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Senator McCain fires back at General Welsh

Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 19:44:30-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Disingenuous and embarrassing is how Senator John McCain responded to the Air Force Chief of Staff last week over attempts to retire the A-10.

Senator McCain fired back at General Mark Welsh saying that the warthogs are currently the most effective and least costly mission in the fight against ISIS.

McCain continued to question General Welsh's plan saying there is no replacement in place after the A-10 retires, calling the plan a flight in the face of reality.

"Why would you want to retire the least expensive, most accurate, close air support system?" he questioned General Welsh.

General Welsh replied, "I don't want to retire it Senator, but the Air Force has to get bigger to do all this."

McCain fired back, "But you haven't gotten a replacement for it General." 

General Welsh attempted to chime in but McCain continued saying, "You sit here and say that you do is absolutely flies in the face of the facts, so enough said General. Okay? You know, it's really embarrassing for you to say something like that when I talk to the people who are doing the flying, who are doing the combat, who say the A-10 is by far the best closed air support system we have.  It's embarrassing."

The Air Force has been trying to retire the A-10 for years to make room for the F-35, including freeing up maintainers to work on the new jets.