Posts Tagged ‘A-10 Warthog’

Air Force Finally Gives Up On Trying To Kill The A-10

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Remember last year’s story about how the Air Force was trying to kill the A-10 Warthog, with one now-cashiered general saying airmen talking to congress about saving the venerable plane was “treason?”

Well it appears that the Air Force has finally given up on attempts to kill America’s most effective tank-killing aircraft:

The U.S. Air Force is reportedly scrapping what has become an annual attempt to retire the A-10 Thunderbolts from the fiscal 2017 budget request being drawn up.

Maj. Melissa J. Milner, an Air Force spokeswoman on budget matters, said Wednesday she could not comment on the Defense One report that the Cold War-era attack aircraft had been spared indefinitely, but boosters of the plane affectionately known to ground troops as the “Warthog” hailed the move to keep them in the inventory.

“It appears the administration is finally coming to its senses and recognizing the importance of A-10s to our troops’ lives and national security,” said Rep. Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona and a retired Air Force colonel who flew the A-10.

“With A-10s deployed in the Middle East to fight ISIS, in Europe to deter Russian aggression, and along the Korean peninsula, administration officials can no longer deny how invaluable these planes are to our arsenal and military capabilities,” said McSally, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL.

For the past three years, the Air Force has sought to begin mothballing the A-10s in favor of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to take over the close air support mission. Each year, the House and Senate have blocked the cuts.

In a statement, Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and the chairman of the defense panel, said, “I welcome reports that the Air Force has decided to keep the A-10 aircraft flying through Fiscal Year 2017, ensuring our troops have the vital close-air support they need for missions around the world.”

The debate over the A-10s appears to have been shelved as commanders in the Iraq and Syria air war increasingly call upon the Thunderbolts flying out of Incirlik air base in Turkey and other bases in the Mideast for attack missions.

Score a point for the restoration of sanity over institutional antipathy.

Air Force General Who Called Support for A-10 “Treason” Removed From Post

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Here’s an update on my previous post about the latest attempt to kill the A-10:

An Air Force general has been removed from his position after warning airmen not to talk to members of Congress about the A-10 “Warthog” attack jet.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James Post III, a two-star vice commander at Air Combat Command, was under investigation by the Air Force’s inspector general for allegedly telling more than 300 airmen at a Nevada conference in January that they were not to talk to members of Congress about the Air Force’s attempts to retire the attack jet.

In response to a question about the A-10, Post discussed “the importance of loyalty to senior leader decisions and used the word ‘treason’ in describing his thoughts on communication by Airmen counter to those decisions,” the investigation found.

Post’s “choice of words had the effect of attempting to prevent some members from lawfully communicating with Congress, which is a violation of the U.S. Code and [Department of Defense] Directives, whether that was his intention or not,” said Air Combat Command (ACC).

Maybe Gen. Post was just talking clues from more vocal supporters of his Commander and Chief. After all, is there any opposition to any Obama Administration policy that hasn’t been called “treason” at this point?

Air Force Tries to Kill the A-10. Again.

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

The Air Force is trying (yet again) to kill the A-10 Warthog. The ostensible reason is shrinking budgets. The real reason is that the A-10 is perfectly suited for a role (close air support) that the Air Force is equally unwilling to embrace or give up.

Jerry Pournelle has been expounding on the theme for years. “USAF will always retire hundreds of Warthog to buy another F-35. Always, so long as it exists. And it will never give up a mission.”

Being so well-suited for close air support of ground forces, the A-10 could make a big difference fighting ISIS (or even Russian armor in the Ukraine, assuming the administration was serious about Ukrainian sovereignty). This would be a great place for a strong White House leadership to step in and reset priorities for the Air Force. Unfortunately, strong White House leadership is exactly what we lack right now…