Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

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Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby rattler » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:09 pm

SOURCE: Intl Herald Tribune, Europe
DATE: FEB 1, 2008

Belgian government agrees to send F-16 warplanes to Afghanistan

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The Belgian government on Friday approved the deployment of four F-16 warplanes to join NATO's force in Afghanistan.

A government statement said the planes would be sent in September. They will work with Dutch F-16s already operating in Afghanistan, Defense Ministry spokesman Didier De Weerdt said.

The Belgian offer comes as the United States steps up calls for European allies to increase their contribution to the 42,000-strong NATO force before a meeting of allied defense ministers next week.

The deployment of the planes and their crews will increase the number of Belgian troops serving with the NATO force to 480, up from the current level of 360, the government statement said. Belgium is also scheduled to send a training team to work with the Afghan army in October.

However the total number of Belgian troops in Afghanistan is due to fall to 260 by the end of the year as it withdraws other units, including troops helping to manage Kabul airport.

The Dutch are scheduled to bring home two of their six F-16 fighter jets from Afghanistan later this year.
Sincere condolences to all Norwegians! I guess you will need some aquevit to get over this.

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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Robert Hilton » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:56 pm

The Dutch are scheduled to bring home two of their six F-16 fighter jets from Afghanistan later this year.
Thus increasing the home fleet to 10?

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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Princess Leia » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:48 am

Hooray. NATO "allies" actually doing something in Afghanistan. Some do much more than others (Dutch, Canadians, Brits), but others :roll: Will they have the same constraints as the Germans witht he Tornadoes?
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Schorsch » Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:32 pm

Hooray. NATO "allies" actually doing something in Afghanistan. Some do much more than others (Dutch, Canadians, Brits), but others :roll: Will they have the same constraints as the Germans witht he Tornadoes?
Which constraints? The Tornados are dedicated reconnaissance aircraft. Of course, the Tornados down there are fully equipped Tornado IDS and can actually drop a nuclear weapon in zero visibility with good accuracy while not going above 500ft. Still, that isn't really required. For CAS and precision strike the Tornados there are not really suited and the crews not trained.

Other constraints apply to German troops, which is a political issue.
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby flyboy2548m » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:54 am

Which constraints? The Tornados are dedicated reconnaissance aircraft. Of course, the Tornados down there are fully equipped Tornado IDS and can actually drop a nuclear weapon in zero visibility with good accuracy while not going above 500ft. Still, that isn't really required. For CAS and precision strike the Tornados there are not really suited and the crews not trained.
Incidentally, I recently flew with a Captain who was an F-111 instructor for the USAF and after that a Tornado pilot and instructor for the Luftwaffe.
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Princess Leia » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:36 am

Hooray. NATO "allies" actually doing something in Afghanistan. Some do much more than others (Dutch, Canadians, Brits), but others :roll: Will they have the same constraints as the Germans witht he Tornadoes?
Which constraints? The Tornados are dedicated reconnaissance aircraft. Of course, the Tornados down there are fully equipped Tornado IDS and can actually drop a nuclear weapon in zero visibility with good accuracy while not going above 500ft. Still, that isn't really required. For CAS and precision strike the Tornados there are not really suited and the crews not trained.

Other constraints apply to German troops, which is a political issue.
I think that if you're sending combat capable aircraft (which the Tornado IDS most certainly is) then you should also be putting "warheads on foreheads".

I'm sure the USAF could dust off some RF-4C's for the Germans to use as fast recon.
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Schorsch » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:40 am

Hooray. NATO "allies" actually doing something in Afghanistan. Some do much more than others (Dutch, Canadians, Brits), but others :roll: Will they have the same constraints as the Germans witht he Tornadoes?
Which constraints? The Tornados are dedicated reconnaissance aircraft. Of course, the Tornados down there are fully equipped Tornado IDS and can actually drop a nuclear weapon in zero visibility with good accuracy while not going above 500ft. Still, that isn't really required. For CAS and precision strike the Tornados there are not really suited and the crews not trained.

Other constraints apply to German troops, which is a political issue.
I think that if you're sending combat capable aircraft (which the Tornado IDS most certainly is) then you should also be putting "warheads on foreheads".

