Monday, April 11, 2016

Law of Unintended Consequences and F-35 H8ers.

Hillarity ensues.

My apologies for not posting more, but I’m swamped with higher priorities and will continue to be for a while yet. There’s been a lot going on that I’d like to really get into the weeds on with some in depth posts. Those can sit for a bit without harm and I notice the internet seems to do just fine with most of the ‘news’ without me having to add my 2 cents worth. It does seem others often have things covered pretty well.

But here’s a little story breaking that I haven’t seen anyone pick up on yet….and it is just too delightful to let lay unnoticed and unloved.

Flashback to the A-10 Fanbois Faction whining up a delay in the A-10 ramp-down to retirement.

Then remember how the AF bluntly stated this delay will impact the F-35 by hindering the training-up of the maintenance force. (Those bodies gotta’ come from somewhere, y’ know.)

Recall how there’s a whole bowl of granola (what ain’t ‘flakes’ is ‘fruits and nuts’) trying to ‘stop’ the Vermont National Guard “Green Mountain Boys” from transitioning from the F-16 to the F-35. That Sprey-hosting crowd is currently pursuing a lawsuit that has so far soundly lost every court challenge, but they keep appealing their ‘lost’ cause. They even snookered a local city into helping subsidize their antics and they just asked for and received even MORE ‘joe public’ money. (How do most of the citizens feel about that ongoing rent-seeking, eh?
Enter last week’s unsurprising announcement that the F-35 will be based at Eielson AFB (well OK, many Canadians were probably shocked because they’ve been told for years that the F-35--or any single engine fighter--isn’t any good at operating over vast expanses of cold nothingness). Buried on metaphorical Page 2 of that Eielson announcement has the AF accelerating the deployment of F-35s to the Green Mountain Boys at their Burlington VT ANG base.
This, as you can imagine has the ‘Stop the F-35’ snowflakes in a very unhappy place.

So why is the AF accelerating the F-35 basing in VT?
“The accelerated timeline is intended to help the Air Force address a shortage of active-duty fighter aircraft maintenance workers, officials said.” (link)

Like I said, the bodies have to come from somewhere.
If the AF can’t transition the A-10s out of the fleet at the needed rate, that pretty much leaves the F-16’s having to speed up their conversion pace to make up for it.
Bottom Line: 'A-10-forever' Anti-JSF faction has hosed a 'NIMBY luddite' Anti-JSF faction.


BTW: The Green Mountain boys don’t fly out of a backwater grass strip in some idyllic mountain meadow. They fly out of the very nice and relatively busy Burlington Int’l Airport, where jetliners fly in and out with far greater frequency than the ANG does it's F-16s and soon to be F-35s.