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SLATE: JUNK THE APACHE

The Pentagon should junk the Army's main attack helicopter, Slate says.Apache Longbows were the centerpiece of the only "disastrous operation of Gulf War II" -- the March 24th attack on Republican Guard divisions near Karbala. The copters were routed that day, driven back by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.According to Slate, it's yet another example of the Apache being "too dangerous to the pilots who fly it and not dangerous enough to the enemy it's designed to attack."THERE'S MORE: Over on the JO Forum listserv, Bob Krumm writes that Slate is making "a 'no-brainer' assertion. After the first mission where 30 Apaches were 'shot up' rarely did Apaches operate forward of friendly troops 'without the escort of fixed-wing aircraft flying far overhead.' If the first mission was indeed conducted without the escort of fixed-wing aircraft, well we now know what the problem was. Apaches are not designed to go forward without backup."

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