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Desc:CamOps film about the value of the A-10 Warthog that became instrumental in saving the airplane
Category:Military, Accidents & Explosions
Tags:Gun, plane, a-10, combat, warthog
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Comment count is 28
Measure those MOO-staches!

So wait, they're not going to retire it anymore?
Eventually, but it won't be for a little while yet. The Air Force was originally pushing for it to be retired by earlier this year.

Doc Victor
Retire the A-10 and open all combat positions to women.

I wish I had something funny to say about this. Hopefully some of you can do better.
As long as the women can pass their PT tests, I don't see the issue.

Retiring the A-10 is kinda bullshit, though.

Doc Victor
Homer, as someone who has deployed with and trained female attachments as well as someone who has directly benefited from the presence of an A-10, I can attest to both of their respective destructive capabilities. One has a neutral effect on a good day and a catastrophic one on a bad day, and the other was uniformly a life-saver. Unless it was blowing people to smithereens. Which it also did splendidly.

There is a lot more to this than just a PT test; merely informing a group of people that all tangible and intangible separations between gender relative to small units in a military setting are null and void because WE SAY SO is the equivalent of tacking up a sign reading "Drug-Free School Zone". This was a decision made by suits with no experience and a vested interest in advancing a social agenda at any cost.

The real difference is that losing the A-10 is more easily quantifiable, but it all comes from the same place, which is a hopeful yet unrealistic desire on the part of an uninformed or willfully ignorant administration insistent on writing the script to fit their vision of the future, long before it is ready to occur on its own.

Odds are we will all be laughing nervously about this in a few years, and likely very few will directly feel the impact (unless we are strictly talking about planes here; don't quote me but I think the friendly fire statistics for F-16s are way up there), but right now people are pissed, and rightfully so.

Sanest Man Alive
This is what they're replacing with the F-35? Fuck that overpriced shit with a 30mm death-farting autocannon.

but see doc, here's the problem:

that's *exactly* the rationale used by baseball players to disallow blacks from playing. i mean *exactly* the same rationale.

and it was bullshit then, too.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I totally get where the naysayers are coming from re: the WE SAY SO mentality of the suits. I'm very much against using the military as a place to conduct social experiments, and I know from firsthand experience the sort of bullshit that can go down when SJWs try to worm their way in with actual warriors.

However, that's not so much the fault of *the women*, as it is the fault of the suits. Female military personnel shouldn't be blamed for the sometimes over-zealous actions of EO-obsessed politicians and staff officers, should they? The real question here is not about politicians or lawyers or culture wars back home, but about individual enlisted women, and whether or not they can do the jobs which they are assigned.

Now, my perspective is admittedly skewed - while I served with a number of women (the majority of whom were no less capable than their male counterparts), I was in a non-combat MOS (35F), so the excellent performance of my vag-having battle buddies isn't relevant to the discussion. HOWEVER: I must point out that it's really no longer a question of "should women be in combat roles". Women *are* in combat roles, and they've been in combat roles for the last decade or so. MPs, engineers, medics, pilots, drivers - thanks to the nature of insurgent warfare, female soldiers and Marines in all of these positions have been routinely thrust into combat situations, and have by all accounts held their own (including one of my ex-girlfriends). And that's just here in the United States - other countries have experimented with allowing females into combat positions, usually with great success. The IDF has had female combat troops since 2000, and the Russians used them to great effect during the Second World War.

I mean, for Godssake, if some Commie-socialist bitches could be trained as tankers and snipers, then surely our own could be, too!

Bus - well, yeeesssss but, no, no not really. The biggest difference being that baseball players wouldn't literally DIE if their team cohesion suffered.

homie i think you are vastly underestimating how important baseball was to the american public in the years nearby WWII

in all seriousness, just because the stakes are higher does not magically make faulty logic correct.

No, it's not a question of logic being faulty or not; rather, it's another layer of concern which we have to consider. It is entirely possible for Policy X to "be logical" on a very basic level, and yet still be A Bad Policy, IF it can be shown that Policy X will result in more deaths on the ground.

This also sort of ties in with the A-10 debate. The Air Force has been making a lot of very clinical arguments about costs and budget and abstract engineering gobbledeygook, and they MIGHT be right (might; probably aren't. PBS has a good article detailing the key counterpoints here: http://tinyurl.com/a10retire ) The trouble is, even if there is a more logical and cost-effective way to do things, losing the A-10 will pretty much guarantee more casualties on the ground, particularly in the near-future. See also: the debates between laissez-faire capitalism and a more regulated economy, or between proponents of decentralized proportional democracy and proponents of a single-party dictatorship.