I'm sure the USAF could dust off some RF-4C's for the Germans to use as fast recon.
I am not sure if "warheads" is the real shortcoming in Afghanistan. I rather think intelligence is needed to identify "hostile" activity before a infantry fight on unfavorable terms happens. If it was only about putting more cluster bombs in the desert, the USAF has more than enough aircraft.
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby MikeD » Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:57 pm

I am not sure if "warheads" is the real shortcoming in Afghanistan. I rather think intelligence is needed to identify "hostile" activity before a infantry fight on unfavorable terms happens. If it was only about putting more cluster bombs in the desert, the USAF has more than enough aircraft.
FACd the Dutch F-16s a couple of times over there. I started to realize why the US is bankrupt from the war. Went after one piece of crap Toyota truck one day in Helmand that was supposedly owned by some bad guy that was attending a meeting in the desert. Get pushed two US jets to target it, and they expend 1000+ rounds of 20mm, a 500 lb GPS guided bomb, and a 500lb laser guided bomb, finally destroying the truck. Now, post strike, I began to add the $$$ of what we destroyed in comparison to the $$$ which were expended to destroy it (fuel and ammunition....not factoring maintenance, etc).

No wonder were borrowing from China and printing new money with no value behind it.....

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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Sickbag » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:04 pm

Those Toyota trucks ARE tough!
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Robert Hilton » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:20 pm

FACd the Dutch F-16s a couple of times over there. I started to realize why the US is bankrupt from the war. Went after one piece of crap Toyota truck one day in Helmand that was supposedly owned by some bad guy that was attending a meeting in the desert. Get pushed two US jets to target it, and they expend 1000+ rounds of 20mm, a 500 lb GPS guided bomb, and a 500lb laser guided bomb, finally destroying the truck. Now, post strike, I began to add the $$$ of what we destroyed in comparison to the $$$ which were expended to destroy it (fuel and ammunition....not factoring maintenance, etc).

No wonder were borrowing from China and printing new money with no value behind it.....
I suppose you could have nuked it, as Eisenhower used to say, 'a bigger bang for your buck'.

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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Princess Leia » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:15 am

FACd the Dutch F-16s a couple of times over there. I started to realize why the US is bankrupt from the war. Went after one piece of crap Toyota truck one day in Helmand that was supposedly owned by some bad guy that was attending a meeting in the desert. Get pushed two US jets to target it, and they expend 1000+ rounds of 20mm, a 500 lb GPS guided bomb, and a 500lb laser guided bomb, finally destroying the truck. Now, post strike, I began to add the $$$ of what we destroyed in comparison to the $$$ which were expended to destroy it (fuel and ammunition....not factoring maintenance, etc).

No wonder were borrowing from China and printing new money with no value behind it.....
I suppose you could have nuked it, as Eisenhower used to say, 'a bigger bang for your buck'.
Sure. What's the conversion rate of Toyotas to Nukes? Can we figure in poppies at heir street value?
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby Schorsch » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:34 am

I am not sure if "warheads" is the real shortcoming in Afghanistan. I rather think intelligence is needed to identify "hostile" activity before a infantry fight on unfavorable terms happens. If it was only about putting more cluster bombs in the desert, the USAF has more than enough aircraft.
FACd the Dutch F-16s a couple of times over there. I started to realize why the US is bankrupt from the war. Went after one piece of crap Toyota truck one day in Helmand that was supposedly owned by some bad guy that was attending a meeting in the desert. Get pushed two US jets to target it, and they expend 1000+ rounds of 20mm, a 500 lb GPS guided bomb, and a 500lb laser guided bomb, finally destroying the truck. Now, post strike, I began to add the $$$ of what we destroyed in comparison to the $$$ which were expended to destroy it (fuel and ammunition....not factoring maintenance, etc).

No wonder were borrowing from China and printing new money with no value behind it.....
Sounds pretty wasteful. I guess this raid cost the taxpayer in the magnitude of 250000 USD. I guess next time you better take on fifth of that, go to some local folks and ask them to blow up his truck. Suicide bombers get paid* way less.

*: Of course they don't get paid, but their relatives and family normally gets a kind of compensation.
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Re: Belgium sending F-16 to Afghanistan

Postby rattler » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:01 am

This is true in general:

I guess the whole war would have been over faster (or wouldnt have even been necessary) and much cheaper if the coalition had simply offered 1 million $ to each Iraqui soldier plus asylum in one of the coalition countries. A rough cost estimate would have made that 120 Billion $ overall at most, nothing compared to what was expended in reality.

Heck, even evacuating the whole Iraqui nation with 1 Million §$ per family wouldnt have made for more than 650 Billions and we knew we could take on all the rest there as they would be either advice resistant hardliners or foreign insurgency fighters.

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Sincere condolences to all Norwegians! I guess you will need some aquevit to get over this.


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