Through my eye

A sometimes caustic view of things.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Kerry endorsed by General Merrill A. McPeak, poor Kerry

Yep, General Merrill A. McPeak found himself at the head of the Air Force in 1990, just in time to be the titular commander of one of the most expensive air war campaigns in history. He took the time out of his busy schedule to reorganize and reuniform the Air Force, while air commanders overseas did what they were told to do.

If you look hard, you can find pre-Gulf II comments by McPeak that the air bombardment before the invasion of Iraq was too limited. Looking will also find good assessments of the actual damage done by Gulf I air bombardment that show the real work still had to be done by troops on the ground.

I'll be real succinct. Most of what McPeak did while Air Force Chief of Staff was rescinded or dropped by his successor. The changes and additions to Air Force uniforms were uniformly detested and caused such an uproar that the Air Force dropped his designs as soon as he was gone and is still struggling to create a destinctive and practical set of uniforms. It was a multi-million dollar boondoggle, benefiting some clothing contractors, but not the service men and women.

His composite air wing was found to be impracticable as he ordered it. The first such wing to be established at Pope AFB in North Carolina put fast-moving fighter jets in the same limited air space as slow moving transport aircraft with predictable results: A three plane disaster in 1994 that burned 23 paratroopers alive. I'll go toe-to-toe with anyone who says the fault can't be put directly on McPeak's ideas and hurried implementation. Anyone familiar with the Pope area and the specialized requirements of the necessary support for Airborne operations could see there wasn't adequate space for dual operations.

McPeak is typical of the kind of officer who has to put his imprint on whatever he is given command of -- from redecorating an office to repainting a base to reorganizing and dressing up an entire service. With no regard for cost or other's opinions, everything must be stamped with his mark. This behavior and attitude is not limited to Air Force officers, it infects the entire military, and costs the taxpayer billions of extra dollars in defense spending.

I won't even get into his defensive attitude towards court-martialing pilots who killed more than 20 soldiers in a friendly-fire incident in Gulf I.

By seeking any brass hat who will jump on his bandwagon, Kerry has found a real winner.


Post a Comment

<< Home