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A-10 retirement delayed for six years

Posted at 7:43 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 07:13:45-05
There is good news for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.  The Air Force will not retire A-10s until the year 2022.
Tuesday Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the A-10 has been such a powerful tool in the fight against ISIS that plans to retire the warplane are on hold for another six years. That's what a lot of Southern Arizona was hoping to hear. The A-10 is a huge part of the local economy. 
More life for the A-10 is good news for the local economy but bad news for ISIS.
The plane is built around a huge gun meant to slice open tanks so to an A-10 almost anything else is a soft target.
Troops on the ground love the plane because it can fly low and slow enough to tell good guys from bad, and make sure bad guys have a bad day.
As a former A-10 pilot and Squadron commander Congresswoman Martha Mc Sally has been fighting to keep the A-10 in the air.  She's looking past the A-10s new 2022 retirement date---just six years away.
"And I've been advocating that until we have a suitable, proven replacement to keep our troops safe that we need to keep the Warthog flying and I'm going to continue to lead that fight."
The A-10 helps protect Southern Arizona's economy too.
As the main mission at Davis-Monthan it keeps the base open and active.
D-M's own analysis says the base puts almost one-point five billion dollars into the local economy through the impact of military and civilian workers, plus military retirees attracted by the services the base provides.
The Air Force actually spent more than a billion dollars to beef up the A-10 and upgrade it's electronics to keep it flying past 2022 to 2028.
But tight budgets and the itch to switch to the new more sophisticated F-35 led the Air Force to try to retire the A-10 almost right away---until the fight against ISIS gave the A-10 new life.