The Light Attack Trickery

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The Light Attack Trickery
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The recent media blitz for this summer's experiment is not coming out of the blue. For more than two years Air Force headquarters staff officers and others have been laying the foundation for the light attack program, lauding a buy of 300 or so light attack aircraft to relieve the expensive operating-cost burden of the A-10s, F-16s, and F-15s currently flying attack missions in permissive air defense environments like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Responding to the Air Force's encouragement, three defense contractors--Sierra Nevada, Textron, and Beechcraft--started publicity and lobbying campaigns for their respective light attack offerings. In February this year, General Goldfein suddenly requested an $8 million supplemental to fast-track his newly announced Light Attack Experiment so it could take place this summer. A month later, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) put out his 2017 "Restoring American Power" defense plan advocating the 300 OA-X buy. Last month his Senate Armed Services Committee authorized $1.2 ...

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