NGAUS Washington Report
(Nov. 19, 2013) More than 30 members of the Senate and the House of Representatives have asked the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to think carefully before retiring the entire fleet of A-10 aircraft.
In a letter signed by 13 senators and 20 representatives, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey were asked to “actively scrutinize” the Air Force budget plan for 2015. The service has indicated it would like to retire the A-10 to save money.
Cutting the aircraft known for its ability to conduct close-air support for ground troops, the lawmakers said, would “unnecessarily endanger our service members in future conflicts.”
The Air Force has said it could save $3.5 billion over five years by cutting the aircraft and using existing aircraft such as the F-15E and B-1B for close-air support.
An amendment has been offered to the Senate National Defense Authorization Act to delay any retirement of the A-10 until the F-35 is fully operational and fielded in sufficient numbers to perform the close-air support mission.
NGAUS asked its members yesterday through a Legislative Alert for their help to stop the premature retirement of the A-10. Make your voice heard here.