Now that being said, I'd just like to reiterate that I am not on Doc's side of the argument here: I think women are fine for combat roles, and I would love to see more integration in the future. But credit is due where it's due; Doc's argument is a perfectly valid one!

Doc Victor
Homer, I agree 100%, the suits are to blame. Currently serving females have no onus in this situation. Well, almost none. Negligibly culpable. Can't blame 'em for reaching.

Russians and Israelis are bad examples. Russia was facing extinction and activated hastily trained home guard regiments in what can rightfully be called an insurgency perpetuated by a uniformed military. Rosa Shanina killed a lot of nazis, yes, but is not a good example for the above reasons; she lived in Stalingrad and just happened to be there. Israel also not a good example here (HI SOLRO), they don't actually use females in frontline combat units, they made a mixed gender "reconnaissance" unit that performs only border guard duties and photo ops. They occasionally run females through training courses and subsequently use them as instructors. We could learn a thing or two from them in this regard, and this may well be the way it turns out.

Bus, sorry but not the same thing. Race is a social construct or at worst a cosmetic difference. Male and female are biologically very different, these biological differences are a large reason society has evolved into what it is today(in the ways everyone can appreciate). The jobs women supposedly want often suck, in a multitude of different ways. The majority of us who continue to stay in those jobs do so because we are at home with our culture; it transcends opportunity or glory or career advancement or even personal achievement. People who don't fit in don't last. Even if they are technically capable PT studs. I have met many female service members I respect, but not one that would be able to fit in on even the most tolerant of teams. This can't be faked. Unfortunately it also can't be quantified. I think this is the reason it will never become a serious issue; we clean up our own shit. it is what it is.

Doc Victor
I apologize. I was thinking of a different WWII Russian sniper lady. Roza is my favorite though.

Well, re: Russia, the circumstances didn't matter so much as the results! The Soviets were certainly forced into using female soldiers, true enough, but the important piece of information is that these soldiers carried themselves well.

And re: Israel, from what I understand, the combat roles Israeli women are allowed into are the same combat roles that the US military is currently planning on integrating - things like artillery and the tank corps. They don't use women as infantry (if they can help it; again, asymmetrical warfare means the IDF can't always pick and choose which soldiers are on the "front lines"), but then again, to the best of my knowledge, the United States isn't looking to let women be in the infantry, either.

Doc Victor
Homer, they are integrating everything.

Forget baseball analogies, the US military had people swearing up and down that it'd be the end of unit cohesion and morale if the service was de-segregated. "White men won't risk their lives to save a nigger!" "Niggers can't handle the kind of high-pressure situations white troops face in REAL combat!".

And you know what? It turned out pretty well, thanks to Eisenhower having the guts to ignore the top military brass that was warning him that it was a terrible idea, and it'd never really work.

it's funny, i always heard it as "gender is a social construct".

at any rate, your arguments here are "the jobs that women want often suck" and "women will be unable to fit in even on the most tolerant of teams".

so this means we shouldn't even give them a shot? it's not like we're forcing women to try out for fucking Red Cell. if they pass the pt and boot camps and schools with groups of men with no issues then they should still be denied combat roles because... that job sucks anyways? your team that you just went through mos training with won't accept you fighting beside them? have fun humping rations for us men?

and, as homer brought up above, there are already women in combat roles in our conflicts globally, and have been for over a decade now. are our forces somehow being annihilated due to these women participating in combat with unsupportive units? or because the job sucks? no. we're not even being decimated. hell, by the standards of much of twentieth century warfare (to say nothing of the nineteenth!) we're not even really sustaining casualties.

okay maybe i went too far with that last sentence. a casualty is always a casualty. but how can anybody "prove" that deploying women to combat will result in more casualties, *without deploying women to combat*? because all we're doing here is speculating, really. all the data we have is from the Red Army (whoops) and IDF (whoops, nevermind, they're just photo ops for tourists i guess?)

i am also extremely curious as to the details of your deployments with females. what in your experience makes them "catastrophic on a bad day", moreso than any man? not trying to be antagonistic, i'm actually curious about your experience with them in combat. (im assuming it was in combat.)

also it seems ridiculous to me that the entire point of military training is to break the biggest taboo (murder) by uniting units along their common lines (in order through the years, "we're all free white men", "we're all white men", "we're all men"/ "those other bastards aren't!"). So why can't we group unit psychology along the lines of being... oh, i don't know, American?

