Post’s comments send chill through Air Force ranks, A-10 panics ISIS


Major-General-James-PostThis week, as the A-10 created panic in the Middle East, Major General James Post, Vice Commander of Air Combat Command, sent fear through the ranks of the United States Air Force.

At the same time reported on a local source in Nineveh province who said that “the ‘Wild Boar’ aircraft which belongs to the U.S. Air Force has carried out four air strikes that killed and wounded dozens of ISIS elements, adding that the aircraft sparked panic in the ranks of ISIS, USAF officers were being told by Post, “if anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it . . . anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason.”

Latest news…. Post’s Comments Generate Calls for Congressional Hearing

According to multiple sources, Post claimed that the Air Force doesn’t want to scrap the A-10, but has little choice in the matter. According to popular Air Force blog, John Q. Public, Post attempted to marginalize A-10 supporters by accusing them of “reacting emotionally” and “undercutting the CSAF’s message” of committing treason.

Post’s reference to “passing information to Congress” appears to be in violation of 10 U.S. Code § 1034 – Protected communications; prohibition of retaliatory personnel. The Code provides that “No person may restrict a member of the armed forces in communicating with a Member of Congress or an Inspector General.”

In response to questions about the General’s statement, an Air Combat Command spokesperson told the ADI today:

“The general’s use of hyperbole in his comments during a recent discussion with attendees at a Tactics Review Board at Nellis were intended to communicate a serious point: the Air Force decision on recommended actions/strategic choices for the constrained fiscal environment has been made and the service’s position communicated.”

While subsequent government debate will continue at the highest levels as those recommendations and other options are evaluated, our job as Airmen is to continue to execute our mission and duties–certainly our role as individual military members is not to engage in public debate or advocacy for policy.”

At their core, the general’s comments recognize Air Combat Command’s responsibility to organize, train, and equip the best Combat Air Force in the world while preparing for tomorrow’s challenges. He called on Airmen to support decisions made to that end–first by the Air Force and ultimately, if approved, by our civilian government leadership.”

Sources say that Post’s statements did not appear to be hyperbolic at all. The general stated clearly, and the spokesperson’s statement confirms the conference attendees’ impression; if they speak to members of Congress they are viewed and will be treated as traitors in contravention to 10 U.S. Code § 1034.

As the Air Force continues to maneuvers to scrap the A-10 while its pilots continue to maneuver over ISIS, the effects of Post’s comments are particularly disturbing to many involved in both the fight oversees and the fight here at home.

“This is a continuation of the party line that anyone who disagrees with CSAF’s choices is reacting emotionally. It’s a tactic to trivialize opponents, now complete with a traitor label heaped on top,” notes the John Q. Public report. “This is a big deal if it’s true. Generals hold the power to destroy lives and ruin careers. If speaking against your chain of command is considered treasonous by senior leadership, we should be concerned about the abuse of power to hound the perceived traitors.”

Airmen and other A-10 supporters have been reaching out the Congress and their efforts have paid off through the actions of former Congressman Ron Barber of Arizona, and senators Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) and John McCain (Arizona). The three fought for and won funding for the low and slow flying plane that is currently terrorizing the ISIS terrorists.

That fight continues though, and Post’s comments appear to be the desperate act of leadership that has used every under handed trick in the book and must resort to tactics prohibited by federal law.

According to Defense News, at the semi-annual “State of the Air Force” event, “Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh confirmed they will move forward with plans to retire fleets despite strong pushback from Congress over the A-10 Warthog and, to a lesser extent, the U-2 spy plane and KC-10 tanker.

Defense News reports, “When the budget was first being developed, the threat from the Islamic State had not emerged. Since then, the Air Force has been locked into a long, constant air campaign, one in which James said the service has flown 60 percent of the 16,000-plus sorties over Iraq and Syria.” Yet, James said the development has not changed leadership’s mind about the need to retire the older system as a cost-saving measure, according to Defense News.

