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calendar   Friday - April 01, 2011

What A Waste Of Fuel

B-1 Bombers Strike Libya

Sure, why not? Everything else that can fly is getting used over there. And the B-1 is a great airplane that hasn’t had much use. We don’t have very many of them (66 active, 33 reserve), since the procurement program was canceled almost as soon as the design was finalized and flight tested. That’s not my point.

My point is that these airplanes took off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, flew to Libya, dropped 100 precision bombs, then flew home. To Ellsworth Air Force Base. In South Dakota. The UK is in this fight. France is in this fight. Italy is in this fight. Spain too I think? Whatever. Those countries all have air bases, and they’re all allies. And I’m pretty sure the US has at least a couple long runways on a few islands around the Mediterranean. Like the base in Corsica, or the one in Sicily. Or any other airport or air base in Europe that can handle a 737-800 or larger airliner. If you want to fly your toys in theater, bring them over and then keep them around for a bit. Flying bombing missions in Africa out of an airport near the central Canadian border is just plain stupid. Stop pissing away my tax money. [yes I know Ellsworth AFB is actually in west central SD, probably 800+ miles from Canada. My point is that it’s halfway between Chicago and Seattle, and north of Chicago. My point is that this is a 6,100 mile flight, and all that’s needed is a 300 mile flight.]



The wheels of two B-1B Lancers hit the Ellsworth Air Force Base runway Wednesday morning bringing home eight airmen from an airstrike mission in Libya.

“We, of course, were striking military targets that were designed to protect the Libyan population,” said Col. Jeffrey Taliaferro, 28th Bomb Wing Commander. “It was nearly 100 targets, nearly 100 weapons and those weapons did achieve their intended effects.”

The two Ellsworth aircrews were a part of airstrikes in the NATO-led campaign against Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and army units who still support him.

Launched early Sunday morning, the Ellsworth aircrews from the 34th Bomb Squadron had little notice of their departure.

“Just under two days from our initial notification to launch, we were able to generate several aircraft, hundreds of weapons and launch those aircraft to get them all the way around to the other side of the world to strike targets,” Taliaferro said.
...
On top of the mission’s quick timeline, the flight from western South Dakota to Libya’s airspace marked the first time the B-1 fleet deployed a combat unit from the continental U.S. to strike targets overseas.

“They launched from Ellsworth, flew half way across the world by air refueling and many hours later got to Libya and struck those targets,” said Taliaferro, who added that such a mission is not new to all bomber aircrafts.

About 24 hours after their mission in Libya, the two B-1s hit the Ellsworth runway around 11 a.m. on Monday and taxied toward two long lines of saluting airmen. Under largely clear skies and warmer temperatures, the aircrews exited the B-1s to a welcome of handshakes, hugs and congratulatory messages.

Gee whiz flyboys, don’t you get mucho Big Swinging Dick points for this one. Yahoo, some General Genius came up with the idea and you flew the mission, dropped your bombs, and made it home without killing yourselves or crashing your billion dollar airplane. Yee frickin ha.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad they made it back safely. I’m glad they have the training etc to do this kind of thing. But it’s a foolish empty act of bravado. It’s like giving life or death medical decisions to exhausted medical residents when well rested doctors are available; it’s just plain stupid. It isn’t necessary. Fly the plane to Newfoundland and land it. Go to sleep. Get up, fly to England, land, and take a nap. Then fly it down to Italy. Have some scampi, some pasta, and then it’s nap time again. Then get up, refreshed and relaxed, grab a hot shower and a leisurely breakfast, and then go fly the mission. Then fly an hour back to your local air base. Sending exhausted air crews into harm’s way is just asinine. And the reality is that there will NEVER be a need to actually do such a thing, so there is no point training for it. Should the world situation ever be so bad that US Air Force crews are flying non-stop missions, those missions will be a whole lot closer to home than friggin Libya. You’d be better off training your ground crews to be able to work like NASCAR pit crews. And I won’t even mention the quarter million gallons of jet fuel that got used on this one.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/01/2011 at 12:14 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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