Schwartz, in Memoir, Says F-22 was Traded for B-21 Bomber

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basher54321

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Unread post29 Apr 2018, 23:35

The top Air Force leadership went along with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ termination of the F-22 fighter—after producing less than half the required number—because they believed they couldn’t win the argument and that getting approval to build a new bomber was more important.

In “Journey: Memoirs of an Air Force Chief of Staff,” now in bookstores, retired Gen. Norton Schwartz said his predecessor, retired Gen. Mike Moseley, “never gave up in his principled attempts to get those 381 F-22s,” for which Gates fired Moseley and the then-Secretary of the Air Force, Mike Wynne. Schwartz was named to replace Moseley, and Mike Donley was brought in as Wynne’s replacement.

Although there were at least a dozen internal and external studies confirming 381 as the right number of F-22s, “I wanted an independent assessment to determine the minimum number,” Schwartz wrote, “and what we came up with” was 243 aircraft. Gates rejected that number too, “even though we had shaved over 35 percent off the Moseley/Wynne demand for 381,” Schwartz said. That difference of 60 airplanes would have cost “$13 billion at a time that defense budgets were being tightened,” and Gates wanted that money for “things like remotely piloted aircraft and MRAPs.”

Schwartz and Donley concluded “the F-22 debate had consumed enough oxygen and it was time to move on,” Schwartz said, and the two were “certainly not going to go to the Hill behind Secretary Gates’s back and lobby for more … That was never going to happen on our watch.” Schwartz acknowledged that some thought this “too pristine a judgement,” and that “anything in Washington is fair, but I say no. I had never been disloyal to a boss and I wasn’t about to start then.” Schwartz wrote extensively in the book about how Gates fought for Schwartz’ nomination to be Chief against congressional resistance.

Gates, in his own memoir, “Duty,” argued that the F-22 was useless in the Afghanistan and Iraq counterinsurgencies, was a Cold War relic, and that a Chinese stealth fighter wouldn’t be along until the 2020s, so nothing would be lost by killing it. In actual fact, the F-22 has been essential in the Syria campaign and China fielded its first operational stealth squadron in 2017. Every Air Combat Command chief since Gates tenure has warned that the F-22 force is far too small for the demands placed on it.

There was “a method to our madness,” Schwartz continued. “We felt that the real coin of the realm was the replacement bomber” and “we had our work cut out for us” convincing a “very skeptical civilian leadership” that the B-1 and B-52 would not last forever, that the B-2 fleet was too small, and that a replacement aircraft, in numbers, was urgently needed. Gates terminated the Next-Generation Bomber—the project preceding what’s now known as the B-21—for what Schwartz agreed were “rational reasons.” The NGB “had grown too big” and was carrying too many missions and requirements. It was to have an air-to-air missile capability for self defense, Schwartz revealed, describing that requirement as “not completely nonsensical” but unaffordable. The attitude was that “cost was no object” on the NGB, Schwartz claimed, and that didn’t meet with Gates’ worldview, “So he cancelled it.”

In explaining the termination of the NGB to Congress and the press, Gates claimed that the B-2’s unit cost had swelled unreasonably and this is why it had been cancelled in its day, but that was exactly backwards. It was cutting the planned 132 B-2s to 20 that caused its unit cost to swell, because all of the research and development costs associated with it had to be amortized across a force less than a sixth as large as had been planned.

Nevertheless, Schwartz and Donley believed there was a “valid need” for a new bomber; an “unquestioned requirement” to provide such an option for a future president, “both for warfighting and deterrence purposes.” Schwartz and Donley had to convince Gates the Air Force “would not repeat the experience of the B-2.” They argued that USAF had to have 80-100 new bombers, and the service would swear to keep the cost as the prime consideration and not break a ceiling of $550 million in 2010 dollars. Moreover, they promised the aircraft would rely heavily on offboard sensors, jammers, and other capabilities to keep the cost down, as part of a system of systems.

