Spectres and Warthogs Join Libyan Fight

The Pentagon briefed today that two new airplanes joined the Odyssey Dawn mix last weekend:  the A-10 and the AC-130.

At this morning’s NFZ ops brief, Vice Admiral “Shortney” Gortney allowed that Spectres and Warthogs had been “employed” but only in support of the UN-backed resolutions to protect Libyan civilians.

“We’re not in direct support of the opposition, that’s not part of our mandate, and we’re not coordinating with the opposition,” he said.

So we’re peppering the Libyan desert with depleted uranium rounds at random?  Heads up, rebel dudes!

(Gouge – DT tip linkster Patrick Casey, AFA cadet extraordinaire)


  • blight

    Libya’s low population densities should ensure that any hypothetical radiation doesn’t affect large swathes of the population. However Libyan rebel troops should probably steer clear of tank hulks in the desert, or at least wait for the DU dust to disperse before moving through it. Hell, just bypass and keep on rolling.

  • theman

    This is awesome! I know the A-10 is many people’s favorite aircraft. Of course, using ground attack aircraft is a serious escalation. I think it is clear that Obama is taking the advantage of the fact that, as of now, Gaddafi’s forces are arrayed in a manner ideally suited for attack–out in the open, in the desert. As long the civilians remain separated from the combatants, this will be a cakewalk. If Gaddafi was sitting out in the middle of the desert in a bunker, you can bet NATO would have killed him by now.

  • jamesb101

    This will aloow the US to send home some air assets…..

    The A-10 Warhog and AC-130 gunships means this thing is turning tachical and there is no worry of offensive Libyan a/c….

  • jamesb101

    since the land is level there will little problem in these two a/c finding targets….

  • Just what we need to do, shoot radioactive material into a country undergoing a revolution that could possibly create another Iran.

    Not like guys sympathetic to AQ won’t be looking for spent rounds to grind up and stick in IEDs used against us.

  • paperpushermj

    Have any of you given any thought to who makes up the Anti-Government forces?
    Beware the law of Unintended Consequences, it has a habit of biting people in the butt.

  • sam

    What happened to just doing a no fly zone? Our President changes his story every day. Next he’ll be dropping the 82nd AB in Libya and telling us that he can’t sit by and just watch. What a typical politician.

    • Nadnerbus

      Yeah. a part of me like seeing a guy that so thoroughly needed an ass kicking getting one, but I do question how far this goes. There is no way in hell the A-10s and spookys are hanging around watching after civilians in some backwater somewhere, as Ward alluded. If the administration wants to escalate, then escalate and say so. Don’t put out half truths and dodges in the hopes that things will pan out fast enough to skate off to the next hot topic in the 24 hour news cycle before people get wise.

      Modern warfare indeed. In all but name.

      • Curt

        Its that whole transparency thing that was promised on the campaign trail.

      • Jacob

        Supposedly the A-10 and AC-130 can hit targets with more precision, which is good for pounding those troops which are closer to cities and other civilian areas. Considering that just about all of Gadhafi’s troops out in the open just got bombed to hell, you can probably guess that they’ll be hiding out in more urbanized environments now.

  • jamesb101

    mission creep…..

  • Eric Palmer

    Might require some checking but I don’t think they use DU with the A-10 anymore.

  • Valentina

    Have you see the effect of your DU in Irak’s baby? search…
    Would be the first time after Balcani, Irak and Afghanistan…undemocratic

  • Valentina

    Why do you need prove your destructive power?
    Why innocent people of future generation will pay ?
    Is this a action of a wise government?

  • Valentina

    I live in mediterraneo sea..tunisia is in front of me
    i have affinity in ancient history with all medioriente and i hope they can conquer ancient splendors of civilization and culture.
    For example
    I see afrikom in algery. Why?
    I see the disaster caused by France in Niger for the uranium…
    What do you have really in communion with this people and this nation?
    What would you like teach to all north africa nation?
    Obviously that Gheddafi is a dictator, Ben Alì also (he was a product of Stay Behind-Gladio operation)

    Your enemy is really Gheddafi or China’s business in Africa

  • Valentina

    After the liberation of fascism (Mussolini) in Italy, America has completely conditioned Italian politic and occupied with permanent militar bases .
    has supported the military regime of the colonels in Greece and also in Spain and Pourtugal.
    This is for free people? I have doubt

  • Project Thor

    Dude… spell check.

