If the OV-10 Bronco were an automobile it would qualify for “Antique” classification license plates. Nonetheless, Barack Obama’s Department of Defense is recalling the 50-year-old turbo-prop aircraft to be used for close air support combat missions against the ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
As reported by the CNN Wire Service (via Fox News 6 of Milwaukee, Wisc.) and the British Ministry of Defence’s Forces.tv, both on Mar. 11, 2016, two Vietnam War vintage Broncos have been resurrected as a cost saving device for the global war on terror. Developed in the mid-1960s as a small, inexpensive COIN (counterinsurgency) aircraft specifically designed to support American ground combat troops in Southeast Asia, the prop-job plane was fully retired by the US Armed Forces more than two decades ago.
With the operating costs of the Bronco considerably cheaper than the Air Force’s F-15 Fighting Falcons and the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters which carry out the lion’s share of the airstrikes against the Islamic jihadists who’ve rallied under the ISIS banner. But now American Bronco pilots will join a special brotherhood that B-52 Stratofortress pilots already know all too well – flying the same aircraft their fathers and grandfathers flew.
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The Bronco operates for a mere $1,000 per hour of flight time compared to the $40,000 per flight cost for the Fighting Falcon. According to Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said in his interview with CNN that after 15 years of counterinsurgency missions, quite the toll had been taken on the technologically advanced and expensive American fighter jet fleet, saying a jet “can only have so many flying hours before it is worn out.”
While the Pentagon has yet to explain why it took 15 years worth of wear and tear on the world’s premier combat jets before the move was made to reactivate the sturdy little warplane that’s capable of carrying three tons worth of external weapons, the military doing without has become commonplace during the Obama years. One example would be Obama sending the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Egypt more brand new tanks than the Marine Corps has in its entire inventory.
As reported by The Washington Times in 2012, the Obama administration delivered $1.3 billion worth of state-of-the-art M1A1 Tanks to the then-government of President Mohamud Morsi, who had at the time recently granted himself dictatorial powers. During 2012 alone, Obama had sent the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Cairo government 200 M1A1 Main Battle Tanks. At the time, Egypt already stood-up the world’s 7th largest tank force, numbering in at a whopping 4,000.
To keep things in perspective, the United States Marine Corps in 2012 had less than 150 operable M1A1 Abrams tanks in its active-duty inventory. Announced in late 2012, the newly unveiled Obama budget ensured the tank battalions of the Corps, along with the rest of the U.S. military, would face a $1.2 trillion budget cut over the next decade.