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Baddest USAF fighter gets none in Libya  (Source: Air Force Times)
B-2 bombers flew without their Raptor escorts

The U.S. Air Force is engaged in Libya right now and it is using mostly older aircraft like the F-15E to do the heavy fighting and ground attacks. The B-2 stealth bomber was employed though and in many hostile airspace operations the B-2 would have been accompanied by the F-22 Raptor, the most capable air superiority fighter in the USAF arsenal.

However, in Libyan operations the B-2's have apparently flown on a mission without the help from the F-22Air Force Times reports that the reason the F-22 wasn't sent along with three B-2 bombers that bombed targets in Libya was a combination of the lack of need and the limitations of the F-22.

A flight of three B-2 bombers left Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to make bombing runs in Libya on March 20. Generally, Air Force doctrine would have the B-2s fly with F-22s for protection from enemy fighters. The Air Force Times reports that USAF Maj. Eric Hilliard, spokesman for Africa Command said, "I see no indication that F-22s were used as an escort for the B-2 nor do I see anything that indicates the Raptor will be used in future missions over Libya."

Analyst Mark Gunzinger of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis on Washington said, "Frankly, they [F-22s] might not be needed. Libya’s defenses were not that robust to begin with and were rolled back quite handily."

Other than the F-22s not being needed, perhaps a more telling reason was that the limited capabilities of the Libyan air force have kept the vaunted fighter on the sidelines. Libya fields mostly older fighters and the F-22's performance and capabilities weren’t needed. The F-22 also has a very limited capability to communicate with other coalition aircraft operating in Libya by design. Radio emission from data links that would enable the Raptor to communicate with other fighters would also potentially give the position of the stealthy F-22 away.

Analyst Loren Thompson from the Lexington Institute said, "The designers of the F-22 had a dilemma, which is whether to have the connectivity that would allow versatility or to have the radio silence that would facilitate stealthiest. What they opted for was a limited set of tactical data links."

The F-22 as it is now can only communicate with other F-22's via a data links during flights. Other than the communications issue, the F-22 also has limited capability to hit ground targets. This is to be expected in an air superiority fighter. The F-22 is capable of carrying a pair of 1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions guided by GPS. It’s can't carry the 250-pound Small Diameter Bombs that the F-15E Strike Eagle and other aircraft can use. The F-22 also lacks that ability to create synthetic aperture maps of the earth surface that are used to select ground targets.

There were plans to add the ability of the F-22 to use the Multifunction Advanced Data-link the F-35 will use, but the finding for that program was pulled last year. That capability would have come in the Increment 3.2 software update for the F-22 and would have also added the ability for the F-22 to target eight ground targets at once.

In 2009, the Senate also pulled funding for additional F-22 fighters.

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Um, no
By Mudhen6 on 3/23/2011 12:36:13 PM , Rating: 4
The fact that they are not being used has nothing to do with the F-22. IIRC the IFDL datalink (pulled an "ATM machine" there) does support one-way communication with other fighters equipped with JTIDS/FDL/Link 16 datalinks, wherein the F-22 can receive data but not transmit its own.

However, this doesn't hamper the effectiveness of the F-22 - in numerous exercises, the F-22 served as a "mini-AWACS" (the pilots would hang around after expending all its missiles) by simply directing other fighters like F-15Cs to enemy fighters using radio communications. Sure, things will probably be better with a two-way datalink, but the fact is that the APG-77 radar and its RWR/ECCM systems in the F-22 is just that good.

Bottom line - F-22s were probably not used in Libya because one, they absolutely aren't needed, and two, it sends the wrong message politically in a situation where Obama doesn't know what he's doing.

RE: Um, no
By Brandon Hill on 3/23/2011 12:46:35 PM , Rating: 4
it sends the wrong message politically in a situation where Obama doesn't know what he's doing.

I agree 100% with that. I mean, what the heck are we doing? Obama hasn't made his message clear and I think we deserve some answers.

RE: Um, no
By Mudhen6 on 3/23/2011 12:58:54 PM , Rating: 3
I agree 100% with that. I mean, what the heck are we doing? Obama hasn't made his message clear and I think we deserve some answers.

I doubt we'd get those answers. Nobody knows who's in charge, what the end-game/exit-strategy is, or even the current mission objectives.

RE: Um, no
By Nfarce on 3/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: Um, no
By vol7ron on 3/23/2011 9:44:57 PM , Rating: 1
I'd like to hear more about this "political committee." Most politicians don't know anything about war. In fact, many give a dull-eyed gaze when you mention "honor" as if it's Old English - the kind of word/phrase that you recognize, but just don't know what it means.

If it's a few ex-military strategists, then I think they might have better ability to make decisions than just one person; especially one that didn't know much about it some short time ago.

