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A Massachusetts Democrat and Iraq War veteran is pushing a compromise to let the Air Force keep flying half of its A-10 fleet and retire the rest.

Rep. Seth Moulton on Wednesday sent a letter to colleagues in the House of Representatives containing floating a compromise that would keep an inventory of 119 A-10s out of the current 283. The move would let the Air Force keep the Warthogs to fly close air support, and use some of the savings from the retirement to pay for items off the military's "unfunded priority list" to equip other aspects of the Air Force's fleet.

"The A-10 has served well in specific circumstances but is by no means the most important asset we have or need to protect troops on the ground in all scenarios they face," Moulton wrote in the a "dear colleague" letter today. "… My amendment provides for items off of the 'unfunded priorities' lists provided by the military services. This includes paying for badly needed counter-IED radio jamming technology; IEDs were the number one cause of death for ground combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The amendment would let the military purchase the counter IED technology, TOW missiles, F-16 upgrades, more C-130Js, C-130 upgrades, MQ-9 Reapers and KC-135 defense systems.

Moulton's proposal comes as former A-10 pilot, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is expected to propose an amendment prohibiting the A-10's retirement. The chairman's mark, under debate on Wednesday afternoon, funds the A-10 fleet.

The Air Force warned Congress this week that keeping the A-10 would mean it would not have enough maintainers for the F-35 to make its initial operating capability on time, and would force the service to retire F-16s currently stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

"The Air Force is as lean as possible on maintainers," Moulton wrote. "By keeping a high number of A-10s, Ms. McSally's plan may require the Air Force to take maintenance personnel from other fighter aircraft units. This will reduce their readiness, which is already at dangerously low levels. We should never sacrifice the whole team to give special treatment to one player. Hundred dollar bills are not going to turn wrenches to keep F-35s, F-16s and F-15s in the air. Period."

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