RUSH: “Costly Military Mission Shelling Taxpayers.” You know, this is one of the complaints Obama and all the Democrats had: How much Iraq was costing us and how better that money could be used…for what? Educate! No, education. Education.
Education, education, education (which means “funding our union buddies, we now know). Oh, yeah. And remember the Iraq war supposedly cost us a trillion dollars, so everything Obama was gonna do was gonna cost just under a trillion dollars. Health care, it didn’t matter. The stimulus. It was gonna be under a trillion, ’cause Obama was constantly telling us that Iraq cost a trillion. “Amid fierce budget battles over record-high deficits and debt, Capitol Hill lawmakers are wondering who’s going to pay for the hugely expensive US-backed military mission in Libya. The first day alone of Operation Odyssey Dawn ran up a tab for as much as $168 million, with coalition forces launching 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles that cost $1 million to $1.5 million each.”
That’s a lot of damn health care insurance for a lot of teachers that we’re spending on missiles. “Most of those missiles came from US warships. The initial campaign to stifle Moammar Khadafy’s forces with a no-fly zone will cost between $400 million and $800 million, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. After that, maintaining the no-fly zone will cost $30 million to $100 million a week — racking up a total bill of $1.1 billion to $3.4 billion over six months, the center estimated.” Now, I have a friend who flew refueling missions for our no-fly zone over Bosnia. He flew the tankers (in this case, the KC-135, which is the military version of the Boeing 707).
He sent me a note on Friday, and I was stunned. I never stopped to think of this, but I was stunned when I read this. Again, this was from a tanker pilot. “Here’s the logistical tale for all of this, Sir Rush.” He calls me “Sir Rush.” “A fourship of F-15 Eagles,” meaning four jets, as part of a no-fly zone “requires a minimum…” Folks, get ready for this. This is gonna blow your mind. “A fourship of F-15 Eagles a minimum of 18 KC-135 sorties, missions.” It requires18 tanker plane sorties to keep those four Eagles manned for 24 hours. It’s a no-fly zone so they never come down. They’re constantly up there.
“These tankers, the KC-135 tankers take off with 180,000 pounds of jet fuel,” whatever the derivative is for these fighter jets. I’m not sure. “This translates into 3.2 million pounds of gas to keep four F-15s airborne, and that’s just one cap station. Khadafy has several bases we will need to watch, so multiply the 3.2 million pounds by the number of cap stations that you have to keep manned. These tankers are gonna need to be put at locations which can support these 3.2 million pounds a day fuel. There are not many places which can support this kind of operational tempo in Europe.
“The problem with this math is that all bets are off if the Eagles actually commit on a Libyan fighter plane and shoot it down. The first thing the Eagle pilots will do before they engage is configure the jet for combat. They want the maximum maneuverability an Eagle jet will give ’em, which means the external fuel tanks will come off. They’ll just drop ’em. They’ll probably keep the two wing tanks but have lost the ability to carry 4,000 pounds of gas, compounding the fuel problem. So just to give you an idea: The F-15 burns 8,000 pounds of gas an hour flying in this station in the no-fly zone routine.
“It burns 2,000 pounds a minute maneuvering, which it is engaging or fighting a Libyan Mig because the fighter pilot is using the afterburner. Well, now, you can see while all bets are off when they engage. Our rule of thumb is that it’s gonna take 22 to 24 tanker sorties if the Eagles are active or engaging the Migs (i.e., people dying in the bad guy jets). So now you understand why sustainment of a large-scale tanker operation requires bedding down tankers at airfields which are prepared for large-scale air refueling operations.” These numbers boggle my mind. Just the amount of fuel, the amount of flights that the tankers are gonna have make in order keep just four F-15s in the air.
And if those four F-15s engage in combat, then the numbers expand and even more fuel is used, ’cause the afterburner is turned on. Again, this is just four. It goes to the cost of all this. It goes to the expense of all this — and, again, this is from tanker pilot who flew refueling missions during our no-fly zone over Bosnia and Kosovo — where a genocide took place, by the way. A genocide took place under the no-fly zone, and our cameras aboard the planes shot it. Clinton’s no-fly zone was 15,000 feet. We saw the genocide take place. We saw the mass graves. We saw where they had been dug.
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