We are now at the stage that Colonel Everest E. Riccioni predicted in his Aug 2, 2001 article titled Is the Air Force Spending Itself into Unilateral Disarmament?.
It is a sad state that the combat Air Forces find themselves in thanks to years of mismanagement of procurement funds and the lack of vision by senior leadership.
The lock step demand for the F-22 now capped at a ridiculously small number has made what used to be a force to feared now questionable against potential adversaries. With Gen Schwartz’s own statements made Feb 17 that F-22 FMC rates are in the 60 percent range thanks to LO issues and then only climb into the low 70’s when LO is not taken into account is another sad legacy of the silver bullet theory. A force like the PLAF, which has 700 4th generation jets, and growing must gaze in wonder and ask what happened to the USAF? To think that we have managed to take an active duty force that at one time possessed over 1600 admittedly aging F-15 and F-16 aircraft and are trying to replace them with 189 F-22 and a yet to be determined number of F-35’s, is absurd. We have no one to blame except for what used to be called the perfume princes in the Pentagon for this debacle.
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