That being said, it's important to note that we didn't lose the war of Vietnam. The whole dissonance over that fact has given the war a negative connotation. Sure, many of us died, but more of them died. Regardless of the fact that there's no win in death, the point is we were unprepared for that war. It was guerrilla warfare around a political movement - that alone says enough: "lack of preparation and an excuse to make a stink."

Back on subject, the F-22 is bad-ass. I rather save it for another time shortly in the future.

RE: Um, no
By Regected on 3/23/2011 10:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, we need as many tricks up our sleeves as we can get when the war with China starts.

RE: Um, no
By Azethoth on 3/24/2011 4:47:10 AM , Rating: 3
Wow people. Read some lips and use some imagination. We are there to implement a "No Move Zone" against the dictator's team. Yes there is a lot of "No Fly Zone" thrown around because that is popular from Iraq and Bosnia. However, "any means necessary" was also chucked in there which makes it "No Move Zone".

Expect anything that moves to be stomped on. Oh wait, no need to expect, just watch it on television. Expect this to keep going until the "rebels" spread out and control all of Libya except for Tripoli.

So thats one part of it. Now for the other part. "Khadaffy Duck has to Go". Or something like that is what the Commander in Chief said. So expect us to kick ass and take names till his dumb ass is done gone.

Now I know that Republicans running for president called for exactly this last week (I am looking at you Newt Gingrinch), but now that Obama is actually doing it you are all flip flopping to "omg no, we dare not invade Libya, we can never win". Man up ffs. USA! USA! USA!

This is so totally not like Vietnam its not even funny. It is though totally like opening stage Afghanistan where we just did air cover for some rag-tag tribes till they conquered the whole place.

If you need to angst about something, then try to worry that we don't fustercluck things after Daffy Duck is gone.

RE: Um, no
By Alexvrb on 3/25/2011 12:39:23 AM , Rating: 2
OK so after we've "contained" Gadhafi and his boys to Tripoli... what then? Do we leave and watch him roll out again? Do we waste Tripoli? Do we park our rears in Libya for the long haul?

If this was Bush, would you STILL be saying "Man up! This ain't Vietnam son!"? I don't think so. Worse yet, you compared this to Afghanistan. You know, one of the places the Democrats wanted us out before Obama was in office? The dissidents have become rather quiet on that front (and others).

How long until he dons the purple robes, I wonder?

RE: Um, no
By Suntan on 3/23/2011 1:31:45 PM , Rating: 4
Not true!

He’s made it completely clear what he is doing… …at least as far as his Sweet 16 tourney bracket is concerned…


RE: Um, no
By AntDX316 on 3/25/2011 3:56:58 AM , Rating: 3

Because using the F22 with 1,000 LBS bombs cost money.

If there is no need to fly an F22 around the world there is no need. The commanders are smart and used that money, that was going to be used for fueling the F22 and the unecessary cost of ordinance, for other things.

It said in the article the F22 cannot use 250 LBS bombs. They want to use 250 LBS bombs because they can take out the targets on the ground. Using a 1000 LBS bomb would cost 4x more to get the job done.

I honestly believe the US commanders know they have air to air support from the other countries allied with them. The whole Libya war thing needs to be shared. The US taking all the debt would be a bad idea. All that effort has to be taken from somewhere in the end.

RE: Um, no
By Murloc on 3/23/2011 2:03:19 PM , Rating: 3
the onu ordered a no-fly zone, but those who pressured for it and most of those who are now bombing (stuff like tanks included) want gaddafi to go. He's using human shields so they can't kill him either.
Also qadafi has lost any legitimacy in the international community now, so he can't win or everyone will be in front of a really embarassing situation. That's why they will never let him take bengasi anyway.

Obama doesn't know what he's doing and he doesn't give you answers because he can't imho.
I mean, the dilemma is pretty clear.

RE: Um, no
By Lerianis on 3/25/2011 3:57:38 AM , Rating: 2
With all due respect, remember that they said the same thing of Saddam Hussein after the first Iraq War.... it turned out to be not so accurate.

Personally, I think that if we intervene anymore than we have in Libya, we are opening a can of worms that it is the same one that we opened when supporting someone with the initials O.B.L. in Afghanistan.

RE: Um, no
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/23/2011 2:53:21 PM , Rating: 5
I heard Libya had WMDs ready to go at 40 minutes notice.

There, justification problem solved. Better the silence of ignorance than the blatant lies, I guess. Though who knows - voters seemed to like the lies just fine. :)

RE: Um, no
By invidious on 3/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: Um, no
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/23/2011 4:29:51 PM , Rating: 5
That's not true, whoever started this myth is a liar. The second link that showed up is from Snopes. Please get used to this site because it helps eliminate a lot of FUD.

RE: Um, no
By Iaiken on 3/23/2011 6:31:59 PM , Rating: 4
Now I don't want to alarm you, but you're a both moron as well as a liar by proxy for attempting to sell this article as proof of a weapons program.

