The Johnson McConnell Agreement of 1966 was an agreement between General Harold K. Johnson, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and General John P. McConnell, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, on April 6, 1966. The U.S. Military has agreed to abandon its rigid-wing tactical airlift aircraft, while the U.S. Air Force has given up most forms of rotating wings. The most immediate effect was the handover of the DHC-4 Caribou aircraft to the Air Force. Watch another day under the scorching sun when a team of four patrols a distant country to undertake a mission of advice and support. This is not unusual â€“ these missions are repeated thousands of times a year around the world to support international partnership capacity building to combat violent extremist organisations. Unfortunately, their opponents have their own agenda and possibilities, and this routine patrol degenerates into combat operations in the blink of an eye. Today, the troops are in a struggle for their lives, without air cover, against a war force outnumered. Tragically, a similar scenario resulted in the loss of four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger in 2017.
While the Defense Ministry pointed out the many mistakes that led to this tragic outcome, the lack of an air force is only addressed in the context of what those forces had at their disposal, not what they might have had. Expecting the fight against violent extremists to continue for a generation, the United States continues to rely heavily on the Air Force for an asymmetrical advantage. Given that ground troops are far more dispersed globally than the air force, the military should clearly provide its own fixed-wing attack aircraft to support distant operations. Except they can`t. Handicapped by a misinterpretation of the 1948 agreements, the Defense Ministry believes that the army has agreed not to procure fixed-wing fighter jets and not to be able to arm those who have them. It turns out that this is not true – such an agreement has never been codified in writing. They agreed not to duplicate a function assigned to the Air Force. It`s long time to kill that unicorn and remove a totally artificial line that hinders the Air Force`s options at the expense of soldiers and women around the world.
The military might be the best candidate for a light attack capability, which is not a priority for the Air Force. . . .