Frustrated US Military pilots say hands are tied in fight against ISIS

US Air Force Fighting Falcon jet plane
US Air Force Fighting Falcon jet plane

We have our military fighting machine providing air support in the Middle East fight against ISIS. And now we’re getting reports that somewhere along the chain of command, they aren’t able to do the job they’ve been tasked with doing. How much sense does this make? ZERO!

U.S. military pilots carrying out the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are voicing growing discontent over what they say are heavy-handed rules of engagement hindering them from striking targets.

They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: “There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn’t get clearance to engage.”

He added, “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating.”

Sources close to the air war against ISIS told Fox News that strike missions take, on average, just under an hour, from a pilot requesting permission to strike an ISIS target to a weapon leaving the wing.

Of course, the official Air Force response is that the reports aren’t true, they’re being cautious and calculating (both good things). But when minutes count and hours are lost, someone has to make the call…

A former U.S. Air Force general who led air campaigns over Iraq and Afghanistan also said today’s pilots are being “micromanaged,” and the process for ordering strikes is slow — squandering valuable minutes and making it possible for the enemy to escape.

“You’re talking about hours in some cases, which by that time the particular tactical target left the area and or the aircraft has run out of fuel. These are excessive procedures that are handing our adversary an advantage,” said retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, a former director of the Combined Air Operations Center in Afghanistan in 2001.

We may never know the truth for certain. But given our Commander in Chief’s bungling of so many other situations, I’m inclined to believe those actually running the missions rather those in PR positions answering for the Commander.

You can read the full story here.

Photo credit US Department of Defense