Army to get AF MC-12 Aircraft

DA SWO

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Looks like the AF will transfer it's MC-12 aircraft to the Army; good deal for all (IMO).

pix062711libertyTH.jpg
Senators Say MC-12 Switch Would Avoid Mission Duplication:
The Senate Armed Services Committee's move to transfer ownership of the Air Force's MC-12W Liberty aircraft fleet to the Army came because these Senators believe that Liberty's tactical intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance mission is best conducted by the land service, said a committee spokeswoman. "The committee felt that this was an enduring mission of the Army, that these aircraft could best be operated and supported in the long term within the Army force structure, and transferring the aircraft would avoid the duplications of pursuing the Army's [Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System] program," Tara Andringa, press secretary for Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), SASC chairman, told the Daily Report. Andringa said the SASC airland subcommittee chairman included the language directing the switch in the subcommittee's mark-up package, based on staff recommendations. The full committee accepted it. MC-12s are providing invaluable real-time streaming imagery and signals intelligence to ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Army envisions a fleet of EMARSS aircraft to perform a similar mission. Last December, it chose Boeing to supply the EMARSS fleet, which like Liberty aircraft, will be based on the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350.
 

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While I agree, I can't wait to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the AF over this. I envision the "A-10 to the Army" or "Pave Low to the Army" all over again unless Congress forces the issue.
 

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While I agree, I can't wait to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the AF over this. I envision the "A-10 to the Army" or "Pave Low to the Army" all over again unless Congress forces the issue.
$5 bucks says the AF pushes the plane as fast as law/Army will allow.
MC-12 never really fit in, current CSAF is supportive, but a small number of planes is difficult to deal with. That and the AF has been trying to dump C-12 frames forever.
I wonder if this is actually gonna end up as an ARL replacement. I also find it funny that a successful Army Aircraft Acquisition program is being handed to the Army by the AF.
I also think the AF and Army should start splitting front end crews ASAP. Some of the back enders may need to stay AF until the gear/training is accomplished, but this is something that should be going "balls to the wall".
 

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$5 bucks says the AF pushes the plane as fast as law/Army will allow.
MC-12 never really fit in, current CSAF is supportive, but a small number of planes is difficult to deal with. That and the AF has been trying to dump C-12 frames forever.
I wonder if this is actually gonna end up as an ARL replacement. I also find it funny that a successful Army Aircraft Acquisition program is being handed to the Army by the AF.
I also think the AF and Army should start splitting front end crews ASAP. Some of the back enders may need to stay AF until the gear/training is accomplished, but this is something that should be going "balls to the wall".

I agree. The backend guys will be the challenge...but we have a member here who flew MC-12's in Afghanistan and he was a MC-130 guy who volunteered for the deployment. I think the AF doesn't know what to do with the sudden "MC-12 Community" and career paths that have/ will crop up.
 

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I agree. The backend guys will be the challenge...but we have a member here who flew MC-12's in Afghanistan and he was a MC-130 guy who volunteered for the deployment. I think the AF doesn't know what to do with the sudden "MC-12 Community" and career paths that have/ will crop up.
Agree, which is why they will be happy to chuck the plane.
Front end and linguists will be easy to transfer over, I don't know enough about the sensor suite to know what kind of start up problems the Army may have (if any).
 

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LOL...how many Blue Suiters will leave to go to the Army?
Not too many.
Pilots are drawn from other frames, so they have a home. Linguists have a wide variety of frames to go back to. The sensor guys/gals may be tempted, but I doubt the Army would take them without making them do a "standard" intel tour first, plus they have other (very good) gigs they can do. Blue to Green hasn't seen a huge number of applicants, that and you have to re-accomplish Basic Training.
 

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Maybe I'm just a simple pilot but when I flew the Liberty I flew my ass off for big green, ISAF SOF, Marines, SOTF-S, etc without many complaints. Now I understand there are some real retards out there that were allowed in the Liberty program, I was not one of them. We provided some real good work for the ground guys. Isn't that the whole point of the Air Force? Support the trigger pullers? So why the boner for moving planes to the Army to avoid duplicate work? My understanding of the MARRS program was that it plays a role for a very small slice of the Army pie anyway. Either way F--k it I'm back in my Combat Wombat err...Dragon Spear...or something. Standing by calls for fire....
 

