Monday, June 24, 2013

Air Force expert on Benghazi--the real scoop



Subj: Fwd: Air Force expert on Benghazi--the real scoop

Pres. Obama was right when he said "we are a country of cowards" and 
they reside on Capitol Hill.
"Hands" was my boss when I was on the USAF Stan Eval team when you and I
were both stationed at Ramstein in the late 70's. I guess "outspoken" is
an understatement because Phil would tell it like it was and that is the
main reason he was so well respected by all of those who ever worked for
him. As far as I know he was the only pilot "living" to loop a C-130. 
His "outspokenness" did get him fired as the F-15 wing commander at Luke. At
his going away speech he was given a 45 minute (or something close to
that....I wasn't there, just heard about it) standing ovation. Phil is
kind of like a George Patton in that he needed to be wrapped up and 
saved for combat. He is a hell of a guy and I would fly with him anytime.


I would say every US fighter pilot, retired or on active duty, knows 
that Panetta and Dempsey both are full of crap when they said there was no
time to send help to Benghazi. They claim it was a problem of
"time/space." All my friends and I said, "Bullshit." We know they could
have gotten F-16s there from Aviano.

"Hands" Handley is a well-respected USAF fighter pilot. Here is his 
short resume and what he just wrote about Benghazi below that. If anything,
Handley is pessimistic in his timeline of when F-16s could have reached
Benghazi . I think they could have been airborne even sooner and turned
quicker at Sig. The decision to not try was not based on capability. We
had the operational capability in every way.

I hope Handley's taxes are in order. His IRS audit is forthcoming.

Eagle Biography

Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley

Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley is credited with the highest speed air-
to-air gun kill in the history of aerial combat. He flew operationally
for all but 11 months of a 26-year career, in aircraft such as the F-86
Sabre, F-15 Eagle, and the C-130A Hercules. Additionally, he flew 275
combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia in the F- 4D and 
F-4E. His awards include 21 Air Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 
the Silver Star.

Betrayal in Benghazi
Phil "Hands" Handley Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

The combat code of the US Military is that we don't abandon our dead or
wounded on the battlefield. In US Air Force lingo, fighter pilots don't
run off and leave their wingmen. If one of our own is shot down, still
alive and not yet in enemy captivity, we will either come to get him or
die trying.

Among America 's fighting forces, the calm, sure knowledge that such an
irrevocable bond exists is priceless. Along with individual faith and
personal grit, it is a sacred trust that has often sustained hope in the
face of terribly long odds.

The disgraceful abandonment of our Ambassador and those brave ex-SEALs
who fought to their deaths to save others in that compound is nothing
short of dereliction-of-duty.

Additionally, the patently absurd cover-up scenario that was fabricated
in the aftermath was an outright lie in an attempt to shield the
President and the Secretary of State from responsibility.

It has been over eight months since the attack on our compound in
Benghazi . The White House strategy, with the aid of a "lap dog" press
has been to run out the clock before the truth is forthcoming.
The recent testimonies of the three "whistle blowers" have reopened the
subject and hopefully will lead to exposure and disgrace of those
responsible for this embarrassing debacle. It would appear that the most
recent firewall which the Administration is counting on is the 
contention "that there were simply no military assets that could be brought to bear
in time to make a difference" mainly due to the unavailability of tanker
support for fighter aircraft.

This is simply BS, regardless how many supposed "experts" the
Administration trot out to make such an assertion.

The bottom line is that even if the closest asset capable of response 
was half-way around the world, you don't just sit on your penguin ass and do

The fact is that the closest asset was not half-way around the world, 
but as near as Aviano Air Base, Italy where two squadrons of F-16Cs are

Consider the following scenario (all times Benghazi local): When Hicks 
in Tripoli receives a call at 9:40 PM from Ambassador Stevens informing him
"Greg, we are under attack!" (his last words), he immediately notifies
all agencies and prepares for the immediate initiation of an existing
"Emergency Response Plan."

At AFRICON, General Carter Ham attempts to mount a rescue effort, but is
told to "stand down". By 10:30 PM an unarmed drone is overhead the
compound and streaming live feed to various "Command and Control
Agencies" and everyone watching that feed knew damn well what was going

At 11:30 PM Woods, Doherty and five others leave Tripoli, arriving in
Benghazi at 1:30 AM on Wednesday morning, where they hold off the
attacking mob from the roof of the compound until they are killed by a
mortar direct hit at 4:00 AM.

So nothing could have been done, eh? Nonsense. If one assumes that 
tanker support really "was not available" what about this:

When at 10:00 PM AFRICON alerts the 31st TFW Command Post in Aviano Air
Base, Italy of the attack, the Wing Commander orders preparation for the
launch of two F-16s and advises the Command Post at NAS Sigonella to
prepare for hot pit refueling and quick turn of the jets.

By 11:30 PM, two F-16Cs with drop tanks and each armed with five hundred
20 MM rounds are airborne. Flying at 0.92 mach they will cover the 522
nautical miles directly to NAS Sigonella in 1.08 hours. While in-route,
the flight lead is informed of the tactical situation, rules of
engagement, and radio frequencies to use.

The jets depart Sigonella at 1:10 AM with full fuel load and cover the
377 nautical miles directly to Benghazi in 0.8 hours, arriving at 1:50 
AM which would be 20 minutes after the arrival of Woods, Doherty and their

Providing that the two F-16s initial pass over the mob, in full
afterburner at 200 feet and 550 knots did not stop the attack in its
tracks, only a few well placed strafing runs on targets of opportunity
would assuredly do the trick.

Were the F-16s fuel state insufficient to recover at Sigonelli after
jettisoning their external drop tanks, they could easily do so at 
Tripoli International Airport , only one-half hour away.

As for those hand-wringing naysayers who would worry about IFR
clearances, border crossing authority, collateral damage, landing 
rights, political correctness and dozens of other reasons not to act" screw 
them. It is high time that our "leadership" get their priorities straight and
put America's interests first.

The end result would be that Woods and Doherty would be alive. Dozens in
the attacking rabble would be rendezvousing with "72 virgins" and a 
clear message would have been sent to the next worthless POS terrorist
contemplating an attack on Americans that it is not really a good idea 
to "tug" on Superman's cape.

Of course all this would depend upon a Commander In Chief that was more
concerned with saving the lives of those he put in harm's way than
getting his crew rested for a campaign fund raising event in Las Vegas
the next day. As well as a Secretary of State that actually understood
"What difference did it make?", or a Secretary of Defense whose 
immediate response was not to the effect that "One of the military tenants is that
you don't commit assets until you fully understand the tactical
situation." Was he not watching a live feed from the unarmed drone, and
he didn't understand the tactical situation?


Ultimately it comes down to the question of who gave that order to stand
down? Whoever that coward turns out to be should be exposed, removed 
from office, and face criminal charges for dereliction of duty. The combat
forces of the Untied States of America deserve leadership that really
does "have their back" when the chips are down.

-- Regards, Gary


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