This isn’t intended as a political post to support any particular political party’s cause. It is simply my observations based on my experience as a military aviation communications monitoring enthusiast. Any politically oriented comments to the post will be deleted or not approved.
Over the last couple of months as sequestration has taken hold, I have noticed a definite decrease in flight activity from area Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps air bases. Before sequestration, there was nearly non-stop training activity in the offshore special use areas. There was also almost daily activity at Townsend Range. As sequestration has begun, I have noticed far less activity in the training areas and at the range. On my weekends at home in Savannah I’ve also noticed that there have been no flights of F/A-18s from MCAS Beaufort working out of Savannah IAP from Friday afternoons to Sunday afternoons. For as long as I can remember, several flights of F/A-18s have flown out of Savannah IAP on the weekends due to MCAS Beaufort being closed on the weekends.
On top of the above observations is this week’s announcement that 17 US Air Force squadrons will be standing down this week or when they return from deployment. I’ve heard and seen a lot of complaints about the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds being grounded but that isn’t what we need to be concerned with; we need to be concerned about 17 combat squadrons being grounded. With any skills, if you don’t practice your skills you lose them. If our military pilots aren’t flying and training, they are going to lose their edge and their combat readiness.
Whether you believe that President Obama and the Democrats are at fault, Congress is at fault, or the Republicans are at fault or if you believe that the armed forces and Department of Defense is trying to scare the government into not cutting its funds, it must be recognized that this is a danger to our national defense. It is time for all concerned to come together and find a solution to the problem at hand instead of grandstanding and using the situation for political gain.