“We had to convince him of all of this, or like the [NGB], the long-range strike bomber would be dead in the water,” Schwartz asserted. Ultimately, Gates relented, apparently persuaded that “we as an Air Force could field such a system with discipline.” Schwartz said he and Donley are proud of having “succeeded in persuading Gates” the B-21 would be pursued with “discipline like he had not seen, and so it’s up to our successors to deliver on that promise. The Air Force has to, if it is going to bring this one home.”

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... omber.aspx
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popcorn

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Unread post29 Apr 2018, 23:55

Another factor going against the F-22 was LM backing down it's lobbying support for more F-22s. No need to expend good will with DoD and jeopardize the much more lucrative JSF deal.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 01:44

"I had never been disloyal to a boss and I wasn’t about to start then.” Schwartz wrote extensively in the book about how Gates fought for Schwartz’ nomination to be Chief against congressional resistance.

Translation: Gates fired people until he found a transport pilot toady who would, uncritically, do his bidding.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 03:24

The General had certain qualifications that obviously appealed to Gates who was focused on supporting troops on the ground. Actual flying hours in helos and at the controls of Specte/Spooky gunships and leadership roles at SOC were a plus in his favor.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 05:05

Feh. A number about "how many F-22s" without the context of all the other force structure and strategy variability is useless. I lost count of how many long range strike studies I worked, but I can tell you exactly zero of them ever had significant overlap in their ground rules and assumptions to make the results repeatable. All you have to have happen to knock your latest and greatest analysis in the toilet is to have some SecDef wannabe CongressCritter throw a wrench in some apparently unrelated acquisition plan--and find out it wasn't unrelated at all.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 13:10

So over and over, the MINIMUM required number of F-22's was 243. One could argue it was 350 or so and politics brought it down to 243, but it's pretty clear 243 (according to any credible study) was the MINIMUM.

And this idiot refused to ask for more, because of his "loyalty" to his boss - not to the warfighter. Our armed forces are run by these idiots? I'd hate to be in the cockpit as a warfighter, since their needs (and fighting and winning, the Air Force mission) is dismissed so readily.

I can understand now why the Air Force is hemorrahging pilots...
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 13:37

So where would it end? He objects and gets fired. Replacement objects, gets fired.. down the line until all 4-stars are fired.. then all 3-stars.. 2-stars- 1-stars.. . Fact is civilians get to make the call. Schwartz saw the writing on the wall and played the hand he was dealt. His fingerprints can be found all over the B-21.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 13:50

mixelflick wrote:So over and over, the MINIMUM required number of F-22's was 243. One could argue it was 350 or so and politics brought it down to 243, but it's pretty clear 243 (according to any credible study) was the MINIMUM.

And this idiot refused to ask for more, because of his "loyalty" to his boss - not to the warfighter. Our armed forces are run by these idiots? I'd hate to be in the cockpit as a warfighter, since their needs (and fighting and winning, the Air Force mission) is dismissed so readily.

I can understand now why the Air Force is hemorrahging pilots...


Would you rather have entire B-21 programme scrapped over 50 additional Raptors? And I don't know how indespesable F-22 is over Syria, but Cougars and MaxxPros saved a lot of people their lives, health and limbs. Instead of sh*tting on Gates and this "idiot" (who knew exactly what happens to 700-strong Raptor fleet hardliners) better ask people who decided to invade Iraq why wasn't there more money and strategic foresight available.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 14:00

I can assure you once the MRAP vehicles got to Iraq the number of soldiers I saw coming into the CSH dropped like a rock.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 14:26

Remember the context of that time.


GOP had a gigantic defeat in Nov. 2006 (lost House and Senate, because of Iraq.)

December 2007 ushered in the beginning of the "Great Recession".


Neither Bush or Obama were going to ask for, or give their approval to X number of F-22's or NGB when our economy was shedding over +300,000 jobs a month and people's homes were going into foreclosure. Not to mention fighting 2 wars, one of which was extremely unpopular.


That would have been political suicide-
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 14:58

hythelday wrote:
mixelflick wrote:So over and over, the MINIMUM required number of F-22's was 243. One could argue it was 350 or so and politics brought it down to 243, but it's pretty clear 243 (according to any credible study) was the MINIMUM.

