In the April Proceedings, retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor put forth a specific challenge to Marine aviation planners in his article "Listen Up Marines! We Belong at Sea, Ready for Trouble" by writing:
But what are the requirements for expensive fixed-wing fast movers? What unique capabilities are needed for aircraft in support of ground Marines? This is a sensitive subject, but if the Marine Corps is not realistic in assessing and defining its needs there are those, less competent, outside the Corps who are more than willing to do so.1
His bait is enticing. It suggests a certain vulnerability of Marine fixed-wing air and serves as a call-to-arms to those who are passionate about Marine tactical aviation (TACAIR) and its unique history, character, capabilities, and contributions to the Corps' successes on the battlefield. The statement also highlights the potential exposure of TACAIR's flanks to its detractors, those who would point to the seeming redundancy of "another Air Force," ripe for the resource harvest.