TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona’s Senators and Members of Congress have united to fight Air Force plans to retire a large slice of the A-10 fleet.
The latest Air Force budget proposal calls for retiring 45 A-10s as soon as Fiscal Year 2022---with 35 of those likely to come from Davis-Monthan. The Air Force says it would continue to fly more than 200 A-10s long term.
Arizona’s Senators and House members are fighting the plan. Senator Mark Kelly says there is no other plane that can protect American troops on the ground as well as the Warthog.
“It can fly low, you can get your eyes, not only on the target, but on friendlies and maneuvers at a low altitude. I haven't seen an airplane that we currently have in our inventory. Inventory, other than the A 10 that can do that.”
Visiting Tucson Tuesday, Senator Kyrsten Sinema says she will fight to keep the A-10 in the air and at Davis-Monthan.
“I stand firm on that. And as you have recently seen, Senator Kelly and I and our delegation, sent a letter to the administration reiterating that, and recently Senator Kelly and I actually had a phone call with the Chief of Staff for the Air Force, our second one, to talk about this plan, and we intend to oppose it.”
Visiting with Senator Sinema, Texas Senator John Cornyn says he supports preserving the A-10 because he understands how important it is to our troops.