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Maybe I'm just a simple pilot but when I flew the Liberty I flew my ass off for big green, ISAF SOF, Marines, SOTF-S, etc without many complaints. Now I understand there are some real retards out there that were allowed in the Liberty program, I was not one of them. We provided some real good work for the ground guys. Isn't that the whole point of the Air Force? Support the trigger pullers? So why the boner for moving planes to the Army to avoid duplicate work? My understanding of the MARRS program was that it plays a role for a very small slice of the Army pie anyway. Either way F--k it I'm back in my Combat Wombat err...Dragon Spear...or something. Standing by calls for fire....
I don't think it's an issue of the support not being there, I think it's really a log issue. Army will have a greater number of RC/MC-12's so transferring the AF birds will be cost effective. The guys at the low end always do a good job, it's the bean counters at the flag-pole that muck it up.

Also PM out with a website you may enjoy.
 

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Good deal for the AF but it looks like the Army is getting screwed again.

This week's AF Times (and I suspect Army Times) gives a few more details.
Looks like the Army's Guardrail Program (137 Acft per the times) gets the 37 Project Liberty Aircraft, and then gets their program chopped. Should have known the Sen from Michigan was screwing the Army over.
 

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Good deal for the AF but it looks like the Army is getting screwed again.

This week's AF Times (and I suspect Army Times) gives a few more details.
Looks like the Army's Guardrail Program (137 Acft per the times) gets the 37 Project Liberty Aircraft, and then gets their program chopped. Should have known the Sen from Michigan was screwing the Army over.

So dropping 100 ISR a/c is best for our country? Um, WTF? Guardrail has problems, car and I discussed those offline and I don't know if the MC-12 has the same limited performance envelope as the Guardrail, but to kill it entirely? Wow.
 

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I wouldn't be so quick as to dismiss the Mc-12's role as a mission the Air Force shouldn't really be doing. There are alot of Air Force/Navy/Marine fingers, esp. AFSOC side, in that pie. Just because the Army has been doing it longer, doesn't necessarily imply it is doing it better.
 

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I wouldn't be so quick as to dismiss the Mc-12's role as a mission the Air Force shouldn't really be doing. There are alot of Air Force/Navy/Marine fingers, esp. AFSOC side, in that pie. Just because the Army has been doing it longer, doesn't necessarily imply it is doing it better.
I agree. The biggest issue I saw before retiring was the AF's not knowing how to manage the airframe from a career progression standpoint. I think they blew it. IMHO the frames could have been slated for the Air Guard so PCS/Career Progression would not have been an issue. Another possible solution (IMO) would have married the MC-12 squadrons with the RPV units and let pilots be "Dual Qualified" or bounce back and forth between the missions.
You are the Shadow Spear expert (MC-12 wise) here, would it be that hard to maintain currency in a C-12 and fly RPV missions? I ask because we had a program for co-pilots (ACE) that allowed LT's to fly T-37/T-38's and maintain currency in a heavy airframes (C-141 and KC-135 IIRC).
 

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completely agree with that idea. A dual qual would be easy but taboo in today's Big Blue Air Force. Even AFSOC has moved away from allowing guys to be dual qualed.
 

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So what would this mean for current MC-12 crews? My brother is a sensor operator and loves what he does. Evidently, the door kickers on the ground have nothing but good things to say about the missions they (MC-12) fly.
Thanks in advance guys.
 

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So what would this mean for current MC-12 crews? My brother is a sensor operator and loves what he does. Evidently, the door kickers on the ground have nothing but good things to say about the missions they (MC-12) fly.
Thanks in advance guys.
My guess is he'd go to another AF Airframe.
It's not a done deal yet, the house has to agree.
 

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My guess is he'd go to another AF Airframe.
It's not a done deal yet, the house has to agree.

Looks like the Sec AF and Sec Army want the planes to stay where they are. Interesting, wonder what the dope deal was/is?

No Surrender of Liberty: Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Army Secretary John McHugh urged lawmakers to keep the MC-12W Liberty fleet with the Air Force. In a letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, the two service Secretaries "strongly recommend the Congress not incorporate" a provision in the final version of the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill that would transfer these manned ISR aircraft to the Army. The MC-12s would replace the land service's RC-12 Guardrail platforms. Among their arguments, Donley and McHugh said they're convinced that the transfer "would be disruptive to ongoing military operations" since MC-12s are "relied upon daily by US and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify, track, and locate terrorists and Taliban forces." Further, Liberty aircraft, which provide full-motion video and signals intelligence, would require "extensive internal aircraft modifications" to conform to Guardrail's different mission set—tethered communications/electronic intelligence, they wrote in their Sept. 20 missive. The Senate's draft bill included language calling for the transfer, while the House's version did not, meaning lawmakers will decide this issue in conference.
 
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