Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. They don't fly, they repel the earth.
They have always been one of my favorite warplanes. Of course being an Army ground pounder may give me a bit of a bias... good CAS can be your best friend at times.
Now that's funny Ed. My feelings exactly Fred. How can a ground pounder not love the things?
Today a ground pounder may never see the source of the CAS weapon that saves his bacon. No need to go eye-to-eye anymore (although that method is more exciting!) Give me good coordinates and/or an accurate spot of off-set from your position and I'll put it in Achmed's turban. Manual systems like the A-10 are fine, but technology has taken a lot of the glamor out of CAS. I remember putting some Vipers in at Ft. Irwin during a live fire exercise. They were tossing BDU-33 (practice bombs) from a level horizontal turn over the heads of the friendly troops and putting them through the plywood tank mockups. Referees wouldn't give kill credit despite the hits because "the jets never over-flew the targets"!!!!!A lot of change has occurred since those days.
Back in the Dark Ages of attack helicopters, not overflying the target was one of the cardinal rules. Ignoring same would frequently get the violator shot down by the former target. Running fire was the norm while breaking over the friendlies. Besides, the good guys didn't seem to mind the hot brass dropping on them as long as we were hitting the bad guys. I'm told that the current generation had to learn old tactics for ops in Iraq and, especially, Afghanistan as the OGE hovering fire learned for "the next European war" just didn't work in that part of the world. Regardless of platform, firing for the good guys on the ground has got to be the best job in the world. regards, Alemaster
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