That this material was part of a weapons program is a complete and utter fabrication that both the government of Canada and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (who approved the purchase) have categorically denied. The materials existence and it's quantities had been known to the government of Canada since 1991. How? Because everyone knew about this particular quantity of uranium...

The Uranium that was sold to Cameco was dated to 1991 at the latest and was under the supervision of UN inspectors since that time. The material was neither a secret nor was it recently discovered or recently acquired. All of this material was in sealed storage and had been documented and inventoried since 1991. This material was left over from failed research reactors that were destroyed in 1981 (by Israel) and 1991 (by the US).

This is therefore NOT the same uranium that Bush alleged Iraq had purchased in the years immediately before the war in order to resume the development of a nuclear weapons program. There is no evidence whatsoever that an actual purchase ever took place nor evidence of the facilities, equipment or the expertise required to undertake such an endeavor.

Any attempt to infer that this particular quantity of uranium was proof that Bush not a liar is logically and intellectually bankrupt.

The only purported evidence in existence is an Italian intelligence document that states Iraqi officials were attempting to purchase uranium in Niger. A document that was itself much criticized for it's chronological inaccuracies (such as being signed by people who were not in office at the indicated date).

RE: Um, no
By BruceLeet on 3/23/2011 7:02:11 PM , Rating: 5

I shit you not, I googled it for you therefor it is true.

RE: Um, no
By dajeepster on 3/24/2011 3:51:28 AM , Rating: 3
that was just too funny... i don't know why you got rated down... some people have no sense of humor.

RE: Um, no
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: Um, no
By Nfarce on 3/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: Um, no
By Iaiken on 3/23/2011 7:04:13 PM , Rating: 3
There was a large (and still growing) body of evidence long before Iraq that the statements coming out of the White House were false and that they were cherry picking intelligence that suited their purposes.

When people went out of their way to prove it, such as Joseph Wilson did when specifically tasked to investigate Niger for possible sale of uranium to Iraq. He found nothing to indicate that this was in fact the case. It was further determined that the Italian intelligence documents that the administrations assertion was based on were of questionable authenticity and accuracy.

When Mr Wilson publicly criticized the administration for panning his and other evidence that they were mistaken, they retaliated in a tit-for-tat by outing his wife position as a covert CIA officer. During the subsequent investigation it was affirmed that senior white house staff were responsible for leaking he identity to the press but no specific blame has been laid.

When numerous indicators and several of your closest allies point to your data being false and you do nothing about it because it could damage the message you are trying to send, you are still a liar. Even the British ambassador to the US admitted privately during the months leading up to the war that they were being taken for a ride.

A questionable report about Italian report about Iraqi officials attempting to buy uranium in Niger became probable WMD program. With no actual information added, this became a definite WMD program. With no further information this magically became a definite WMD program that posed an eminent and possibly immediate threat. And congress bought it...

RE: Um, no
By Nfarce on 3/23/2011 9:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
1) There was no hard evidence that the data was false. It was hearsay and hearsay only. That still does not make it a lie no matter how you spin it.

2) Valarie Plame was not clandestine when she was outed by Novak. Wilson himself has acknowledged that.

3) WMDs in the report included more than just nuclear WMDs.

4) If those who voted for the war were taken for a ride as so many accuse, then where was their leadership and judgment?

5) Why are current leaders still backing staying in Iraq?

6) Why is Guantanamo still open?

RE: Um, no
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/24/2011 3:29:57 AM , Rating: 4
Your #1 point is a False Argument!

You've got things backwards. The onus of evidence is on those who want to go to war, not those who do NOT want to go to war. Otherwise we would be in a perpetual state of war... oh wait...

RE: Um, no
By Azethoth on 3/24/2011 4:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares about the WMD. It is such a stupid argument. The fact is Sadam actually had WMD (chemical & bio & trying to get nuclear) and actually used (chemical) in well documented attacks against his own people and the Iranians in their war. This is proven fact with actual people dead from gas attacks that you can go autopsy for chemicals.

The weird thing is not that we went in and found no WMD, the weird thing is that Sadam actually got rid of his WMD. I mean wtf? Nobody, and by that I mean nobody on the entire earth, had any idea back then that he got rid of them. Not me, not you, not the press, not the CIA, MI5, any other country than Iraq, the Pope, Chris Angel, Angelina Jolie. Not even that psychic lady on late night television knew.

RE: Um, no
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/24/2011 4:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Again, another example of someone putting the cart before the horse. We shouldn't be going to war without solid evidence. Those who got us into this mess should've gotten throwing at of office simply because they proved themselves, at best, to be so idiotically gullible on multiple occassions.

What you're referring to is called the Power of Nightmares. Create Fear, Uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), in order to get the American people behind spending an exorbitant amount of money on so called "Defense", policing the world, pre-emptive wars, and nation building. I'm not denigrating their motivations of doing this, but it makes me question how aware they are of the subconscious temptation of immoral greed.