According to the Defense News article, when asked if she had any regrets about trying to retire the plane, James was direct: “No, I do not.” The article notes that the “fight over the A-10 has been particularly brutal for the service, opening up a trust gap between the Hill and the Air Force.”

The trust gap now exists between the troops and leadership as well.

The author of the John Q. Public article wrote, “I don’t expect a straight answer from ACC/PA on this.” However, the spokesperson did provide a clear answer; “our role as individual military members is not to engage in public debate or advocacy for policy.” The message was clear: step out of line – speak to your elected representatives and you are a traitor.

Many supporters of the A-10 hope that John Q. Public’s message that to lawmakers is heard one way or another: “I do encourage members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to take an interest in this reported comment, and encourage them to investigate,” he wrote.

What the A-10 supporters want the members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to hear is what they are seeing firsthand overseas. They mean no disrespect, but they know that the USAF generals are wrong. The people on the ground see and feel the difference the Wild Boar makes on foreign ground. They do not want to contradict the generals – they want nothing more than to support the generals – they simply want the generals to fight the right fight – the one for the lives of our men and women on the ground, who are taking on the most horrific evil we could ever imagine.

Here is what they want Congress to know:

Related articles:

JTAC on A 10: “the sound of don’t mess with me”

A-10 in play as Senate Appropriations Committee drafts FY 2015 NDAA

Ayotte: If the Air Force cut their acquisition failures they could save the A-10

Air Force brass taken to task for A-10 mothball plans

Army Vice Chief of Staff says A-10 is a “game changer”

Flake drops A-10 bomb on constituents

23 Comments on "Post’s comments send chill through Air Force ranks, A-10 panics ISIS"

  1. The people who think the A-10 should be retired should pluck ANYONE from the army who has been fighting this country’s wars for the last 14 years and they will tell you of AT LEAST one time that the A-10 saved their life. This is ridiculous that we are told that we can’t stand up for the most effective threat/ ground force protection in our military fleet. No one has publicly spoke out against the Air Force’s decisions or positions on the matter and we have every right to share our concerns with our representatives. This General spoke in a public forum to a bunch of officers that have sworn to follow the orders of the officers appointed over them. It was an unlawful order and he should have known better…even if there was an undertone of sarcasm. Regardless of any excuse his team can come up with… HE should have known better.

  2. Christopher Cole | January 16, 2015 at 3:05 am | Reply

    It seems to me that the USAF leadership made a decision and has committed emotionally to that decision regardless of whatever information comes along. When pressing on to an important target that might be a good thing but here, now, it is stupid. Good leadership requires re-evaluating decisions when the situation that the original decision was made under changes; any good NCO will tell you that.

    • The USAF has ‘good leadership’ issues for probably at least ten years culminating in the ill advised and I’d go so far as to say stupid decision to retire a fully capable dedicated clase air support EVEN BEFORE its chosen successor has proven itself. Nothing new here but the F-35 even if it proves to be the best thing since peanut butter will be TOTALLY incapable of providing ANY kind of CAS. Besides in the CAS role stealth is totally useless. So don’t even try to sell steal as a CAS asset.

    • I served in both the Army and the Air Force. In the Army, I was airborne infantry (paratrooper, 11B2P. In the Air Force, I worked on communications and space systems. From my perspective, I never had a leader in the Air Force. I had some good bosses, sure, but no one that I considered a leader from the Army perspective. The Air Force gives lip service to leadership but stresses management. You manage things, you lead people.

  3. Seems to me that Post is simply feathering his nest to go to work for the MIC when he retires. As you can tell, this leader has no use for “boots on the ground” or any dissent that would rock the boat for the future plans of the F35 which means billions to corporations and stockholders and is a death sentence for may of the “boots on the ground.” Only in America is money put before the safety of our bravest and best. Post should brought up on charges.

