Pentagon Caught Off Guard...NK Intercept

  1. >>
    Pentagon officials have acknowledged that they were caught off guard by the intercept on Saturday night -- Sunday morning in Korea -- and did not scramble U.S. fighters during the 22 minutes the North Korean jets tailed the four-engine Air Force reconnaissance plane. North Korea's air force is so strapped for fuel and spare parts, its pilots fly only about 13 hours of training missions a year, and rarely stray from their home skies. <<<
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/nation...nkorea08.shtml

    15 crew members could have been killed [shot down] or held hostage
    And the Pentagon was unprepared?
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  2. 49 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by maureeno
    >>
    15 crew members could have been killed [shot down] or held hostage
    And the Pentagon was unprepared?
    scary
  4. by   SharonH, RN
    Well I guess that's the problem with focusing all your energy/obsession on one person.
  5. by   molecule
    so in the week before this incident we order 24 B-52 Bombers to Guam to show 'credible military capability' but we fail to protect our spy plane? And the NK pilots only get about 13 hours fly time a year and rarely leave their home skies yet when our plane is intercepted we don't scramble? what does this mean?
    let us hope for better planning when this excercise starts.....
    ......>Likely to irritate the situation further-the United States and South Korea are beginning the largest joint military exercise of the year on the Korean Peninsula. More than 400,000 U.S. and South Korean troops will participate. North Korea is already complaining. <<<
    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/W...ons030304.html
  6. by   Q.
    From the article:
    Nonetheless, officials at the Pentagon and the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii were working out details of plans to protect the reconnaissance flights when they resume shortly. Officials said they were balancing the need to ensure the crew's safety and not be intimidated by the North Koreans, while trying to avoid steps that could unintentionally set off hostilities.
    Interesting.
    I'm wondering what those of you who are so utterly dismayed at the government for being "surprised" that N Korea would follow a US plane, would do otherwise? Set up things that can easily be percieved as aggression, acts of war, whatever, with someone as wacko as N Korea? I'm wondering if it occurred to anyone that scrambling may have made the situation worse? But what do I know? I mean, I don't have years of strategic analyst experience or military experience or Intel information and pesky stuff like that like the Pentagon and our military does. Jeez! They really should've asked us what to do!
    Last edit by Susy K on Mar 9, '03
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    . . . . Great rebuttal . . .I just love the way you write.





    signed, another dreaded conservative

    steph
  8. by   ChainedChaosRN
    Susy K....your quote is awesome!

    "It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the
    press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of
    speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the
    freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves
    beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the
    protester to burn the flag." ~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
  9. by   molecule
    if we had been prepared we would have been able to have the option of scrambing; we were caught unready. that is the problem.
  10. by   Q.
    Originally posted by molecule
    if we had been prepared we would have been able to have the option of scrambing; we were caught unready. that is the problem.
    Right. Which could have been percieved by a freak-show N Korean dictator as an act of war and aggression.

    The American men on board the planes are alive. In my mind, the right thing was done.
  11. by   molecule
    NK sees the deployment of two dozen bombers as an act of aggression, they will see the war games the same way. The spy plane ignored orders to land, they could have been shot down. I am glad they were not. Our Pentagon being 'off guard' while it gets ready for war is not reassuring. There was no plannot to scramble, it was not even an option. We were unprepared, that is not a defensible strategy.
  12. by   Dplear
    As a military member who has been to Korea, and seen the defences that we have there and the early warning radar there, as well as the LOCAL commanders make the decision to scramble or not, I know thay we knew the flight was being followed and we CHOSE not to escalate it. Intercept flights on intellegnce missions are very common. I know a P-3 Orion pilot in the navy and he can tell you of many intercepts over the middle east....also here is a little known fact about Korea in general. There used to be 3 places in the Air Force for Korean Linguists to be stationed. 1) Korea 2) the US 3) Greece. Know why Greece? I do (I was also stationed in Greece) The North Koreans did/do alot of terrorist training of terrorists in the Middle east and Libyia in particular. They fly regular intellegence flights out of Rota Spain to observe/listen in on these camps. North Korea/Middle east connection...hmmmmmm Makes you wonder doen't it...timing is everything.

    Dave
  13. by   maureeno
    "Pentagon officials have acknowledged that they were caught off guard by the intercept on Saturday night" OR "I know thay we knew the flight was being followed and we CHOSE not to escalate it"

    It is one way or the other,and the Pentagon admits it was unprepared!
  14. by   sbic56
    Exactly, maureeno...I'm glad it ended with such a fortunate outcome.

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