Doc Victor
Bus dude,
I'll tackle your questions out of order; Without showing too much of my hand here, I took part in the initial training of the "second wave" if you will of the CST program, for an admittedly brief period of time. I found them to be motivated and unpretentious, although I was assigned a small group of six soldiers, both officers and enlisted. Others had different experiences, and found their trainees to be unprofessional. So it goes. Later, when they were attached to us downrange, I had two sets of experiences; the "neutral" in which they proved competent at fulfilling their role and were at the best willing to contribute and be another gun in the fight if needed. They were content to do their job and at no point tried to play it off like we were doing the same job, aside from overall mission completion, to which, as I said before, they contributed to "as advertised". The "catastrophic" occurred when we had a female attached that immediately proved aloof, lazy, and more than willing to leverage her gender in any way possible. Primarily by banging at least three team members on a rotating basis, constantly serving as a distraction, and eventually being the subject of a serious argument between two of the guys in question ON A MISSION. Also totally worthless under any amount of stress. It caused a serious rift and we lost valuable time dithering over what to do about it.
I should add at this point that one of the first individuals was also getting fucked, by one dude that I know of (not me), but she kept it relatively professional. I guess. I think honestly the only saving grace there was that she did not try at any point to play herself off as an equal, and maintained a separation that allowed us to regard her with more respect...if that makes sense to you?
I have also had the displeasure of dealing with a female superior officer who liked to act like she was one of the guys and talk a lot of tough, salty shit about everything we did (she was married to a real deal guy in one of our sister organizatons, incidentally). Despite the fact that she put up this front, she would also never skip a chance to flirt with guys in a professional setting in order to garner favor and "respect", if you can really call it that. Not bad at her job per se, but definitely inappropriate and constantly willing to talk way out of her depth about our performance in a way that I found galling enough to make me slightly angry just thinking about it.
There have been others in between. Most are competent and willing to accept that they are not exactly like us, and were supportive and supported appropriately in turn. The biggest problems came when females tried to force their way into the decision making process or simply the inner circle of the team.
They are, in fact, going to encourage if not force women to try out for "Red Cell", in reality the full spectrum of USSOF positions. The rationale for this is primarily that women deserve the chance. And to a certain degree, I do agree that affording opportunities to women is a good thing. However, like I said before, the decision is being made by people who have no idea what they are talking about and in all likelihood do not care. Placing a woman, even the most physically fit and intelligent one you can find, will without question disrupt the dynamic of a small combat unit irreversibly. You cannot fit a square peg in a round hole no matter how hard you try. I acknowledge however, that if you completely disregard all of the biological differences, scientific studies, real-world validation, and opinions of people who have been there, done that, asked their opinion, and recorded (and then totally ignored), you are basically left with the scientifically unquantifiable difference between the sexes psychological makeup, which is a very unpopular topic in this day and age. So it goes.

Oscar Wildcat
Well these women you describe must be powerful warriors! You say that a single one can command and control an entire squad of battle hardened veterans just by her little sexual aggressions? Quelle surprise.

I think when we drill down into your somewhat inchoate argument we will find just that. For men are indeed largely undefended against that form of aggression and ( if you don't mind my being a bit indelicate ) the army is always going to be attractive to sociopathic personalities, men or women.

Doc Victor
Oscar, it sounds like you almost agree with me. Nobody is immune to the lure of sexual desire, espescially under high stress conditions. In truth, no one is immune to the differences in gender, both their own and others, no matter what people would prefer to believe. Inchoate though my argument may be, and it was a bit rambling I admit, it comes from firsthand experience and the possibility of being directly affected by this change.

i feel like a lot of these issues can be tested for, trained out, disciplined harshly... honestly though, people (male or female) bringing sex into a tactical setting for their own advancement sounds absolutely horrifying, and i now feel like i understand your position a lot better.

i still think we should integrate the armed services, but your experience has given depth and weight to what was once admittedly a knee-jerk reflex towards integration. i'm still for it. and i apologize for ignoring the point you (doc) and homer made about the "suits" (remfs, politicoes, etc) making the decision. i don't necessarily think suits calling shots is a bad thing (because a lot of these shots need to get called, or the military will become extremely self-referential and fractalize) but the fact that they are not implementing long-range programs to deal with the psychology of gender in combat is extremely frustrating. i assume they're not, that is- we probably would have heard a lot about it if they were.

glad to find out there's at least one poe-ster who is, as the kids say, "operator as fuck"! (with apologies to cena, homer, any other veterans on here, et al)

My first hobby model as a kid was also the Revell A10. But as I started looking into the possibility of a pilot career I discovered they were quickly squashed due to my colorblindness.

I'm happy they got into it with the pilots about how personal CAS gets when you know you're working to protect the people you can hear over the radio.
Mr. Purple Cat Esq.
poetv's favorite close air support vehicle!

what a shame to see it go. i hope they can develop something at least as good :(

they won't.
I'm sure the militarily appropriations process will provide our men and women in uniform with the most effective tools to do what they need to do, without wasting a bunch of money on useless technological toys. HAhhahahahahaha just kidding

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