  4. the first F-35s are scheduled to start hitting active service in the coming year – (BTW ; I think there were two here at DMAFB over the last week taking off back to Yuma in the late evening – picturesque takeoff into the cloudy sunset – a roar yes – louder than others.. I don’t think anyone noticed this as louder than others) the USAF is short of people – they are asking for retired pilots and NG to fly drones now. What’s all this really about – the country is broke – the military spending so cut ; decisions bad and good need to be made in triage manner, this leg has to go we don’t have the funds to save it and rehab later types of decisions. Is the A-10 putting the fear of Alllah in ISIS – now there’s some hyperbole – yeah it might be putting the fact that here comes an airstrike fear in them – but I don’t think that’s anything new for them ; it’s been a long war. If we’re going to decide to kill them, as well as take a side in this civil ; Muslim war of sects and tribes – take the gloves off and get on with it. Kill them all and let Allah sort it out.

  5. It appears the AF leadership, both civilian and uniformed have dug their heels in to the point they couldn’t change course if they wanted to. This suggests two things: 1.) They have been instructed/ordered with career-ending discipline (which, and this is my purely personal speculation) that has been instigated by the Valerie Jarrett, I mean Barack H. Obama White House…with a downward edict to the DoD and AF (which I happen to think is the real root of this issue) or 2.) They are in total denial about the realities of saving our troops on the battlefield and are so overly enamored with the “shiny” F-35, they have become nothing more than “rainbow trout,” who always hit the shiny lure. Either way, folks, this is very dangerous for our ability to fight and win against ISIS. That A-10, coupled with our warrior-patriots on the ground, can certainly demoralize ISIS to the point where they have to pick up their fragments and head back to their tents. This is so serious…TREASON??? The fact that MGen Post would even consider that term to score political, gravitas is sickening. I have an idea for them all. Let’s call Bowe Bergdahl the TRAITOR that he is and quit burning valuable, personal bandwidth and our tax dollars to attack his Airmen…who only put on their uniforms every day to protect America. How about that, General? Unfortunately, folks, this issue will only die when the White House reverses course. There is not a single soul in the AF, including Ms. James, that would voluntarily give up awesome capability, such as the A-10 willingly. In order to do her job properly, she must have every known “arrow” in her quiver to fight an unknown foe. Losing the A-10 would take out a key, lethal element from her capability to fly, fight and win…and she knows that, but the bureaucrats above her have hamstrung her in favor of the “shiny” thing. Let’s help these men out who are being accused as traitors. We The People can STILL bombard our representatives with calls. McCain has said he’s in the fight to save the A-10, Flake is MIA on the discussion and our dear friend, Martha has said she would “fight” to save her beloved A-10. I think we should test them all…until they can no longer stand it. You in?

  6. BillyB – checkout the GAO report for Desert Storm. There were only two aircraft the Iraqi Army was afraid of – the B-52 and the A-10. Seen any other articles from the Iraqi news on any other aircraft?

  7. Yes, the USAF is low on funds but look at the billions spent on the F117, F22, and the F35. The F117 and the F22 have how many hours in combat compared to the A10 since they came online? Not even close to the A10. You can easily find other a/c in inventory to do their mission as well. There is nothing that comes close to doing the A10 mission as well. This is all about money and lobbyist. Not one person making decisions has had a hail of bullets landing around him. This is criminal!

    • Can’t really place the F-117 into comparison, as it’s mission and the A-10 mission are night and day….literally. One platform has nothing to do with the other. Plus, the 117 hasn’t been in frontline service since early ’08. A-10 can’t do the 117 mission anymore than the 117 can do the A-10s.

  8. well ya think that he wants a future job? How about mcsilly not saying anything, is she in fear of losing her mil retirement? Being called back to AD to face the music? Yes this is a possibility and is particularly frightening to those who are a kissers to beign with. Dont rock the boat is the upper level motto. I remember when one of the brigade commanders told everyone what a POS the ah64 was at the time. Got in deep doo doo. Well back then it was a POS and they were seriously considering the AH-60, armed utility aircraft like they had in vietnam before the AH-1, scared me as they were talking about my class in transition being the 1st to get this training. Now realize that gun drivers are a different breed apart from the rest. Not better, just different same is true in the af, but at the same time they think they are better and tend to try and prove it. Typical is the story of the f16 guy, saw a herky bird and said ‘watch this’ as he did a roll over the herky bird. ‘pretty neat huh?’. Well in reply the herky bird driver said, ‘watch this’. After about 5 mins of straight and level the f16 guy said, ‘I didn’t see anything, what did you do?’ The herky bird driver said, ‘I got up went to the back took a leak, stretched my legs and got a cup of coffee’. The f16 guy was silent.

