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Subject: US pilots: The Brits are good but they don't have the extreme aggression that we do.
reefdiver    4/30/2007 12:21:12 PM
Any comments about this quote yesterday from an article titled: "US Aircrews Show No Mercy To Taliban" from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/29/wafg29.xml&page=1 But (American) Capt Staley said he had no qualms about pressing home such attacks until no one was left standing and claimed that American pilots were more effective than their British Apache counterparts, who he said flew higher and were less ruthless in finishing off their targets. "The Brits are good but they don't have the extreme aggression that we do."
 
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flamingknives       4/30/2007 1:17:48 PM
The flippant response would be:

Would that be the same aggression that caused an A10 to strafe a British Armoured column?

A more considered response would be that the British ground forces don't seem to have an problem with their attack helicopter support.
 
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neofire1000       4/30/2007 1:40:43 PM
Pilot aggression is translated to "friendly fire".........lol. I think bold statements making the US pilots out to be "more aggressive" than their UK counterparts gets the US a bad name, anyone can go in all guns blazing, it's knowing when to do so and showing restraint at the right time that determines the better pilot.
 
Cheers,
 
Neo.
 
 
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Softwar    Bonehead Remark   4/30/2007 1:58:06 PM
It's a matter of training, logistics and operations.  The US often trains to be more aggressive since we can take losses that the UK can't.  This argument echos the spat between Patton and Montgomery during WWII.  We both have a style of fighting tailored to suit the kind of combat losses we are willing to absorb - both are right.  The UK pilots may fly higher and not press their attacks because they can't afford to lose a ship and crew.  The US crews are trained to go all out because the higher ups know they have ample replacements.
 
The comments by the US Capt. reflect his tactical view - not the strategic view.  It was a bonehead remark.
 
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Yimmy       4/30/2007 2:07:20 PM
The US often trains to be more aggressive since we can take losses that the UK can't. 
That is an absurd comment, and has no truth in it.
 
 
 
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AdvanceAustralia    Gung Ho   4/30/2007 3:20:56 PM
It may be the same aggression that once caused a USAF pilot to attack an Australian destroyer (HMAS Hobart) off the Vietnamese coast despite:
 
1. The destroyer was a Charles F Adams class designed and built in the US.
2. The destroyer was in a US formation (gun line).
3. The destroyer was far larger than anything the North Vietnamese navy had at the time.
4. The destroyer was not in any way obscured by battlefield dust or smoke, nor fog.
 
 
Call this a bonehead comment if you please Softwar, but remember to include a rational explanation for the above episode.
 
Cheers.
 
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AdvanceAustralia    Nothing more frustrating than trying to make a point and the link doesn't work   4/30/2007 3:25:26 PM
 
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Softwar    Blood and Guts...   4/30/2007 3:56:47 PM


The US often trains to be more aggressive since we can take losses that the UK can't. 


That is an absurd comment, and has no truth in it.

 

 


You should read Patton's book and decide for yourself if it is not true.  These cold decisions are made often.  The point here is that you can take a hit but win quickly - minimizing over-all casualties and shortening the combat.  If you can't afford to take the hit - you try to avoid it and can end up with greater losses over a longer period of time.
The same can be said of our selection of equipment - like the reason why the Israeli tanks have fire suppression systems and US tanks don't.
 
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Softwar       4/30/2007 4:10:18 PM

It may be the same aggression that once caused a USAF pilot to attack an Australian destroyer (HMAS Hobart) off the Vietnamese coast despite:

 

1. The destroyer was a Charles F Adams class designed and built in the US.

2. The destroyer was in a US formation (gun line).

3. The destroyer was far larger than anything the North Vietnamese navy had at the time.

4. The destroyer was not in any way obscured by battlefield dust or smoke, nor fog.

 

http://www.gunplot.net/vietnam/hobartvietnam.html
" href_cetemp=">http://www.gunplot.net/vietnam/hobartvietnam.html
">link
 

Call this a bonehead comment if you please Softwar, but remember to include a rational explanation for the above episode.

 

Cheers.


The same can be said of attacking the Rodney when it clearly was not the Bismark.  How experienced were the air crews, what orders did they have, was there any communications present, were they aware of the warship?  All these things and a 1000 other items play into the incident.  The fact the attacker was USAF should give you a clue as to how well trained he was in identifying ships.  I would not be surprised to find that the pilot was never cross-trained to ID shipping - unlike his USN counterparts who do see ships often.
 
In the heat of combat - shoot first is a formula for personal survival.  We have suffered a number of friendly fire incidents in recent years but once again - the total number of such incidents have declined dramatically since the introduction of better communications and training.  The days of Vietnam had loads of variables that do not apply today.
It is easy enough for us sitting here to judge those who did the shooting.  One has to place yourself in the shoes (or boots) of the shooter.  Would you open fire if you were not sure - absolutely sure?  War is never a 100% sure business.  No one wants to kill friendlies and everyone wants to finish the job quickly.  The balance between training, experience and aggression is a fine line.
 
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Yimmy       4/30/2007 6:28:28 PM
You should read Patton's book
Er..... why?
 
Talk about outdated!  Vietnam showed the limits of the losses America can handle in the age of media.  WWII may as well have been the 1500's.
 
 
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Softwar    The Price is Blood   5/1/2007 9:24:44 AM

You should read Patton's book

Er..... why?

 

Talk about outdated!  Vietnam showed the limits of the losses America can handle in the age of media.  WWII may as well have been the 1500's.

 


Clearly you have never been involved directly in military operations.  The decision to attack a defender is based on logical and pre-calculated odds of success.  There is a direct relationship between acceptable loss rates and attacking.  The McWar - no one dies - media driven stuff is a fantasy that simply does not work in the real world.
 
The cold-blooded decision of who lives and who dies is a requirement for both command as well as logistics.  For example - US tanks are not equipped with fire suppression systems but Israeli tanks are.  Ever wonder why?  Perhaps the answer lies in budget, size and acceptable loss rates. 
We are not the only ones to apply the same type of tactical and strategic thinking.  Here is a sample from an official PLA OCMC document...
 
LINK
 
"Our principle is "willing to sustain major losses of our armed forces to defend even just one square inch of land." If the US forces lose thousands or hundreds of men under our powerful strikes, the anti-war sentiment within the their country will force the US government to take the same path as they did in Viet Nam. "
 
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