Anyways, check out the documentary called The Power of Nightmares. I think you can find it at

RE: Um, no
By SPOOFE on 3/24/2011 4:23:08 PM , Rating: 1
We shouldn't be going to war without solid evidence.

The "solid evidence" is Saddam Hussein stymied the efforts of UN weapons inspectors. In 1998 this prompted Bill Clinton to launch cruise missiles into the country, to nary a voice of complaint (despite the fact that it's kinda hard to capture someone with a cruise missile). In 2003 it happened again, but since it wasn't their boy doing the fighting, liberals have been butt-hurt about it ever since.

I remember the 2003 SOTU address: Dubya gave us half a dozen solid reasons for kicking Saddam's ass, and the only one most every critic has been able to remember has been "WMD's!"

RE: Um, no
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/24/2011 5:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
That's not solid evidence. What you have there is presumption. By that same logic you would say that anyone who refuses to a police search is automatically guilty.

Presumption is a sign of mental disease, even if it is celebrated in our country. People seem to be so scared of the boogeyman that we can't deal with the realizations that we know far less than we really do. Let's seperate our assumptions and opinions from our facts. BTW, I'm not a liberal.

If you would be so kind, please give me those other half dozen reasons that President Bush brought up. What I remember him saying is that Saddam was looking to ally with terrorists, that we can't wait until we see a mushroom cloud, and that they are part of the axis of evil, and that Saddam wants to harm America. None of those are either true, possible, or examples of his past behavior.

RE: Um, no
By eonsnocrtnarrongi on 3/28/2011 1:14:52 AM , Rating: 1
Nfarce wrote a fantasy and the facts are after each lie:

1) There was no hard evidence that the data was false. It was hearsay and hearsay only. That still does not make it a lie no matter how you spin it.

Well then you are calling Cheney and the bois liars since they have admitted as much.

2) Valarie Plame was not clandestine when she was outed by Novak. Wilson himself has acknowledged that.

Another rightwing lie. Mrs. Plame was a covert op at the time she was outted. A FACT that FITZGERALD found in his investigation. That is just a FACT.
I know you FahxKoch bois hate FACTS.

3) WMDs in the report included more than just nuclear WMDs.

There were no WMD's as Cheney as admitted in the last year on the major news networks. So you know more than DICK?

4) If those who voted for the war were taken for a ride as so many accuse, then where was their leadership and judgment?

Dont know what this means.

5) Why are current leaders still backing staying in Iraq?

Because the Dems are afraid of Repubes calling them pussies and Repubes love killing anyone except the Zygote unless their daughter is pregnant from an illegal.

6) Why is Guantanamo still open?
Because the Repubes stopped Obama from closing it. Dont you read?

RE: Um, no
By phantom505 on 3/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: Um, no
By Skywalker123 on 3/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: Um, no
By AEvangel on 3/23/2011 3:13:44 PM , Rating: 5
What Obama is doing is distracting everyone from the news that Saudia Arabia invaded Bahrain to put down the civil uprising in that country.

Why did Saudia Arabia do this? Well Bahrain is a small island nation which produces little oil, but like the other major oil producing regions of Saudi Arabia, it is home to a regional Shiite majority which could ally with Iran if allowed freedom.

Why ignore Saudia Arabia acts of aggression on those similar heroic rebels and civilians that are being put down by a foreign army equipped with US military training and weapons?

Well because Saudia Arabia supports our failing dollar by allowing it to remain as the world currency on the price of oil even though it's losing value, not to mention they are the third largest holder of Treasury Bills. Also we cannot allow the people the freedom of association in the middle east specially if they associate with people we don't like, such as Iran.

RE: Um, no
By ClownPuncher on 3/23/2011 3:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
Politics, politics never changes.

RE: Um, no
By ComatoseDelirium on 3/23/2011 4:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
Quick fact check, Saudi Arabia would be in the Oil exporters group of countries. They are the 4th largest holder of treasury securities.

'Oil exporters include Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria.'

RE: Um, no
By Mudhen6 on 3/23/2011 12:52:06 PM , Rating: 5

"Perhaps the most important revelation by the 27th Fighter Sqdn. was demonstrating the F-22's ability to use its sensors to identify and target enemy aircraft for conventional fighters by providing information so they could engage the enemy sooner than they could on their own. Because of the advanced situational awareness they afford, F-22s would stick around after using up their weapons to continue providing targets and IDs to the conventional fighters.

"We always left F-22s on station to help, but we didn't designate any one aircraft to provide data," says Lt. Col. Wade Tolliver, the unit's commander. "It was critical that every F-22 out there provided all the data he had."

With its high-resolution radar, the F-22 can guarantee target altitudes to within a couple of hundred feet. Its ability to identify an aircraft is "sometimes many times quicker than the AWACS," he says. "It was a combination of high-resolution sensors and being closer to the targets."

