fsnuffer
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Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:56 am

 
salttee
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:11 am

From whence commeth all the pilots?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:50 am

Another sign of escalation towards North Korea. We need de-escalation instead.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Noshow
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:12 am

Good decision. This provides a nice way to let things escalate step by step in some controlled way not in chaos. Man the planes, engines on, get airborne or move to forward bases. Just what might be needed if NK gets nasty. Big public dramatic gestures that can take hours and days if needed. This worked during the cold war and it will work again.

In real hot cases any submarine missile will do any job within minutes.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:24 am

Noshow wrote:
This worked during the cold war and it will work again.


How did that "work", aside of show for domestic consumption?

In real hot cases any submarine missile will do any job within minutes.


And everybody knows that, so Bombers on alarm pads are a waste of tax payer money.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:26 am

Global Strike Incoming #Awesome #DuckandCover #Rocketman
 
Noshow
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:51 am

How did that "work"?


Credible threat of mutual destruction in case of any attack. The magic in it is you have many steps and stages to let things escalate (and to force political decisions) before you actually shoot.
 
salttee
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:23 am

Possibly we should consider a way to make the B-52s look even more fierce and menacing: we should add another engine on the tail like a DC-10, make them 9 engined bombers.
 
Sooner787
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:57 pm

salttee wrote:
From whence commeth all the pilots?


Perhaps from the 1,000 AF pilots the President is recalling to active duty?

Perhaps the majority of that 1,000 are former B-52 drivers
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:32 pm

And from whence commeth all the replacement pilots needed to replace the 1,000 pilots going back to service? Will Trump open up the work Visa allowance for all those foreign pilots?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
angad84
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:42 pm

Sooner787 wrote:
salttee wrote:
From whence commeth all the pilots?


Perhaps from the 1,000 AF pilots the President is recalling to active duty?

Perhaps the majority of that 1,000 are former B-52 drivers

USAF leadership makes that call, the President has only enabled it. For now all the signals point to no inclination to recall anyone to active duty.
 
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Moose135
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:52 pm

Sooner787 wrote:
Perhaps from the 1,000 AF pilots the President is recalling to active duty?

Perhaps the majority of that 1,000 are former B-52 drivers


The Air Force was authorized to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots, however they said they have no plans to do so at this time. And I would expect most of those recalled would end up in staff jobs, freeing current active duty pilots to return to the cockpit.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017 ... ilots.html

Putting some B-52s (and I assume associated KC-135s) back on alert at Barksdale is meaningless for the situation with NK, other than serving as further, unwarranted sabre-rattling. Back in the day, we had B-52s and KC-135s on alert to ensure their survivability in the event of a strike by Soviet missiles. You might want to have some bombers ready to go on Guam or other suitable location to strike back at NK in the event they launch an attack, but launching them off alert from Barksdale doesn't make sense.

The article posted by the OP talks about preparing space for 100 in the alert facility. The B-52 carries a crew of 5, add a crew chief and an assistant crew chief assigned to each, you have 7 per plane. That means they would be looking at no more than a dozen planes on alert - fewer if you add tankers to the mix - so you would not be recalling 1,000 pilots for that, they would just be pulled from the current force.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
tommy1808
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:03 pm

Noshow wrote:
How did that "work"?


Credible threat of mutual destruction in case of any attack.


That is what you have ICBM/SLBM for.

The magic in it is you have many steps and stages to let things escalate (and to force political decisions) before you actually shoot.


By the time someone nukes your SAC bases those escalation steps are already behind you.You don´t go after strategic deterrent weapons unless you want a full scale war.

When bombers where the only nuclear weapons to take out hard targets reliably, ok, but that has passed 50 years ago.

Bombers are nice to have for their flexibility, but alarm pad status is just a waste of money. The ability to kill the enemy does in no way depends on getting those birds in the air, any nuclear war will be long over by the time they get anywhere.

It is pure PR.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:40 am

It will be interesting to see who backs down first, China or North Korea. And if not, what type of strike will be expected? C2 structures? Facilities for nuclear development? Strike to take out Kim? Will they use miniaturized tactical nukes? And then how will China respond? Militarily? Economically (this for sure)?
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:26 pm

Are they tweet-triggered?
 
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Aesma
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:47 am

DigitalSea wrote:
It will be interesting to see who backs down first, China or North Korea. And if not, what type of strike will be expected? C2 structures? Facilities for nuclear development? Strike to take out Kim? Will they use miniaturized tactical nukes? And then how will China respond? Militarily? Economically (this for sure)?


The US will back down first.

The only time nuclear weapons have been used so far was during a declared war between the US and Japan, following many battles between ships, aircraft, armies, etc. Even then this even has created resentment against the US all over the world.

