Thursday, October 31, 2013

How Rushing An Aircraft To War Led To The Deaths Of Four Americans

Air Force MC-12W spy planes like this have played a key role in capturing or killing more than 700 high-value insurgents in Afghanistan, the Air Force says. Senior Airman Elizabeth Rissmill / Air Force photo

The Crash of Independence 08 -- Mark Thompson, Time

How rushing an aircraft to war led to corner-cutting that killed four Americans

Sometimes, a 99.96% success rate isn’t good enough. That’s how often the Air Force’s MC-12W Liberty spy planes arrive overhead when needed by U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

The twin-turboprop planes are modified versions of the Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350. Their crew of four includes a pair of pilots and a pair of backseat sensor operators, who funnel video to ground-pounders down below. The fleet has played a key role in the killing or capture of more than 700 high-value insurgents in Afghanistan over the past four years, the Air Force says.

You might think that a mission aboard an unarmed propeller-driven plane, flying lazy orbits and trying to locate and video troublemakers far below, is a relatively simple task in skies filled with bomb-laden jet fighters and missile-firing helicopters.

But you would be wrong.

Read more ....

My Comment: You go to war with what you have .... something to ponder about as even more U.S. defense budget cuts take hold.

1 comment:

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