"When I look down at my scope and put my cursor over a [friendly] F-15 or F/A-18, it tells me who they are locked on to," he says. For example, "I could help them out by saying, 'You're double-targeted and there's a group over here untargeted' . . . to make sure we got everybody." F-15 targets will be latent because of the radar sweep."

RE: Um, no
By eonsnocrtnarrongi on 3/28/2011 1:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm no. LOL at your comment that Obama doesnt know what he is doing.
1. He got a real coalition unlike Bush who got Jamaica.
2. He actually thought about what we were going to do unlike Bush who lied us into war.
3. He got the coalition to shoulder much of the cost and implementation of the action unlike Bush.
4. He doesnt hide the costs of these issues unlike Bush.

So who again doesnt and didnt know what they were doing?

Depends on what you mean by escort
By bug77 on 3/23/2011 12:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
The B2 takes off from US (Minnesota?), goes all the way to Libya, drops the bombs and returns. It only needs escort over hostile territory I assume, since no fighter can fly along over that distance.
And it needs even less protection when you have complete air superiority.

RE: Depends on what you mean by escort
By Aikouka on 3/23/2011 1:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
Your last point mirrors my thoughts exactly. The F22 would be used to engage hostile aircraft, but if there aren't any and you're pretty much 100% certain that there won't be any... why waste the manpower?

As a note, "complete air superiority" is usually called "air supremacy."

RE: Depends on what you mean by escort
By DougF on 3/23/2011 4:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
Air Denial
Friendly air forces may initially operate in a state of air denial at the start of the halt phase during which the enemy nearly has air dominance.

Air Superiority
5 Joint Pub 1-02 defines air superiority to be the degree “in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force.”

Air Supremacy
...air supremacy is achieved when superiority is ensured just about everywhere, thus allowing friendly aircraft the ability to fly anywhere within the theater of operations. However, this airpower state does not adequately address the issue of airpower’s effectiveness at dropping bombs on enemy targets.

Air Dominance
The final airpower state is the attainment of effectiveness in the conduct of offensive air operations. While joint publications do not define air dominance, is the highest airpower state when the requisite effectiveness of airpower is achieved, that 100% of friendly bombs hit enemy targets while no enemy bombs hit friendly targets, that wars are won quickly (such as during the Six-Day War of 1967 and Operation Desert Storm of 1991), and that fewer friendly casualties are suffered.

By Aikouka on 3/23/2011 4:57:51 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm interesting... I've never seen the term "Air Dominance" used before. I did a little research on it, and it seems, as your comment mentioned, the term is very loosely defined. I did find some interesting quotes on it though...

I would describe the difference between 'air dominance' and 'air superiority' as one of magnitude of ability to influence events in a given piece of airspace. For instance, when you begin to conduct any kind of a combat or theater-wide operation, normally that theater commander's first priority is to make sure that you have air superiority over your own troops, [which should] generally guarantee that you will not have your troops attacked. . . . The next stage has been called air supremacy, where you, for all intents and purposes, not only are able to defend your own people, but you pretty much dominate the space. You can operate at will in there. Air dominance . . . is a term that's sort of grown up in the last couple of years in joint doctrine. . . . Dominance to me is kind of an extension of the supremacy idea that says, 'Nothing moves or operates in that guy's airspace.' I mean, you totally control it. It's a step above.

General Fogleman, in March 14, 1996, testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

What the concepts of air superiority and supremacy lack is the consideration of the effectiveness of airpower to achieve objectives after an air force attains either. An enemy which has been defeated in the air may still prevent air dominance through a variety of means ranging from ground-to-air attacks to attacks on friendly airbases. The domestic procurement budget may also prevent air dominance due to a lack of understanding, hence funding, for any of the links of the air dominance chain.


I'll have to keep that in mind. Thanks for the info!

RE: Depends on what you mean by escort
By Mojonba1 on 3/23/2011 1:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot about Air to Air Refueling

RE: Depends on what you mean by escort
By bug77 on 3/23/2011 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
No, I didn't. It's just that I have never heard of a fighter flying that distance. Technically, it may be possible, but I doubt the pilot can sit in his chair for the whole journey.

RE: Depends on what you mean by escort
By DougF on 3/23/2011 4:15:35 PM , Rating: 3
It would be very hard to do. When we flew from RAF Lakenheath to Libya and back in '86 (about 5,600m and 14hrs of flight time), some of the aircrews had to be lifted out of their aircraft. We even had to tow a couple back from the runway as their legs didn't work well enough to handle taxiing the aircraft back to the parking spots.

RE: Depends on what you mean by escort
By bug77 on 3/23/2011 7:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Ha! I'm smart!

And hats off to you, sir.

