WASHINGTON, DC (KGUN9-TV) - There’s encouraging news in the fight to keep the Air Force from retiring a large slice of the A-10 fleet.
This month the Air Force said it might have to retire 110 planes of the current fleet of 283 aircraft--about three squadrons--- unless Congress provided money to replace worn-out wings on the aging Warthogs.
Monday, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee officially supported 103 million dollars to re-open the assembly line that builds replacement wings for the A-10. See page 13 of the Chairman's Mark summary.
The move is an early step in the complex process of building the military budget.
The A-10 is the main mission for Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base so keeping the A-10 flying is critical to the future of the base and the boost it brings to our local economy. In budget hearings, Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally, a former A-10 pilot and squadron commander, challenged the Air Force on plans to shut down A-10 squadrons.
The Air Force has said tight budgets made it proposing retiring the A-10 to free money for newer planes like the F-35, but the Warthog's reputation for protecting troops on the ground has won it strong support in Congress.