Some of you Anonymous posters are really brainwashed into the DoD/ADF 'group-think' culture and obviously have a pretty shallow knowledge re the wealth of expertise in the retired military community.
Last Friday, I attended a bi-monthly 76/77SQNs mixed luncheon which usually involves people from bottom to top of the rank structure, including some serving personnel (COs, pilots, groundies). Some of maybe 10 retired Air rankers often attend and alongside me were a retired CAS (Korean War veteran who also flew Sabres and F-111), and a recently retired 2 Star Engineer/Pilot who also flew Sabres in my era and was recently recalled to involve in a 3 person group analysing the diabolical mess that the Navy has got itself into regarding warship maintenance. Pete Criss would probably also involve if he lived closer to Newcastle.
There are some pretty common denominators among the retired group that regularly participate. They have mostly been involved in serious conflicts (Korea, Vietnam) and those recently retired at higher rank levels have awareness of issues involved re subsequent conflicts (Iraq, Afghanistan) and somewhat benign interventions in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. They network regarding what is happening in Canberra and are generally keen researchers concerning technological advances. Most are avid readers of military history and considerable book swapping goes on among the group. The same can be said for several who make strong contributions to the very worthy analytical efforts of Air Power Australia.
The ability of those with meaningful combat experience to think contemporarily outside the square regarding operational survivability should not be underestimated. Then Group Captain 'Bay' Adams flew with me a bit in Vietnam and we used to debate fighter versus helo issues long after bar closing. He features in Pierre Klosterman's book 'The Big Show'; both of them were the only 2 survivors of a flight of 8 Typhoons that attacked a German airfield during WW2 – he also served in Korea. Post-Vietnam, big 'Bay' rose to Star rank and was instrumental in promoting the development of helo versus fighter tactics in which another former fighter pilot and myself became involved as COs of 5 and 9SQNs respectively (that former CO5 was also at the recent luncheon). Unfortunately, all of that good work was lost after the stupid battlefield helo transfer decision in 1989, along with a wealth of helicopter combat experience that had been accumulated across the Air Force.
2 of the immediate past/present Air Force hierarchy mentioned (AH and GB) have never fired a shot in anger. Apparently, they were supportive of the appalling decisions to shed F-111, Iroquois, Caribou (and eventually Blackhawk, Seahawk) creating widening capability gaps at huge cost with diminished ADF military capacity. Preparedness to 'fall on swords' to defend the necessity of maintaining continuous adequate and credible military capabilities does not seem an attribute of Service Chiefs these days. The whole politico-military push is primarily about supporting the rent-seekers involved with defence industry.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Retired knowledge--Knowledge retired
This was a comment from Bushranger on another post. It deserves to be its own post.