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Random Thoughts on the Mighty Hog - Part 2

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  • Friendly Fire

    Pilot faulted in errant bombing of soldiers
    By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer, Army Times
    Posted : Wednesday Oct 8, 2008 6:33:26 EDT

    An investigation into the errant bombing of soldiers in an SUV last April said the pilot broke two close-air support rules requiring the pilot to identify his target.

    Five 20mm cannon rounds struck the driver’s side of a Chevrolet Suburban, with one round hitting the truck about one foot behind the driver’s door. Miraculously, the soldiers sustained comparatively minor injuries.

    The mistake happened April 8 during a nighttime close-air support training mission at the Utah Test and Training Range, Hill Air Force Base.

    The soldiers were on the range to practice calling in close-air support strikes. They were not working with the jet that bombed their SUV.

    At the stick of the F-16 was Maj. John O. Erickson, then the assistant director of operations for the 34th Fighter Squadron of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill.

    Erickson was the flight lead of two F-16s practicing nighttime close-air support and aerial refueling. His wingman was Col. Kevin Schneider, vice commander of the 388th.

    An investigation ordered by the commander of 12th Air Force, Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, concluded that Erickson, who fired the rounds, likely confused his intended target, an armored personnel vehicle, with the Chevrolet Suburban, which was parked with its headlights on, about three miles from the target. Schneider was not faulted.

    The 12th Air Force refused to release a copy of the investigation report, which Seip approved May 27. Air Force Times obtained a copy of the 178-page investigation Monday through a Freedom of Information Act request.

    The two soldiers in the Chevrolet, 1st Lt. Jared R. Cox and Sgt. 1st Class James T. Walker III, both of the 5th Brigade's 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment Fire Support Team at Fort Lewis, Wash., were awaiting approval to drive away from an observation post , the report said.

    Walker sustained a dislocated shoulder as he ran for cover in case of a second attack. A small piece of shrapnel hit Cox’s left hand and he sustained abrasions to the left side of his head and left hand.

    “Just as I bring [the radio microphone] up to my mouth, the vehicle explodes,” Cox told investigators.

    Walker recalled, “I immediately realized what we had been hit by the F-16 20mm gun and told Lt. Cox to turn off the vehicle lights so if the wingman was coming in to strafe, we wouldn’t present a target.”

    Before anyone could fire again, the joint terminal attack controller at the observation point, Tech. Sgt. Matthew E. Lindmark of the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Lewis, realized the mistake and told the F-16s to abort their assault.

    Link

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    • So...

      The USAF doesn't even need to be in a war to do blue-on-blue now?...

      Comment


      • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
        So...

        The USAF doesn't even need to be in a war to do blue-on-blue now?...
        woah very sensitive subject comments like that are not called for, nor help anything.
        sigpicFEAR NAUGHT

        Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by T_igger_cs_30 View Post
          woah very sensitive subject comments like that are not called for, nor help anything.
          Ok, how about this: how could he have selected a target THREE miles of course, with HEADLIGHTS on? Did he think that the enemy marks it's locations with lights? Was he eyeballing his target, totally ignoring his instruments? And we are not talking about a 1st tour nugget, but a Major, then the assistant director of operations. A guy who sould have known a bit more about target selection. Imagine that this was a real situation in, say, Iraq, in which he had been called to provide air support!

          US forces are known to be trigger happy. In both Gulf wars they were responsible for (at least) 11 such incidents (killing, amongst others, 8 british personnell/civilians) , including F-15s shooting down Blackhawks!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
            Ok, how about this: how could he have selected a target THREE miles of course, with HEADLIGHTS on? Did he think that the enemy marks it's locations with lights? Was he eyeballing his target, totally ignoring his instruments? And we are not talking about a 1st tour nugget, but a Major, then the assistant director of operations. A guy who sould have known a bit more about target selection. Imagine that this was a real situation in, say, Iraq, in which he had been called to provide air support!

            US forces are known to be trigger happy. In both Gulf wars they were responsible for (at least) 11 such incidents (killing, amongst others, 8 british personnell/civilians) , including F-15s shooting down Blackhawks!
            Maybe try waiting for facts instead of speculating on one report and showing your prejudices, if you have been in combat and experienced the fog of war, I will listen and debate reasonable argument with you.I accept this was not a war zone or combat situation, something obviously went drasticly wrong............... I very much doubt he actually went out to do it deliberately...............Alas it hapens even in training when using live ammunition.
            sigpicFEAR NAUGHT

            Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by T_igger_cs_30 View Post
              experienced the fog of war
              Tarnak Farm incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              1994 Black Hawk shootdown incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              BBC NEWS | UK | RAF Tornado downed by US missile

              I am well aware of the "fog of war" problems. But the US seems to suffer from a lot of fog...

