An Unheralded Victory for the 12th Air Force

06/28/2011 by Ed Timperlake

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”
John Lennon

A tremendous and unnoticed US Air Force victory is being won right off the shores of America.  And this victory highlights the impact of a Hi-Lo mix of technology.

“Brazilian planes silence Dominican critics”

The mere presence of the Brazilian made intercept planes and alerts by U.S. air surveillance on radar blips over the airspace have virtually halted all drug airdrops in Dominican Republic.

While the National Security focus inside the Beltway will probably spend some time and ink on the transition to a new Secretary of Defense, along with recent comments made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy  that;–“Mr. Gates is going into retirement and it seems like he isn’t liking it, so you cannot blame someone who is going into retirement and is a little bitter,” —Real life is happening.

Three current U.S. wars are raging in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. This combat along with Congress and the Administration considering 21st century military technology going on a fiscal chopping block will certainly make for an event filled year going into a Presidential election which will truly define the future of America.

So as big ticket items are debated, for example keeping the F-22 line open ( to how many and what type of F-35s should be bought a different chapter in aviation con-ops is being perfected.

Traditionally, the concept of a “Hi-Lo” mix is in reference to Aircraft—but the 12th Air Force is rewriting that idea and showing the world new and successful con-ops.

The 12th Air Force is  known as the “Doolittle Raiders” and just like the great “30 Seconds over Tokyo” raid by Col Doolittle’s legacy, it is in capable hands.

However, this time they are supporting U.S. national security objectives much closer to home. The “Doolittle Raiders” are part of the mission espoused in the vision statement made by the US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM).

We are a joint and interagency organization supporting U.S. national security interests, and with our partners, fostering security, stability and prosperity in the Americas.

The 12th is supporting nations just off our shore and recently held a U.S. Air Power demonstration in celebration of 100 years of aviation in the Dominican Republic.

Unheralded success has just been achieved by this partnership between SOUTHCOM and the Dominican Republic Air Force flying the Embraer Air Super Tucano. This remarkable and replicable success is made possible by U.S. “Hi” ISR technology in partnership with the Dominican Republic “Lo” technology the Super Tucano.

It has not been widely reported that this war against drug barons is being won in the sky.

Although drug money is unrelenting in finding ways to supply their corrosive product for now in the war against narco-criminials and terrorist this is a huge accomplishment, and the opening headline from Dominican Today quoted above says it all

Along with the success in Dom Rep, the Colombian AF is wining the fight against the FARC with sensors and shooters—again the Super Tucano.

Consequently, this “Hi-Lo” mix is beginning to look like a winning formula for world wide partnerships between the U.S. and other nations by using American ISR that can give hot vectors in both the air-to-air and air-to-ground mission to a Light Armed Attack Aircraft (LAAR) like the Super Tucano.

World wide possibilities are abundant, Indonesia, Afghanistan and hopefully some day back to the Philippines. There is no need for “Hi” US tactical aircraft — just “Hi” American platform censors — and the “Lo” capabilities of the Super Tucano which is battle tested and perfect for the mission.

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