And this idiot refused to ask for more, because of his "loyalty" to his boss - not to the warfighter. Our armed forces are run by these idiots? I'd hate to be in the cockpit as a warfighter, since their needs (and fighting and winning, the Air Force mission) is dismissed so readily.

I can understand now why the Air Force is hemorrahging pilots...


Would you rather have entire B-21 programme scrapped over 50 additional Raptors? And I don't know how indespesable F-22 is over Syria, but Cougars and MaxxPros saved a lot of people their lives, health and limbs. Instead of sh*tting on Gates and this "idiot" (who knew exactly what happens to 700-strong Raptor fleet hars) better ask people who decided to invade Iraq why wasn't there more money and strategic foresight available.


No, but 300 or more new Raptors vs. no B-21's? In a heartbeat..

Our country has enjoyed air superiority for so long, we've forgotten how important it is. The B-2 is perfectly capable of penetrating Russian/Chinese airspace, as are new and better stealth cruise missiles the B-52/B-1 fleet can carry. Hell the B-52 is going to fly until 2060 (at least). The B-1 could fly even longer, and more than a few of both are in flyable storage.

This doesn't even take into consideration hypersonic weapons, which would soundly out-perform the B-21 in all but a small niche of strike/ISR missions. With enough F-22's around, the F-35, B-52, B-1, B-2, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18E/F/G's can all do their thing unabated. Conversely, because there aren't enough F-22's around that assumption is an open question.

China's J-20's, J-31's, J-10B/C, Flanker derivatives and SU-35 fleet is worrisome. It's not a "given" they'd be wiped from the skies. Face it: Truncating the F-22 buy was the wrong decision. Even Gates has to acknowledge that now. But he's got his pension, while our pilots have to make due with relics from the 1970's...
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 16:09

In fact, we can't even properly ugrade the F-22 as per this recent DoD report..

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/03 ... n-program/

This is further evidence that the USAF has lost sight of air superiority/dominance as a priority. The fact we have 40 year old F-15's soldiering on in this role is pathetic. Sure, it's a great fighter. But staying ahead of the threat is infinitely cheaper than playing catch up, or even staying evenly matched. What kind of wake up call is it going to take for AIr Force (and Navy) leadership to get with the program?

Having our clock's cleaned in the Taiwanese straight? Losing several F-15's/16's to SU-35's in Syria? Or something even more embarrassing, like a single F-22 being forced into the merge by restrictive ROE's and downed by a Mig-29?

"I had never been disloyal to a boss and I wasn’t about to start then.” Schwartz wrote extensively in the book about how Gates fought for Schwartz’ nomination to be Chief against congressional resistance...". And you just read in his own words where *EVERY* credible study pinned the MINIMUM number of Raptors at 243. So this guy ***BY HIS OWN ADMISSION*** put his career ahead of what the war fighter needed. Gates likely knew Obama was no fan of the F-22, so he did the same IMO. Classic case of the blind dove leading the blind, and as we all know sh!t rolls downhill...

I'm sorry but those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Gates was an idiot for truncating the F-22 buy, no apologies. Ditto for Schwartz.

This "we traded the F-22 for B-21" story is dubious IMO. If that's really the case, why are we only hearing about it now? Likely because these "leaders" in power.... only want to stay in power. Gates is gone, he can't be held accountable for his terrible decision. As time has gone on, the decision to cancel the F-22 being a mistake only grows in magnitude. It's only a matter of time before some senator starts asking why we're in this position now. So yeah, I think AIr Force leadership fears being held accountable.

Thus, the "we traded F-22's for B-21's" hoax..
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hythelday

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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 16:39

Let's just say I can't agree with anything you wrote on the matter.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 19:39

mixelflick wrote:Thus, the "we traded F-22's for B-21's" hoax..

As said by four star general mixelflick who has as Ph.D. in Military and Strategic Studies.

Oh wait... :mrgreen:
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 20:11

hythelday wrote:Let's just say I can't agree with anything you wrote on the matter.

I agree.
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