Saving the A-10
Obama Tried to Retire Critical ISIS-fighting Jet Fleet; We Fought Back
Great news: our fight to save the A-10 fighter jet fleet has paid off — the Air Force will delay the aircraft’s retirement until at least 2022. Here’s the latest:
A-10 retirement to be delayed until 2022, defense chief says
The Pentagon will delay until 2022 its plan to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jet, a mainstay at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Tuesday.
During a preview of the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2017 budget request at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Carter said the agency’s requested $582.7 billion defense budget defers the final retirement of the A-10 “Warthog” until 2022, replacing it with F-35 Joint Strike Fighters “squadron by squadron.”
The Pentagon’s formal 2017 budget request is due out next week.
The proposed retirement of the A-10 has been hot issue in Congress, which for the last two budget years has blocked the Air Force’s plan to retire about 300 remaining A-10s — including more than 80 in three squadrons at D-M — by 2019.
A-10 supporters including Arizona Sen. John McCain, R-Phoenix, and Rep. Martha McSally, a Tucson Republican and former A-10 combat pilot, have argued that there is no ready replacement for the A-10 for persistent close air support, and that retiring the plane would put American troops at risk.
Read the full article here.
Today’s announcement is both good for the state of Arizona, and for our national security.
Right now, the A-10 fleet is playing an indispensable role in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and assisting NATO’s efforts to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. It’s also a vital part of Arizona’s economy because the fleet is manned by brave airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.
Saving the A-10 wasn’t easy, though.
With growing global chaos and turmoil on the rise, we simply cannot afford to prematurely retire the best close air support weapon in our arsenal without fielding a proper replacement.
You can find more recent coverage of the A-10’s retirement delay below:
OUR READERS’ VIEWS
Thank you Sen. McCain
Over the weekend I read an article in the Arizona Daily Star talking about Senator John McCain’s mission to keep the A-10 fleet at Davis-Monthan alive. John McCain is one of the few members of Congress that understands the importance of Arizona’s military assets, not only from a national security perspective, but as an economic driver.
In Arizona, the defense industry is responsible for nearly $9 billion in economic activity. It is important for our community to rally in support of these military assets and in support of our elected leaders who are helping us in Washington D.C. We should all thank Senator John McCain for his leadership and dedicated to Arizona.
— Jane Strain
SECDEF: A-10 will stay until 2022
Defense Secretary Ash Carter today announced what has been anticipated for months. The A-10 will not be retired.
In a speech previewing next week’s budget release, Carter also highlighted new technologies his department is developing in order to meet what he called a “major inflection point” that takes “the long view” for the Department.
“We’re also investing to maintain more of our 4th-generation fighter and attack jets than we previously planned — including the A-10, which has been devastating ISIL from the air. The budget defers the A-10’s final retirement until 2022,” Carter said. Replacing it with F-35s on a squadron-by-squadron basis so we’ll always have enough aircraft for today’s conflicts.”
The Air Force had planned to retire the A-10, but faced intense pressure from Congress.
Read the article HERE.