  • Valentina

    What do you know about ancient writing , scientist in Ugarit , ancient Greece tradicions of this people ..i love my nation Sardinia is my identity and i love also Berberi’s people
    What is progress? army, petrol business and a lot of money and real politik?
    I live in another word, i have other dreams

    • Brian

      Is this a haiku?

      • PMI

        Not a Haiku

  • Pandaa

    Can anyone tell me how the A-10 targeting works for its main gun and strafing? I’ve tried looking online for info but its a bit vague. I assume its just a reticle and point and shoot like ww2 but I always wonder how they can be accurate with that against small groups of troops or how the pilots can even see them from the height and speed they operate at.

    I thought there might be a computer aided system where the pilot enters a target line and then the computer flys the plane briefly while it engages compensating for gravity, distance effects on the rounds etc.

  • Valentina

    Project Thor
    I was born after the dictator Mussolini (Dude)

    sorry for my english ..i use google translate

  • SMSgt Mac

    If A-10s and Gunships were used without friendly boots on the ground nearby, then dollars to doughnuts they were both used at night, or the gunships at night and the A-10s from above ~10K ft using AGM-65s or Paveways.

    Valentina, don’t waste your time here. Post where the Politicos will read it: they have the say as to what goes down. The military just makes sure it does go down. I can’t defend this war, just the efficacy of those fighting it.

  • Valentina

    American influence in GreeceMain article: Operation Gladio#Greece

    The Phoenix rising from its flames and the silhouette of the soldier bearing a rifle with fixed bayonet was the emblem of the Junta. On the header the word Greece (Ελλας) and on the footer 21 April 1967, the date of the coup d’état, can be seen in Greek.In 1947, the United States formulated the Truman Doctrine, and began to actively support a series of authoritarian governments in Greece, From Wikipedia…this is story!

  • Valentina

    if we measure the culture they are very rich

  • Valentina

    don’t know nomadism, don’t know that Berberi are75-80 million

    and Gheddafi don’t live in desert

    so who you are killing with DU?

  • Valentina

    I’m not upset really!
    I’m trying to think why
    In Greace is probably that dictactorship is hard to win but i don’t know if this has produced difficulties economy .
    For example in Lybia is strange but Gheddafi has product material progress, they aren’t poor . it’ s possible that is only a tribal war into Cirenaica and Tripolitania.
    I think is different respect revolution in Tunisia

  • Valentina

    The situation ins very serious

    Egypt and Tunisia are in transition (Egypt again with militar government)
    Syria , Lybia, Bharein…and very different..religious minorities , tribal war , monarchie minorities,

  • Riceball

    A DU round is much denser than a conventional round which gives the 30mm Avenger cannon on the A-10 an extra bit of punch against armor. So instead of either squashing or breaking into a million pieces when it hits armor it cuts through it turning the tank into Swiss cheese. It’s also supposed disintegrate into dust after penetrating and the heat from the force of the energy it generates during penetration causes the dust to ignite doing all sorts of nasty things to the inside of the tank.

    • SJE

      DU is not only very dense, it is relatively hard, and has some nice “self sharpening” properties against armor, instead of flattening out like lead. DU is therefore good against armor, not as good against personel.

  • Brian

    DU means depleted uranium. When you dig uranium out of the ground, there’s only about .06% (not 6%, but *point* zero six percent) of it that is the correct type for making nuclear reactions. Unfortunately, it’s all mixed in with the rest of it. Depleted uranium is the other 99.4% that doesn’t react to much. It’s still technically radioactive, because it gives off a little less radiation as a banana. And
    in about 4 billion years it will break down and become the kind of uranium that goes boom,

    The reason we use it is because it’s very heavy, and it doesn’t bend or break, and we have a whole lot of it just sitting around. Back in the 50s when we were building lots of nukes, we had all this extra DU sitting around and we didn’t know what to do with it. Then someone realized this stuff makes kick ass anti-tank rounds, When it hits a hard target, all these metal shavings flake off of it, and then catch fire and explode like a grain silo. This tends to happen *inside* the tank you just shot.

  • Valentina
    • Brian

      The US has not signed on as a member of the International Criminal Court, nor on treaties against the use of DU. The thing you have to understand about treaties is that countries are only bound to them if they sign on for it.

      There IS NOT an international government. Nations are free to behave as they choose to. They also face the consequences of that action, like Libya is now.

  • While I understand that tactical vehicles have been approved as valid targets under the operation’s marching orders, doesn’t the addition of specialized air-to-ground shooters indicate mission creep? Are we supporting all the way to Tripoli, or not?

    What is the mission?

