New Military Shakeup Could Leave Us Vulnerable

New Military Shakeup Could Leave Us Vulnerable

( – America’s military-industrial complex remains a work in progress, as it should in the wake of Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and China’s armed forces looming in the Asia-Pacific theater of operation. Meanwhile, a recent military shakeup plan threatens to leave Americans vulnerable during frontline combat operations.

On June 21, published an article detailing the US Air Force’s plan to initiate deep cuts to the number of elite troops responsible for directing close-air support of ground troops. Air Force spokesperson Rose Riley confirmed the service branch’s decision to cut the number of airmen working in the Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) field by 44% over the next three fiscal years. That amounts to a reduction from about 3,700 airmen to roughly 2,130.

TACP airmen work with Special Operations Forces and Tier 1 Army and Marine combat units on the frontlines to provide precision attack control using aircraft, naval gunfire, and field artillery. They undergo intense specialized training in six areas.

  1. Special Warfare Candidate Course
  2. TACP Apprentice Course
  3. Airborne School
  4. Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training
  5. Phase One Combat Field Skills certification
  6. Phase Two Live Close Air Support mission support scenarios certification

However, the Air Force is replacing its fleet of A-10C Thunderbolt II twin-engine air-to-ground support aircraft with fifth-generation F-35A Lightning II fighters. On paper, the next-generation stealth aircraft provide “enhanced situational awareness” and “reduced vulnerability,” justifying the decrease in TACP personnel.

In reality, the aircraft has a mixed history at best. Research and development of the 25-ton warplanes began over 25 years ago, and as Forbes reported in 2021, the F-35 remains a “maintenance-intensive, buggy, and unreliable” aircraft. A subsequent article urged Air Force officials to accept that the fighter “isn’t the air-combat stalwart it was supposed to be.” It also pointed out that F-35s only maintained a “paltry 69% readiness rate.”

Newsmax host and former Navy SEAL, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt, had an additional line of attack on the decision to reduce personnel in light of the development of the F-15 fighter. He warned that the “number one thing not to cut” in American defense capabilities was funding for TACP operations. He noted that their ability to identify enemy locations and call in air support contributes to the US Armed Force’s “ability to own the skies,” adding that TACP airmen “save lives.”

Copyright 2023,