RE: Depends on what you mean by escort
By Azethoth on 3/24/2011 5:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
May I propose a simple remedy:

If only this simple technology was available then your fellow pilots would have been able to taxi home instead of just sitting there trying to hold it in!


By DougF on 3/24/2011 3:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
They already have "piddle packs" they carry along for the long rides (basically a sponge in a plastic bag). Courtesy demands the aircrew put full ones in his helmet bag and NOT hand them down to the crew chief. And, for the really long rides, there are "poopy suits" (basically "Depends"). Sometimes it sucks to be in a fighter...

Reminds me of a story one of my Lts told me when she was in charge of maintenance on a squadron of OV-10s. It seems there is a "relief tube" as part of cockpit equipment that the pilot can use to relieve himself of liquid waste while airborne (bad form to do this on the ramp...). Anyways, a colonel was ticked off about his ride and wrote up the relief tube as "too short". Well, this young, female, maintenance officer had the pleasure of assuring him at the next day's flying recap meeting that the aircraft's tube was, in fact, the correct length...could've heard a pin drop in the room with everyone looking anywhere but down the table at the colonel...

By GeekWithFire on 3/23/2011 1:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
B2's are housed and take off from Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, Missouri.

By Rankor on 3/23/2011 4:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
If there was F22 escort, it would (probably) begin at the East Coast or West Coast/Hawaii/Alaska depending on w/c destination they were heading.

Say hello to my little....
By edge929 on 3/23/2011 2:16:35 PM , Rating: 5
Why pull out the big guns when your medium guns are more than adequate?

RE: Say hello to my little....
By AssBall on 3/23/2011 2:23:37 PM , Rating: 4
In fact I would take it even a step further. Lybia is so useless we might as well have use B-17s and saved the B2's :D

RE: Say hello to my little....
By amanojaku on 3/23/2011 10:51:18 PM , Rating: 3
Personally, my money's on the B-52's. The thought of Libya covered in strobe lights and rock lobsters makes me yearn for my own private Idaho on planet Claire. The party's out of bounds when we get together in the Love Shack.

RE: Say hello to my little....
By Solandri on 3/23/2011 2:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why pull out the big guns when your medium guns are more than adequate?

Generally, when fighting a war, you want to hit as hard as you can to get it over with as quickly as you can. The goal of a war is to destroy the enemy's will/capability to fight. If you fight using the minimum necessary force to win, you:

1) Lengthen the duration of the conflict. People (mostly civilians, but sometimes soldiers) who could have been spared by a quick resolution to the fighting, end up dying.

2) Give the enemy the impression that he's not doing that badly, thus encouraging him to continue fighting. While he suffers defeats, he doesn't suffer really bad defeats. This creates the illusion that maybe, just maybe, he might be able to win. And he ends up fighting longer as a result.

3) Put at question your willingness to fight. If you're squeamish about using all the force you're capable of, the enemy starts to think maybe he can simply outlast you and win by making you lose your will to fight.

Historically, the battles where both sides were closely matched ended up with far more casualties than even one-sided slaughters. So generally, you are better off hitting harder than hitting softer.

I should add though that the best way to win is to simply convince your enemy that it's not worth fighting. I thought we should have offered Ghaddafi amnesty in exchange for exile in some neutral country. Let him keep his money, just turn over control of the country to the UN or something put together by the Arab League. Yeah it wouldn't have been fair. He would have escaped punishment for his crimes against his people. But it would've meant a lot less death and destruction of infrastructure that we're seeing now. And probably Mossad or someone else would've made sure he didn't get to enjoy his plunder for long.

RE: Say hello to my little....
By Keeir on 3/23/2011 3:35:07 PM , Rating: 3
Solandri, while you points are good...

It probably is more of the case that the F-22 in Libyia, given the restrictions and "objectives", is not a "bigger" stick, just a more expensive stick.

RE: Say hello to my little....
By corduroygt on 3/24/2011 12:28:23 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty much...

Why use a shotgun to hunt flies when a can of spray will do the same for much cheaper and just as effectively, if not more effectively.

Has the F-22 ever been used in combat?
By Azsen on 3/23/2011 6:57:12 PM , Rating: 1
Every time there's an article about the F-22 there's another poor excuse for why it wasn't used. How many wars have the US been involved in since the F-22 went into production? 3? Surely they would want some actual real mission/combat practice for the F-22 pilots. There's only so much experience you can gain from training so maybe these F-22 pilots won't be up to the task if they come against a powerful enemy with a decent airforce. Maybe the politicians/generals are too scared to put it into combat in case the enemy somehow manages to shoot it down and steal the technology. Or maybe the F-22 isn't as good as the USAF claims it to be and it's just a charade/deterrent.

