Nero – - – - – Fiddled – - – Obama Cut Firefighting Fleet = Results of Bad Leadership
Watchwoman: And for all the liberal Dem weeny-whineres who are about to complain, may I remind you of a couple of words and who got the blame — President George W. Bush & Katrina — so just shut up! ▬ Donna Calvin
Published on The Weekly Standard (http://www.weeklystandard.com)
Colorado’s ‘Epic Firestorm’ Reveals Danger of Air Force Cuts
Colorado’s wildfire has exploded into an “epic firestorm,” in the words of Colorado Springs fire chief Richard Brown. Over 30,000 people have evacuated, and already hundreds of homes have been consumed. Ironically, the U.S. Air Force Academy has also been evacuated, at the very time that Colorado desperately needs more Air Force C-130s to fight the massive fire.
A C-130 fitted with the Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) can drop 3,000 gallons of fire-retardant material in 5 seconds, and reload in just 15 minutes. This tempo is crucial to containing wildfires like the one devastating Colorado Springs. However, of a current fleet of nearly 380 C-130s, only eight can be fitted with the MAFFS—and four of them are already in the skies over Colorado. With another fire looming in the north of the state, there is no excess capacity to help protect civilian areas. That means thousands of exhausted firefighters on the ground are without enough of the crucial support they need to control the fires.
All this raises concerns about President Obama’s defense budget, which cuts 65 C-130s from the fleet over the next four years. While that will leave 318 C-130s, the demands on the fleet are not shrinking in Afghanistan or other places. Nor did the Air Force have much choice in the matter.
The Air Force took the brunt of Pentagon budget cuts in the 2013 budget, shrinking by 4 percent (or roughly $4 billion dollars), after having a flat budget since 2004. Since 2001, over 500 aircraft have been retired, and another 300 will be scrapped by 2017. All this is happening while demand for the Air Force increases: The service flew approximately 400 sorties per day in Afghanistan and Iraq during 2011, while also fighting in Libya and delivering thousands of tons of disaster relief aid to Japan after its earthquake and tsunami. C-130s have been central to all these operations, and the proposed cuts will reduce airlift capacity among all the Air Force’s components: active, reserve, and guard. Sequestration would be even worse, mandating equal percentage cuts down to the program level across the service, with no flexibility for Air Force leadership to target the cuts.
But as the wildfire in Colorado shows, readiness and flexibility are sometimes needed at home as much as abroad. Cutting more C-130s puts a greater strain on the entire Air Force fleet. It means fewer planes will be available for possible conversion to the MAFFS configuration. And that means that as hundreds of houses burn in Colorado, only eight planes can be called upon to help the thousands of firefighters on the ground. America should not have to make such tradeoffs: We can fight both aggressors and fires smarter and better, but only if we do it increasingly from the sky.
Michael Auslin is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
Copyright 2012 Weekly Standard LLC.
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO
CLICK ON ANY OF THOSE TOPICS TO TAKE YOU TO SIMILAR POSTINGS
Posted by Donna Calvin — Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Please share this Watchwoman post on your Facebook page, Linkedin, Google+1, Twitter to all your friends.
Please click “Like”, Share, and Leave Comments.
Visit Word Warriorette, a free Yahoo Group, and subscribe to be notified (one email a day)
of new posts on Watchwoman.
DISCLAIMER: Beliefnet puts paid advertisements on “Watchwoman on the Wall” blog site including some that would never be approved of by the King James Bible, Pastor Ernie Sanders of Doers of the Word Church, What’s Right-What’s Left Radio Ministry, the Voice of the Christian Resistance, Geauga County Right to Life and Donna Calvin. We at www.WRWL.org do not condone, endorse, adhere to, practice or believe in many of the topics and some of what other bloggers promote or their religions at Beliefnet. However, Mrs. Calvin has no control of what Beliefnet displays. She blogs at Beliefnet because she is in the missionary field ministering to true believers posting articles and commentaries informing pro-life, conservative Christians of recent anti-Christian acts and hostile legislation to God’s Agenda and His Will for the world. Hopefully, unbelievers will read these along with the salvation message of Jesus Christ as written in the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, according to the King James Bible, and be saved. A missionary must go into the unbelievers’ territory to reach them. Her mission is to Proclaim Warning to a Nation that has forgotten their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the only Truth, the Life, and the only Way to the One God the Father.