There is no way the US can justify nuking North Korea.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:40 pm

With respect, that is your opinion. A sensible one. But did you consider the possibility that there might be a non-sensible leader installed in White House? I don't think we can make the safe assumptions we did in the past. I still think a war is very unlikely, but I also don't think it should be ruled out. A leader might be wanting to demonstrate that "he showed them", even if it might result in 20M dead in the target area, and a nuke hit in US can't be entirely ruled, either. Millions dead, but we showed them! And some people would go along with that... Sigh...
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:31 pm

I hope the US military is a bit more sensible than that and just say no to this "president". They have a higher purpose and that is to the American people and keep them safe, sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing because all other options will have a more negative outcome. This is playing with fire and this "president" is oblivious to this.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:25 pm

Best thing to do is to heavily guard the United States and its Asian allies against a NK attack and to keep the economic sanctions on. Of course if NK did go on the offensive they have to know that their country would be reduced to ashes.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:26 pm

Best thing to do is to heavily guard the United States and its Asian allies against a NK attack and to keep the economic sanctions on. Of course if NK did go on the offensive they have to know that their country would be reduced to ashes.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:13 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
Best thing to do is to heavily guard the United States and its Asian allies against a NK attack and to keep the economic sanctions on. Of course if NK did go on the offensive they have to know that their country would be reduced to ashes.


I agree, but if NK goes offensive, we better pray it’s a miss. A direct hit on the CONUS would obliterate the economy in addition to the target city. That’s the problem, we can’t strike and can’t take one, either.

GF
 
Ozair
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:27 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
dfwjim1 wrote:
Best thing to do is to heavily guard the United States and its Asian allies against a NK attack and to keep the economic sanctions on. Of course if NK did go on the offensive they have to know that their country would be reduced to ashes.


I agree, but if NK goes offensive, we better pray it’s a miss. A direct hit on the CONUS would obliterate the economy in addition to the target city. That’s the problem, we can’t strike and can’t take one, either.

GF

The launch vector is well understood and with the ground based missiles and radar in Alaska the US would be reasonably confident they can shoot any NK missiles down. There are apparently over 30 intercept missiles in place so figure 2-3 ground launched missile per NK ballistic missile for redundancy. Hence the system could handle perhaps 10-15 NK missiles volley launched. I doubt Kim NK has that many and the US is increasing ground interceptor numbers. Now add THAAD and sea based AEGIS on top of that.

There are probably also questions on the capability of NK missiles to reach CONUS, given as far as I am aware they haven’t actually flown a system that duration or distance.

Of course as you say, miss one and it really hurts...
 
tjh8402
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:46 am

I have to imagine that if this happens it's far more likely gonna be at Guam or somewhere forward deployed. Makes the B-52s a more credible, present, and visible deterrent and reduces any response time. Would also allow for more intense saber rattling exercises.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:06 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
With respect, that is your opinion. A sensible one. But did you consider the possibility that there might be a non-sensible leader installed in White House? I don't think we can make the safe assumptions we did in the past. I still think a war is very unlikely, but I also don't think it should be ruled out. A leader might be wanting to demonstrate that "he showed them", even if it might result in 20M dead in the target area, and a nuke hit in US can't be entirely ruled, either. Millions dead, but we showed them! And some people would go along with that... Sigh...


Where are the Harold Hering's of these days? It looks like this world needs a bit more of these (yes, in NK chain of command, too, BTW).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Hering
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gtae07
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Re: Reconstituting USAF bomber nuclear alert

Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:15 am

Ballistic missiles have a disadvantage in certain situations. If you are launching a limited strike against, say, North Korea, they will certainly do the job faster. But when you first launch said missiles everyone will know, but nobody will really know for sure what your target is, or how "limited" it's really going to be. And they have to decide really quickly (possibly before they know for sure what your target is) if they're going to do anything in response, and what they'll do if they choose to do something. There is apparently a theory in The Business of "if one flies, they all fly"--if someone launches some missiles, nobody else knows immediately where they're going or how many will eventually launch, and they face a "use them or lose them" possibility. Bombers sidestep that.

A handful of bombers doesn't combine the collective puckering of the world's rear ends coupled with "we have to make this decision in the next five minutes". With a B-2 you can even have it loiter around the target and wait, and drop on much shorter notice. I suspect that may even be part of the point--it's a visible reminder to the little fat man that, just maybe, he could find himself with a can of instant sunshine in his lap with no warning. The bomber doesn't have to be there--but it could.

Bombers are also a visible deterrent. Submarines, by design, are not visible; holes in the ground on the other side of the world are, well, on the other side of the world. And keeping a handful of bombers on 24/7 alert costs relative peanuts, in the grand scheme of things.


Incidentally, "there are a few missiles flying" is a really good argument for BMD.

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