RE: Has the F-22 ever been used in combat?
By Mudhen6 on 3/24/2011 3:19:28 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, you're completely wrong. Air-to-air combat is a very perishable skill, and has to be practiced constantly to maintain proficiency. A conflict against Libya would almost certainly decrease the effectiveness of F-22 pilots - back in the '90s, F-15C pilots essentially had to re-start their A/A training regimen, back to the basics of BFM/ACM, when coming home from Iraq because they literally would spend months doing nothing but lazy circles in the sky, waiting for Saddam to send his air force up.

So your assertion that "there's only so much experience you can gain from training so maybe these F-22 pilots won't be up to the task if they come against a powerful enemy with a decent airforce" is actually full of crap. Better that those Raptors stay at home fighting out-numbered against simulated Russian/Chinese enemy air forces, than fly circles over Libya all day for months to make a political point.

RE: Has the F-22 ever been used in combat?
By DougF on 3/24/2011 9:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
A) Well said!
B) "Mudhen" = F-15E driver?

RE: Has the F-22 ever been used in combat?
By Mudhen6 on 3/24/2011 11:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
I wish. Good catch though. My country men fly CF-18s.

RE: Has the F-22 ever been used in combat?
By DougF on 3/24/2011 3:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
When I was in Saudi for a year, our DETCO at Taif was an F-15 driver and flew once/twice a month with the local RSAF F-15 squadron. He NEVER lost an engagement the entire time he was there (the RSAF pilots thought he was a genius). So, we pried his "secret" out of him one night... Turns out he says "I did stupid stuff", and the RSAF pilots didn't know how to react fast enough for him to regain the advantage. Like most Middle-Easterners, they are very good at rote learning. They know what to do, but not necessarily WHY it's done that way. So "Slam" would use his knowledge of the theory of dogfighting (conservation of energy) to work around their "rote" approach (which was very effective if they were to face the same kind of opponent). "Slam" said: "If I'd tried that against a Brit or German pilot, I'd be buying beer at the bar for my stupidity." A very telling tale of why training and the right KIND of training is important.

RE: Has the F-22 ever been used in combat?
By Mudhen6 on 3/24/2011 5:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
Good story, and I can't say I'm surprised. I think a lot of it has to do with the Arabic culture/mindset. Rote memorization is prevalent in Chinese culture as well.

There were articles making rounds through the internet a couple years back about this issue, such as this one:

Arab Culture and Arab Military Performance

From the article: "The internalization of traditional family values, norms, and rules of conduct relied on physical and psychological punishment. To behave properly meant to learn to suppress individual impulses. Since individuals had to take the clues of proper behavior from the traditional authority and heritage, and since they were not to choose or judge outside that framework, independent thinking and analytical abilities remained undeveloped, if not deliberately stunted. Instead, the socialization process over-emphasized rote-learning and memorizing ."

I can't factually confirm or deny anything in that article, but it makes for an interesting read. To be honest, I haven't heard many good things about the prowess of Saudi pilots, and given the dynamic, supersonic nature of ACM I don't quite understand how a strict rote approach would be effective against an opponent who is mentally agile and knows *exactly* why it's better to pull less Gs to keep corner speed than it is to dump all your energy in a 9G turn.

BTW, are you a USAF?

By DougF on 3/25/2011 10:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
BTW, are you a USAF?

Retired, 22 years of aircraft maintenance on F-15s and F-111s. Had to know not only my job, but the aircrew's as well, so I could understand what they needed for whatever mission they were going to fly. It was a lot of fun, kicking tires and lighting fires...

No need
By Suntan on 3/23/2011 1:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much the same reason why a person wouldn't bother firing up the exotic sports car just to drive down the block and pick up a gallon of milk.


RE: No need
By Skywalker123 on 3/23/2011 7:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
Why not? I use my F40 for all my grocery shopping.or at least I will if I hit the 304 million Megamillions Jackpot Friday.

By CptSparrow on 3/23/2011 1:39:47 PM , Rating: 4
Shane. Learn how to read your blogs through, before you post them. So riddled with errors...

Loren Thompson is best ignored.
By Amiga500 on 3/23/2011 12:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
Based on a long history of cluelessness. Why listen to someone with degrees in political science and government in matters of a technical nature?

For a start - reconcile (a) and (b)
(a) The designers purposefully omitted data-links for reasons of EMCOM.
(b) Funding was pulled for incorporation of MADL to the F-22 to make it net-centric.

The MADL has around the same bandwidth as Link-16 - so it will be no retrograde in terms of current information exchange.

Don't worry
By niaaa on 3/23/2011 5:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
Rafales are there to protect yall B2's

So why -
By Dr of crap on 3/24/2011 10:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
So why don't we just bomb Quaduffy and his supporters?

We stopped last time we where there and here we are with him doing the same crap as he pulled last time.

Let's just take him out, and let the rebels find a leader!

