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Sat Nov 21, 2020, 04:01 PM

"That money was taken by our president to pay for third century technology."

‘That place is a dumpster fire’ — Inside the Air Force’s dilapidated Reaper school, which won't be fixed anytime soon
Here’s what happens when you combine a sinkhole, a border wall and a deep-seated cultural conflict over the future of the Air Force:

David Roza
May 8, 2020 5:50 PM EDT

Deep in the desert of south-central New Mexico is a school unlike any other, where Air Force pilots learn to fly the MQ-9 Reaper. A multi-mission remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA), the Reaper has a range of duties, from scouting the battlefield to killing high-value targets like the late Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

But as the school churns out hundreds of new MQ-9 pilots a year, the facility itself is falling apart. Airmen contend with a sinkhole under the building that threatens its stability, toilets and pipes that overflow and leak, and classrooms that do not have enough network ports or electrical outlets to support lessons on flying a 21st century aircraft.

The Air Force had $85 million lined up in the 2019 defense budget to fix the facility, but that money was diverted to help build a wall on the U.S. southern border with Mexico. The move angered New Mexico lawmakers and left RPA pilots at Holloman Air Force Base in the same ramshackle conditions.


They don't even have enough power or Ethernet plugs to hold classes!

The article also goes into the Air Force culture at some length, which I thought was interesting, as it's dominated by fighter pilots even as the USAF has obligations that are equally as important but very diverse from air superiority.

I get the impression that the Air Force is very insistent on being in charge of all land-based fixed-wing operations but only is interested in the fighter jet part of it.

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Reply "That money was taken by our president to pay for third century technology." (Original post)
krispos42 Nov 21 OP
CrispyQ Nov 21 #1
BComplex Nov 21 #2
kurtcagle Nov 21 #3

Response to krispos42 (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 04:07 PM

1. Hey the MAGAs got a wall that fell down in the wind.

I'm guessing that even I could build a wall that wouldn't fall over in the wind if I had $85 million to do it. Assuming I didn't grift it all to my family & friends.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 04:25 PM

2. Bingo! $85 Mil used by the MAGAs to stuff pockets of no-bid contractors building the wall.

This needs to be investigated, and hammered on all legitimate news networks, and the social media.

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Response to krispos42 (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 04:37 PM

3. Air Force is facing an identity crisis

Drones are eating significantly into the need for human fighter and bomber pilots, their cargo transport fleet (which makes up a big, if not terribly sexy, part of their operational requirements) is filled with ancient C130s and C141s, some that were in service in World War II, and the Air Force and the Navy are in competition for doctrinal control over air supremacy (with the Navy currently winning). Space Force, which I suspect will continue in some form under Biden, is also encroaching on traditional Air Force prerogatives.

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