              And these incidents were hardly in combat...

              Comment


              • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                Tarnak Farm incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                1994 Black Hawk shootdown incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                BBC NEWS | UK | RAF Tornado downed by US missile

                I am well aware of the "fog of war" problems. But the US seems to suffer from a lot of fog...

                And these incidents were hardly in combat...
                You maybe aware of it (FOW) however I am thinking you have never experienced it nor been near a live fire excersise in daytime never mind at night, I dont need your links I know about them have actually been the recipient of a B-on-B, .............. they are never as simple as you are trying to make them out, ........do me a favour and dig out b-on-bs involving the Portugese military ............ bet you have some.
                sigpicFEAR NAUGHT

                Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by T_igger_cs_30 View Post
                  do me a favour and dig out b-on-bs involving the Portugese military
                  Ofc there were. Ever since people started throwing rocks at each other that someone hit the wrong target. My point is:
                  - the way to high number of times the US has done this, high enough to enter pop culture;
                  - the seemingly causal disregard for basic rules that causes many of them...

                  (side note: I wonder why my ISP took almost 2 hours to find the forum?...)

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                    Ofc there were. Ever since people started throwing rocks at each other that someone hit the wrong target. My point is:
                    - the way to high number of times the US has done this, high enough to enter pop culture;
                    - the seemingly causal disregard for basic rules that causes many of them...

                    (side note: I wonder why my ISP took almost 2 hours to find the forum?...)
                    B-on-B's , the number will increase with the amount of live fire traning, and actual combat the forces are involved in ..............so Portugal will get what mmmmmmmmmm 1 every decade? on average , maybe .............. its all relevant
                    sigpicFEAR NAUGHT

                    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

                    Comment


                    • 3 miles is pretty much nothing when you're a couple of miles away moving at 450 knots.

                      Comment


                      • Hawgsmoke 2008

                        From af.mil :

                        Hawgsmoke to continue despite A-10 inspections
                        by Maj. David Kurle
                        442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

                        10/8/2008 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. (AFPN) -- "Hawgsmoke 2008," an A-10 Thunderbolt II bombing and gunnery competition scheduled Oct. 15 to 18 in Salina, Kan., will continue despite an Air Force directive to sideline some of the aircraft.

                        Air Force officials issued a time-compliance technical order Oct. 3, requiring immediate inspection and repair of wing cracks on about 130 of the Air Force's some 400 operational A-10s.

                        The TCTO was prompted by an increase in fatigue-related wing cracks currently occurring in A-10 aircraft Air Force-wide. The inspections will occur on A-10s with thin-skin wings, installed during original manufacture, to ensure the operational safety of the aircraft.

                        "After talking to most of the other A-10 wings in the Air Force, we have more than enough teams committed to competing at Hawgsmoke to continue with the event," said Col. Mark Clemons, 442nd Fighter Wing commander. "We are really looking forward to Hawgsmoke and would like to thank the community of Salina for its outstanding support throughout the planning stages.

                        "Safety is paramount, and this TCTO will ensure we provide the safest possible aircraft to our A-10 pilots," he said. "We have plenty of aircraft to support Hawgsmoke and maintain the 442nd Fighter Wing's combat readiness."

                        The 442nd FW, an Air Force Reserve Command unit based here, is hosting Hawgsmoke. The event pits A-10 pilots and maintainers from across the Air Force against each other to determine a single-unit "Hawgsmoke Champion." The competition got its name from the A-10's nickname, "warthog."

                        While wing officials originally expected about 70 A-10 aircraft to attend the event, the inspections have reduced that number to 25 to 30 airplanes. Organizers expect as many as 14 teams of pilots will compete.

                        "The TCTO inspections have forced us to reduce the number of aircraft, but we are still expecting 250 to 300 people," said Lt. Col. Brian Borgen, Hawgsmoke coordinator. "We will basically share the limited number of aircraft among the pilots from all the teams."

                        The inspections are necessary to correct A-10 wing cracks, specifically on aircraft with thin-skin wings. This risk is of great concern to Air Force officials and represents a systemic problem for the aging Air Force fleet.

                        The A-10 is a ground-attack aircraft designed to support ground forces in combat. It can carry 16,000 pounds of ordnance and is equipped with a 30-mm cannon capable of punching through tank armor.

                        It is not known how long the inspections will take.

