets, the military is working towards a consolidation of parts and equipment so everythings interchangeable and so each service can (theoritcally) share things.

Tom, this may come as a shock to you, but often times Military equipment doesn’t perform exactly as the manufacturers state it will in combat situations.

And why would that come as a shock to me, Guido Jones?

Perhaps you missed it the first time I wrote it, but I don’t see what’s so impressive about Captain Campbell bringing in her A-10 with the hydraulics system shot out. As she supercoolly pointed out, that’s how those things are supposed to work.

And BTW, I happen to think the A-10 is indeed a sexy plane for that very reason. Plus it looks great. Aesthetically speaking, I’d call the A-10 my favorite plane. So there.

 -Tom

This is the military we’re talking about here, remember. With pentagon procurement, it’s a miracle anything works.

The A-10 is unpopular with the brass strictly because it’s a plane designed for ground support. The air force hates doing that, so they keep trying to kill it and refuse to think about a replacement.

What Jason said - people in the military are very pragmatic about their equipment because it doesn’t always work the way the manufacturers say it does. It’s a problem with the system that’s in place, and I’m not saying it’s right, just that that’s how it is.

Also note, the A-10 is probably the most well built system the Military has seen in a very very long time. I’m not surprised about this at all, the damage to the plane didn’t look very extensive (I’ve seen pictures of A-10’s with more damage making it home and landing).

And yeah, they don’t like doing ground support because it’s hard (You try hitting enemy targets within a few hundred yards of friendly forces when you’re flying at a couple hundred mph) and you don’t get cool videos of bombs flying through somebodys bedroom window. It’s the old Strategic Command mentality they have going.

Hmm. How 'bout that?

At any rate, I still fail to see how that’s supposed to shock me. I’m just going to have to chalk this up to one of those online things where I have no idea what you meant.

However…

I don’t buy this. Ground support is an important function of air power and I’m sure the Pentagon recognizes that fact. Even assuming the A-10 is unpopular, I’m sure there are other reasons. For starters, it’s older, it’s not very versatile, and it’s vulnerable to low-tech anti-air.

 -Tom

It’s not really sposed to shock you Tom - all I’m really saying is when somebody in the lower levels of the military says something works it’s not hype like 95% of the other stuff you see. It’s impressive the A-10 works as advertised, cause not everything they buy does.

Not really shocking I guess, but your original post came off as “Well shouldn’t everything work as they say it should work?!?!” to me :P

As to why they’re trying to retire them, read my above post. Some of it is that the Air Force doesn’t like doing ground support (it’s the reason the Army/Marines built their own Helicopters instead of having the Air Force provide the support role) and some of it that the planes need some serious overhauls to be on the same levels as Strike Eagles.

In the military? Yes.

It’s also amazing because many people aren’t familiar with the level of abuse an A-10 can sustain and still remain operational. And it’s amazing because in spite of their excellent performance record, the Pentagon still wants to scrap the program.

Well, again, color me unamazed. I’ve read about A-10s that made it back to base under far worse conditions.

You guys should get out more if you’re ‘amazed’ at Captain Campbell’s A-10, ‘amazed’ when things work like they’re supposed to, and ‘amazed’ at the political machincations of the Pentagon.

As to why they’re trying to retire them, read my above post.

No, you read my post. :) I was replying to Jason, who said the brass didn’t like them strictly because they’re built for ground support.

 -Tom

I’m sure we all get this by now, but:

The A-10 is cool. The Air Force hates being called in for ground support.

In a perfect world, the A-10 would still exist, and people other than the Air Force would be flying it (like uhh the Army or Navy or something). Except naturally they’d probably fuck it up, not being the Air Force and all.

Hey, that’s not true. The people in the military know the good equipment from the bad. I served on a 594 class sub (really Thresher class) so I ought to know!

FWIW, I was not extra-impressed because the pilot was a woman. That was something that went “Huh, interesting” on my radar and then I totally forgot about. I thought the story was cool because of the fact that the A-10 took what looked (to me) like very heavy damage, and there was a cool story that went along with it about how the plane nearly crashed, a last-minute recovery, and the pilot having to decide whether to eject or land, and safely landing. Looking back at it, I’m sure you guys are right that the female pilot was one reason the Pentagon reported on the story. Maybe this happens to A-10’s every day, I don’t know. All I know is I haven’t seen a story like this in a long time (maybe I saw one during Gulf War 1, I really don’t remember, but if I had, and I had been posting on this board then, I would have mentioned that story, too) and I thought it was cool. If I were as blase and world-weary as Tom Chick, I guess I wouldn’t have even bothered reading it.