The Air Force doesn't want to support ground troops, as their single-minded obsession with killing the low-flying A-10 demonstrates.
Robots don't mind flying low:
The Office of Naval Research has unveiled what it is calling the future of the American military’s drone technology—lightweight, flying killer robots that can swarm and overwhelm an adversary.
More on LOCUST here.
And we have problems up high:
COLORADO SPRINGS: Citing “increasing threats” against America’s satellites, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said here today that the US military “must be able to respond in an integrated, coordinated fashion” to attacks on US space assets and he used the charged term “space control” in making his argument.
As I've long advocated, the Air Force should truly aim high:
I think the Air Force needs to go up to space and let the ground guys take over the aerial missions needed to directly support the troops.
Air superiority (including counter-air missions against enemy airfields), space control (both offensive and defensive), ICBMs, air transport, and electronic warfare should be the Air Force missions.
Why not give the A-10 squadrons to the Army? Most could go to the Army Reserve (Not to the National Guard, which could lose its existing A-10s, since governors are unlikely to need air support) while only some are kept in active service units.
I say this not to punish the Air Force, but to both let the Army do what the Marines already do--provide their own air support--and to allow the Air Force to focus on missions it would rather do and which they need to do better in an era when potential enemies can challenge us for control of the air, space, and cyber-space.
Make the Air Force the Aero-Space Force in charge of anything soaring over the Earth-Moon system's ground.
UPDATE: Aim higher, guys in blue:
Last year, the Defense Department conducted a strategic review of the space portfolio. One conclusion was that current space systems were designed in an era when space was not contested or congested. "This is no longer the case," James said.
"We need to ensure that our mission can get done despite what could be a very challenging environment in space to include challenges of one day having warfare effects in space," James said. "We must not let potential adversaries ever deny us the use of space."
We have a rare convergence. The Air Force doesn't like flying low to help the Army and we need the Air Force to go higher. Surely there is room for mutually beneficial divisions of responsibility.