                        Link

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                        • Since even the air Force calls them "Warthogs" I wonder if there was ever a push to get rid of the "Thunderbolt II" official name and make "Warthog" official?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by M21Sniper View Post
                            Velocity for the A-10's GAU-8/A PGU-14 HVAPDU ammunition is 1,066 m/s (3,500fps) with a 390 gram projectile.
                            PGU-13/B HEI :
                            * projectile mass : 367 grams
                            * muzzle velocity : 1,021 mps
                            * muzzle energy : 191,288 joules

                            PGU-14/B API :
                            * projectile mass : 426 grams
                            * muzzle velocity : 990 mps
                            * muzzle energy : 208,761 joules

                            Different ballistics for PGU-13/B and PGU-14/B means that for a given fire-control solution that puts the latter on target, PGU-13/B will fall short.

                            Originally posted by M21Sniper View Post
                            There is also APDSDU ammunition that is used in the GoalKeeper CIWS that uses the same GAU-8/A gun of the A-10. (snip) It's not used in the A-10 because the PGU-14 ammunition is cheaper, and is still overkill for pretty much anything.
                            It's not used in the A-10 because, in an aircraft with an airbreathing engine, the ingestion of the sabots after separation from the projectiles is likely to produce *deleterious* engine failure. ;)
                            Last edited by Shipwreck; 15 Oct 08,, 20:54.

                            Comment


                            • Quote of the day :

                              The A-10 may be slow… but the earth is patient.

                              (Anonymous Hog Pilot)

                              Comment


                              • Hawgsmoke 2008

                                From af.mil :

                                A-10s take center stage as Hogsmoke 2008 begins
                                by Master Sgt. Bill Huntington
                                442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

                                10/14/2008 - SALINA, Kan. -- Two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs broke through the overcast skies of central Kansas today and crossed over the center point of the Salina Airport's north-south runway officially kicking off Hawgsmoke 2008, the United States Air Force's biennial A-10 bombing and tactical gunnery competition.

                                The moment also marked the end of two years of exhaustive preparation for the 442nd Fighter Wing's 303rd Fighter Squadron, the event's host and an Air Force Reserve Command unit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

                                The 303rd FS earned the right to host the contest by winning Hawgsmoke 2006, held at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., that year, which pitted the 303rd's pilots against pilots from 16 other Air National Guard, Air Force and Air Force Reserve A-10 units from around the world.

                                Hawgsmoke tests A-10 pilots in flight leadership, target acquisition, weapons delivery and support and the amount of preparation and coordination to host the event is daunting.

                                "There is a lot more that goes into Hawgsmoke than the general public and most of the participants realize," said Maj. Les Bradfield, 442nd Operations Support Flight. "It's much more than just coordinating between an airport and a range."

                                Since the event is not being held on an Air Force base many of the organic support elements regularly used by A-10 units at a government-owned facility , and sometimes taken for granted, needed to created or cultivated.

                                Fortunately for the Hawgsmoke-hosting team, they struck gold with the facility at Salina's airport. The facility's supportive administration, and close proximity to the Kansas Air National Guard's Smoky Hill bomb and gunnery range where most of the competition happens. The airport, formerly Schilling AFB, is just a few miles from Smoky Hill and the airfield has a large amount of available open ramp space, which makes it ideal for parking and servicing the visiting A-10s.

                                "They are not used to this many aircraft coming in and staying for this long," Major Bradfield said. "We've been greasing the wheels, letting them know that we are coming, what rules we operate by and making sure they can facilitate that."

                                That preparation, airport and Salina community officials, along with great support from sponsors and the community at large have made the event possible.

                                One late wrinkle in the preparation was the Air Force's announcement of a time-compliance technical order (TCTO) that required immediate inspection and repair of wing cracks approximately 130 A-10s throughout the Air Force. The 442nd FW was required to inspect 11 of its 27 A-10s.

                                The order caused units to re-evaluate their ability to participate and caused some to cancel. Other Wing's with available A-10s, including the 442nd, stepped forward to provide aircraft for those that couldn't use their own jets.

                                Even though there were enough teams and aircraft to compete, the TCTO hampered some units in their ability to bring maintenance personnel to support Hawgsmoke 2008 as they worked at their home stations to inspect and repair A-10s. Still, the maintainers were able to meet the challenge.

                                "Everybody is [affected]," said Chief Master Sgt. Greg Wetzel, 442nd Maintenance Squadron. "Getting the rest of their fleet up to speed became a higher priority [but] we have enough people here to take care of everything. It's not really an issue."

                                Having the first two jets cross the airfield's center point is a source of excitement and relief for Whiteman's Citizen Airmen. It means that while the preparation has paid off and the competition is underway, there is still work to do as more aircraft arrive.

                                "We've only just begun," Major Bradfield said. "Having the 'iron' on the ground means the all of the work of the last two years, not only for the local community but for our own people, is starting to pay off."

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