By 91TTZ on 3/25/2011 10:31:35 AM , Rating: 2
during conflicts like this, enemies (in this case Russia not Libya)usually bring teams and equipment over to set up scanners on the ground to monitor and record communications that take place up in the skies. This helps them identify the radio emissions from various types of aircraft and then use that information to build a profile for different profile. They can also try to decrypt

Since the F-22 hasn't been used yet and it weapons systems haven't been monitored, potential enemies like Russia and China do not know how to identify it. The US would like to prevent that from happening for as long as possible.

a couple notes
By inperfectdarkness on 3/30/2011 7:41:11 AM , Rating: 2
1. i don't know where you're getting your "doctrine" from. the B2 doesn't usually fly with escort. ever. not even f22's. it's an "alone and unafraid" plane specifically designed for first-strike capability.

2. GBU-39 is specifically designed for use with the f22. it has operational capability on other systems currently--but it will be fielded for the f22.

3. i'm 99% certain that the pakistani air force could have steam rolled lybia; bringing the f22 to the fight is....overkill. not only would it have made us appear somewhat "heavy-handed" it would have also began to reveal f22 capabilities that have not yet been exposed on the world stage. we're playing our cards close to the chest by keeping it off the playing field...for now.

No point in risking F-22s
By Beenthere on 3/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: No point in risking F-22s
By Scabies on 3/23/2011 12:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
we might not need it HERE, but that doesn't mean its useless. If the B2 can do its job solo, fine that's savings in maintenance and fuel. If the F-15s and F-16s can handle all the other strike and air superiority missions, also fine. The problem is this wont be the case in all theaters/campaigns, and missions where a B2 WOULD need an escort they would have to figure something out that doesn't involve a couple of large radar-cross-section fighters drawing attention to where a B2 might be.

Unfortunately the article has already been written and the F-22 opponents have another piece of misleading support.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By SunTzu on 3/23/2011 12:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
No, they wouldnt have to figure something out. The F-22 can work with and communicate fine with a B-2, they might not be able to share target data, but that isnt neccesary if your going in as dedicated support for a dedicated bomber.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By silverblue on 3/23/2011 2:04:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why the Eurofighter Typhoon and similar aircraft were needed if the most we were likely up against was comparatively antiquated.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By DougF on 3/23/2011 4:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well, considering it's GR-4s or Typhoons, not many options there. Plus the Typhoons can now claim "operational/wartime" experience, justifying their ginormous acquisition costs in kicking Libyan/camel butt.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By Azethoth on 3/24/2011 5:17:54 AM , Rating: 1
F-22 is there to go up against a serious contender. Russia is semi serious, and China will eventually be totally serious if their economy keeps outpacing ours. Anyone else, the F-22 is just along for shits and giggles and may as well stay home practicing for what it is needed for.

Remember Korea. We had a shitty time in the air. F-22 is our current answer.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By Aloonatic on 3/23/2011 4:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure that the Euro-fighter was needed either. The thing is, as far as the UK goes anyway, all there is on offer are Tornadoes and Euro Fighters.

It's sometimes quite amazing, looking from the outside in, what Americans find to complain and moan about. Someone has taken a sensible decision to not bother sending F22s up as it would be a waste of time and money, yet still people find a reasons moan moan b1tch and moan.

You have the option of a carrier full of F15s and F18s, as well as Harriers, and then B2s with optional F22 support. Brilliant. And someone made what appears to be the right call too.

What does the UK have? We don't even have our tiny little toy carriers any more as we had to scrap the early because we've been living of make-believe economics and a former government not afraid to use debt to buy votes during our last election.

So the Euro-Fighter almost certainly wasn't needed, but we (UK, and probably the rest of Europe too) just don't have the options that you guys have.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By DougF on 3/23/2011 4:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Minor technicality: F-15s aren't carrier-capable (well, they might make a landing, but it would probably drive the gear through the airframe and rip the tailhook off; a catapult launch would probably rip the nose gear/forward fuselage off, though a stripped down F-15, with a 60/65knot headwind (30knots from wind, 30 from carrier) could possibly make a successful launch without the catapult). US Navy only flys F-18s these days, until the F-35 comes along. The F-15s are flying out of Italy, probably Aviano, or Gioia De Colle.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By silverblue on 3/24/2011 9:03:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well, being the UK, we're very good at retiring something without a viable successor.

My mother lives just a few miles from RAF Coningsby, and I can't help but think that, had I been there at the time of the Top Gear Veyron vs. Typhoon race (not that we knew when it was exactly, but still), I'd have seen that thing going vertical. Shame. :( Also, whenever I go over there, I don't really see too much activity, so it's a case of some pretty bad timing on my part; perhaps they don't like flying at weekends. :P

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By Spamdel on 3/23/2011 12:49:44 PM , Rating: 5
And you don't use a fire extinguisher to blow out a candle, but I'd love to see you huff and puff when your turkey catches fire.

RE: No point in risking F-22s
By DougF on 3/24/2011 3:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
Which would explain why my wife's first Thanksgiving turkey had an odd flavor to it...thanks!

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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