    • STemplar

      That’s evolving as we go apparently, because I’m not sure how you reconcile “scaling back” with the addition of AC130s and A10s.

  • Joe Schmoe



    The normal people of DT.

  • Tim


    It’s time to take your idiot medicines and get that once-a-month shower, your odor is upsetting the rats.

  • Chris

    I’m sure oil is the motive here…if the US was really interested in humanitarian issues Ivory Coast or Bahrain would also be great places to get involved. However, natural resource availability is my specialty and since we’ve either hit or are almost at peak oil production, we need to secure as much as possible. The entire N. American (Canadian + US) way of life would be drastically altered if we no longer had secure sources of oil. I personally think these conflicts could be avoided if the US gov’t just invested more money into alternative energy sources. It’s inevitable that the supply will dwindle, so it would make sense to start investing into technology to supplement it.

  • Dhunt

    a-10’s are the bomb beat , guardian angels

  • mike j

    I’m not sure I fully understanding you. The GAU-8 points where the nose goes. The rounds it fires are purely ballistic, not guided. The pilot certainly has the ability to see a IR laser marker and aim a weapon at it, including the gun. They’ve had the ability to do that with the Pave Penny pod mounted on the right cheek under the cockpit for pretty much the planes’ whole service. Now they carry the Sniper XR pod also.

    • Psypher

      no, no… I wasn’t talking about the rounds themselves obviously.

      I mean sometimes the mounting for rotary cannons is “hard” (immovable), sometimes they have a soft mount with a little play/maneuverability, and sometimes they’re fully maneuverable like in the AH-64 (slaved to TAPS)…

      • Psypher

        *TADS (sorry)

      • mike j

        Ah. Nope, the GAU-8 is mounted solidly to the airframe, angled down 2 degrees. Like I said, it points where the nose goes.

  • joe

    Sooo…has everything come to a screaching halt in Afghanstan? I mean, by all news thread indications, not a damn thing is happening over there where we got people on the ground getting shot at or IEDed.

    Hmmmm 150,000 troops in Harms way…or lets watch the Fast movers do their stuff on a piss-ant country.

    Focus People! For Gawd Sakes Focus! Stop looking at the Oooooo shiny thing and get back to reporting that ugly thing over there!

    • blight

      Wag the Dog for the win.

  • OldVet

    Save a 100,000 lives and give freedom a chance.
    Let Valentina run the mouth courtesy of the freedom bought with American blood.
    Oh well. OldVet

  • orly?

    It is quite apparent Valentina has no common sense.

  • amauyong

    Too bad….A-10s can’t be manufactured anymore…

    As tactical close air-support….she is no equals….

    closest to her is the SU 25 (Frogfoot)…but the A-10 still has the wins for me.

  • Jay

    You guys missed the real news:

    “Spectres and Warthogs had been “employed” but only in support of the UN-backed resolutions to protect Libyan civilians.”

    The A10s and AC130s are taking out vehicles en route to fight the rebels.
    This means armed fighters in civilian clothes are now considered “civilians” since Obama says so. This is a precedent for the US to intervene in any country where “civilians” with AK47s are in danger.

    This redefinition of armed fighter as civilian opens the door for the US to intervene anywhere there is internal armed conflict.
    This new doctrine could be used against Israel to protect Hamas and Hizbullah “civilians” from counter attacks, or to stop Bahrain and KSA from harming “civilians” who are armed by Iran to take over those nations.

    • orly?

      conspiracy! everywhere!

  • jamesb101

    11:09hrs…. 3/31/11…..CJCS Mullen….There are NO ground laser teams from the US……I/F/O the House…

    The Britis HAVE said they DO have their people there….

  • Jonathan

    This would of been a perfect test candidate for those vietnam era COIN aircraft we were going to buy and put into service. Too bad all the good ideas are never used.

    We could of had thousands of propeller driven dive bombers wreaking havoc in libya right now, instead we have overpriced jet engines that self destruct and crash into the ground trying to take pictures.

    They should have a lottery for “General for a day” because it seems like most people could do a better job at managing such a badass military that somehow looks stupid time and time again. 500 billion to destroy a few dozen tanks, handful of radars, and a few buildings. I want my money back.

    Meanwhile ghadaffi is still shelling cities.

  • Rocky

    The primary reason A-10s and AC-130s would be employed to this theater is for Combat Search and Rescue missions -the retrieval of downed allied pilots. This certainly isn’t being mentioned by our leaders because God-forbid the general public should be concerned about the safety of our fliers.

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