    No they are not better, just have a different view on life.

  9. I don’t think the Iraqi Army was citing hyperbole in the GAO report from Desert Storm. Only two DoD aircraft were feared…the A-10 and the B-52.

  10. Well said Chief, I’m in!

  11. In any organization, the fforemost concern is optimal human resources as they are
    the backbone of work productivity. It is indeed an extension of basic life support BLS.
    For example, can you outsource some tasks associated with the goal.

  12. Attack P – the thing I’ve read quite a bit of is that the F-17 has dropped the majority of munitions in Afgan sorties – how effective I don’t know, but with terminal guide weapons, it can be way up there and way out there and still have them in the basket nothing but net. No that’s not linger time, no that’s not guns flying over head for some time keeping the bad guys honest – run after run as the battle develops… that is the A-10 being the flying tank that it is – I am a supporter of the A-10 and we just spent a truck load of money fixing them… stupid of dump them now… preaching to the choir

  13. When it comes to Close Air Support, those on the ground who do the actual fighting, bleeding and dying will always hope that the A-10 Warthog are available when the situation become dire. Especially if the situation calls for unloading ordinance “Danger Close”.

  14. This administration said the plane is getting retired and that ends it. And when they say DM is closing, that will end that. They don’t need a reason and they don’t care.

  15. Revoke the Key West Agreement and give the A-10 to the Army!

  16. General concentrate on sexual harrassment at your academy and leave the warriors alone. Oh and take some remedial courses in law.

  17. The AF has been going back and forth on the A10 since about 1988. I remember my shop getting all the spare parts after Fairchild closed and AMARC (as it was called then) the tooling to build. The idea then was to start “mothballing” some aircraft. Then Desert Storm hit and the A10 showed it’s stuff. Now it’s back on the chopping block. Even back then the F35 was in the works, however not as a replacement for the A10 as the Warthog was deemed a valuable asset. Things like this happen when you have Generals who want to retire into nice high paying jobs and politicians that are in office way too long. I spent 20 years as an aircraft mechanic and saw a lot of this going on. I also got a first look at the F22 at Lockheed. Funny how that didn’t work out. Like was said before, NCOs know what’s going on. But unless you can get your representatives to actually do some work that means something….the things that make the greatest sense lose…

  18. Maj Gen Post also showed a clear misunderstanding of the differences between Title 10 Active Duty and Title 32 National Guard military individuals who are clearly within their rights to speak to congress and advocate for public policy. The US Constitution is very clear on the differences between the militia and a standing Army. Maybe Sen Lindsey Graham (military individual as a member of the SC ANG) should have MG Post report to his office for some remedial training on what actual treason is. Treason as defined by sane individuals is giving aid and/or comfort to the enemy. Even with hyperbole, MG Post’s comments infer Congress is the enemy which is actually an affront to civilian control of the military, so maybe it’s time for him to retire and leave the leadership of the military to those who actually understand the purpose of the US Constitution.

  19. Thadeus Threeb | January 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Reply

    Well, I was in the RAF on exercise in 1980 and the A10s we saw scared the crap out of me!! Mind you so did the Harriers. I would still like the fuckwit cowboy airline pilots who killed all our guys in their Warriors punished though.

    • The friendly fire deaths are always unfortunate, and seemingly keep happening for many of the same reasons. Sorry to hear about the loss. A-10s unfortunately have the most amount of friendly fire deaths, primarily due to the exposure of what they do, but still an unfortunate fact. With Brits being the most friendlies atacked if I’m not mistaken (the two Warrior’s destroyed in Desert Storm, and the two Scimitar’s destroyed during the Iraq invasion).

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